Tristram boats are known for their predictable ride and this one is no exception. The full-length keel keeps the boat glued to the water in the tightest of corners. If you’re after something to please a fishing-orientated dad, cruising-minded mum and watersport-loving kids, then the 581 Prima M2 is going to tick all the boxes.

– Boating New Zealand Magazine

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Tristram 581 Prima M2

Dimensions & Capacities
Overall Length 6.00m / 19’7″
Overall Beam 2.40m / 7’9″
Deadrise 21 deg
Transom Angle 16 deg
Underfloor Fuel* 145 Litres
Horsepower Range** 130hp – 175hp
Overall Length on Trailer*** 7.00m / 22’10″
Overall Length on Trailer (with folding drawbar)**** 6.60m / 21’6″
Overall Beam on Trailer 2.45m / 8′
Overall Height on Trailer** 2.15m / 7’1″
Overall Weight on Trailer 1480kg

*approximate or variable figure
**as rated by CPC
***drawbar to engine in lowered position
****bowrail to engine in lowered position

Standard Features

Yamaha 150hp 2.7 L four stroke outboard
Yamaha concealed side-mount control box
Yamaha fuel management system
Yamaha multi-function digital LAN gauges x 2
Yamaha stainless steel SDS propeller

Mercury 150hp 3.0 L four stroke outboard
Mercury flush/​panel mount control box
Mercury fuel management system
Mercury SmartCraft® gauges x 2
Mercury stainless steel Enertia® propeller

Kingsway Enduro single axle trailer with fresh-water flushing attachments, multi-rollers & reg/WOF
Trailer tie downs
Tristram high-vis propeller bag

Battery & box with isolating switch
Bilge pump & fittings x 1
High gloss black dash with vinyl top lip
Hydraulic steering
Sports steering wheel
VHF & aerial

Alloy fuel tank underfloor with fuel filter (145 L / midship)
Deck cleats x 2 & anchor bollard x 1
Fibreglass moulded keel
Full length brass keel strip
Gelcoated hull colour band in black
Kewene anchor, warp 70m & chain 7.5m
Large bow rail – stainless steel
Perspex Windscreen

Marine carpet in aft cockpit – recessed & removable
Marine carpet from seats forward – recessed & fixed
Side pocket rod &/or ski storage
Ski pole – stainless steel
Stainless steel side coaming rod holders x 2
Storage underfloor
Tallon sockets inc drink holders x 2
Transom ladder

All-round white light (removable)
Port & starboard navigation lights

Cabin light
Cabin shelving/backrest upholstered
Cabin squabs with storage beneath
Foredeck access hatch x 1
Marine carpet – recessed & fixed
Port & starboard cabin windows

Premium marine grade vinyl upholstery in owner’s colour choice
Port side back-to-back seats with storage beneath
Starboard side swivelling helm seat with backrest & rear-facing kiddy seat with storage beneath
Removable rear cockpit seat with backrest

Road cover – Black Marine Canvas

Available Extras

Upgrade to brakes with s/s calipers
Upgrade to tandem trailer
Folding drawbar
Spare wheel & bracket
Trailer walkboard
Trailer lock

12V Socket
USB Socket
Capstan – manual
Capstan – self launching rope & chain
CTEK battery charger fitted
Fusion on-board entertainment with Bluetooth
House battery
Lighting – cockpit
Trim tabs – electric with auto-retract & LED indicators

Additional rod holders x 2
Auxiliary bracket
Auxiliary engine
Auxiliary tie bar
Baitboard – nylon with rod holders (small)
Baitboard – nylon with rod holders (medium)
Baitboard pole
Fishliner sides

All-over storage cover
Canopy top, sock & front clears
Canopy side clears
Canopy backdrop (3 piece)
Ice-grit stoneguard
Targa top – fully enclosed incl clears & backdrop

Cabin curtain
V-Berth infill

Fire Extinguisher
SeaDek flooring in rear cockpit
SeaDek flooring between seats
Tallon accessory mount & cup holder (additional)
Tristram Owner’s Care Pack


Primo Prima

Boating New Zealand Magazine

Subtle changes have made a proven all-round family boat even better.

Dedicated watersport enthusiasts will appreciate that tense moment when you slip off the side of a boat into chilly spring waters. An icy jolt invades your wetsuit as you bob about waiting for the driver to position the boat for take-off and the crew draws great pleasure in your near-hypothermic state.

At this point you weigh up the pros and cons of bladder control and wonder whether you would have been better off using your boat for other warmer, all-round pursuits like fishing or cruising. But once you’re up and running, early spring couldn’t be a better time to play in a boat’s wake when all the other watersport fundamentals are in order: relatively flat water and few other vessels in sight.

This was certainly the case when Boating went wakeboarding in early September. A boost in water temperature was about the only improvement needed.

Tristram Marine was in a similar situation when it came to their new award-winning 581 Prima M2. The Hamilton trailerboat manufacturer lost the moulds for the original 581 Prima when fire ripped through their laminating factory, but when it came to replacing the six-metre boat, only minor
modifications were required.

“It’s a proven performer and we’ve had extremely good feedback so we didn’t feel the need to make major changes,” says Tristram Marine’s General Manager, Kingsley Fink. “The fundamentals were all there.”

As a result, the M2 features the same soft-riding hull with its full-length moulded keel capped by a brass keel strip, four planing strakes and moderate chines as every one of the more than 200 581s launched since 1999.

A look at the foredeck though and one difference is apparent. A new anchor locker replaces the original concave version, enhancing the M2’s stealthy looks.

The new arrangement also means there’s more space in the anchor-well so the pick, warp, chain and a windlass can live happily under one roof, making for a much simpler, tidier foredeck arrangement.

Inside, the boat has a new dash layout with room for a 12-inch flush-mounted GPS/chartplotter and curved marine vinyl upholstered eyebrow over the engine gauges, giving a touch more style to the interior.

From the passenger’s point of view the port side king and queen seats have been made larger and more comfortable, with the upsize also increasing under-seat stowage.

A new seat behind the helm doubles the underseat storage available on that side.

Tristram Marine’s construction methods are tried and true and have been continued in the M2, with a wet laminate GRP hull structure and timber girders.

Air-filled buoyancy chambers run down each side of the boat. These used to feature under the cabin as well but the M2 instead uses foam-filled chambers forward for increased buoyancy.

The 145-litre underfloor fuel tank has been moved to the front of the cockpit, helping to balance the boat, which will now predominantly be sold with a heavier four-stroke outboard on the back. That change also means there’s more underfloor stowage in the cockpit – enough for three dive tanks.

A four-stroke 150hp Yamaha spinning a 19-inch stainless steel three-bladed prop powered the test boat. With four adults aboard and a full tank of gas, getting out of the hole was no drama and the M2 planed
happily at around 13 knots.

Tristram boats are known for their predictable ride and this one is no exception. The full-length keel keeps the boat glued to the water in the tightest of corners. With the Yamaha suitably trimmed, cavitation wasn’t an issue and the motor gave us a maximum speed of 44.3 knots (82kmh) at 5900rpm.

From the helm, the throttle and wheel fall nicely to hand, whether you’re sitting or standing. In the seated position, visibility through the curved windscreen is unobstructed, while wind, hull and engine noise in the cockpit is minimal.

The keel will no doubt come into play in a sea, helping the boat to track straight. Her fine bow entry promises to deal with head seas, and moderately wide chines should mean little slapping or banging on re-entry should the 581 leave the water when it’s rough.

Given this is a boat for all-round family fun, it was only appropriate that someone braved hypothermia and tested her towing ability. Our wakeboarder, his lips turning blue, wasn’t that enthusiastic at this point
but the M2 pulled him out of the water without a hitch.

At 18 knots (34kmh), the 581 produced a nice-sized wake with enough crest to launch someone skyward if they wished. The wake’s width wasn’t too wide, making in-air transitions from one side to the other reasonably achievable.

By the same token, the wake’s size isn’t anything that would trouble a water-skier looking to carve through it.

When it comes to plucking waterskis and wakeboards out of the water, the 581 M2 is stable on her chines and won’t lean over too far. Anyone clambering out of the water can do so via the boarding ladder, swimstep and walk-through transom.

Gunwales aren’t so high to make retrieving things from the water difficult, but high enough to comfortably rest your thighs against while fishing. Coamings on the M2 are capped with recessed teak.

Storing fishing rods and water toys is simple. Built-in cockpit side pockets have always had space for fishing rods, but they now extend further forward on the starboard side to accommodate a pair of waterskis. Anything else can be stashed under the seats in the spacious cockpit or placed inside the cabin.

A slightly-raised foredeck creates a bit more headroom in the carpet-lined cabin. Accessing the foredeck is easy through a large newly designed cabin hatch, a departure from the curved design on the old 581. Cleats on the bow make attaching a bow line hassle-free.

When it comes to pulling the boat out of the water, the standard single axle, non-braked trailer does the job, but, upgrading to a double-axle braked trailer will make towing a boat of this size a lot easier.

Our verdict

Although the M2 is little different to her predecessor, Tristram Marine market that as a good thing. The proof is the soft riding, predictable hull and admirable build quality, and if that’s a recipe that’s working, why change it?

The changes made are subtle but give the all-round family boat a freshly updated look. If you’re after something to please a fishing-orientated dad, cruising-minded mum and watersport-loving kids, then this is going to tick all the boxes.