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KIWI QUALITY PROFILE 545C
  |  First Published: July 2011



Finally the New Zealand range of Profile alloy crafts are here in Australia! These extremely well made kiwi vessels are highly regarded in their home region of Napier and soon Aussies can see what all the fuss is about.

The Profile is in every sense of the word a pontoon craft. Even though its design is more elliptical than overtly rounded, you will get everything you expect with great buoyancy and stability.

Layout and construction

Construction of the Profile 545C was heavy-duty throughout; 4mm bottom and deck, four full length under floor bearers, and 3mm pontoons as standard, and the hull is supported by the pontoon structure. Above the keel line there’s a flat plate welded across the hull to form a strong triangular section at the keel with lateral support within the hull provided by a main cross bulkhead at the helm, a pair of central under floor frames plus the actual transom.

In all, a super strong arrangement with a lot of reserve flotation thanks to the three compartments within the pontoon and the large area under the sealed floor. Total buoyancy within the hull is in the vicinity of 1200kg – impressive stuff.

Up front in the cuddy, ground tackle is stored within a big anchor well ahead of a three quarter height bulkhead within the bow. A large aft opening hatch facilitates the anchor, and a stand-on tread plate platform set off the floor gives easy access. A large fairlead, roller and split bow rail are handy at the bow.

Within the craft’s cuddy cab there’s a bunk, big enough for two adults to sit on, to starboard with ample storage area beneath it with the area to port being simply a storage space. The tread plate floor extends from here throughout the craft.

Aft of the cuddy cabin is a strong windscreen that serves to protect skipper and mate with a folding frame bimini over head to assist with weather protection. A set of six rod holders were within reach on top of the aft section of the bimini frame.

The reviewed Profile 545C featured a set of side and front clears with zip down sections above the three piece windscreen for optimal visibility in bad conditions. Seating was impressive. Swivel pedestal seats with plush upholstery were mounted on open storage boxes large enough to take care of important items such as the Epirb, PFD’s and the like. The skipper could also easily stand to drive if conditions deteriorated.

The area aft of the windscreen comprised of a full width lip equipped dash area, able to easily accommodate as many nav aids as deemed necessary to keep the standard compass company, with a grab rail for the passenger. A dedicated console-like section at the helm area featured standard Yamaha gauges and BEP 6 way switching with the wheel linked to non-feed back steering central, engine controls side mounted to starboard. The craft’s marine radio was also handy to the skipper, being set just a little lower down.

Side Pockets plus

Aft of the main helm area is a 2.5m long and 1.51m wide cockpit that provides sufficient room for at least four anglers to work in harmony. Likewise, the 35cm wide decks atop the craft’s 580cm high gunwales were dressed with wide strips of rubberized material for both safety and comfort with four rod holders per side as standard.

The side pockets were over 2.5m long and mighty cavernous. No doubt designed with diving gear storage in mind, meaning there is ample space for the average fishing gear addict. A handy plumbed and flushable fish storage compartment was built within the floor aft of the helm seating and I can see some pretty big catches stored in this compartment with ease.

Transom features consisted of twin off floor compartments for batteries and fuel filter within the off floor storage area stretching across the stern, with paired non skid boarding platforms each side of the Yamaha 80 astern. Entry is accessed by the strong ladder to port and once on the platform a diver or swimmer would simply step straight over the transom area (rear seats not being fitted to the test craft) to come aboard. Any water coming aboard with a diver would be taken care of via the sump and bilge pump under the rear transom storage area.

The craft features an attractive Portofino style transom with distinctive cutaway lines extending from the top of the 620cm sides down to the water line at the boarding platform. A transducer mount plate is standard.

Ride, Handling, performance

Pontoon style boats always pleasantly surprise me with their ride and handling characteristics and the Profile certainly shone. Its reinforced and quite fine bow section, 18º transom deadrise linked to very prominent reversed outer chines (something I’ve not seen before on a pontoon style boat) created a smooth ride and steady-as-a-rock at rest vessel.

The combination of a solid hull (440kg) and super quiet Yamaha 80 astern made the Profile ride a noiseless and enjoyable experience. Wash from other craft was simple taken in the Profile’s stride.

Although test runs were done in calm conditions I have no hesitation in giving the Profile 545C full marks for offshore capability. The cuddy cab will serve as a bulwark up front to keep unwanted water away and the cockpit sides are sufficiently high enough to assist. The craft certainly impressed me with its handling; figure-of-eight turns or cutting back over its wash was nothing more than fun.

The Profile is rated for engines from 60hp to 115hp and I saw the 80 Yamaha four-stroke as an excellent engine choice. Smoothly powerful, the four cylinder DOHC engine ticked over at rest and snarled gently when pushed. The craft planed at 18.8km/h at 2,800rpm, 3,000rpm saw 24.4km/h on the GPS with 4,000rpm recording 38.7km/h. 5,000rpm recorded 50.2km/h and 5,800rpm a neat 55km/h. For a fishing craft, ample performance in my view.

Fishability

There’s little doubt about the Profile’s capability as a fishing rig. It’s very stable in the best pontoon craft tradition; ride and handling would see the crew comfortable as they head out into the bay or offshore. A bait board and live well were not fitted to the test craft but are optional extras.

Summing Up

Supplied on a one person launch/retrieve Dunbier skid and roller trailer the Profile 545C is a lot of boat for the money. Its finish is of the highest quality and I was very impressed with the craft’s brilliant blue paint job, visible and neatly smoothed welds. Divers or anglers can enjoy time aboard this craft and I have no doubt that its high esteem from home waters will soon be carried over into ours. Profile hulls come with a 3 year warranty.

Coming home for $53,990 from Northside Marine contact details are phone (07) 3265 8000, fax (07) 3265 8099 or on email at --e-mail address hidden--

Technical Information.

Length:5.45m
Beam:2m
Weight:440kg
Fuel:80L
Deadrise:18º
Engines:60-115hp
Engine fitted:80 Yamaha four-stroke
Hull construction:4mm marine grade alloy
Persons:6 Adults
Length on trailer:6.4m
Height on trailer:2.1m
Towing:Family six sedan or wagon
Reads: 1995

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