The old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Nothing could be more true in the case of Eden Craft boats, which are made for the harsh and often rough southern Australian waters. As a testament to their toughness, they are used by many professional fishermen, especially abalone divers.
Eden Craft boats can carry huge engines to cope with the large catches they often carry and can also move through rough water at high speeds. These boats can power through rough water quickly day in and day out without the owner worrying their craft will fall apart, thanks to a minimum 1/2” thickness through the hull.
Modelled on the old Haines Hunter V19 hull the Eden Craft’s shape is quite narrow, which helps it slice through the water. Even when Marc from the Marine Shop in Melton was still several hundred metres from the Newport ramp, I could pick the famous Eden Craft shape behind the truck. With the boat sitting neatly on the twin axle Easy Tow Trailer it was easy to pick the distinctive lines and that sharp windscreen, not to mention the big chunk of engine on the back.
On the water the full length running strakes combined with the 22° deadrise to get the boat up on the plane easily. Even though the hull doesn’t have overly large chines it does deflect spray well.
The test boat I reviewed was a perfect example of what people have come to expect from Eden Craft – not overloaded with creature comforts but extremely functional.
The fill-width engine pod allows owners to run twin engines on Eden Crafts, so it easily accommodated the 250hp four-stroke Suzuki engine. The test boat had plenty of power and with a top speed of around 100km/h it feels as if you are about to take off. Eden Craft boats ride better the more weight that is in them – another reason they are popular with professional divers.
The test boat did have trim tabs that help with the craft’s ride and would be great when the boat was loaded with a bunch of anglers, divers and gear.
Inside the boat the transom set-up was laid out with waterproof hatches on each side. The starboard side housed twin batteries while the port side was free for other storage.
The middle of the transom was home to a circulating livebait tank with a handy viewing window so you can make sure the bait is all alive and well, particularly while travelling.
Inside the boat things are basic, bare and functional. The lack of carpet on the floor makes for easy cleaning, but it can easily be added as an optional extra. A large grate allows all the bits and pieces to be washed out, but I especially liked the lack of sharp corners anywhere around the edges. This means that bits of bait and other gunk cannot hide anywhere.
The floor itself makes way for a huge underfloor storage tank that can hold anything from a load of fish or shellfish right up to a couple of respectable sized tuna.
Decent sized full-length side pockets make room for the all-important storage of gaffs and other associated items. One of the features I really liked was the placing of the fuel filter and fuel line pump, both of which are easily accessible up at the cabin end of the side pocket on the port side.
For the diver or game fisher out there the starboard side has a fully removable side door – ideal for getting back in the boat after a dive, or for dragging in that angry mako or jumbo yellowfin tuna. The removable door also floats which is handy if you manage to drop it overboard among all the excitement.
The cabin area on the test boat had a neat bimini top with stainless frame and rocket launcher.
Seats were heavily padded, had good arm rests and sat upon storage boxes perfect for holding all the bits and pieces that you need to have.
The large windscreen has a wave breaker at the top, basically a forward angled piece, which stops water coming into the cabin.
The dashboard set-up is quite basic and only included the required gauges however there was space for more if required. Sounders and GPS units are best mounted on top of the dash as was the test boat’s Furuno unit. Marine radios and the electric anchor winch are housed below the dash.
There were also some waterproof speakers tucked away from the driver and passenger seats. There’s nothing better than listening to some funky beats while travelling over water at warp speed. The CD player is kept in the bunk out of the weather.
One necessary feature is the craft’s large grab bar. I think Eden Craft like to use stainless as it’s shiny and you can see it easily when required.
Getting into the bunk of the boat was easy through a two-part opening that can be locked. The bunk area had plenty of room to store gear or lay down, and while the test boat didn’t have any carpet lining or padded cushions, they can be added as an optional extra.
I think its fair to say Eden Craft boats are built to work and if serious fishing or diving is what you do, especially in offshore situations, then they are definitely a boat to be put to the top of the pile.
For more information contact The Marine Shop – Melton on (03) 9747 0588 or email --e-mail address hidden--
|Boat (as tested):||$91,000|
|Starting Package From:||$70,000|
|Horse Power Range:||(single engine) 175-250hp, (twin engine) 90-115hp|
|Hull thickness:||minimum 1/2”|
All boats built to survey specifications
Full-width engine pod accomodates a big single or twin outboards with ease.Reads: 4451