Boat Test: Polycraft 4.80 Brumby Cuddy Cab with 75hp Honda four-stroke
  |  First Published: October 2008

Polycraft boats have had a long and respected career within boating circles. The polyethylene construction makes the craft unbreakable, impervious to weather, and quite unsinkable due to their dual skin roto-molded method of manufacture.

And these ex-factory craft are complete packages, the only extras in the test Brumby were a rear lounge back rest, hydraulic steering and the Humminbird 595C sounder/GPS. The Brumby comes in frontrunner (bow rider) centre console or cuddy cab configuration.

Stealth factor a bonus

One of the more interesting aspects of owning a Polycraft is the standard stealth factor. Polyethylene is very quiet underway and as the owner of a fibreglass craft I was surprised at the lack of noise from the Brumby's hull as we cruised around.

Up front the 4.80 Brumby is equipped with a bow rail, anchor well, fore decks with non-skid uppers.

There's a handy windscreen rail that offers a handhold when going forward or as a brace point for skipper and mate when underway. The cuddy cab is pretty much a storage place, and there are large storage bins below the removable floor sections. Overhead shelving is also featured, along with a large central hatch. The cuddy is large enough for a couple of mates to tuck in out of the weather and I would use it to keep the tucker and tackle dry and maybe to store a bag of clothing if necessary. Let's not overlook the fact that the Brumby's neat cuddy cab will keep a lot of spray and displaced water away in choppy conditions too.

The seating is made up of well-padded swivelling buckets mounted on open fronted storage boxes for skipper and mate and a bench aft for up to three people to sit on. The aft bench folds down out of the way to allow you to use the paired live wells in the wide transom.

At the dash area the mate has a grab handle within reach. The craft's EPIRB is mounted on an upright area adjacent the open cabin entry. The dash moulding ahead of the skipper, which is new from Polycraft, was set up with a special recess for instruments including the craft's marine radio.

To port was the Humminbird 595C Sounder/GPS unit, and from left to right there was a tacho, speedo, trim and fuel gauges, engine alarm lights, with an array of switches a little lower and to starboard of the wheel. Forward controls were easily reached from the skipper's seat, being mounted on the side of the Polycraft.

The cockpit, which carpeted with the rest of the floor area, offered a lot of fishing space. Depth was between the knee and thigh and ideal for a craft of this size. Paired rod holders on the 28cm wide gunwales and grab rails on the stern quarters reaching down onto the twin swim platforms all made for comfort when fishing with three or four people.

Exceptional stability

Anglers fishing from the cockpit are going to notice that the 4.80 Polycraft Brumby is an incredibly stable craft thanks to the hull's massive underwater strakes plus the huge rail like chines at the extremity of the wetted area. With two of us on the one side of the test rig there was no lean whatsoever. How many folk it might take to induce some lean is debatable, but I would say probably at least three. That incredible stability is also a feature of the hull's ability to recover very quickly from turns when underway and when I put the Brumby's wheel hard over in figure of eights the craft levelled to an upright position almost immediately after the wheel was centred.

Another noticeable feature of the reviewed rig was the power of the Honda 75 four-stroke on the transom. These days, thanks to the engine upgrades of the Honda 75/90hp motors there is a vast improvement in response, which was right throughout the rev range of the smooth running and very quiet 75. Hondas have always been quiet motors but now that quiet running is backed with some very impressive and noticeable response as well. At 5000rpm when the throttle was pushed forward the craft fairly leaped ahead. And the Polycraft Brumby 4.80, at around 590kg for the hull, is certainly a solid unit which made the performance of the Honda even more outstanding in my view.

The craft planed at 3,200rpm at 20.4km/h, recorded 32.6km/h at 4,000rpm, 44.4km/h at 5000rpm and 53.8km/h at 6,000rpm. An ideal cruising speed is at 4,200rpm for around 35.5km/h. The Honda was merely a whisper astern at those revs, too.

Ride and handling

I've touched on the Brumby's handling – amazingly stable at all speeds. The optional Bay Star hydraulic steering made the craft a pleasure to drive and as we headed across chop the slight flex from the polyethylene hull certainly took the bump out of the bits of waves and wash we hit.

In my view, the Brumby centre cab certainly lived up to the Polycraft reputation for providing a very soft and quiet ride.


I saw the 4.80 Polycrft Brumby cuddy cab as a very durable and robust sort of fishing rig that could fulfil considerable family boating requirements. Rated for five persons, I'd consider the craft suited for offshore work in suitable conditions and well able to handle most bay or estuary conditions. The full pod transom is designed for modern four-stroke motors and the hull's general design sees it slipping along quite well at modest revs. Rated engines are from 60-80hp, which saw the Honda 75 as mid-range power.

For more information contact either Golden Seal Marine, Boundary Rd, Mordialloc on 03 8587 0600, or Lake Eppalock Marine, Moorabee Rd, Knowsley on 03 5439 1340. The reviewed Brumby comes home for around $29,885. Tackle World supplied the tackle onboard.


Technical Information

Beam: 2.15m
Fuel: 70L
Engines: 60 to 80hp
Engine fitted:75hp Honda four-stroke
Towing: Larger four-cylinder or family six sedan

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