This little beauty is the perfect set-up for harbour, creek and estuary fishing. Stable at rest and quick off the mark, the Sportfish 400 is sure to provide years of fishing adventures for light tackle enthusiasts.
Decked out thoughtfully for the fishing fan with a forward casting deck, rear bench seat, carpeted floor, sturdy low-profile centre console and a raised rack between the stern and bench seat for fuel and battery storage, the whole package is ready to roll out the door and get you on the water.
Aimed at anglers on a budget, the Seacraft range of boats is manufactured overseas using Australian sheet aluminium. With its 2mm sides and bottom, the Sportfish 400 is light, manoeuvrable and capable of taking two anglers to their favourite fishing destinations.
Basically a V-nosed punt, this rig isn’t designed for open water or offshore use but will be right at home as a platform for flicking lures in mangrove-lined creeks, along estuary shorelines or soaking baits around prominent structure or creek mouths.
The test boat was powered by a Seaking four-stroke 15hp outboard with electric and pull start.
The maximum power rating is 30hp but the 15hp got this rig up and planing quickly. With two solid anglers aboard and any distance to travel, upsizing to the 30hp four-stroke would be a good idea.
The central steering position enhances the craft’s ability to make quick, tight turns that are almost effortless and remarkably surefooted.
As with all boats of the style, there’s a fair amount of hull slap while under way and in rougher conditions I imagine the ride could get quite bumpy.
The finish was good, although the welds might be a little larger than on Australian-made boats.
The sky blue finish is a nice touch but bear in mind that tinnies get put through some serious punishment in their lives and scratches show far more on a painted hull than on untreated alloy – it’s your call.
On the fishing front, the set-up is pretty basic and the addition of a few items would go a long way towards hassle-free angling.
Only two rod holders, in the rear corners, are standard issue and there’s no doubting that if you’re anything like me you’re going to want a bunch more to house your various outfits.
Rail-mounted rod holders, two aft and two at the bow, will have you ready for the action, while an upright rack bolted to the front or port side of the console will provide space to store more rods not in use.
It would also be worth fitting an after-market live bait tank but consider its location wisely so you don’t upset the balance of the boat.
Tackle bags and boxes can be stored in the roomy shelves in the console. Doors would help keep your gear dry.
The top of the console has been well designed to allow various marine electronics to be fitted. I’d be using a Johnny Ray mount bolted to the flat dash surface so you can swivel your sounder and/or GPS to view anywhere in the boat.
The bow casting platform houses floatation and the void midships is a great place for storage and with a bit of forethought and a milk crate or similar, would be a great space to stow your anchor chain and rope.
The mission statement of Seacraft range is to deliver value and versatility to the Australian boating market. Sancho Kalcev of Ausmarine says the business evolved first with galvanised Seatrail boat trailers, then the Seacraft range was born from an obvious demand for boating options for people who simply couldn’t rationalise the money to get into more expensive boats.
“Our products are built to fit a budget and help get more Aussies out on the water doing the things they love,” Sancho said.
At the prices these packages go for, I’m sure there are thousands of anglers enjoying the pleasures that only time on the water can bring. Packaged with basic safety gear plus trailer and boat rego, all you need to do is fill up the tank, grab the fishing tackle, remember to put the bung in and push your new tinnie off the skids and into the briny.
The outfit comes with a registered Sea Trail single-axle, non-braked trailer with skids and rollers and if hosed down after each outing, the rig will require very little maintenance. Anglers who like to fish alone should be able to launch single-handed and with a kerb weight fully loaded and fuelled well under 400kg, this great fishing package can be towed behind pretty much anything legally allowed to have a towbar.
Drive-away price as tested with optional painted hull, carpet and seats, four-stroke 15hp Seaking outboard and Tinny12 Seatrail trailer is $9999. The base model package starts at $8999. Call 02 9772 4857 or visit www.ausmarine,biz to find your nearest dealer.
|Hull||2mm alloy bottom & sides|
Total BMT: 291kg
|Hull warranty||2 years|