After looking for a replacement for my reliable 435 Hornet, I chose to step up to the 475 Hornet Trophy because of its additional room and storage and the extra safety and comfort when strong winds blow up on my local dams and rivers.
When discussing my new Hornet with Max and Mark from Graham Barclay Marine at Forster, I mentioned that I wanted an economical engine (I was used to a four-stroke economy) and plenty of room and storage in the cockpit for fishing tackle, eskies and rods without compromising safety.
All of the forward compartments are rotomoulded polyethylene, which helps with noise reduction on those really rough days. The anchor well is large enough to carry a Minn Kota 15lb lead anchor along with the large sea anchor I use to slow the drift in a strong breeze.
There is a large 75L livewell or storage area with a pump-in. pump-out system with timer. All the six of the pumps on this boat are Johnsons and I have found them to be very reliable. Behind this livewell there is a huge, full width tackle and safety gear storage area that easily accommodates a stack of 3700 series tackle containers. All of these storage areas are lockable.
On the port side there is a rod locker that can house about 15 fully-rigged rods to 10’ long.
Aft of the cockpit is a retrofitted compartment under the two seats that houses two Trojan 120 amp-hour trolling motor batteries with extra storage for marker buoys, first-aid kit, Tackleback and other items. Further aft in the centre is another Johnson 45L recirculating livewell with pump-in, and pump-out system with timer. These livewells had a tendency to overflow when travelling but this was easily fixed with some 30m PVC angle riveted to the rear faces of the livewells at the top.
The starboard side of the rear livewell is fitted with another large storage compartment that houses the master battery switch and fuel filter, with plenty of room for spare clothes, etc. To port of the livewell is the main battery, a Delkor DC27.
The side console houses speedo, tacho, fuel and trim gauges, switches for nav lights, livewell pumps an automatic bilge pump and a livewell timer. Under the console is the Guest on-board battery charger and a fire extinguisher.
In pursuit of that four-stroke economy we decided to fit an Evinrude E-Tec 75hp which is very light and right up there with its technology. The E-Tec fires up immediately and is quiet from idle to full throttle. All E-Tecs require no running-in period and do not need regular servicing until they have done 300 hours, with the engine management module making all the necessary adjustments to timing, fuel mixture and idle speed.
The performance of this package is remarkable. It actually uses less fuel during a weekend at Lake Glenbawn than my 40hp four-stroke did. It idles in gear at 450rpm, making trolling at 2km/h easy and planes around 2800rpm.
The Hornet runs along easily around 4000rpm and 26knots (30mph), where it appears to return the best fuel economy. Full throttle runs out to 5300rpm to a top speed around 36knots (42mph).
With two people aboard and both livewells full, it trims out to around 75% and sits flat. At this speed the steering is still quite easy. The Eclipse hull and Maxi 2 transom gives a dry ride and the fully-welded hull does not produce the noise normally associated with aluminium hulls.
The standard of finish is excellent with quality paintwork and electrical components and the rotomoulded compartments makes for a really easy boat to maintain.
This model has a 65L fuel tank and a modified breather system makes refuelling easier.
The additional electrics fitted to my boat include a Minn Kota Maxxum 74lb 24V electric trolling motor supplied by BLA and up front there is a Lowrance X102 colour sounder and on the console an Eagle Sea Champ 200C DF GPS/sounder both supplied by Lowrance Australia.
Two people are able to fish comfortably from forward casting platform while the Hornet is at rest. When travelling, the seating is comfortable and grab rails fall to hand.
There is also good storage up forward for life jackets and wet weather gear.
Steering is very responsive and light to use, even with the engine is trimmed half-way. The boat is exceptionally stable, even in strong cross winds, and in sharp turns it really grips the water.
There is plenty of storage for fishing tackle in the forward compartments with some storage for smaller items in the console. The aft deck is good place to stand for casting and the sounder on the console is easily visible.
Floor space in the cockpit is fine for additional tackle and eskies, while all the hatches are of no-warp Quintrex alloy core. Two rear rod holders for trolling are standard and the low gunwale height makes it easy to land or net fish. Both livewells can hold plenty of fish and the pump-outs and timers keep them in good condition.
The 75hp E-Tec weighs 138kg and while there has been a lot written about these engines, the two most notable features I admire are the fuel economy and ease of starting. The engine has heaps of torque and gets up on the plane with about half throttle and cruises easily at 4000rpm, which is around 30mph. The engine is turning a 17” prop and will run out to 5300rpm.
The Redco Sportsman heavy-duty RE 1513 braked trailer has skids and rollers on the keel with rear guides. Quite often I go out by myself and this is an easy boat to launch and retrieve, even in some nasty weather.
Total weight of trailer, boat and motor is about 700kg and it can easily be towed with a large four-cylinder vehicle.
|Eagle Sea Champ 200C DF GPS/sounder||$2990|
|Minn Kota Maxum74lb||$1600|
|Guest battery charger||$600|
Trojan and Delkor batteries $600
Johnson pumps/timers $250
For more information contact Graham Barclay Marine, 129 The Lakes Way, Forster 2422, ph 02 65545866, fax 0265545468 email [url=http://www.barclaymarine.com.au/]
Fuel capacity– 65L
Max power – 75hp
Sides thickness 2mm
Hull weight – 348kg
Total weight as tested (approx)700kg
Navigation lights, forward and aft casting platforms, rear live bait tank, Lowrance X47 sounder, Maxi 2 transom, transducer bracket, alloy core hatches, two rod holders, side console.
Bow-mount bracket and Minn Kota 74lb Maxxum electric motor, forward livewell, forward tackle storage, lean seat and pedestal, rod locker, forward Lowrance X102C sounder and Ram Bracket, Rear Lowrance LMS 480 GPS/Sounder, Guest on-board charging system, livewells with Johnson Pumps in and out and timers, rear battery tray.Reads: 3737