Ezy Topper Boats at Toorbul, north of Brisbane, offer a range of infused glass craft that are truly car toppers yet perform well in estuary, river or lake environments with remarkable performance from modest engine power.
There’s no need for elaborate load/unload systems for these light weight punt style rigs: if you have a sturdy roof rack on your vehicle there certainly won’t be much problem loading or unloading one of these little beauties.
The specifications tell the story. The 3m Ezy Topper weighs in at less than 40kg and the 3.7m craft tips the scales at less than 48kg.
Yet light weight is only part of the Ezy Topper story. Both 3m and 3.7m craft are rated for up to four people (260kg and 280kg total weight respectively) and they offer total unsinkability, thanks to the sealed foam/fibreglass construction, for up to three aboard plus motor and fishing gear.
As we all know, the ever popular punts combine portability and work room with inherent stability. The design of the Ezy Topper sees a 1.4m wide interior providing plenty of room for angling pursuits, as a tender or for general sheltered water boating requirements. In order to gain a correct perspective we will look at these craft separately.
The 3m rig with its 4hp Suzuki four stroke rig is certainly going to win a lot of friends with its no frills design yet it offers seating for two folk astern, another two to be seated in the bow. The flat floor and adequate seat height make travelling as well as fishing quite comfortable and there are a couple of extra features such as rod holders moulded into the front of the rear seat, a storage hatch up front on the flat deck area. Note that seat areas in both models are covered with a rubber material that offers quite a comfortable feel while seated.
The 3.7m model was fitted with a 9.9hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard and came with some extras that certainly enhanced the package considerably. For a start, there was a live well in the port quarter astern, paddles and rod holders were fitted to gunwales although two inbuilt rod holders were also standard, which is the same as on the smaller model.
A quick set up Kingfisher bimini – also removable – was part of the set up which featured an identical forward layout as the smaller craft including the covered anchor well.
A padded ice box seat that could also double as a live well was placed amidships on the 3.7m and provided a handy way of adjusting interior weight with three aboard.
As both Ezy Toppers have uniform width of 1.4m there’s equal stability which in my view was ample for the class; a light weight car topper with a high degree of usefulness. As tenders for a larger craft, travelling, fishing, crabbing: all would be fine in these nippy craft in the smooth and semi smooth water situation. Ultra shallow draught is a desirable feature in a highly portable boat and Ezy Toppers certainly shine in this regard.
Stability was such that while photographing these boats under way I had no hesitation in standing in either one.That said, it pays to remember that these are still relatively small and very light craft and should be treated as such with sensible use.
As fishing rigs I’d see the Ezy Toppers doing anything a similar sized tinnie might do with ease yet with the advantage of decreased weight, greater portability, far less possibility of slap or sound from the super slick gel coat on the hull’s exterior. This feature alone makes them great for barra dam work or stealthy plastic fishing in shallow water.
Side height, at around 40cm is proportionate to length and beam and offers quite a degree of security to users.
Strength is a feature of construction. The Ezy Topper files show a photograph of a rig driven into a tree in an impoundment; the boat was only minimally damaged, and was readily repaired.
With highly favourable power to weight ratios, extreme buoyancy, super slick wetted hull surfaces, small but well formed under hull strakes, and near flat sections aft these Ezy Toppers fairly flew. Two up test runs in the 3m craft with its 4hp Suzuki four-stroke produced astonishing performance figures with planing occurring at 12kmh, a top speed recorded on the hand held GPS of 26kmh.
The 3.7m rig was even more remarkable. Powered by a 9.9hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard, and again with two aboard, the rig planed at 12.2kmh and topped out at a full 40kmh. As this craft has engine ratings to 15hp, you would have to keep a strong grip on your hat!
The Ezy Topper was designed as roof top boat for a caravan or vehicle but is certainly going to have wider applications. My view is that it fulfils its role brilliantly with unshakeable potential as a highly portable yet rigid small craft suited to a wide range of angling purposes. Barra dams, rivers and estuary work are all are within its ambit .
Once off the roof rack a trailer can be handy and John Hall offers Australian made Mangrove Jack totally collapsible trailers as well. These are constructed from anodised aluminium and stainless steel, weigh less than 40kg (with no single part heavier than 8kg) and can be assembled from scratch in two minutes. They come with a winch, a light board, can carry up to 250kg and may be registered. Travel speed is restricted to 90kmh or less.
Ezy Topper can be contacted on 0410 090 317 or (07) 5429 2015 or visit ezytopper.com.au. I consider the craft good value for money given their light weight, strength and usefulness over all.
Prices for the two rigs as tested are $9,240 for the 3.7m Ezy Topper with the lot as reviewed and $4,100 for the hull only. The 3m craft as reviewed comes home with motor for $5,600 and the hull only is $4,100 also.
|Construction:||Foam infused fibreglass|
|Beam:||1.4m for both craft|
|Engines:||3.7m: 3-15hp (9.9 Suzuki fitted)|
3m: 3-10hp (4hp Suzuki fitted)
Persons:3.7m: 4 persons, up to 280kg
3m: 4 persons, up to 260kg