Blue Fin Boats of the Gold Coast have been gaining a reputation as manufacturers of quality based alloy boats that represent good value for money.
The Trekker has a standard of finish, fit out, and performance that is a cut above the average. The best part is that the neat 4.3 Estuary Trekker Sidewinder, even with her impressive number of features plus easy ride and handling, she won’t break the bank.
This v-nosed punt incorporates several features whilst offering a very good ride with plenty of stability. The bow moves through chop cleanly whilst flaring above the water line deflecting spray. A reverse water line chine carries aft to the transom where there is an 8 V.
Four pressings in the hull’s 3mm bottom combine with the keel to provide rigidity and stability either at rest or under way.
With a 1.8m beam the Estuary Trekker has plenty of work room for anglers aboard her. A weight of 180kg reflects that the strength of the hull and it’s obviously been designed with longevity in mind.
The punt style hull planes at remarkably low speeds, and was well powered by its Evinrude 40 E-Tec. At 2 800rpm the Trekker was travelling at 14km/h. This low speed planing capability is going to be appreciated by anglers heading up tidal creeks or estuary arms in search of mudcrabs with a load of pots onboard. The hull’s efficiency means it will easily manage a full compliment of 4 anglers.
The 4.3 Estuary Trekker cruised easily at 34.5km/h (4 000rpm) with a top speed of 51.3km/h (5 500rpm). During test runs the Trekker surprised me with its ability to handle the choppy conditions in the Gold Coast Broadwater. Running with the 50cm high chop caused no problems with the ride remaining quite soft and dry. Some spray was pushed back away from the aft quarter of the hull but little managed to come aboard.
Heading back against the chop was simply a matter of setting up a little positive trim to lift the bow and allowing the hull to get on with the job. I found the hull was skipping cleanly across the wind chop around 40-45 km/h and there was no annoying banging or pounding which some alloy craft produce when confronting rougher conditions. Considering that craft of this style are normally used in flat water it’s evident that the Estuary Trekker’s design will handle rough conditions if they occur. And at 50km/h+ the run home won’t take long.
The 4.3 Estuary Trekker is certainly angler friendly. There is full carpet throughout, side pockets, raised casting decks both fore and aft; four seat bases, plus side pockets for storage of smaller items.
Driver and mate share quality pedestal mounted bucket style seats that provide plenty of support. Seating arrangements allow for side-by-side seating aft or for the passenger to be seated ahead of the console. While under way the skipper is seated behind a neat side console, equipped with a wrap around style windscreen.
The side console gives the craft its ‘Sidewinder’ designation. Paired engine gauges are starboard on the vertical face of the console with an array of switches to port. A Humminbird Piranha sounder is tucked in behind the screen but buyers do have other options with sounders. An upright rack taking 4 rods is fitted to the console.
The test craft came with an optional dry storage box in front of the console. The unit could carry plenty of personal items or safety equipment.
Up front there is a leaning post style seat on the forward deck. There is also storage with three forward compartments available. One could easily be set up as a large plumbed live well if required.
Flat uncluttered decks are a feature of the Estuary Trekker. The forward casting area covers around one third of the interior space, whilst the rear one is smaller but still useful.
The forward deck, 35cm above floor level, is large enough for a couple of anglers to work up there in comfort or for one to steer the electric from the leaning post while his mate works the features. Wide gunwales are a feature of the craft and they sit around 10cm higher than the actual deck.
Access to the under floor hatches is via finger tabs and the system works well. The aft deck is small but there is room to place the battery one side and the tote tank the other. An angler could confidently stand to fish here, such is the stability of the rig.
The 40hp E-Tec was a very willing engine with reserves of power in hand yet the ease of driving and good balance of the hull means that a beginner would be as familiar with the rig as an experienced angler.
The Blue Fin 4.3 Estuary Trekker is a very attractive craft with sleek lines. Grab rails at all corners make it easy to manoeuvre at the ramp, the trailer supplied made launching and retrieval a piece of cake. Towing could be easily done with a four cylinder sedan. At $16,200 (as tested) the Blue Fin 4.3m won’t break the bank.
Blue Fin can be contacted on (07) 55715277 fax is (07) 55715288. or on --e-mail address hidden--
Make – Blue Fin 4.3 Estuary Trekker
Length – 4.3m
Beam – 1.8m
Power rating – 40-50hp
Power fitted– 40 hp Evinrude E-Tec
Anglers – 4
Towing Family – 4 or 6.
Price – $16,200.