Mojo 4m tiller steer punt
  |  First Published: March 2015

A few issues back I reviewed Mojo’s 4m twin console runabout. It’s an interesting craft, not merely because it was a smaller than usual plate alloy rig but also because the hull’s design features were different to what we usually see in a craft of this size.

Mojo boats are the brainchild of Brian Rutledge of Capalaba Boating Centre. Brian specialises in the manufacture of plate craft with a considerable difference. As he puts it, “Mojo boats are for people who seek extra comfort in a small boat”.

Hull design sticking with a good thing

In most respects that original Mojo twin console craft, with its massive stepped chines along outer bottom sides, very deep but quite fine bow section, was a radical departure from the norm. Where most manufacturers of boats in the 4-4.5m range like to flare the bow section as close as possible to the point of water entry (to maximise room within the craft up front) Brian has taken another tack altogether. His craft have a flared bow, but just a little further back from the very deep entry and to really stabilise the craft both at rest and under way Brian has crafted massive outer reversed chines along the hull’s extremity. Radical? Certainly, but I found it worked very well with that original twin console runabout style of boat, which really impressed me with its standard of ride, stability and over all handling.

With his new craft, Brian has stayed with the concept. There’s a deep bow section on this new punt style Mojo, the very large outer chines (so much so the craft has a slight resemblance to a pontoon style rig in some respects) are still part of the hull’s design but the new punt now has a somewhat different stern treatment in that a 16° deadrise aft now incorporates a central planing plank.

Highly unusual 4mm plate alloy construction of this nature or style is no small matter in a boat of this size but the result is impressive. The hull is solid at 180kg, rigid, and with it’s neat paint job, quite easy on the eye.

The deep, carpeted floor aft shallows towards the bow, in no way detracting from the usefulness of the rig and yet seems to add to its attractiveness.

Flotation under the fully sealed floor section includes both trapped air and foam. Brian Routledge advised me that the craft is designed to float in an upright situation should it somehow be flooded.

With its rather unique and very solid hull design, which sees the massive external under hull chines gripping the water both under way and at rest, the 4m punt rides like a much larger craft, is as stable as a small raft, and the open area within the hull with its tiller steer set up offers enough work area for up to 4 anglers to enjoy fishing time.

Open layout

As a punt the Mojo offers all the best of the ride and handling traits this genre represents. Virtually every bit of the interior of the craft apart from seats is workroom with ease of movement and access unhindered. Brian has incorporated welded side rails all round, there’s non-skid deck section up front with a handy storage area below for anchor and warp while longish bench style seats on storage boxes also grace the front section of the craft.

A pair of seats on storage boxes were set up astern and while these seat boxes were totally sealed, Brian explained that the option certainly exists to have them hatch equipped for dry storage or for a battery for an electric start engine to be stored out of the way.

Likewise the longitudinal bench seats, with their open sides and padded tops could also be set up with hatches or press stud equipped fabric side covers should a customer wish.

Which brings us to a point with regards to customisation. This style of boat, like is all Mojos, is what Brian refers to as a ‘bespoke’ boat. This means that it can be built to a customer’s requirements. The basic hull can then be set up with whatever is needed for a particular use.

In standard form, as reviewed, I noted a fairlead and cleat up front, side rails, and seating for 4. Basic but functional is how I saw it. Rod holders and the like could be easily set up on the rails, a live well incorporated aft, a bimini also easy enough fitted thanks to the solid side rails. In short, all the basics were there with the potential for extra fit-out easily noted.

Performance and Handling

Equipped with an electric start Tohatsu 2-stroke 30hp, the recommended engine power, the Mojo performed quite satisfactorily. The engine was quite new, but planning with two aboard and 22L of fuel in the tote tank aft, occurred at 12 km/h. An easy cruise noted at 27km/h and a brief burst of WOT saw 41km/h on the hand held GPS. With the engine out of it’s break in time, I’d easily see 44/45km/h from the rig, which is certainly fast enough for a small fishing boat, albeit a rigid and well performing plate one.

Performance was matched by a surprisingly good ride. The Mojo’s hull design ensured that no bumps were felt when crossing wash or when moving along smartly in Moreton’s Bay’s closely spaced chop and I do believe that the ride of this boat is going to be a strong selling point, along with sheer practicality and total ease of ownership.

A glance at one of the photos of the rig underway gives an insight into the hull’s efficiency, which sees remarkably small amounts of water being displaced to either side of the bow’s entry point.

Handling is also a big positive. The manner in which the big outer under hull chines grip in a turn sees the craft able to execute amazingly tight turns, even at speed. Heading up a mangrove lined creek on the plane with a load of crab pots aboard or maybe a team of happy anglers armed to the teeth with lures for some quality snag fishing would be a lot of fun, with the Mojo’s sweet handling evoking a strong feeling of confidence for those aboard.

Summing Up

In summing up, I rate this craft as right up with the best handling, and better riding small boats I have had the pleasure of reviewing. The hull design is different, but achieves what the manufacturer had in mind with stability being a high value bonus.

The reviewed craft was pretty basic so far as accepted fishing features were concerned but the standard of finish was quite good and the paint job well executed.

My view is that the little Mojo had tremendous potential, with the options of moving to a larger model while incorporating all of the aforementioned features plus a few to customise it somewhat a very interesting prospect indeed.

Don’t forget the ‘Bespoke’ concept; it’s the buyers’ call in final fit out. Mojo boats can be contacted on 0411 728 379. The rig as reviewed would come home for $14,750. Brian also advises that a 4.4m craft with 40hp Tohatsu electric start and power trim and tilt would cost $17,480.

Technical Information

Length on trailer5.2m
Height on trailer1.2m
Hull construction4mm plate
Hull deadrise16°
Engines30hp recommended
Engine fitted30hp Tohatsu 2-stroke
TowingFamily 6-cylinder or big 4-cylinder sedan or wagon
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