Polycraft Boats is a Bundaberg-based company that has been around since 2001 and is a branch of the very successful Poly Industries company.
The boats are tough, so tough that in the early days the Polycraft team would bring a 10kg sledge hammer to boat shows and actually let visitors have a crack at breaking one of the display boats. It was pretty impressive stuff!
My initiation into the world of Polycraft Boats began around 2003 when Jason Medcalf got his first one and I was a mad keen jack chaser. It stood to reason that I’d visit the Bundaberg area to sample their jacks and Jason was just as mad keen as myself and Trent Butler. We had some super times in Jason’s Poly and I learnt a few valuable lessons about the boats – the biggest being how well they handled shallow water as we screamed over rock bars, sand flats and mud to the next fishy bank.
These days Polycraft has extended their range of boats significantly to include six models from the small but strong Tuff Tender through to the large 5.99 Frontier. Since moving on to Wilson Fishing in 2015, I have been re-immersed in the Poly world. The Wilson Fishing work boat is a 4.80 Brumby Centre Console, the most popular of all the boats Polycraft build. And this boat has some tales to tell.
So we thought, what better way is there to take a look at Polycraft Boats than to have a chat about one that has been to hell and back, a boat that is still producing fish and a boat that really has lived a charmed life. And clearly the best place to do all this is on the waters around Bundaberg, where Polycraft Boats are born.
Sounds like a perk? Yeah you’re probably right, but you get that every now and then on the big jobs.
The Wilson Fishing Polycraft 4.80 Brumby was purchased in 2006 and fitted out with a 90hp E-Tec. This was an ideal combination for a lot of the fishing that was to be done, which included bar crossing, reef fishing and shallow water trolling.
The expectations of this rig were pretty steep to say the least.
I spoke to Kord Luckus and Troy Dixon about the boat I was currently fishing from to find out just what they had put this boat through in its relatively short, but certainly interesting life.
“The best memory I have of this boat is one of the most recent. We took this rig out to Cato Reef with us on Big Cat Reality Charters. The Polycraft was ideal for loading and unloading on the mothership because it can take the knocks and bumps really well. That trip we filmed from the Poly in horrendous conditions and it never once let us down. It says something about the rig,” Troy said.
“My next memory is the complete opposite. From 600nM offshore to fishing the Jumpinpin area for flathead in the Gold Coast Flathead Classic, the Poly allowed us to troll the shallows, deal with the weekend and holiday wakes and gave us the platform to finish second overall in the event.
“The difference between the two memories could not be more extreme and shows the versatility of this rig.”
Kord, who has used this boat more than anyone else, had some interesting memories of the boat.
“I love this boat. I have taken it to hell and back and even to some places further than hell. It has never faltered when I needed it and some of the bar crossing this boat has endured will live with me forever,” Kord said.
“I love fishing for mackerel offshore from the Gold Coast and most times I am crossing the Currumbin Creek Bar. This bar is not for the faint-hearted and can really test a skipper and his rig. Being airborne at times and crashing back into the sea has not phased this boat one little bit.
“Apart from the regular offshore duties during mackerel season, the Poly is my main crabbing rig. I love crabbing and a lot of the time I am demanding the boat to take me into, and sometimes through, the mangroves. I’ve done things to this boat that would wreck a fibreglass boat and leave hundreds of dints in an aluminium boat. It’s a real workhorse,” said Kord.
While I am typing this in air conditioned comfort after a day’s fishing, I can vouch for the fact this boat is quiet on the water and is not afraid of the occasional scuffle with a rock bar, of which the local Bundaberg waters have plenty. It had been far too long since I’d visited these waters and they’ve changed after years of floods and scouring and depositing.
Luckily the jacks were still there along with plenty of flatties and prawns, and even luckier was that there were barra as well, a fantastic by-product of the floods that were so devastating for so many.
There is a fact box hereabouts of the adventures the Polycraft 4.8m Brumby, and the list reads like a Guide to the Best Fishing in Australia. It’s done a lot in its 10 years and continues to be the main filming platform for Wilson Fishing as well as Kord and Troy’s product testing boat. Most recently the green Poly has been haunting the Brisbane River as the boys work out the threadfin and mulloway tricks with the Zerek Fish Trap. Needless to say, it’s been a fantastic platform for this as well.
It’s not often you get to have a good play in a boat that is 10 years old and still going. Most boat reviews take the form of a brand spanking new one with the manufacturer or supplier making sure everything is fitted out to perfection.
It was a real treat to spend a few days playing around in this boat. The history, the fun and the work this boat has done is a clear indication of the durability of the Polycraft boats.
Is she a little beaten around the edges? Yes she is, but you’d expect worse considering what she has been put through. Overall this boat is a remarkable testament to the Polycraft brand.
If you want a long term boat that is simple and easy to maintain, then take a look at the Polycraft range. There are six models and numerous build options (centre console/tiller/cabin) to suit your needs.
They ride quietly, handle a fair amount of sea and waves, and definitely provide the buyer with a rig that, if you’re like me and are not the best at maintenance, can provide years of faithful service.
Huge dogtooth tuna at Cato Reef
Bass, barra, goldens and cod in the dams
Mackerel, tuna and snapper offshore from almost every port in South East Queensland
Flathead in the Gold Coast
Threadfin and mulloway in the Brisbane River
Barra in the Northern Territory (6 month stint)
Black jew in Darwin Harbour
Saratoga and barra in Corroboree Billabong
New South Wales
Murray cod in Lake Mulwala
Flathead, bream, whiting and crabs in Big River country
Offshore fishing from the Tweed and Evans Head for snapper, mulloway and mackerel
Snapper in Port Phillip Bay
Whiting and squid in Western Port
Estuary perch, salmon and whiting in Andersons Inlet
89 Childers Rd, Bundaberg QLD 4670
Free Call: 1800 336 603
Phone: 07 4155 2457
Fax: 07 4155 2088
Email: --e-mail address hidden--
• The unique hull design features pronounced reverse chines which contribute to unmatched stability at rest. The reverse chines also promote lift when accelerating onto the plane and allow for tighter cornering at high speed.
• Polycraft boats feature a unique, soft ride. Polycraft boats flex to absorb the impact of the sea, just like the shock absorbers on your car absorb and deflect the jarring from potholes in the road.
• Polycraft’s dual wall hull absorbs both engine noise and the noise of the sea. This results in a quieter ride and a more enjoyable day on the water. If fishing is your passion you may benefit from quietly approaching you favourite fishing spot.
• Polyethylene has natural buoyancy and will float unaided when placed in water. The unique dual wall construction traps air in the cavity between the dual walls and helps contribute to buoyancy.
• Polyethylene has been shown in independent tests to have five times the impact resistance of fibreglass. This makes Polycraft one of the strongest boats on the market providing trouble free boating for many years.
• Polyethylene is very easy to maintain, clean and repair. In addition, it is less susceptible to marine growth than many other materials.
• Polyethylene is an inert material that is not affected by electrolysis that may be found in aluminium boats or osmosis that can affect fibreglass boats. In the harsh marine environment, a Polycraft will keep looking good for longer.
• Polycraft boats are manufactured from UV stabilised marine grade polyethylene designed for extended use in direct sunlight. The colour is part of the material so your boat should retain the original colour and will never need painting.Reads: 412