Mad (as in mad keen) Alloy Craft, on the Sunshine Coast, are behind the new Mac5 fishing boats.
Built by premium plate alloy makers Offshore Master Marine, Mac offer well-built plate boats for the keen angler and aim to market them around the price of mass-produced pressed alloy craft. They offer a cuddy version and the centre console we tested.
While we usually associate OMM with an all-bells-and-whistles fit out and finish, the Mac5 is slightly different. While overall build quality remains the same and basic necessities are present, cost savings come with an unpainted hull (albeit with a stylish clear coat) and welds left visible, not smoothed and filled in the usual OMM manner.
The Mac5 is a very well set-out, roomy and well-finished 5m plate boat with great sea manners, good handling and ride and enough standard features to make a fishing outing something to really look forward to.
With its 4mm bottom and 3mm plate sides, the Mac5 is built tough and its self-draining treadplate floor enables an easy hose-out at the end of the day.
There’s a sturdy bowsprit, T-bollard and long side grab rails up forward, with the port rail split to accommodate an electric motor pad. The deep anchor well is just aft of the bollard and the 450mm high forward casting deck features a storage compartment with flat shelf and a handy removable front seat. It’s a well-upholstered bucket on a strong pedestal mount.
The Mac5’s 850mm wide centre console has angled leading edges, a one-piece windscreen with grab rail and grab rails at the aft corners. The top of the console is covered with soft but tough SeaDek EVA foam to stop small items like phones from sliding about. The console’s internal shelf was handy for larger items.
The well-upholstered alloy box seat for skipper and mate has storage below, and a 60L Evakool icebox fits in the lower section. It’s an excellent set-up with good storage and easy access.
The hydraulic helm with comfort grip wheel is central on the console with engine gauges above within easy view. OMM has done an excellent job of positioning the helm seat/ice box and I found I could stand or sit comfortably in command. The binnacle engine controls were to starboard for a great driving position with full visibility.
Up to four anglers could work in the self-draining cockpit with its 650mm high sides.
There are two rod holders along each gunwale with a grippy SeaDek step pad as well. The raised side pockets are 2m long, unobtrusive yet provide abundant storage.
A floodable underfloor kill tank is standard and there is a useful raised shelf tucked under the full-height transom cap. Engine battery, isolator switch and fuel filter are within easy reach to starboard and to port there is a live-bait well with a window to check on the welfare of the livies.
The transom cutting board is at a useful height and has a shelf, four rod holders and two drink holders.
The aft grab rails extending over the transom to link with the boarding platforms either side of the Suzuki 70.
The hull is rated for 60hp-90hp and the Suzuki 70hp was a good all-round engine in situations where crew numbers vary. A 60hp would be ideal for two aboard with moderate cargo and 90hp would be required only for tow sports or if four or five anglers were regular occupants.
Two up, the Mac5 planed at 2800rpm at 8.3 knots (15.4kmh) and at 3000rpm the GPS showed 8.7 knots (16.2kmh). Around 4000rpm produced a steady cruise of 17 knots (31.8kmh), 5000rpm 25 knots (46.4kmh) and at 6000rpm we hit 31.5 knots (58.5kmh).
What the figures don’t show is the easy manner in which the Suzuki lifted the Mac5 onto the plane in around its own length. It always seemed to have plenty of power in reserve between 3000rpm-5000rpm, where a push of the throttle produced an instant response.
OMM have always made craft that ride well and the Mac5 continues the tradition. Through chop and waves just inside the Caloundra bar, the ride was controlled and soft without banging or pounding, and the underfloor foam reduced water impact sounds.
The 480kg plate hull with its 15° transom deadrise was steady at rest, even in swells, and handling was fingertip easy with instant helm response. With its high sides and reversed chines, the Mac5 is quite dry under most conditions.
The Mac5 seems to lack very little as a fishing boat and four could fish in it with ease. The centre console means there’s fishing room all round and with such high sides the considerable freeboard ensures ample seakeeping ability.
There are enough fishing features and good storage by open boat standards. This one is a beauty well suited to bay, estuary or offshore work in suitable conditions.
The Mac5 is great value at $38,500 on its Dunbier trailer. All the fishing necessities are there and ride and stability qualities make it equally suitable for beginners or experienced hands.
Finish differs from the usual glossy OMM standard but it’s certainly an attractive craft with its subtle grey clear coat and forward deck sheer line. Call Mad Alloy Craft on 0404 891 776 or email --e-mail address hidden--
|Length on trailer||6.1m|
|Height on trailer||2.5m|
|Plate alloy||3mm sides, 4mm bottom|
|Power as tested||70hp Suzuki|
|Towing||6cyl sedan, wagon or 4WD|