This neat bow rider from TABS is a very competent rig that combines a high level of handling and performance with enough room to fish to your heart’s content. Powered by a 70 Suzuki four-stroke outboard, the rig is also capable of a good turn of speed as well as some very impressive handling.
With a pair of neat grab handles in place up front, up to three seated passengers will feel pretty secure when the driver is putting the TABS Marquis through a couple of full lock turns at speed.
The same forward seating can also offer room to fish with comfort. To slip a fish into the icebox, which is stowed in the cockpit, you simply move back through the opening between driver and mate’s consoles. A port-opening windscreen, which serves to block some of the breeze when humming along at 50km/h, can be flicked to the side to make forward or rear movement free and easy.
Storage areas below the carpet-lined forward seating are complimented by space at the driver’s and passenger’s feet. Here, you are able to tuck out of the way soft items such as PFDs. The consoles for driver and mate (each with a windscreen) offer plenty of leg room. The mate’s seat has a lockable glove box plus a couple of drink holders and a grab handle. Further storage areas are available within the large cockpit side pockets and in an off-floor shelf astern (beside the battery). For a 4.8m craft the Marquis sure does provide a fair amount of storage space!
Forward seating within the Marquis consists of pedestal buckets with slide adjustment for the skipper to ensure that the wheel is within easy reach. Instruments to monitor the Suzuki are set into a dedicated dash area behind the soft feel wheel which has non-feedback steering with the engine’s forward controls mounted handily to the side. I found visibility over the windscreen was totally unobstructed while driving.
The TABS Marquis 480’s cockpit is carpeted like the rest of the floor area. A three quarter sized lounge is fitted to port, the idea being to lift the lounge up and tuck it back if more fishing room is required. With the seat tucked back, the padding for side and backrests comes in handy as cockpit padding to lean on if working on a fish – a good idea!
Rod holders, grab rails and T-bollards are set into the cockpit decks which, at around 28cm, were quite wide. Entry to the cockpit was via a boarding gate which opens into a wide non-skid surface. The transom was also at full cockpit height, giving plenty of sea keeping ability to this stable boat.
Aft of the transom, wide non-skid swim platforms extended to each side of the outboard with a telescopic ladder tucked to starboard. Anyone coming aboard would appreciate twin grab rails on each side of the transom gate.
As with past TABS craft the Marquis rode very well. The plate alloy hull features a fine entry matched with a well-raked bow. There's sufficient flare to deflect spray and a wide spray chine commences at the bow to run back around the half way mark on the extremity of the hull. This chine works well, and even though we belted through a fair amount of chop it was a dry ride.
The hull (4mm bottom, 3mm sides) features a 14-degree Vee that softens the ride considerably. This I can attest to, as Mario from Springwood Marine hit a large wash at near full throttle, taking me a little by surprise while I was monitoring my hand held GPS unit. The Marquis handled it beautifully and while I certainly felt an impact it was much less than what I expected. The foam-filled hull is also remarkably quiet with no drumming or thumping as we sometimes experience from alloy hulls.
The 70hp Suzuki four-stroke was mid-range power for this craft, which is rated for engines of 60-90hp. Despite this, the Suzuki was able to push the craft onto an easy plane at 3,000rpm at 15km/h. At 4,000rpm a speed of 35.4km/h was noted, 5,000rpm saw 42.6km/h on the GPS while 5,000rpm gave her a speed of 42.6km/h. A brief run at 6,000rpm, from the new engine saw 48.8km/h on the GPS. There were certainly more ponies in the stable but as the engine was new we did not push the issue.
The 480 Marquis Bowrider is one sweet handling craft and can be thrown about with remarkable ease. No matter how much power was on, or how hard the turn, the rig could not be made to side slip or the engine cavitate. I was very impressed with this aspect of the boat and while perhaps it is not so important to a dedicated angler, it would certainly be of interest to those wanting to enjoy what bow riders are noted for: fun times on the water.
The TABS 480 Marquis is a craft that handles well and is suited to either pleasure boating or fishing. The finish is of a high standard and I regard the rig as excellent value for money at around $35,000.
The reviewed craft was courtesy of Gold Coast Springwood Marine. For more information about the TABS 480 Marquis, you can contact them on 07 5558 7300.