THE ALL-NEW 4.65 Shadow Oasis from Ally Craft is designed to appeal to the estuary and impoundment fisho, and will certainly find plenty of fans in these markets.
The test boat, supplied by Boat Scene in Cairns, was fitted with a 60hp Mercury four-stroke that proved to be the perfect power unit for this spot-on rig.
The super-stable Oasis has a mass of uncluttered floor space and more storage area than you could dream of, with a layout that’s perfectly suited to a wide range of angling options. The live bait tank caters for the bait fisho, the large uncluttered front casting platform is perfect for the lure tosser, and with the removal of the low-profile bow rail the fly fisho would be all smiles.
The gunwale sides drop all the way down to meet the casting platform, on the inside, which creates an ideal clutter-free deck for stripping and casting fly lines. The casting platform has five hatches, giving access to four separate compartments. There are two separate anchor wells with side opening hatches, so a complete mud and sand anchoring system can go in one well and a rock and reef setup in the other. They are large compartments, so carrying a 100m of rope in each would be a breeze.
The anchoring system is about as simple as it gets – a split cross bollard in front of the anchor wells with the rope lying between the bow rails at the nose. No bow roller is provided or really needed. The only drawback with the setup is that the anchor wells drain into the hull, whereas I would prefer them to be self-draining.
Behind the anchor well is a large storage compartment. This has a front opening hatch and a carpeted floor, and is raised up off the keel to keep gear out of the bilge. Across the rear half of the casting platform is a massive storage compartment with access via two rear-opening hatches. It's nearly big enough to crawl into for a cat nap. This compartment also has a raised carpeted floor to keep gear out of the bilge.
Further storage is available in the port sidepocket, under the compact side console and under the transom on a full-width shelf, which holds the battery to starboard.
The side console has an alloy base with a moulded fibreglass dash, housing a Navman 4100 sounder, hour meter, fuel gauge, tacho, speedo and four-panel switch for onboard electrics, consisting of nav lights, radio, bilge pump and live bait pump. The 27 meg Uniden marine radio is tucked up under the console, well out of the weather. A small wrap-around perspex screen gives the dash electronics protection from the elements.
The Shadow Oasis came with two super comfortable pivoting bucket seats with three position holes. This boat was only the third off the assembly line, and later models have a fourth seat sleeve in the middle of the casting platform.
The extra wide gunwale holds four through-gunwale rod holders, in trolling positions, with a stack of room to fit dozens more. The wide transom top holds a fully-plumbed live bait tank to port, with plenty of room on the starboard side for another if desired. The bait tank comes unplumbed as standard, but Boat Scene have done a great job of rigging it up. The self-flushing setup, consisting of a Rule 500gph bilge pump fitted with a stainless steel pick-up and mount, (available from Winkworths) is the perfect plumbing system, as the intake circulates water when on the plane, while the pump can be used when at rest. The only improvement that could be made would be a thicker butcher's board lid on the tank to make it more durable when used as a bait cutting board.
The full-width duckboard, with checkerplate top, provides excellent access over the stern and to the motor when on the water. The low-profile grab rail at the back carries down over the stern to double as a grab rail for boarding, and a welded transducer bracket makes fitting the sounder a cinch.
The Mariner four-stroke certainly provided ample power, and the 60L under-floor fuel tank, combined with the legendary fuel economy of four-strokes, gives the Oasis incredible range. The Mariner produced 23 km/h (14 mph, 12 knots) at 3500 rpm, 30 km/h (19 mph, 16 knots) at 4000 rpm, 37 km/h (23 mph, 20 knots) at 4500 rpm, 44 km/h (27 mph, 24 knots) at 5000 rpm and 51 km/h (32 mph, 27 knots) at 5500 rpm.
The 60hp Mariner four-stroke just purred as we put the Oasis through its paces on Trinity Inlet. The Mariner got the Ally Craft on the plane in seconds, without any distinct lifting out of the hole as is found in vee-bottom boats. The Oasis simply went from stationary to flat strap in a smooth and rapid change of speed. The boat was such a pleasure to drive that Murray Clink, Chris Fisher and I were reluctant to return to the shop, even though knock-off time was fast approaching. We opted instead to take the Ally Craft for a cruise up the inlet.
Stability was incredible, with the three of us, having a combined weight of 275kg, able to sit on the gunwale. Moving around the boat, both on the plane and a rest, had negligible effect on stability.
The Ally Craft 4.65 Shadow Oasis is the perfect calmwater fishing platform for the serious angler who wants to fish using a broad range of techniques with a minimum of fuss. This boat will find plenty of enthusiasts in the ever-expanding impoundment fishery and estuary market.
Test boat BMT package priced at $23,995. For more information contact Boat Scene in Cairns on (07) 4051 4922.
Overall length – 4.65m
Beam – 2.20m
Depth – 0.93m (gunwale), 1.03m (rails), 1.45m (to top of console)
Weight – 400kg
Max. hp – 75,
Bottom sheet – 3mm
Side sheet – 2mm
Shaft size – long
Max transom weight – 175kg
Max no. of people – 5
1) The Ally Craft Shadow Oasis with the canopy up, then folded back in targa position and bagged.
2) The Shadow Oasis has a massive front casting platform.
3) The amount storage space in the front of the Oasis is incredible.
4) The compact and functional side console leaves heaps of usable floor space in the cockpit.
5) The large full-width duckboard allows excellent access to the motor and easy boarding over the stern. Note the live bait tank and turned-down grab rail in the centre top of the picture.
6) And they call this work!Reads: 1592