The new release from Blue Fin Boats, Bowrider Sports 4.85, is just right for family use; it performs excellently on the water, stows easily and tows effortlessly.
Tucked in behind the wide bow sprit is a generous deep anchor well. The well padded bowrider seating, with its low but very strong grab rail, surrounds all three sides up front of the three piece central opening windscreen. Two or three people can sit or fish up here with a large amount of useful below seating storage area at their disposal. Under each storage compartment is a flat, carpeted floor where gear could be stowed undisturbed.
The craft’s carpeted interior carries throughout the craft. There is easy access to the helm and cockpit by walking through the ample space between the driver’s and mate’s separate consoles.
Aft of the windscreen, there are separate consoles for the skipper and first mate. There was ample leg room under both consoles with supportive and well padded swivelling bucket seats on pedestals. A solid grab rail, lockable glove box in front of the passenger and another grab handle completed the console’s features.
The Blue Fin’s dash, set on the starboard console, was basic but workable. Even though a sounder was not fitted to the test craft there was ample room for one if required. Gauges to monitor the Yamaha 70 four-stroke were fitted on the upper section of the dash, with the sports style steering wheel and an array of switches lower down. Forward controls for the engine were mounted on the side of the hull in the usual manner.
At the wheel, the seating position was comfortable, the vision unrestricted, and steering via the non feed back system was fairly light, giving the craft a well balanced and lively feel.
An optional bimini was mounted over the helm area to give some weather protection; this extra feature sure to receive a tick of approval.
Aft of the helm seating the wide cockpit offered rod holders within the decks and 1m+ side pockets to store items such as clothing, towels, smaller tackle boxes and similar. Seating aft consisted of a full width bench seat with a well padded coaming back rest. The seat was mounted on a storage box that was large enough to store skis, fishing tackle and other bulky items. The hinges on the seat box lid could also be hinged forward for ease of cleaning the craft.
Features aft of the transom consisted of grab rails extending over the stern to assist swimmers, divers, or skiers to come aboard and wide non skid duck boards each side of the engine were purpose designed to assist re-entry. A fold down ladder to port was conveniently situated next to the side grab rail.
Engines for the neat Bowrider as tested are rated from 60-80hp, which allowed a fair amount of latitude for individual use. No doubt owners seeing four or five aboard or hoping to enjoy some tow sports from time to time would opt for higher horsepower but those with one or two aboard would be happy with a 60hp.
The 70hp Yamaha fitted certainly proved a lively performer throughout its entire rev range. It started whisper quiet and maintained smooth, easy going performance whether cruising fast or just idling along gently.
The Blue Fin Bowrider Sports 4.85 planed at a very low 14.4km/h at 3,000rpm; 4,000rpm saw 32.4km/h on the GPS unit; 5,000rpm saw 44.3km/h; and, 6,000rpm a speed of 57.5km/h. Test runs were carried out in the Southport Broadwater with three aboard the craft.
I liked a cruising speed of around 35km/h with the engine ticking over at just over 4,000rpm, and it was decidedly quiet at that work rate. Performance from the 70hp Yamaha was very good and it would easily tow skiers or get an angling team to a chosen spot with little fuss.
The Blue Fin’s ride was very good thanks to a hull design tailored to the predominantly family boating/fishing usage of the craft. Most work would likely be in sheltered or semi-sheltered waters so the hull has a modest 10º Vee, with six pressed strakes each side of the prominent keel.
The bow is fine and well raked aft to reduce wave impact, which is very important in a Bowrider as you don’t want to jar the fillings out of the teeth of those up front. The well formed under hull pressings carry right forward to provide stability under way as well as reducing wet surfaces.
Mated to the spray chine on the water line up front the resulting set up worked very well with minimal impact from chop within the Broadwater and an agreeable lack of spray or displaced water coming aboard at any time. Ride was also quiet thanks to under floor foam fill. In fact I found it to be stable, predictable and quite enjoyable all round.
Handling of the Blue Fin was quite sporty, in line with the designation. Sharp turns, figure of eights, powering on hard from a standstill were all easily executed.
Stability was also very good, as expected from a shallow Vee hull with ample under strakes, mated to a generous beam of 2.15m. Family groups with young children will enjoy time in this craft with its 750mm interior side height, exterior freeboard of 1100mm.
Blue Fin make no claim to the Bowrider Sports 4.85 being a dedicated fishing boat yet it would certainly fulfil a lot of fishing requirements. There’s sufficient work room all round for up to four anglers to fish at a time in the estuary and bay, with runs offshore in good conditions a possibility.
The Bowrider 4.85 handles well and is suited equally for beginners to old salties. It was very comfortable thanks to well-padded seating and roominess. The finish was good, welds smoothed neatly and the overall presentation was up with the best of them.
I was happy with the 70hp Yamaha as a power plant and appreciated its smoothness and quietness all round. The ski pole fitting at the transom is indicative of the sports orientation of the rig yet it would easily double as an effective fishing boat.
Supplied on a Dunbier single axle trailer – with single person launch and retrieve a breeze – by Broadwater Boating Centre of Southport, the rig would come home for around $31,490, which I think is excellent value for money. For more information contact (07) 5529 1777 or at www.broadwaterboating.com.au.
|Hull construction:||3mm alloy|
|Engines:||60-80hp, 90hp with 4mm bottom|
|Engine fitted:||70hp Yamaha four-stroke|
|Overall length:||5.9m on trailer|
|Height:||1.9m on trailer|
|Towing:||Family six sedan or wagon|