There’s no secret in this part of the world that a 5m plate boat is on the wish list of most anglers who own a tinny. A bigger boat that can handle inshore and close offshore waters ticks a lot of boxes.
The secret, though, is to find one that doesn’t cost the earth to run and is versatile enough to cover camping, crabbing, casting, big water and small water. And the TABS Territory 490 does this quite nicely.
For the parochial, the TABS and the Oceanic trailer are both made in Australia. If only there was an Aussie outboard company, you could paint this rig red, white and blue and drive it around on Australia Day with a flag tied on like a cape
Coupled with a 60HP Honda outboard, the Territory is light enough to tow with a family car, frugal enough to give you hundreds of kilometres on a single tank and cheap enough to be within the price range of keen anglers in most income brackets.
Luke Kirkby-Clark from Bay Honda in Sandgate took Fishing Monthly for a ride in one recently and told us about the craft. You can see the full interview on YouTube at the link (or QR code) in the fact box hereabouts.
“You won’t see it with the boat fully assembled, but there’s double the number of gussets and bracing under the floor of these TABS boats,” Luke explained. “It makes them heavy and strong, and ride a little better in rough water.”
Dropping in at the ramp at Cabbage Tree Creek, the TABS slid easily off the trailer and the Honda idled as all 4-strokes do – dead quietly. The sound of the tell-tale hitting the water was almost noisier the outboard itself.
While examining the boat before launch, I was impressed with the configuration – especially the large casting deck hatch with concealed XOS rotomoulded cooler underfloor. The box is large enough to keep your best day’s catch cool, and could easily cater for a weekend camping trip.
The casting deck itself is higher than the main deck, yet lower than a high deck that’s built into dedicated lurecasting boats. It means that if you’re into chasing tuna or other pelagics, you’ll feel more comfortable jumping up there to cash in a bit of chop.
There’s also a seat base mount on the casting deck for when you want to banish the father-in-law up there for casting across your line too many times.
Standard is the anchor well and side-mounted electric motor base plate. Like all boats of this configuration, the side mount has zero impact on performance and allows the stowed motor to be out of the way for all non-fishing activities.
Moving aft, the step to the main deck is only slight and the side console and helm takes up around one third of the width, which means there’s plenty of room to move around it. The console’s grabrail doubles as a windscreen rail.
A pair of comfortable seats are interchangeable between the four floor mounts, allowing you to distribute weight for ride and comfort.
Side pockets run along both gunwales, and these are very spacious, allowing you to clear the decks of clutter.
On the Bay (Moreton) it was a typical day – blowing 15 knots from the southeast. There’s not a tinny of this size made that’ll keep you dry in those conditions when you’re quartering that chop, but we were able to trim the rig to run dry both into and against the breeze. Interestingly in the higher rev ranges, the performance wasn’t much different into or against the tide or chop. Chalk that up to the small pitch prop.
Underfloor, there’s a 90L fuel tank that will give you ridiculous range with the 60 – probably around 500km at 40km/h! Add this to the fact that you’re burning no oil means that the running costs of this rig are dead cheap. We think this means that you should take it fishing more!
A well designed, drive-on trailer enhances the boating experience, and the Oceanic trailer supplied with the test craft did the job admirably. The alloy wheels look great and the mechanical brakes are easy to maintain and adjust.
When we asked Luke what upgrades and options he’d add to make this the ultimate 490, he responded like this:
“I’d add a livewell, a rear mounted cutting board and some quality electronics to make this boat perfect for me,” he said, “but we all know that optioning up a boat like this to your own wish list is one of the joys of buying a boat.”
Give the guys at Bay Honda a call to get a price on your own ultimate TABS Territory or to organise a test ride. You can contact them on (07) 3269 2702 or at --e-mail address hidden--
LINK TO FULL INTERVIEWhttp://youtu.be/Zx0weOdcbcU
+ QR Code
|Max transom weight||194kg|
|Idle (650 rpm)||4km/h|