It was a picture perfect day after a week of rain when Dean Hayes met me at Bayview boat ramp to put a newcomer from the bass/bream style boat through her paces.
Now I’m an angler that spends most of his time outside. I’m used to being thrown around in bumpy seas as I chase jew and snapper. However, I must admit I do enjoy those rare occasions fishing the fresh, still waters with one of these open bass style boats as there’s quite a few advantages over going out to sea. Firstly there’s no need to wash all the gear or flush the motor and hose down the trailer. Secondly I find that tiredness is not so overwhelming after a day chasing bass or estuary perch in the fresh.
Although we were going to give this little lady a test in the calm of Pittwater, we also wanted to take her outside to see how she coped with the offshore chop. I don’t recommend use of this boat offshore due to the low coamings and small overall length but we wanted to see how the hull shape accepted rough water. Rounding Barrenjoey we found the westerly had kicked up the waves and we headed right into them. Sitting up on the dickey seat, I had a comfortable ride with little or no slam and surprisingly, kept fairly dry even when the wind was on the beam. With its triple chine and moulded cathedral type hull, this little baby enjoyed cutting through the sea and even with the weather on the beam, did not kick or meander off track. Its dryness was a feature that stood out in my mind because this is no high-sided, large-bowed boat.
Back in the calm of Pittwater I had a closer look at this American import. Scout employs no wood at all in the construction of their boats. They stipulate that when wood eventually rots the boat reaches the end of its life. They also use a unique overlock method to secure the hull moulding to the deck. This ensures that no water leaks in when the hull is under stress in rough conditions. With heaps of foam packed into the boat, it passes stringent tests for level flotation so the boat should always float right side up if swamped.
There’s no provision for an anchor or anchor well up front, just the port/starboard navigation light right on the bow. Fly anglers might not like the cleat that could foul fly line on the front casting platform. Under the slip-proof platform is a heap of storage. In fact the boat has storage to burn. Up front underfloor is the cruising tank which is baffled and segmented, and gives the boat balance. The fuel filler is forward on the port gunwale. The small, one person dickey seat has a fully plumbed livebait tank under the cushion and as a bonus, is fully insulated so it can double as a drinks container. Standard issue is a covered plug ready for an electric motor which is wired back to the battery box at the rear. Grab rails are there up front and are small yet practical.
The helm position gives good all-round visibility and the throttle is well placed. There are 3 rod holders each side of the console. Basic engine instrumentation is a single dial on the dash whilst a three-way switch panel monitors electrics. The large two-person bench seat is well padded and placed to give the most comfortable ride in the boat. Directly behind the helm bench is the rear-casting platform – far enough apart from the front so at least two anglers can wave rods around without clashing into each other. Under the casting platform is the battery, fuel separating filter, prime bulb and the wiring to connect to the second battery to drive the electric motor. The small transom accepts the motor well when fully tilted and at the rear bottom of the transom is the outlet for the self draining deck. Two cleats are for tying off and there are small one handed grab rails screwed on the coamings at the stern. Two ski hooks on the transom come as standard for those who wish to tow a biscuit or do a bit of skiing.
The Scout 145 has an interesting method of draining the decks. There are two bungs, either side of the console on the floor that can be pulled out. However, when stationary, the outlet is underwater so only remove the deck bungs to clear water when the boat is underway and on the plane. The Yamaha 50HP two stroke was the max HP allowed and it sure pushed us along. In fact driving this boat solo, the Scout became very twitchy flat chat and because the boat sticks like glue in tight turns, beware that the ‘G’ force could eject you from the craft. A 40HP would be ample to push this little baby along and still satisfy the speed buffs.
The one thing that Scout boats do well (and this is my second Scout boat reviewed) is their handling in rough water. I’m sure it’s that triple hull configuration as well as the double chine. Like most imported boats, the finish on the Scout was immaculate. I was impressed with the racy lines and even on the trailer the boat looked like it was on the move. Different coloured hulls can be ordered if you are not impressed with the khaki on the test boat. If you like to flick lures around structure in search of bass or bream or enjoy chasing salt water pelagics on fly, the Scout 145 is worth consideration.
Dry Weight (no engine)222kg
Fuel Capacity (underfloor)45 litres
Centre console, plumbed livewell, bilge pump, 45 litre underfloor cruise tank, s/s cup holders, cushioned seat, windshield, wiring harness for bow mount electric, self draining cockpit, switch panel, mooring cleats, padded front seat with insulated storage, navigation lights.
Coloured hull, bimini, luxury seats, boat cover.
Price of boat as tested including Dunbier Trailer, safety gear and all registrations, drive-away - $25,990.00 Inc GST.
Boat supplied by Sportfishing Boats Australia, 105 Batt Street, Penrith NSW 2750. Phone Dean Hayes direct on 0408 334 892.Reads: 760