QUAY MARINE in Cairns has completed the first of its concept boats, which started out as a production Savage Cobia and has been launched as a 6.2m longboat. The final product bears little resemblance to its origins but it’s certainly an excellent rig.
The staff at Quay Marine, in conjunction with local fisho John Bout, have created an excellent all-round boat by extending the Cobia by 700mm with an alloy pod. Starting with the hull of a production boat has allowed the team to build a customized rig at a fraction of the price of a fully custom built boat, and the new Cobia is designed for all fishing scenarios – everything from Tinaroo Dam to the outer reef.
John has been fishing his new rig for about a month at the time of writing and is delighted with its versatility. He hasn’t been able to get to the reef because of the run of bad weather we’ve had in the north, but he can’t wait, as everywhere else the Savage has lived up to his expectations.
The structural strength of the Savage Cobia is legendary, making it a very popular work boat with commercial fishermen. I covered the structure of the standard Cobia in Part One of this review, published in the May issue of QFM, so I won’t go into detail this time – other than to say that it’s the perfect frame upon which to build a concept boat.
The boat has twin underfloor fuel tanks, located in front of the low profile centre console, which each hold 75 litres of fuel to power the 90hp Mercury Optimax. The extra fuel capacity makes it ideal for long range work in the likes of the Gulf, Weipa, the Northern Territory and Hinchinbrook Channel. John can travel long distances along the coast to remote estuaries in comfort, then fish from a rig ideally suited for luring and flyfishing or head out wide on extended reef trips. Another big plus is being able to carry large amounts of fuel to remote locations for extended stays.
The centre console is wide and low, with a shelf and more storage on the floor. The dash is covered with electronics consisting of a Navman plotter and sounder, marine radio, six-switch panel, liquid dampened compass and standard Mercury instrumentation. The front corners of the console have tubes welded in for holding the lift-off canopy, which has a further two mounting sleeves in the top of the transom. At the time of testing the canopy had not been completed.
The welded pod is 700mm long and carries the hull through for a longer planing surface. It has twin boarding handles which double as bracing. The original cutaway transom has been filled in to create a full-height transom for better protection from a following sea. An extra wide transom top holds twin Bermuda Essentials fully plumbed livebait tanks. The port side of the pod has a fold-down ladder and there are two transducer brackets, one on each side of the engine. The inspection hatch in the top of the pod is used to carry all the cabling for the Mercury.
The original floor was refitted after painting and carries through under the new front casting platform to keep gear up out of the bilge in the front storage compartment. There is a seat mount in the middle of the forward casting platform, as well as another one on the rear side of the foredeck. The forward casting platform has four lift-out hatches and John is still considering whether to hinge them or leave them as is. My preference would be to hinge them to reduce the risk of loss when towing.
The cross bollard has been shifted to in front of the carpeted self-draining anchor well, and a bowsprit and bow roller have been added, along with a mounting bracket for an electric thruster. The bracket is used in preference to a fully-mounted electric unit so that it can be easily removed when going to the reef, thus reducing its exposure to the sea. The checkerplate foredeck makes it a safe platform in calm conditions for those who like elevation for flicking lures or waving the wand. John’s son Elliot loves sitting up on the nose, and Dad always has to tell him to get down when they’re about to get underway.
The 90hp Mercury Saltwater Series is the ideal power unit for the Cobia, providing good fuel economy along with ample power. The Mercury pushed the rig along 3000rpm doing 20km/h (12mph, 11kt), 3500rpm doing 23km/h (14mph, 12kt), 4000rpm doing 31km/h (19mph, 17kt), 4500rpm doing 39km/h (24mph, 21kt), 5000rpm doing 44km/h (27mph, 24kt) and 5500rpm doing 50km/h (31mph, 27kt).
The boat ate the sloppy conditions in Trinity Inlet kicked up by a strong southeaster but rain squalls out to sea stopped us from heading out wider. Stability underway and at rest was excellent, with all three adults able to stand with their knees against the gunwale when at rest, while Elliot sat up the front, amidships.
The Savage concept boat was a pleasure to drive and John will get many years of enjoyment from this very versatile rig. It has a simple but excellent layout and shows the innovative thinking of the crew at Quay Marine.
Base hull price for the new Savage Cobia dory is $6990. For further information contact Quay Marine in Cairns on (07) 4041 3166.
Length - 6.20m
Depth (freeboard) - 630mm
Depth (keel to gunwale) - 1000mm
Max hp – 90
Beam - 2.1m
Bottomside thickness - 3mm
Topside thickness - 2.5mm
Max people – 5
Length on trailer - 7.2m
1) The original Savage Cobia is unrecognisable with its pod, centre console, forward casting platform and bowsprit.
2) The profile shot of the Savage shows its all-new layout.
3) The seat placement on the foredeck gives plenty of elevation for casting.
4) The centre console is packed with electronics.
5) The filled-in transom has an extra-wide top which easily houses twin livebait tanks. The holes in front of the motor are to sleeve the canopy frame when it is built.
6) The nose layout with bowsprit, electric thruster mount, and carpeted anchor well.
7) The fold-down ladder makes easy work of boarding on the trailer or from the water.