Clark Aluminium boats are an iconic brand manufactured in Queensland. They produce all manner of boats, from car toppers to offshore vessels. I recently visited Lake Mulwala on the border of New South Wales and Victoria to test a boat designed specifically for the sportsfishing market – the Clark Dominator 455 side console.
I met up with Simon Ryan from Boats and More in Shepparton and Echuca to test the Dominator out. Lake Mulwala was the ideal location, as this boat is built to use on similar waterways, and the many rivers and estuary systems around Australia.
First impressions are always important when it comes to seeing a boat for the first time. The Clark 455 Dominator delivered more than expected. Standard features like a bow mount plate, fully carpeted extended casting deck and comfortable seating were obvious. It has plenty of fishing space (easily enough for two people to fish from the front casting deck), and the sports console has ample room to house any electronics and gauges you may want.
What really impressed me is that two plumbed live wells are standard design for the 455. A small plastic tank is situated in the rear deck, and a large aluminium tank is in the front casting deck with a divider. Many fishing competitions require you to keep fish alive, as livewells in the front casting deck is normally an option rather than standard, the 455 stands out as a premium sportsfishing boat. There was also plenty of storage both underfloor (three hatches in the front casting deck) and via side pockets on either side of the rear of the boat. I am a fan of painted boats and the 455 Dominator comes standard painted – white internal and two-tone paint external.
A Suzuki 60hp 4-stroke motor powered the boat we tested. I have done several tests for Boats and More with Suzuki motors and cannot help but be impressed with the performance of these motors. The lean burn technology of the Suzuki 4-strokes maximises fuel economy during extended use, and the 60hp’s 44kW of power provided plenty of grunt to get on the plane quickly. The 455 Dominator has a 60L underfloor fuel tank, and you would get many days of use if you sat on around 4000rpm. The maximum horsepower rating for the 455 is up to 75hp and Simon explained that you could go as low as a 50hp if need be. However, the 60hp seems to be a good match in both price and performance.
Boats of this style are bound to cop a bump or two. Lake Mulwala has millions of things to bump into and it is nice to know that the Dominator has 3mm bottoms and sides to deal with any mishaps.
Towing must always be considered when purchasing a boat. The tested boat was on a Dunbier 4.7m braked trailer. Able to be towed by a family sedan, the 455 was easily launched and retrieved by two people and could be done by one if required.
Conditions at Lake Mulwala on the test day were a little tricky, with plenty of wind chop and lots of boat wake from competitors fishing the Cod Classic. This is typical of this type of waterway and something that the 455 should deal with comfortably. It certainly did that. The vee-hull handled the conditions well, with the reverse chines cushioning the ride and keeping the driver and passenger dry. Handling was good with very little trim required to get the maximum from the hull and motor. It was very stable at rest, which is important when most of your time is spent casting from the front deck.
All in all, the Clark 455 Dominator provides standard features that will excite plenty of tournament and everyday anglers and is well worth a look if you are looking for this style of boat.
BMT packages start from $26,990 (with a 2-stroke motor). The boat we tested comes in at $29,990. For more information you can contact Boats and More on (03) 5822 2108, or go to their website www.boatsandmore.com.au.
|Weight (hull only)||420kg|