Redcliffe’s Wayne Osborne has got plenty of history when it comes to boat building. He was the man behind the incredibly popular Yellowfin plate aluminium boats – a brand that virtually marketed itself as a bullet-proof craft for serious bay and offshore anglers.
However, that was 20 years ago. The market is much busier now and there are plenty of choices for prospective buyers. Wayne’s new brand and boat takes a new tack – the Dash 5 is fully composite and targeted at a different market.
The ranks of lure and fly casters are definitely growing and this boat aims to please those anglers who have a varied range of targets. It’s made for people who like chasing bass in impoundments one week, inshore tuna the next and then maybe some shallow water snapper for something different.
The Dash 5 definitely isn’t like some of the high-horsepower rigs you see blasting around on the AFC tournament series. It’s 4.9m long and designed to run efficiently under low (read: economical) horsepower engines. The test boat was fitted with a four-stroke Yamaha 40hp and it performed admirably with two on board – but more about that later.
The Dash hull was modified from a recent project called the ‘Stealth’, a boat that inspired more talk than purchases. Wayne acquired the moulds and heavily modified the transom and top deck. It retains the array of reversed chines below the waterline, which add to the soft ride and handling abilities of this craft.
The hulls are built by David Ridings’ Raider Ski Boats in Redcliffe, which has a reputation for building a quality product. There’s no affiliation with any particular outboard brand and the Dash can be fitted with the brand of your choice – two-stroke or four-stroke. There’s a 19 variable deadrise which softens the ride in chop and stability is excellent.
Internally, the Dash 5 that I tested was designed more with open water in mind rather than still water. There’s no casting deck up front, although that’s an option for those who want it. There’s an advantage in a lower centre of gravity when battling wind chop or inshore swell when casting at pelagics.
Naturally, the lack of a raised deck minimised underfloor storage and anyone with a serious amount of tackle to tote around would have to be happy with laying their boxes or bags on the floor.
There’s no place around the gunwales where there isn’t enough height to brace your knees in a little chop. There are also rod holders recessed into these gunwales for those who occasionally like to troll. When not in use rods can be stowed in the racks under either side of the coamings. These racks easily hold a fully-rigged fly rod.
Although the console is quite large for a boat less than 5m, there is adequate space for all of the gauges and electronic accessories you’d want in a boat of this size. Additionally, both of the electric motor batteries are located under this console, keeping the weight far enough back to retain the boat’s attitude in the water.
The console’s seat can be customised to a variety of options, however the test boat incorporated a plumbed livewell and a safety gear storage area accessed through a large waterproof hatch facing aft.
The transom includes a pair of smaller compartments that can be plumbed as a livebait tank, or used as a cooler or rubbish bin if you like. The entire transom area is separated from the cockpit by a clip-on splash-proof cover that will easily keep your fly lines from tangling in the cranking battery.
On the test day, a strong southeaster was whipping the waters of Deception Bay to a froth – ideal for putting Wayne’s performance claims to the test. The Dash’s ride was soft enough to know that you were in a ‘glass’ boat and the hull had no problems running with, into or quartering the chop. Like most small boats, don’t think you won’t get wet on a rough day, especially in a quartering sea, but at least you’ll just be wet, rather than wet and sore from being pounded, when you get back to the ramp!
For extended trips, the hull planes economically at 4000rpm and, thanks to a small-pitch (12’) propeller, gets on the plane much easier then you’d expect with a 40 on the back. The trade-off with a small pitch propeller is lack of top-end speed, but remember, the Dash doesn’t claim to a sprinter.
Currently, the Dash is sold direct, so if you’re interested in one of their comprehensive brochures or you want to organise a test drive, call Wayne Osborne on 0405 627 717.
Idle - 3.2km/h
1000rpm - 5.0km/h
2000rpm - 8.8km/h
3000rpm - 12.0km/h
4000rpm - 29.0km/h
5000rpm - 43.0km/h
Max - 50.0km/h
Length - 4.9m
Beam - 2.24m
Hull weight - 350kg/500kg loaded
Fuel - 70L underfloor
HP - 40 to 60hp
Price as tested - $35,000
Base package price - $28,850