Some boats are outstanding right from the first glance, and the 5.5m Iconic cuddy cab with its 140 Suzuki easily falls into that category. Looking at the craft’s gleaming white hull in the rampside car park at Shorncliffe, I could see it had an outstanding paint job, and an overall design incorporating many of the best features of today’s plate alloy craft – yet with differences that set it apart from its contemporaries.
The craft’s tandem wheel trailer was also made by Iconic Boats of Sandgate, on Brisbane’s northside. This trailer is as well turned out as the boat, and in all it’s a very well presented package which is certainly a head turner.
Iconic Boats are relative newcomers to the Southeast Queensland boating scene, but potential owners can rest assured that builder Chris Gallagher has a lot of experience. This alloy craftsman has two decades of boat manufacturing know-how backing his products, and this heritage is reflected in every facet of his craft.
Chris showed myself and owner Paul Lawlor just how easily the craft could be launched by one person, and we boarded via the aft gate with its adjoining non-skid swim platform.
The metre of cockpit depth was the first feature that took my fancy. Purposefully designed for offshore fishing, the carpeted self-draining cockpit featured paired rod holders each side on the wide, fully welded decks. With a two person aft seat able to be dropped down when not required, there was plenty of work room for anglers. Also of note were full length off floor side pockets – perfect for sneaking a foot under when you’re bracing against a hard pulling fish – and a deck wash to clean up after fishing.
The fuel filter and batteries were positioned on a transom shelf well up off the floor, where they could be easily reached but well protected.
An under floor floodable kill tank, which could be bunged for dry storage duties, was set into the floor adjacent to the transom, and the craft’s live bait was accessible within the transom. The bait station also sported rod holders, so you could potentially have four trolling rods set up via those holders in the gunwales plus a couple in the bait station, with enough room between lures so they could work correctly without tangling up. Multiple rod holders aft may look fancy, but when it comes to trolling correctly you have to have correct space between lures or frustrating snarls will result.
In all, I reckon the Iconic’s set up is very close to as good as it gets.
Cruising out from Shorncliffe with Chris and Paul, and enjoying the gentle ride of the big plate rig with its 5mm sides and bottom, I had time to take in just what the craft offered, and it certainly was plenty. For a 5.5m long craft with a beam of 2.25m there was a surprising amount of room all round. Nothing is cluttered, and the cabin in particular is very airy and has an inviting feel. When sitting within the lined cuddy cabin with its 2m long bunks, I found excellent head room and easy access between the skipper’s and mate’s seats. A wide cabin hatch provided entry and exit up front, plus anchor well access. However, as is standard in larger craft these days, a power winch was fitted to make anchoring up a breeze.
From the skipper’s high-backed seat I noted full visibility all round, while enjoying great weather protection from the strong windscreen. The bimini was set up on a very rigid but totally collapsible heavy-duty framework, and also featured additional rod holders.
The craft’s instrumentation was a multi-tiered arrangement, with paired Suzuki gauges, switches and Fusion sound system all easy to reach and monitor. However, my eye kept wandering back to the great Garmin 99SV unit set up highest on the instrument panel. Paul certainly made a good choice there with his sounder/GPS set up.
Looking closely at the seating and helm area I noted several things that always make a boat just that bit better. Grab handles were set into the rear of the skipper’s and mate’s slide adjustable seats, which were mounted atop good sized storage boxes to complement the large storage areas under the cabin bunks. A grab handle was provided for the passenger up front, and foot rests were handy for the skipper and mate. There was also a wide shelf aft of the windscreen to keep essential items within easy reach. In all, it was a very sensible and serviceable set up, ideal for expert boaters and beginners alike.
The big Iconic is rated to engines from 100-150hp, and Paul opted for a 140. Paul wants to take the boat to a variety of destinations, including runs out from Bribie Island, and with a hull weight of 750kg and a fuel capacity of 190L the 140 Suzuki was the option that made the most sense. Test runs – three aboard, 180L of unleaded under the floor – saw the deep vee 20° deadrise hull on the plane at 20.4km/h at 3000rpm while 4000rpm saw 36.8km/h on the Garmin unit, the Suzuki hardly audible astern. 5000rpm saw a beautifully flat clean wash astern and 48.7km/h recorded with a 6000rpm burst pushing the craft to 64.3km/h. Around 4000rpm was the best cruising speed in my view, with the Suzuki hardly working and the noise levels very acceptable.
As expected from such a well designed and solid hull, the stability was exceptional. It adds to the credibility of the Ionic as an offshore rig to double as a weekend cruiser with an ice box and lunch box stove aboard.
If the 5.5 Cuddy is any indication of this brand’s potential, Ionic Boats are right up with the best of the plate. The performance and ride were matched by the overall finish and attention to detail, but perhaps the best thing of all was the price. The package was priced at a very modest $69,500, including the trailer. In today’s market that is very competitive for a well built craft of this size. If you’re looking for a well built plate hull with a lot of room, you should definitely check these out! Iconic Boats can be contacted on 0475 311 447.
• 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.
|Hull construction||4mm with 5mm plate bottom and sides|
|Towing||family 6 sedan|