Clark Aluminium Boats produce a comprehensive range of models, from car toppers through to heavy-duty offshore boats. They are built in Queensland and are recognised for their strength, durability and safety, as well as value for money. I have tested a number of the smaller models over the last couple of years and have enjoyed what they offer and how they fit into the bigger scheme of things. Saying that, the Clark 410 Kakadu SC is a little different.
Based on the 4.35 Kakadu Pro, the 410 has been put together to meet the needs and requests of anglers coming into the ‘Boats and More’ stores in Shepparton and Echuca. Built specifically for Boats and More, this boat is designed to be used for the types of fishing you would do near these two store locations, especially places like the Murray River, Lake Mulwala or Lake Eildon. The team at Boats and More have quickly found that anglers have taken to what they and Clark Aluminium boats have put together.
The key feedback the Boats and More team received from customers was that they wanted a medium to small boat with a side console that they could put up to a 40hp motor on. Plenty of casting room at the front, the ability to put a bow mount electric motor on it, all at a price point. In short, a little sportfishing machine that wouldn’t break the bank account.
The Clark Kakadu series was chosen, as many of these features are part and parcel of the range, it was just a matter of tinkering with the layout and finding the right balance to ensure that the performance of the hull wasn’t compromised and that it still met the needs of the customers.
The 410 Kakadu side console was the result. Key changes from the original 4.35 Kakadu Pro, other than the length change, was the removal of the anchor well and extension of the casting deck. The casting deck was also lowered to assist with stability and balance on the water, as well as the addition of significant space for either storage, a live well or a larger fuel capacity.
With a maximum horsepower rating of 40hp and an electric motor bracket part of the standard fit out, the requests seem to have been met.
Lake Mulwala was the location for our on water test. The test boat had a 40hp Suzuki 2-stroke motor on it and looked pretty sharp with its two-tone paint livery.
Simon from Boats and More explained to me that with the changes made to this boat, the importance of getting the overall balance right is very important. In the case of the test boat, with a 40hp motor on the back he suggested having a fuel tank fitted more towards the front. This improves the weight distribution, which then assists getting on the plane faster and maintains it at slower speeds, and improves the general ride of the boat. The test boat didn’t have this, as the original test boat had been sold a couple of days before I arrived.
First thing I have to say about this boat with a 40hp on it is that it gets up and boogies (not very technical I know). From the first hit on the throttle I knew I was going to enjoy running around in the Clark 410 Kakadu. It got up on the plane quickly and dealt with two passengers being on board easily. Combine a solid wind chop with boat wakes and we had perfect conditions to see what the hull could do. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the 410 coped with the chop and we remained comfortable and dry. The boat at speed sits high on the water (over the chop) and much of the spray that is generated, is behind the seating positions. Cornering was interesting as the Vee-nosed punt design means you have a fairly large, flat transom area. When turning at speed the boat did drift a little. This reduced as you dropped your speeds and was non-existent when I did some figure of eight turns. My first impression proved to be true, I really did enjoy running around in the 410. Moving from one location to another or getting where you want to be can be done safely, dry and at a good clip.
The size and layout of the 410 Kakadu SC, as you would expect, lends itself to most freshwater fishing scenarios and would be more than at home on any salt water estuarine system. I would definitely have a bow mount electric motor installed so you can take full advantage of the forward casting deck to cast lures, soft plastics, etc. If trolling is your preferred method, there is plenty of room for three lines to be run out the back and the Suzuki outboard would cope with trolling speeds with no problems at all. If you enjoy a bit of bait fishing, whether tying up to a tree or anchoring (there is anchor storage space below the forward deck) there are plenty of tie up points around the boat and a bowsprit at the front for anchoring.
There is enough space at the front of the boat for two anglers to fish from. There is also enough storage under the forward deck to store gear and keep it out of the way while you’re fishing.
I was super impressed with the layout of the 410 Kakadu considering the reduction of length from the original boat. The side console had plenty of room to place a decent sounder and any switches you may need. The seating position was very good, with plenty of room for a 6’2” large person like myself. The seats were very comfortable as well, which is always a bonus.
Other than the storage under the front deck there is also a couple of handy side pockets on either side of the seating, to hold those items that need to be within arms reach when you are on the water.
40hp is the maximum horsepower rating for the 410 Kakadu, and the Suzuki 40hp 2-stroke the test boat had fitted, really got it moving. The 2-stroke is installed for two reasons, firstly with pricing in mind and secondly to reduce the weight at the rear of the boat. A 4-stroke can be fitted, but it increases the need to move the fuel tank forward to maintain the hull performance of the boat.
The Suzuki 40hp 2-stroke fitted, is a carburetted 2-cylinder motor with a maximum output of 29kW. It is part of the Suzuki portables range and comes with a 3-year recreational use warranty. Considering the motor had only been fitted the day before the test, the performance was excellent and if getting to your destination at good speed is a requirement, then the 40hp 2-stroke is the way to go.
Boats and More option most of their boating packages on Dunbier trailers and the 410 Kakadu SC is no exception.
In my mind there are two keys for a boat this size. You must be able to launch and retrieve it with one person and a small family car should be able to tow it. Much of this has to do with the trailer and the way it is set up. The 410 Kakadu was trailered on a 4.3 Dunbier Sports trailer. This is a standard trailer in the Dunbier range and suits most boats of this size and it ensured that both of these criteria were met with no problems at all.
Boats like the Clark 410 Kakadu SC are right up my alley. Small, compact and can be set up to explore and fish all the nooks and crannies of your local lake, river or estuary system. The bonus for me is the side console and the bit of comfort and protection this set up provides.
I like the fact that anglers/customers of Boats and More have had input into this boat. I also like the fact that Simon and his team are aware that it is imperative to get the balance of the fit out correct, so the performance of the boat isn’t compromised. Well done to Clark as well for producing a boat outside of their current stable of craft. As far as small boats go this is a little sportfishing machine.
Package pricing for the Clark 410 Kakadu starts at $14,590 (or $60* a week)for a plain white boat with a 30hp Suzuki 2-stroke engine and Dunbier 4.3 Sports trailer. The model tested with 40hp Suzuki, coloured sides, electronics package, and Dunbier 4.3 Sports trailer comes in at $16,990 (or $69* a week). Boats and More also stock a full range of electronics and accessories so you can option it up or down to meet your needs.
For more information on this boat and the other boats in the Clark range you can go to www.boatsandmore.com.au or contact them on (03) 5822 2108.
|Weight (boat only)||255kg|