Plate alloy boats are claiming more and more market share these days and while new players are clamouring for attention, it's hard to overlook established makers that have the runs on the board. Western Australia's Trailcraft have been turning out great plate boats for over 20 years.
While today's Trailcraft are far superior to those early craft, the build quality, hull strength and seakeeping ability are characteristics that still go hand in hand with the marque.
The 510 Profish is a fine example of the progress the company has made. It's a side-console, sports-style, pressed plate alloy craft (3mm sides, 4mm bottom) that would be just as much pleasure to fish from over an offshore reef as it would be in a mangrove-lined creek.
Exceptional features of the 510 Profish are the soft, quiet ride; the 610mm deep self-draining floor cockpit; great stability; a versatile set-up complete with seats that can be moved to three different spigots and full-height transom offering great security.
Up forward there's a neat bow rail, deep anchor well and a bow roller. A raised deck ahead of the side console is set up with a seat spigot plus a large underfloor kill tank big enough for kingfish, jewfish or tuna. A look at the well-finished tank says a lot about Trailcraft's workmanship: the lid has a gas strut to keep it open and a catch keeps the lid firmly closed.
Ever tried to wrestle a larger fish into a kill tank with a lid that won't stay open? It's not going to happen in the Trailcraft 510 Profish.
The craft's neat side console, with grab handles, is set to starboard. Up top there's handy carpeted storage space and more in the paired shelves in the unit.
The non-feedback steering is set centrally on the console. The gauges to monitor the 90 E-Tec on the transom are to port, a bank of switches to starboard with the controls side-mounted on the gunwale and within perfect reach of the driver.
The side console is ideal for this craft; it offers a neat helm set-up plus some handy storage space without taking up excessive room. The driver's footrest at the base of the console, just off the floor, is a nice touch.
While the console does not have a windscreen this did not faze me; the 510 Profish is a dedicated fishing boat and a windscreen would not enhance its primary role one bit.
I found the pedestal seats to be quite supportive and with excellent arm rests to offer plenty of comfort. During rest runs we set up the seating side by side in the helm area so I could monitor gauges but there's little doubt the seat spigot up forward would come into its own when it's time to have a crack at the fish.
One could set up a leaning post there, of course, just for a bit more versatility.
As in similar open craft of this size, storage space is always appreciated. The side pockets are beauties, at nearly 2m long. Fishing gear, gaff, personal items and more can be stowed neatly in these pockets.
There are rod holders in the gunwales – two per side are standard – the fuel filler to port for the 120L underfloor tank, a large plumbed livewell in the transom plus gunwale rails that are carried down onto the transom to join the swim platform. There is also a solidly constructed boarding ladder and gate to port.
The large rectangular scuppers for the self-draining floor are set well above the hull's mean waterline and drain directly onto the rear swim platform. They keep the floor dry under foot and even with three or four fishing in the stern area there would be little possibility of water coming aboard.
A dry ride is the norm in the Trailcraft 510 Profish. A decent lift in the sheer line in the bow and a fair amount of flare enhance the craft's looks and serve to keep down water or spray. An owner can expect a dry ride when heading into or slightly across chop or swells.
There is the chance of some spray when quartering across seas with a degree of wind behind them but this is the same as any other open boat of this size and configuration. The high sides keep a lot of water away from occupants.
We belted hard across chop and wash from passing craft and the ride was certainly impressive, without jarring and noise.
A family angler with youngsters would find this craft ideal. It rides level and sits level at rest. With a fair amount of vee in the 2.25m wide hull plus small reversed outer chines, the Profish is very stable at all times.
Two of us moving to the one side made little difference; the hull just would not tilt.
Recommended power ranges from 75hp to 100hp but anyone who drove the Profish with the 90hp E-Tec would be more than happy with the smooth performance. E-Tecs have earned a reputation for easy starting, quiet idle and lots of power throughout the rev range.
The rig eased onto the plane at 2800rpm at 10 knots (18.4kmh). At 3000 rpm the GPs recorded 17 knots (31.3kmh), at 4000rpm 25 knots (46.2kmh) and at 5000rpm 30.3 knots (56.1kmh). Wide open throttle of 5200rpm recorded 31.4 knots (58.3kmh).
Power at all rev levels was impressive and and it was pleasing to note that noise levels were exceptionally good. The 90 was quiet, certainly, but I feel the fact that the engine sits well down below the full-height transom also made normal conversation very easy.
The Trailcraft 510 Profish presents as a well laid-out fishing boat with enough features to satisfy a team of keen anglers who want to fish hard, or a family fisho who requires a confidence-inspiring and very safe craft for everyone to enjoy.
The finish and build quality is of the highest standard, the ride is very good and the performance with the 90 E-Tec is impressive. In all, quite good value for money at around $37,000 with Trailcraft trailer.
|Construction:||4mm plate bottom, 3mm sides.|
|Power rating:||75-100hp, including four-strokes|
|Power tested:||90 E-Tec.|
|Towing:||Family sedan or wagon.|
Available from JD’s Boatshed, 27-29 Captain Cook Drive, Caringbah, phone 02 9525 3166. Price as tested: $38,500 drive away including all registrations and safety equipment.