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Ocean Craft 4600 Diver
  |  First Published: September 2011



Manufactured on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the Ocean Craft 4600 Diver with a 50hp Tohatsu two-stroke motor is very much a basic rig straight from the factory. As reviewed it came with only two alloy quarter seats aft and a stand-to-drive centre console with a small storage space within it.

While undeniably basic let’s not lose sight of the fact that the craft is rated for a whopping nine passengers thanks to the terrific buoyancy of the multi-compartmented cylinders and the sealed under floor deck area. It also doesn’t have to be basic for very long, with additional factory options some major transformations can take place.

Added features such as box section high sides atop the cylinders, a fabric spray dodger up front, seating along the interior sides as well as an ice box seat for the skipper and mate at the console would see the Ocean Craft 4600 Diver take on a whole new perspective.

The possibilities are endless, but for now let’s take a look at the basic rig.

Layout

The Ocean Craft 4600 Ultra Deep Vee is formed from paired, compartmented, alloy cylinders with a deep vee hull between them. There’s a lift in the bow sheer line as a bulwark against waves, a lot of deck area and a strong transom aft to fit an outboard motor.

Up front a wide anchor well was equipped with a cleat to tie off the pick when fishing and the bulkhead up front is high enough to ensure that the ground tackle didn’t escape when underway.

The centre console was equipped with a basic helm set up consisting of forward controls for the engine to starboard, gauges for the Tohatsu 50hp mounted towards the top of the unit, an array of switches to starboard, with the craft’s wheel linked to non feedback steering in a central position. At our feet was a grippy check tread floor that extended the length of the boat.

Navigation lights plus three rod holders aft finished off the fabric and alloy T top’s fittings.

The Ocean Craft’s alloy console featured a lock up door, which opened to a small storage area, however the battery for the Tohatsu 50 took up a lot of the space. A shelf would be a handy option.

Aft of the console the check plate floor extended back to the transom area where a one person quarter seat sat each side of the motor; the fuel tank tucked away under a seat. As mentioned earlier, this was a basic rig; extra seating is an option.

Construction

Construction was impressive with the vee formed bottom being constructed from 5mm magnesium hardened alloy, the tubular sides of 2.5mm alloy and all decks made of 5mm tread plate. If one thing’s for certain there won’t be much risk of harming the floor if you wanted to carry a few dive bottles or big ice boxes aboard. The tubes are also compartmented to ensure the half tonne buoyancy rating of the craft will not be compromised.

I was impressed with the quality of the welding within the Ocean Craft. I have no problem with visible welds at all; in fact it gives me confidence when I can see visible but neatly smoothed welds.

Ride and Handling

As there were no seats at the helm area, skippering the Ocean Craft can become tiresome on long trips. That being said, it is decent and bearable for short travel. Overall, it worked okay during test runs.

Boaters familiar with the characteristics of rigid inflatable and cylinder style boats will understand that despite their unconventional appearance, they certainly impress in the ride and handling stakes. The Ocean Craft followed the proven design formula; a fine bow taking care of entry under way, a Vee aft to further smooth the ride, and the outer cylinders preventing the craft from departing from a level stance to any great degree.

The selling point for this boat is while traditional craft with deep Vee hulls might tend to lean a little, the Ocean Craft won’t because of the cylinder sides. Once a cylinder comes in contact with the water such as when the craft is at rest or during a sharp turn, it will steady the boat and cut out any lean.

The cylinders also push any displaced water down and away from the hull to create a dry ride for the most part.

The Ocean Craft 4600 planed easily, rode gently, remained dry and was virtually impossible to lean to any extent thanks to the buoyancy of those big cylinders running the length of the hull. Mike Jessop, the manufacturer, purposely leaned out as far as he could by standing on a sponson and the craft hardly leaned at all, such was its stability.

Performance from the 50hp Tohatsu two-stroke outboard was very good, again demonstrating that these hulls do not require a lot of power to function adequately. The craft, with two aboard, rose onto the plane with the greatest of ease at 14.9km/h at 2400rpm, 28.1km/h at 3000rpm 44.4km/h at 4000rpm, 49.3km/h at 5000rpm and a respectable 53.5km/h at 5800rpm. Engine ratings are from 50-70hp.

Fishability

With its combination of stability and excellent ride and handling the general concept of the Ocean Craft looks to be a workable fishing boat. Roominess is a great feature, not likely to be compromised with more seating installed or an ice box seat amidships.

I’d like to see the standard Ocean Craft box section high sides fitted on a boat that’s going to be used offshore, and make no mistake, there’s blue water capability there. The craft is ideal for general estuary and bay work, with plenty of room for two or three anglers to enjoy.

Summing Up

The Ocean Craft 4600 Ultra Deep Vee Diver was a basic, no frills rig that demonstrated excellent traits of stability, handling and easy performance from modest power. The finish was quite good in many respects, with a high standard of welding evident, however the fit out of the basic craft as a fishing rig was sparse. But there are additional options available to take the craft to a much higher level of overall fishability.

Carrying capacity is a strong point; a 4.62m craft rated for nine people is not an every day occurrence in the boating world. The craft came with an easily managed skid and roller SEB trailer. Price as reviewed was $25,000.

Ocean Craft can be contacted on (07) 54996937 or 0416293686 or on the net at www.oceancraft.com.au

Facts

Specifications

Length: 4.62m
Beam: 2.12m
Weight: 180kg
Deadrise:30
Persons:9
Fuel Tote tanks:25L
Construction:5mm bottom, 5mm decks, 2.5mm tubes
Engine ratings:50-70hp
Engine fitted:50hp Tohatsu two-stroke.
Towing:Family six sedan/wagon
Overall length:5.30m on trailer
Overall height:1.80m on trailer

Reads: 1860

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