Apart from a few cosmetic changes, the tried and trusted Allison Fisherman 189 hasn’t changed a great deal in the years it’s been around and it continues to win favour among thousands of anglers around the country.
A strong and safe boat for inshore and offshore fishing, the solidly built hull (five-year structural warranty), with fibreglass sub-chassis, has a variable vee which makes for an easy ride and excellent stability at rest. The wide deflection chines ensure quick planing, while the broad shoulders ensure stability and well-mannered handling in rough water – as we discovered on the test day on Port Phillip Bay.
A hardcore fishing boat, the Allison Fisherman 189 has enough creature comforts to double as a family boat for leisurely days on the water.
Measuring 5.71m overall, beam 2.23m, this boat has a long list of standard features, both in its construction and functional fishing features. The hull and deck are fully glassed together; it has a fibreglass bow sprit and stainless steel bow roller; non-skid floor; mechanical non-feedback steering; high windscreen (with unobstructed visibility) and stainless steel grab rail; two comfortable helm seats (skipper’s is adjustable, passenger’s rotates) with storage beneath; two removable rear jump seats; forward hatch; cabin bunks and back rests with large storage shelves; cabin bulkheads and footrests, with storage boxes under footrests; 140lt underfloor fuel tank; huge self-draining anchor well; large, oval-shaped livebait tank with drain; cutting board on top of livebait tank; four rod holders; and full-length moulded side pockets.
The testboat, as fitted by Mentone Marine for the company’s staff’s use, was fully-optioned with a stainless steel rocket launcher; stainless steel split bow rail; bimini, and front and side clears; carpeted deck; navigation and cabin lights; Garmin 178CID colour sounder/GPS unit; GME 27mHz marine radio; GME CD player; Johnson 140hp four-stroke EFI outboard with multi-function tacho and trim gauges; sitting on a Dunbier Super Roller Wide Series (full drive-on, drive-off) single-axle trailer.
While the manufacturer recommends a maximum horsepower rating of 125hp, the Fisherman 189 is available specially rigged through this dealer with the 140hp Johnson (in compliance with Allison Boat Company), which weighs the same as the 115hp Johnson four-stroke. Mentone Marine’s John Willis said even the 115hp Johnson delivers exceptional performance.
“The 115hp Johnson is a very good powerplant which gives really good performance and efficiency,” John said.
“The 115hp is an ideal powerplant for this boat, which is why we offer this in our standard package, while the 140hp is just unbelievable.”
The Allison Fisherman 189 package with the 115hp Johnson, on a single-axle trailer (as a base package) is around $36,000-$37,000, while the fully-optioned testboat was priced at around $45,000. The boat is right on the borderline where some customers may like to go to a tandem trailer, which is also an option.
The Fisherman 189 was very easy to handle in the short, sharp 0.75-1m Port Phillip Bay chop during the test. It sat on the plane at around 24km/h at 3300rpm, cruised comfortably at 33km/m at 3800rpm, and reached 59.8km/h at around 5600rpm.
A quick run in some quiet water and we hit 72.2km/h at Wide Open Throttle (WOT), pulling 6100rpm. Not bad for a fishing boat!
In tight figures-of-eight in the confused chop, the Johnson didn’t miss a beat. In a straight line, into and with the wind, we skipped across the top of the lumpy water with ease. Rattling and other vibration-related noise usually associated with running in less than favourable conditions was noticeable by its absence. These boats are very well-made.
The wraparound seats were comfortable and vision from the helm was very good. There was storage everywhere, and the spacious cabin looked pretty cosy, too.
I’d love to take this boat offshore when the marlin are on. The cockpit is awesome. The in-built livebait tank in the transom is centrally located for quickly rigging baits, and with the rear seats removed both corners would be ideal for locking your knees into while hooked-up to a good fish. There are four solidly-set rodholders in the gunwales for trolling and plenty of room for everyone when all hell breaks looks as a billfish snaffles a bait or strikes a lure.
For snapper enthusiasts, there’s plenty of room to set rods and relax while awaiting a run. You could even duck into the cabin for kip while waiting for the right tides. The moulded fibreglass floor, with side drains, is easily washable (the carpet can be removed), and there’s plenty of room in the moulded sidepockets for all sorts of gear.
The Allison Fisherman 189 is an ideal boat for inshore and offshore anglers. If the family enjoys time on the water, it’s perfect for that as well. A capable offshore fishing rig, it’s equally at home cruising the Gippsland Lakes and pulling up on a secluded beach for a picnic and a swim.
Construction and finish is second to none and, in another big plus, this boat is very affordable. To use Allison Boat Company’s catch cry: “Our boats aren’t expensive, they just look that way!”
Plane: 24km/h @ 3300rpm
Cruise: 33km/h @ 3800rpm
WOT: 59.8km/h @ 5600rpm / 72.2km/h @ 6100rpm (flat water)
Length (overall): 5.71m
Weight (hull only): 750kg (approx.)
Fuel capacity: 140lt
Rec/max hp: 115/140hp
Price (as tested): $45,000
Price (standard package): $37,000
Mentone Marine – (03) 9585 4566
119 Nepean Hwy, Mentone, VIC