When you consider the type of country that’s found along the Western Australian coastline, with long stretches of rough roads and remote fishing locations, you can begin to understand the origins of the Trailcraft boats.
While the East Coast has countless manufacturers that have dominated the market for many years, little serious consideration has been given to the needs of boating in the more remote areas of WA. A few builders cater for this market, but none have really grown and been as well received on both sides of the continent as Trailcraft. It has been manufacturing boats for over 20 years and, like many successful companies, it has served a very long apprenticeship before achieving widespread recognition.
It’s not until you have a close look at one of these boats that you notice the differences that have taken the brand to where it is now. Foremost has been the desire to produce a strong seaworthy boat that will hold up to the harsh treatment dished out by long trips on the land and on the sea.
Most of the boats use 5mm and 4mm alloy sheets, with the smaller boats using 4mm and 3mm to help with durability and strength. The decks are fully sealed so no water can enter the hull. Should you take a wave over the top, it can’t enter into the hull, nor can water from a hole in the hull enter into the deck area.
Water that ends up on the deck runs out the scuppers on the back of the boat. All models in the range have this feature, which is not only great for safety but also makes washing the boat out a lot easier.
If the floor gets a bit messy while fishing, just open the scuppers and use the deck wash hose to wash the mess out the back.
Full side decks and high sides also enable a mid-size boat like this to cop a bit of rough without damping each wave into the boat. The height from floor to gunwale in this case is 600mm, which aside from keeping the water out, gives added security for those inside with a decent height to lean or brace yourself against.
When it comes to the ride, you’ll be more than happy with what you get from the 475 Profish. With a 60hp four-stroke Yamaha fitted, the boat sits nicely in the water. Even with two people in the rear seating positions, the boat takes off with a level attitude and no bow-high problems or difficulty in seeing over the bow as you climb up onto the plane.
The 2.2m beam helps with the planing area and, together with the full extended transom, any problems with engines sitting too low in the water or struggling to get you on the way are gone. The hull produces a relatively dry and smooth ride.
What you don’t see a lot of in boats this size is a decent fuel tank, but that’s not the case with the Profish. The 120-litre underfloor tank gives you the opportunity to cover quite some distance, especially when you consider the economy of the four-stroke engine.
Looking at the transom, some of the more obvious characteristics of Trailcraft boats are their transom doors and ladders. All models, both large and small, feature this, and if you’ve ever struggled to get in and out of a boat you’ll soon appreciate the advantage.
A transom door is something you normally associate with bigger boats, but because of the Profish’s fully sealed deck, high sides and extended transom, Trailcraft has been able to build in this feature.
In conjunction with the stepped border ladder, it’s no longer difficult to get in and out of the boat. Looking at smaller boats, how many times have you been out fishing and the boat has ended up in shallow water and you’ve needed to push it into deeper water? It may have been while you were trying to get into a remote creek with a shallow mouth, over the flats to a yabby bank or when you’ve just missed the channel. You can probably relate to this. Imagine it happening in North Queensland, or over in some remote areas of WA, and you’ll see why it’s important to be able to get in and out of the boat quickly and easily.
The 475 Profish comes in a number of configurations, with sales indicating the side console as the most popular with anglers. This configuration frees up one whole side of the boat and the forward casting deck, and not just for fishing and storage purposes – it also provides versatility with seating positions. The driver’s seat is fixed with the remaining positions around the boat using removable pedestal seats. There are locations down the side and up the bow.
One feature that I did find interesting was the wet underfloor tank located up front. Normally these tanks are found towards the transom where they flood via a hole with a bung in it. Remove the bung and it fills with fresh seawater. Leave it in and you have a dry underfloor storage area.
The location of the wet tank in the Profish is up front, where it works via the same principle – although the hole to flood the tank comes in from underneath. It will fill only to a certain level and is fully welded, so the rest of the under deck area still remains watertight.
Aside from the obvious function of storing your fish, the forward wet tank has the advantage of making the weight of the water be in a front position. This can be used instead of the weight of a person up front in rough conditions to help level the ride, saving someone having to sit up there and get bumped about.
The layout of the side console itself allows for a few instruments and some dry storage up front, while a small side pocket provides room for a few more items. The transom area has been kept tidy; batteries and so forth are kept up off the floor with the spring-loaded scuppers below.
The transom also features a good size livebait tank and optional baitboard to complete the overall fishing package.
The Profish is one of those boats to which you don’t have to do anything. This makes it ideal for both keen fishos and those that have purchased a boat with travel in mind.
Trailcraft has its own trailers suited to each boat, and they have also been designed to handle travelling over long distances.
The few differences in the Trailcraft range enable the company to deliver a rig that may just offer you that package you are looking for. Trailcraft has quite a range and list of options available, and with a recent upgrade of their factory they are set to be around for the long run.
To check out the range of Trailcraft in Victoria, contact Trailcraft World at Laverton North on (03) 9314 5699.
Make/model - Trailcraft 475 Profish
Style - Side console
Construction - aluminium
Bottom - 4mm
Sides - 3mm
Length - 4.75m (5.25 overall)
Beam - 2.20m
Weight - 495kg (hull only)
Fuel - 120L underfloor
Max hp - 90
Height on trailer - 2.15m
Flotation - Sealed self-draining deck
Price as tested - Approx. $29,000
1. Trailcraft’s 475 Profish is a very versatile boat, suitable for local waters and for venturing further afield.
2. The 60hp four-stroke engine, along with a 120L of fuel under the floor, is a great mix of power, economy and range.
3. The transom door and dive ladder are unique features of the Trailcraft range.
4. This bird’s eye view enables you to appreciate the spacious layout.
5. The forward location of the wet tank is a great idea.
6. The side console is compact, with dry storage below to free up room around the deck for the more serious business of fishing.
7. A raised area off the deck houses equipment such as batteries, with a livebait tank across the top.
8. Side pockets always come in handy, whether the boat is large or small.