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BOAT TEST: Seacraft Profish 420 + Seacraft Navigator 350
  |  First Published: August 2014



Aluminium boats are as much part of Australian heritage and culture, as fishing and a cold beer with mates. The basic open tinnie is both a right of passage and a go-anywhere fishing machine. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that there isn’t many fish species in Australian waters that hasn’t been caught from one.

Everyone who's ever spent time on the water in our sunburnt country will have fond memories of racing around an idyllic waterway or drifting for flatties. The basic open tinnie is about as Australian as boats get.

The Profish 420 extends the offering of SeaCraft boats by Ausmarine by adding a longer V-nosed punt to the popular and entry-level family of aluminium hulls. Designed to fill a demand in the marketplace for a lightweight, easy to handle, versatile, yet simple open tiller-steer runabout. This competitively priced package is sure to meet the demand being driven by families and individuals keen to get onto the water, without breaking the bank.

I've tested numerous SeaCraft open aluminium boats since they first came on to the market, so it was nice to be back on the water, under an idyllic summer sky to take the additions to the range for a spin. The Profish 420 is built to meet the expectations at the budget end of the market. Since I reviewed the first boats a few years back, the build quality has improved markedly with neater welding being the most notable improvement, plus the option for painted hulls has been extended across most of the range. The attention to clean, neat and safe finishes throughout the simple practical layout will meet approval of the customer.

The beauty of this size of boat is that it can be easily stored, towed, launched and maneuverered on or off the water. Delivered on a single axel trailer with a 15hp SeaKing 4-stroke means it can be towed behind almost any vehicle fitted with a tow ball.

The test location at Chipping Norton lakes always delivers calm waters, reminiscent of the conditions boats like this are most often used in. Whether fishing inland water ways, skinny mangrove-lined creeks or the more open bays and harbours of the bigger cities around our coast line, the Profish 420 should be able to handle all but he ugliest days.

The great thing about a basic boat with 2 bench or cross thwart seats, a carpeted floor, a small forward carpeted casting deck an open bow anchor well is it presents an easy-to-use, no-nonsense boating option that can be applied to a range of purposes. Whether it's as a basic tender for a larger boat, a coastal weekend getaway or the first step into owning boats it is sure to provide weeks, months and years of fun and enjoyment where ever you choose to drop it into the drink.

With the traditional lines of a V-nosed punt, the Profish looks good and will provide a stable fishing platform to target a range of species. Manufactured with 2.0mm bottom and 1.6mm sides using a standard rib construction and a comprehensive set of welds at all touch points ensures the hull is sturdy with little vibration underway or at rest. Forward of the bow thwart seat a carpeted deck provides storage for safety gear, tackle bags and an additional reef pick. A carpeted shelf under the bow provides further open storage.

Down the back, there is space behind the aft thwart seat for a fuel tank and a spare, plus the mandatory a bucket with lanyard or the necessary esky for food, bait and a few cool drinks. Between the seats, a fitted flat floor runs almost the full width offering a stable flat surface to make standing and getting around easier. Carpeted in marine grade grey carpet, the floor offsets the optional white painted interior hull. The aft bench seat has the addition of a foldaway glove box and integrated cup of stubby holders, a great place to stow items you need at hand.

The wide gunwales are strongly welded using flat aluminium plates and provide loads of space to add in numerous rod holders which are a must addition, under the gunwales twin short length side pockets provide space for hand-lines, chopping boards and range of other fishing tools. A set of upright rod holders will aid further in providing ample rod storage. Over the transom, a boarding step is securely welded to the port corner and a transducer bracket to starboard side of the outboard.

The 15hp 4-Stroke SeaKing outboard fitted to the test boat will run for hours on a tank of fuel, and while not as quiet as many 4-Strokes, they delivered all the power and get up and go this great package needed. The SeaKing brand are built with all the trimmings you’d expect from a modern 4-stroke and come fitted with a 12L tote tank. You may like to consider a second or larger tank if you plan to make longer runs or spend a day zipping around your favourite water way.

The flat hull typical of this style of boat delivers great stability at rest and a comfortable ride in calm conditions. Underway, the 15hp pushes the package along fast enough to get around quickly, banking from side to side is always fun in tiller steer boat, the handling of the ProFish ensures safe navigation and delivers a confident ride through corners even when pulling hard into a loop at ¾ speed. As priced, this rig comes fitted with the 15hp SeaKing 4-stroke, although it is rated for up to a 40hp outboard. I'm not convinced this is necessary even with my desire to waste as little time travelling between fishing locations. The bow design will cut easily through light chop and at rest I feel stable enough to get up and move around, and wish I'd brought along a pack of soft-plastics, a handful of jig heads and a light rod and reel combo to see if we could have tempted a bite or two.

All in all the SeaCraft Profish 420 is a tidy budget package developed with the price conscious boater or angler in mind. With a few customisations of rod holders and marine electronics, plus all the necessary accessories this boat will get you out into Australia’s calm water fishing hot spots with a smile and the worries of the world fading fast behind you.

For more information about Seacraft by Ausmarine you can visit their website at http://www.ausmarine.biz/ or call them on (02) 9792 6000.

Specifications

SEACRAFT PROFISH 420

Basic packagefrom $7,299

Max Horsepower40HP

Max Transom Weight90kg

Max People5

FloatationBasic

Length Overall4.2m

Beam1.87m

Depth0.8m

Bottom Thickness2mm

Side Thickness1.6mm

Transom Shaft LengthL/S

Weight (boat only)115kg

Seacraft Profish 420

Seatrail AL4.2M13

Seaking 15hp 2-stroke

As Tested $8,449. Extras were Painted hull and 15hp 4-stoke SeaKing

 

BREAKOUT BOX

The SeaCraft range offers a few smaller cousins to suit a variety of purposes; amongst these is the Navigator 350, a super lightweight V-nosed punt. The layout is simple, with twin bench seats a sloping bow running up to a small bow platform with a grab handle fitted to the nose. The addition of rowlocks means you can be ready to row in the shallows or when departing a moored boat. Fitted with a 9.9hp 2-stroke outboard, this is all the power you need to get on the plane and racing along. Developed to work as a car topper or a tender, it can also be trailered behind any car with a tow hitch. Priced to make getting on the water as easy as possible this little package will get you four adults across calm waters to accessible locations, or take 2 mates fishing during daylight hours. Check out the range at www.ausmarine.biz

NAVIGATOR 350

Basic package from $3,999

Max Horsepower15HP
Max Transom Weight59kg
Max People4
FlotationBasic
Length Overall3.50m
Beam1.25m
Depth0.54m
Bottom Thickness1.4mm
Side Thickness1.4mm
Transom Shaft LengthS/S
Weight (boat only)60kg

Seacraft Navigator 350

Seatrail Tinny12

Seaking 5hp 4-stroke

As Tested $4,648. Extras were 9.9hp 2-stoke Seaking

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