The Chinese-made Savage fibreglass boats have been around for a couple of years now, and they have been received pretty well. And why not? The finish is good, the warranty is backed by the nation’s largest (by volume) boat manufacturer, and these boats come pretty well set up from the outset – and for the right price.
The hull’s design lends itself to both seaworthiness and comfort underway, thanks to a decent amount of vee aft, ample beam in ratio to length, and there’s a fair degree of flexibility in aft seating layout, plus engine ratings. All these features make the Savage 655C (for cabin) suited to the really dedicated bay/estuary/offshore angler, or the more family-orientated fisho who divides time between fishing with mates and taking the family touring, tubing or fishing. And with the Gen 2 E-Tec 200 High Output on the transom you could virtually tow the whole family!
The beamy (2.48m) fibreglass Savage came with a walkaround capability easily accessed via a moulded side step. There were plenty of handholds via the bimini and windscreen framework on the test boat to facilitate going forward; handy for approaching a beach but not required when tending ground tackle as a Muir winch came standard.
Within the roomy and well lit cabin with its wide entrance between skipper’s and mate’s seats there’d be room for two to sleep and enjoy the comfort of soft cabin lining, under-bunk storage, plus generous shelving for an easy overnight stay. Removing the bunk infill would see an ice box or Porta Potti installed if necessary.
The 655C’s helm station came equipped with the sevens! Flush mounted were a 7” Evinrude Icon Touch gauge plus a Lowrance 7” Elite sounder/GPS. These dominated the twin radios (Fusion and Marine) above but it was interesting to note that an even larger nav unit could be fitted, although the low mounted wheel might obstruct your view of a larger flush mounted unit.
Comfortable, height adjustable, pedestal seats up front came with bolster sections, and there was easy visibility through the two-section windscreen, both when seated and when standing.
Additional storage came via an under-floor box at the cockpit’s rear, both skipper and mate being provided with low level storage pockets to complement the pockets each side of the cockpit. There were also very large storage boxes set up as seats at the transom. These moulded boxes, or bins, were entirely removable and would have been very well suited for the catch if they had been lined or insulated. Still, few would complain of their usefulness, as they could be moved to any section of the cockpit to facilitate fishing or even left at home.
Corner-mounted transom backrest sections were also removable to assist entry from astern, the oval cushions being equipped with handles for ease of use. With these items removed, two walkthrough entry areas were on hand, with the starboard one equipped with a boarding ladder. Twin rod holders per gunwale side complemented the rod holders set into the rocket launcher at the rear of the craft’s bimini, so there’d be no reason to leave an extra fishing outfit or two at home. One item lacking was a dedicated bait tank; a surprise omission in such a well-provisioned craft.
On the water at Southport the 655C proved very easy to drive, amply powered by the 200 High Output E-Tec. It was quite stable while at rest in Seaway swell, which is obviously important for offshore work. The 655C’s engine ratings go right up to 225hp, which saw the Gen2 Evinrude E-Tec fairly close to maximum power. An easy hole shot saw the craft planing at a mere 24km/h (2700rpm), with an economical cruising speed of 35.2km/h at 3000rpm. Wide open throttle saw the rig blasting along at 77km/h, yet ample intermediate speeds and throttle applications were instantly available from the E-Tec 200 HO to cater for cruising, fast travel, or tow sports. Fuel tank capacity was 170L, which provides a massive cruising or fishing range.
Overall I saw the big Savage fibreglass walkaround as an ideal craft for many boating pursuits. Provided by White Water Marine of the Gold Coast, on a dedicated alloy trailer, the boat as tested would come home for $76,990. White Water Marine can be contacted on 07 5532 4402, or on the net at --e-mail address hidden--
|Length on trailer||8.10m|
|Height on trailer||2.40m|
|Weight (boat only)||1020kg|