Ausmarine are the sole importers of the SeaCraft Boats and Seatrail Trailers and they have a new model out called the Fisher 490 side console that would interest any angler out there who is looking for a sleek, well finished, comfortable aluminium boat that has plenty of room to stand up in when either drifting or at anchor.
It would be ideal for the angler who like targeting snapper, kingfish and other reef species offshore or trolling, drifting or at anchor in the estuaries. It’s reasonably shallow draft, vee shaped bottom would allow you drift over some of those shallow sand flats that you like to chase flathead, whiting and bream.
Ausmarine has made sure that the SeaCraft boats are designed to suit Australian conditions with their full cross-framed ribbing where each compartment has been filled with foam. That is except where the under floor 70L fuel tank is situated.
With its 3mm bottom and 2mm sides, there was a small amount of flex in the sides as we were travelling along. But this is something that you would find with most, if not all 2mm side boats.
The gunnels were quite wide, which added to the stiffness of the boat and it would also allow you to put extra wiring and lighting underneath out of the elements.
After launching the boat and travelling through the 8-knot zone, it was pushed up out of the water and taken up onto the plane by the 90hp Mercury with ease. Even though the test was only done on a calm river, I found that the handling of the boat was very smooth. What I did find was that when we turned fairly sharply to run over our wake there was a slight bit of cavitation from the propeller. This may have been due to the size and pitch of the propeller and, if so, could be rectified by change to style, size and pitch of the propeller.
What I did find was that when you didn’t turn as sharply, there was no cavitation at all and it was a very smooth ride. Also, as we travelled over the wake there was very little the vee-shaped hull cut through it with ease. Overall, it was very smooth, unlike some aluminium boats.
When driving through the wake, the chines and the shape of the hull were able to push the water and spray well out from the boat giving you a dry ride. As the day was very calm, I couldn’t tell you whether the same would happen on a rough day or when travelling offshore.
While at rest with two adults weighting in at approximately 200kg on board at one side of the boat, that there was only a slight lean. The height of the gunnels from the floor in the back two-thirds of the boat allowed me to easily lean up against the side to brace myself. This would be very helpful when trying to lift in a large fish or brace yourself in a swell while drifting.
This would be a different thing at the front one-third of the boat, as the floor has been raised about 40cm to form a casting platform and to also give you more storage space. To compensate the rising of the floor there are guardrails that have been installed on either side of the boat.
As the passenger of the craft, I noticed the lack of a grab rail on the passenger’s side, which in-turn found me looking for somewhere to hold onto while travelling at speed. This would be easily overcome by installing a small grab rail just on the inside of the gunnel.
At the rear on the starboard side of the boat, there is a fold down stainless steel ladder that would give you access from the water if you had either gone for a ski or had a swim to cool off.
How much storage you use will depend on whether you are going to use this style of boat as a full on fishing boat or a pleasure craft. The SeaCraft Fisher 490 side console has three storage areas in front of the console. There is a small anchor well up front that would be big enough to take one sand anchor, about 4m of chain and about 50m of rope.
As you will see in the accompanying photos, you will see that there are two more storage compartments in the raised deck. The smaller of the two compartments could be used for another anchor, your extra life jackets and rain gear. The larger of the three storage compartments could be then used to store your small esky or fridge, tackle boxes, safety gear etc. You also would have enough room to maybe put a kill tank for your fish.
On either side of the console there is a small narrow compartment that could also be used for storage of rigged hand lines for squid, small tackle boxes and the like. Even though the side console was of an open arrangement, you could always close it in and have more storage for that extra tackle you may need.
At the rear of the boat you will see a bolted in cleaning table with three rod holders. This can be changed, as they have several designs. There is also a small bench seat that can be folded down and out of the way when not in use. Behind it there is a bit more open storage space where you could possibly put that extra battery.
In the boat tested, the instrument panel contained the following a speedo, trim and tilt gauge, a fuel gauge, rev counter, and a panel with a 12-volt socket and five toggle switches (lights, bilge pump and a couple spare).
The AL 4.8M13 Seatrail braked trailer comes complete with an aluminium walkway for easy launching and retrieving of the boat, skids or rollers and led lights.
There are seven rod holders in total; one on either side of the rear and front of the boat and three on the aluminium cutting board.
If you are into live baiting for big fish, there is a live well on the port side of the boat that could be plumbed to hold your live bait. On the boat tested, it was not plumbed.
The whole of the floor has been carpeted for your comfort and could be easily washed down after each fishing outing.
Even though this boat is designed to take five adults, I would find that two could quite comfortably fish with three in the boat while either trolling or drifting offshore and maybe an extra one in the estuary. There was plenty of room for you to mount a GPS sounder combo, compass etc. up behind the large windscreen and the two-padded swivel chairs were extremely comfortable to sit in.
Over the years I have tested a number of aluminium boats and believe me, some of them have been extremely noisey when travelling at speed or ploughing through waves and over wakes. The SeaCraft Fisher 490 had none of that. It was very quiet, and if you are like me and occasionally drop something in the boat the fully carpeted floor would help dull any noise. This would be due to the in-built floor full cross-floor compartment, 3mm boat and wide gunnels.
The Mercury 90hp outboard, which only had one hour on the clock was extremely quiet and made having a conversation while travelling very easy.
Overall I was impressed with the outfit tested and for its price range would be quite affordable for someone wanting to get into boating with the family or friends.
The tested craft with a 75hp outboard would come home for $23,999. The importer of SeaCraft Boats and Seatrail Trailers is Ausmarine at Revesby, Sydney. To locate your closets dealership in NSW you can go to www.ausmarine.biz/nsw-dealers/ and if you live interstate or even overseas you can go to www.ausmarine.biz/ and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
• Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.
|Overall boat length||4.9m|
|Overall boat on trailer length||Approximately 6.2m (motor in locked position)|
|Weight||510kg (Boat only)|
|Fuel Tank||Underfloor 70L|
|Trailer Model||AL 4.8M13 braked trailer|