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Doing it easy in the Clark 510 Dominator
  |  First Published: March 2012



The Clark 510 Dominator matched with a 90hp Mercury EFI four stroke is a truly impressive family day boat or fishing craft with capability for outer bay or even more heavy duty work.

Fulfilling both roles with ease comes down to the essential features of the Dominator combining to provide ample work room, a high degree of comfort, a steady and dry ride and real practicality.

General Layout

The 510 Dominator is 2.25m wide and 5.10m long, making it quite beamy. It’s a fairly high-sided craft with a 12 degree Vee aft, plenty of fine entry and useful rake in the bow, which makes it highly suitable for bay or estuary work. That being said its 710mm sides and excellent sea keeping ability would also see some off shore fishing on the agenda in suitable conditions.

Looking at features up front there’s a bow-mount electric pad to port, and a deep, drained, anchor well tucked behind a wide fairlead. A carpeted bow casting deck offers plenty of work room – two or three anglers could work with ease. A seat spigot and paired under floor flat based storage areas accessed via two big hatches will handle a lot of personal items, safety and other equipment while a full width 100L divider equipped recirculating live well set into the rear of the deck could hold catch or bait as required.

What impressed me was just how stable the craft was while moving about from casting deck elsewhere. This is thanks to its ample beam and a hull design incorporating plenty of deep pressings within the 3mm alloy hull’s bottom. The weight of the hull is around 510kg.

Stepping down into the cockpit is where you find great features that give the Dominator its appeal. There’s access to any one of three very comfortable folding pedestal seats mounted on floor spigots, with the skipper’s seat being at just the right distance from the steering wheel for comfortable driving.

The wheel was mounted centrally within the craft’s sports style side console, which featured a moulded upper section and a tinted wind screen plus an area aft of the screen on which to mount a sounder plus additional nav aids so long as screens were not too large. With space here at a premium an optional ram bracket would take care of installation of that second unit’s screen, as it would elevate it above the compact flat section.

I found the driving position of the Dominator quite comfortable with the wheel within easy reach and there was plenty of leg room under the console. The array of engine and speed gauges on an upper carbon fibre insert were all within clear view and the four switches to starboard of the wheel were also easily reached. Engine controls were side mounted and handy. A gunwale mounted rod holder for the skipper was also a bonus; why should he miss out on all the fun!

Side pockets within the carpeted main cockpit area were necessarily of differing sizes given that the unit to starboard was set up aft of the side console. That said it was still available to take care of personal items, lure or fly boxes a PFD or other miscellaneous items with ease. The side pocket to port was over two metres long and provided ample storage space for rods, gaffs and some tackle boxes. Both side pockets featured drink holders at the rear.

Other features within the Dominator’s cockpit were rear grab rails and cleats, paired rod holders within gunwales, a fuel filler to port to service the 120L under floor tank, a full width off floor shelf at the transom (the engine battery being mounted to starboard) and a bait rigging station with cutting board and paired rod holders directly ahead of the engine well.

Aft of the transom were twin non-skid boarding platforms formed on each side of the full width aft pod on which the toey Mercury was mounted with a boarding ladder being set to starboard. With a grab handle handy you can simply step over the transom to board from astern.

Performance and Handling

Engine ratings for the Clark 510 Dominator are from 60-90hp – the fitted 90hp Mercury EFI four stroke being top power for the craft. With the Dominator crewed by three pretty solid blokes it came onto an easy plane at 14km/h and 2800rpm without any excessive bow lift or climb and with the Mercury a mere hum astern.

3,000 rpm saw 23.3km/h, 4,000rpm 42.8km/h, 5,000rpm 56.5km/h and 6,000rpm a lively 71.4km/h. I found cruising at around the 4,000rpm mark ideal as I noted a minimum of engine noise and a lot of reserve engine power in hand. Pushing the throttle lever forward at those revs still evoked an instant response.

A fun morning of boating in the Jumpinpin area revealed that the craft handled very well, turning sharply without undue lean and recovering quickly from driver input. The 90hp Mercury four stroke was quiet at idle, growled a little under power and at all times a perfect power match for the craft when three or more folk might be aboard.

One thing I did notice was that the mechanical steering was a little on the heavy side, as might be expected with a 90hp astern. It’s worth remembering that Clark suppliers, Pacific Marine Centre of Slacks Creek, offer hydraulic steering as an option.

Within the estuary chop encountered and while crossing wash from other craft I found that overall the Dominator’s ride was quite controlled, soft and dry. The 3mm thick alloy hull had no inclination to bash or pound and while there might have been some minor noise from wave impact at times it was certainly not excessive.

Fishability

The open layout, great stability, big live well, ample freeboard and good sea keeping ability all make the Dominator a suitable fishing boat for bay, estuary or impoundment work with runs off shore in suitable conditions also on the agenda. About the only thing missing were rod racks and a handy angler could install them to port if necessary. Family anglers would have plenty of peace of mind with youngsters aboard thanks to the high interior sides.

Overall

I saw the well appointed and well set up Clark 510 Dominator as a good all rounder for users wanting an open boat for fishing or family fun. Finish was of a high standard throughout. The carpet fit was very clean and upholstery was well done with neat stitching and a quality appearance. I noted full and well smoothed welds all round which I personally like. Build quality was impressive with a rigid system of cross ribs and underfloor bearers giving the hull a rock solid feel. Construction was of a standard that should see many years of use.

I believe the Clark 510 Dominator would be ideal for bay or impoundment work and available for runs off shore in the right conditions. Supplied on an Oceanic trailer and with the 90hp Mercury four stroke as fitted it would come home for $30,850, which is very sharp indeed.

You can contact Pacific Marine Centre on (07) 38011722 or on the net at www.pacificmarinecentre.com.au

Facts

Specifications

Hull length:5.10m
Beam:2.25m
Length on trailer:6.20m
Height on trailer:2.02m
Construction:3mm alloy
Hull weight:510kg
Fuel Capacity:120L
Engines:60-90hp
Engine fitted:90hp Mercury EFI four stroke
Persons:Five
Towing:Family 6 sedan or wagon

Reads: 3513

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