Ezy Topper Boats at Toorbul, north of Brisbane, offer a range of infused fibreglass boats that are truly car-toppers yet perform remarkably well in estuaries, rivers or lakes with only modest engine power.
There’s no need for elaborate load/unload systems for these lightweight 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 less than 40kg and the 3.7m model is less than 48kg.
But light weight is only part of the Ezy Topper story. The 3m and 3.7m boats are rated for up to four adults (260kg and 280kg) and thanks to the sealed foam/fibreglass construction, they are unsinkable with up to three aboard plus motor and fishing gear.
Ever-popular designs, punts combine portability and work room with inherent stability. Both of these Ezy Toppers feature a 1.4m beam, providing plenty of room for fishing, work as a tender for a larger vessel or for general boating in sheltered waters.
The 3m rig with a 4hp Suzuki four-stroke is going to win a lot of friends with its no-frills design and seating for two aft and two forward.
The flat floor and adequate seat height make travelling and fishing quite comfortable. There are rod holders moulded into the forward part of the rear thwart seat and there’s a storage locker up on the forward deck.
The thwarts in both models are covered with grippy SeaDek high-density foam that feels quite comfortable.
The 3.7m test model was fitted with a 9.9hp Suzuki four-stroke and came with some extras that enhanced the package considerably.
There was a livewell in the port quarter, paddles and rod holder mounts fitted along the gunwales and the two inbuilt rod holders on the smaller model were also standard.
A quick-set-up Kingfisher Canopy – also removable – was part of the 3.7m package, which also had a padded icebox amidships, providing a handy way of adjusting interior weight with three aboard.
Both Ezy Toppers are very stable – these are extremely useful lightweight car-toppers.Fishing, crabbing and general tender duties in smooth and semi-smooth waters would be fine in these nippy craft.
And they might almost float on a heavy dew – Ezy Toppers certainly shine with their ultra-shallow draught and will bob happily in ankle-deep water with the outboards raised.
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 sensibly.
I’d see the Ezy Toppers doing with ease anything a similar-sized tinnie might, but with the advantage of lighter weight, greater portability and quite likely a lot less noise from hull slap. The latter feature alone makes them great for barra dam work or stealthy soft-plastic fishing in shallow water.
Side height, around 40cm, offers quite a degree of security for occupants.
Yet these hulls are strong. Ezy Topper has on file images of a rig that was 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 hull surfaces, small but well formed hull strakes and near flat sections aft, these Ezy Toppers fairly flew.
Test runs with two aboard in the 3m craft with its 4hp Suzuki four-stroke produced astonishing figures, with the GPS indicating planing at 6.4 knots (12kmh) and a top speed of 14 knots (26kmh).
The 3.7m rig was even more remarkable. Powered by a 9.9hp Suzuki four-stroke and with two aboard, it planed at 6.5 knots (12.2kmh) and topped out at 21.6 knots (40kmh). With the maximum rated 15hp on the transom, 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. It brilliantly fulfils its role as a highly portable yet rigid craft suited to a wide range of angling. Dams, rivers and estuary work are all are within its ambit.
Once off the roof rack, a trailer can be handy and Ezy Topper’s John Hall offers Australian-made Mangrove Jack collapsible trailers constructed from anodised aluminium and stainless steel. They weigh less than 40kg, no single part is 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.
The 3.7m Ezy Topper with the lot as reviewed is $9240 and the hull only is $4100. The 3m Ezy Topper with 4hp motor is $5600 and the hull only is $3900. Call Ezy Topper on 0410 090 317 or 07 5429 2015 or visit ezytopper.com.au.
Given their light weight, strength and usefulness, these craft are good value for money.
|Construction:||infused fibreglass, foam core|
|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