It was a picture-perfect day when Dean Hayes met me at Bayview boat ramp to put a newcomer from the bass/bream style boat through her paces, the Scout 145 Sportfisher.
Now I’m an angler who spends most of his time outside, used to being thrown around in bumpy seas as I chase jew and snapper. However, I must admit I do enjoy those rare occasions fishing the fresh, still waters with one of these open bass-style boats. There are quite a few advantages over going out to sea: There’s no need to wash copious salt off all the gear and I find that tiredness is not quite so overcoming after a day chasing bass or bream in calm water.
Although we were going to give this little lady a test in the calm of Pittwater, we were going to take her outside to see how she coped with the offshore chop. I don’t recommend that you use this boat for offshore work due to the low coamings and small overall length but we wanted to see how the hull shape accepted rough water.
Rounding Barrenjoey Headland we found the westerly had kicked up the waves and we headed right into them. Sitting up on the dickey seat, I had a comfortable ride with little or no slam and, surprisingly, I kept fairly dry even when the wind was on the beam.
With its triple chine and moulded cathedral-type hull, this little baby enjoyed cutting through the sea and even with the weather on the beam, did not kick or want to meander off track. Its dryness was a feature that stood out in my mind because, as you can see from the pics, this is no high-sided, large-bowed boat.
Back in the calm of Pittwater I had a closer look at this US import.
Scout employs no wood in the construction of their boats, also a unique overlock method to secure the hull moulding to the deck. This ensures that no water leaks in when the hull is under stress such as in rough conditions.
With heaps of foam packed into the boat, it passes stringent tests for level flotation so the boat should always float right side up in calm water if swamped.
There’s no provision for an anchor or anchor well up forward, just the twin navigation light cluster right on the bow. Fly anglers might not like the cleat that could foul fly line on the front casting platform.
Under the non-skid platform is a heap of storage, in fact the boat has storage to burn. Up forward under the casting platform is the baffled and segmented 45L fuel tank which gives the boat balance. The fuel filler is forward on the port gunwale.
Standard issue is a covered plug ready for an electric motor with wiring back to the battery box at the rear. Forward grab rails are small but practical.
The small, one-person dickey seat has a plumbed live-bait tank under the cushion. The tank is fully insulated so it can double as a drinks container.
The helm position gives good all-round visibility and the throttle is well-placed. There are three rod holders on each side of the console. Basic engine instrumentation is a single dial on the dash and a three-gang switch panel controls electrics.
The two-person bench seat is well-upholstered and placed to give the most comfortable ride. Directly behind the helm bench is the rear casting platform – far enough from the bow so at least two anglers can wave rods around without clashing.
Under the rear casting platform are the battery, fuel filter, primer bulb and the wiring to connect to the second battery for the electric motor. The small transom well accepts the motor when fully tilted and at the rear bottom of the transom is the outlet for the self-draining deck.
Two cleats and small one-handed grab rails are on the coamings at the stern. Two ski hooks on the transom come as standard for those who wish to tow a biscuit or do a bit of skiing.
The Scout 145 has an interesting method of draining the decks. There are two bungs either side of the console on the floor that can be pulled out. However, when stationary, the outlet is underwater so the go is to remove the deck bungs only to clear water when the boat is under way and on the plane.
The Yamaha 50hp two-stroke was the maximum power permitted and, by God, it sure pushed us along! Driving solo, the Scout became very twitchy flat chat and because the boat sticks like glue in tight turns, drivers should beware that the G-force could eject you from the craft. A 40hp would be ample to push this little baby along and still satisfy the speed buffs.
The one thing that Scout boats do well (this is my second Scout review) is handle rough water extremely well. I’m sure it’s that triple hull configuration as well as the double chine.
Like most imported boats, the finish on the Scout was immaculate. I was impressed with the racy lines and even on the trailer the boat looked like it was on the move. Different coloured hulls can be ordered if you are not impressed with the light tan of the test boat.
If you like to flick lures around structure in search of bass or bream or maybe enjoy chasing saltwater pelagics on fly in the Harbour or bays, the Scout 145 is worth putting on the shopping list.
|Weight (no engine)||222kg|
|Fuel (underfloor)||45 litres|
Standard features: Centre console, plumbed livewell, bilge pump, 45L underfloor tank, stainless cup holders, cushioned seat, windshield, wiring harness for bow-mount electric, self-draining cockpit, switch panel, mooring cleats, padded forward seat with insulated storage, navigation lights.
Options: Coloured hull, bimini, luxury seats, boat cover.
Drive-away price as tested including Dunbier trailer, safety gear and all registrations – $25,990. Boat supplied by Sportfishing Boats Australia, 105 Batt Street, Penrith NSW 2750. Phone Dean Hayes on 0408 334 892.Reads: 961