If you’re a regular reader of Fishing Monthly, you’ll remember that we’ve tested a couple of the South Australian built Northbank boats over the past 12 months. Specifically, the 5.5 and 6m versions, supplied by Melbourne Marine Centre.
We’ve gotten to know the Northbank boats quite well. They’re well built, well finished and have the flashiest logo in the industry proudly adhering to the outside of the gunwales.
This time, the baby of the fleet – the 500C – arrived at the ramp at the Patterson River for testing, captained by Melbourne Marine Dealer Principal, Andrew Stephen. Powered by the superlative 75hp Mercury 2.1L four stroke, it’s an entry level fibreglass boat with pricing starting from under $40,000.
This boat in particular was about to be delivered to MMC customer, Ian Proctor. Ian chose to add plenty of options to the base package and came in with this neat little setup that is perfectly provisioned for loading up on Port Philip Bay snapper. And it even comes ready to keep your snacks hot with an outlet ready to power a pie warmer.
Yep. That’s a proper fishing boat.
Small glass boats have plenty of advantages that extend past the diminutive purchase price. Fitted with a 75hp Mercury 2.1L four stroke, this rig is remarkably quick out of the hole and gets nearly 2km/L of fuel burned. That gives the 60L underfloor fuel tank a 100km range – plenty for a weekend’s play in the Bay.
The single-axled, multi-rollered trailer is not only manoeuvrable by hand, but it’s towable by nearly all family cars.We came to know the 500C as the ‘little big boat,’ because it was just like its bigger brothers, only shorter. Luxuries like a Viper windlass mean that you need to give your mates a different job, since anchor deployment and retrieval is now at the push of a button.
The addition of a second battery was a necessity for this boat, as food warming devices usually eat power like a cold angler eats pies. The second battery powers things like the oven and the deck wash and means that the outboard will always have power to start at the end of the session.
Fitted with a 16” Mercury Vengance propeller, the 500C handled the 1-2ft slop left over from a windy morning with style. The hull was quite sensitive to trim, taking a much better attitude to the seas when adjusted to the right level.
We still see lots of boaties who think that the trim button is only needed when getting the boat ready to trailer. A couple of tweaks on the run can change most craft from lemons to lovely.
Andrew was very proud of the way this rig was fitted out and it’s a great example of what $50 grand can get you in this class of boat.
Small touches, like the clip-in cockpit carpet makes cleaning less of a chore and seat bases with tackle storage included all add to the quality of your fishing and boating experience.
Package prices for the Northbank 500C start at $36,989. As tested, Ian Proctor’s boat costed out to $49,990. Call Melbourne Marine Centre for more details on (03) 9703 2003 or visit www.melbournemarine.com.au
• 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.
Coloured deck stripe
Seat boxes with trays
Swim platform and rail
Alloy rocket launcher and light
Garmin EchoMap 75DV
Clip in carpet
SS bait board
Fusion stereo and speakers
SS vertical rod racks
Viper 1000W micro drum winch
L&R boat catch
Front and side clears
|RPM||Speed (km/h)||Fuel (L/h)|
Scan the QR code to see the boat in action and hear from Andrew Stephen about the 500C.Reads: 835