Just released for 2013 the Procraft range of aluminium boats created quite a deal of favourable comment at their recent launch on the Gold Coast.
Manufactured by a long established company in south Queensland, the Procraft range of hulls are delivered in a semi finished state, fitted out as per customer specification and then offered for sale by Coastal Powerboats of Burleigh on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
At the press presentation, five Procraft rigs were displayed. The baby was a 4.2 Tiller Steer, next up was a 4.3 Centre Console, then a trio consisting of a 4.7 Centre Console, 4.7 Runabout and 4.7 Side Console. I was impressed with the entire range’s standard of overall finish and clever fit out, which was indicative of the high standard Coastal Powerboats are setting with this range of boats put together exclusively for their company.
Procraft under 4.3m in length come in standard unpainted finish, while the larger boats within the range are painted and offer attractive wrap decals to add some extra bling.
In this review I will focus on two of the Procraft range that will appeal to both dedicated and family anglers: the 4.7 Runabout and 4.7 Side Console, both powered by 50 Suzuki four stroke outboards. Both of these craft are going to be available as 5m models as well.
With an attractive fish decal contrasting cleanly against the brilliant white of the craft’s 800mm high sides, the 4.7 Side Console was certainly an eye catcher. Procraft have captured some very trim yet highly functional lines within their entire range of boats and the side console was spot on for styling and useful features.
Up front a drained anchor well sat within easy reach of the bow sprit and bollard. Grab rails at the bow and in stern quarters made for easy handling around the boat ramp. Internal features included a 300mm high, carpeted, forward casting deck with a hatch allowing access to an under deck storage compartment suited to tackle boxes, clothing, PFDs and similar.
Within the carpeted main floor area of the 4.7 Side Console are three seating positions, via floor spigots. The deluxe pedestal seats offered plenty of support and comfort with the ability to mix and match for best balance of the craft.
The craft’s side mounted console with its perspex windscreen and grab rail was somewhat basic yet offered plenty of room on its rear face for installation of instruments and gauges for the Suzuki 50 astern; plus a Lowrance Elite 5 Sounder/GPS and Lowrance marine radio. Switches and steering wheel completed the helm/dash package. I found the craft’s swivel pedestal seat set up comfortably and within easy reach of the console and controls.
Other features within the main work area consisted of 1150mm long side pockets plus paired rod holders aft. Engine battery and fuel filter were within easy reach under the engine’s splash well. Aft of the transom a grab rail turned over each corner, boarding platforms were located on each side of the Suzuki 50 installed on a neat half pod.
It was a lot of fun to put the 4.7 Side Console through on-water tests involving ease of handling, stability and overall performance. Engines for both rigs are specified as 40-70hp, making the 50 Suzuki mid range but certainly adequate power. In my opinion it would only be if four adults were likely to be regularly aboard, or some tow sports were planned, would I opt for larger engines.
The 50 Suzuki four stroke had plenty of punch and the craft planed with two aboard at 14.2km/h at 2800rpm, 3000rpm saw 16.4km/h recorded, 4000rpm produced 28.5km/h and 5000rpm, 43.6km/h.
The ride was gentle, the 4.7 Side Console’s well designed bow sweetly cleaving chop taken at speed with very little displaced water even coming near the hull, thanks to its 800mm high sides and a small lift in the forward sheer line.
In all, the Procraft 4.7 Side Console with its 50 Suzuki impressed me as a stable and very comfortable rig suited to quite a few estuary or bay fishing situations.
Easily powered by a 50 Suzuki four-stroke, the neat Procraft 4.7 Runabout performed very well with two up. The craft planed at 14km/h at 2800rpm, much the same as the Side Console rig, 3000rpm saw 16.8km/h, 4000rpm at 30.8km/h, 5000rpm at 44.2km/h. As these figures were obtained with the same hand held GPS unit as used in the Side Console it might be reasonable to conclude that the slight speed changes noted came from the different weight distribution within the two boats.
Putting the brilliant white Runabout with its contrasting blue side panel and neat bimini through its paces showed no surprises; the ride and handling was virtually identical to its Side Console cousin.
With both craft sharing a bottom configuration consisting of a 14º vee aft, six strakes each side of a central keel, a small reversed outer chine or lip to kick any displaced water away from sides at speed. The design offers ample comfort under way plus, when at rest, noticeable resistance to tipping or leaning.
The willing manner in which the Runabout craft responded to helm input or throttle application was very similar to the Side Console, with the driving position up front being quite comfortable thanks to the seating set up.
The Runabout’s layout again saw the craft’s anchor well with grab rails each side. Access to the anchor well was as easy as opening the three-piece windscreen’s central section to port and bracing against the dash area to handle ground tackle. A small step down forward of the carpeted main deck facilitated this procedure.
The Runabout’s helm and forward area, sheltered by an attractive blue bimini, featured well-made pedestal seats for both skipper and first mate. Dash features consisted of a locking glovebox for the first mate with the skipper gauges to monitor the Suzuki 50 plus a Lowrance Elite 4 Fishfinder/GPS unit, switches for various functions being set to starboard of the steering wheel, side mounted engine controls as expected in this style of boat.
Wide and fully welded decks adorned the cockpit sides. The 1100mm long side pockets were capable of holding a fair amount of gear. A removable, full width, well-padded transom seat stretched across the rear of the craft and again, side grab rails plus aft rails each side of the transom were there to assist people coming aboard via either of the craft’s boarding platforms each side of the half pod on which the Suzuki 50 was mounted.
As fishing boats, I’d see either of the two reviewed 4.7m Procraft as more than adequate for bay or estuary work. Both craft are rated for up to four adults or 320kg, so Mum, Dad and few youngsters would enjoy time aboard with ease. An ample beam of 2.16m plus excellent hull freeboard and stability all combined to ensure peace of mind while aboard.
Standard fishing features were adequate, rather than all bells and whistles, but Coastal Powerboats do offer useful customisation within the Procraft range. Bait tanks, or additional rod holders, for instance, are no problem.
Set up on 5m braked Dunbier trailers both rigs were very sharply priced; the Side Console coming home for $26,690 as reviewed, the Runabout $26,550.
Coastal Powerboats can be contacted on www.coastalpowerboats.com.au or on the telephone at (07) 55680904.
|Length on trailers:||5.7m|
|Persons:||4 adults, 320kg|
|Engines fitted:||50hp Suzuki four-strokes|
|Towing:||Big four or six, sedan or wagon|