Sanctuary Cove – from an angler’s view
  |  First Published: July 2004

THE SANCTUARY Cove International Boat Show is always an interesting place to visit. It’s mostly a place of dreams, with multi-million dollar super cruisers and yachts littering the docks. But in amongst all of this showmanship, there are plenty of products and boats that the average angler will find interesting.

Below are a few of the items and boats released at the Show that we found interesting. There’s plenty of new electronics, safety devices and some great new boats that will help everyone make more of their time on the water.

John Crawford’s Arvor 23

John Crawford Marine released the Arvor 23 at this year’s show. This luxury cruiser/fishing platform fits comfortably between the established Arvor 20 and Arvor 25.

With an overall length of 6.7m and a beam of 2.7m, the Arvor 23 is fitted with a 115hp Nanni Diesel and can carry up to 130 litres of fuel. And with a fuel consumption of about 20 litres per hour at 20 knots, there’s plenty of cruising and trolling to be had with this rig.

Internally, the Arvor 23 is fitted out with great attention to detail. Everything is within easy reach and the walk-through transom adds that extra bit of useability to the entire rig. Priced in the $80,000 range (depending on options and accessories), anglers can check out the new Arvor 23 at John Crawford Marine in Tingalpa or call them on (07) 3890 2322 for more details.

Magellan Hits the Mark

Silverwood Pty Ltd, parent company of Magellan in Australia, conducted a very interesting release of a range of products on the Saturday night of the Show. For those interested in GPS and chartplotters, the Geonav range will give you something else to consider.

The Geonav 4C GPS handheld Chartplotter introduces a new concept to superior chart plotting. The unit features an easy-view, large-character, colour TFT sunlight-visible display, CompactFlash memory for unlimited data entry and uses Navionics Gold Cartography for storing navigational information. The Geonav 4C can be installed on a boat and linked with NMEA instruments or, thanks to the rechargeable batteries, it can be used as a fully portable handheld unit. The 4C retails for $1188.

The Geonav 5C GPS Chartplotter is designed for small boats, semi-cabin cruisers or bimini boats. Thanks to the adoption of the CompactFlash cartridge, it’s possible to store an infinite number of waypoints, markers and trackpoints. Equipped with an easy-view large-character 5” colour LCD display and a 12-parallel channels GPS receiver, Geonav 5 FLASH makes use of Navionics Gold cartography and has three different modes of viewing the information.

The Geonav 6 Sunshine GPS Chartplotter is equipped with a LCD 6” display, quality easy-view large-character colour TFT sunlight visible display, is compact and easy to handle, and makes use of the CompactFlash cartridge. Geonav 6 Sunshine uses Navionics Gold cartography and features three display modes. Equipped with a NMEA 0183 interface, the unit can be connected to the autopilot, echo-sounder and an external GPS antenna. Available with or without GPS, the no-GPS version can be connected to any GPS receiver already present onboard.

Contact Magellan for more information by phoning (08) 9444 0233.

Mercury’s boat shoes

Boat owners, yachtsmen and marine industry professionals find it hard at times to agree on most things, but when it comes to boat shoes there is never any argument that comfort, grip, long life and style are absolutely paramount.

“We have introduced to Australia a range of superb soft rawhide leather, hand sewn, lace-up deck shoes which will set new fashion and comfort trends on the dock.” Mercury's Accessories Sales Manager, Anthony Cook says.

New Mercury deck shoes feature walnut rawhide waxed leather, hand sewn and handcrafting for excellent fit and shape, impact absorbing heel, waterproof dacron stitching and a non-slip, non marking sole.

New Mercury Deck shoes come in men's sizes from 7 through to 12 and are expected to retail for around $120. Call 1800 114 900 for your nearest dealer.

Big Engine, big news

Following the world launch of Verado in February at the Miami International Boat Show, Mercury Marine has announced the arrival of the world’s first supercharged Mercury and Mariner branded Verado models for the Australian market.

Instead of applying new features to an older model, the Verado range has been re-engineered from the gearbox up to deliver class-leading power and torque, incredible quietness and lack of vibration and smooth response.

Initially available in 200, 225, 250 and 275hp models, the straight-six cylinder block ensures that smaller models can be made using the same technology, but with fewer cylinders. Boaties can expect supercharged four-strokes down to 135hp from Mercury in the next year.

At a glance, the Verados are a 2.6-litre straight-six, fitted with a supercharger, feature power steering, low vibration, superior noise reduction, low vibration and excellent fuel economy.

Essentially, the Verado merges the positive qualities of a two-stroke (power and torque) with the positive qualities of a four-stroke (quietness, economy and low emissions).

At the helm, the non-feedback power steering and digital throttle/gear shift made driving the Verado a piece of cake. With a small pump mounted inside the vessel, this steering system eliminates undesirable steering torque without sacrificing engine ‘feel’ – crucial for control, especially at high speeds.

Verado is backed by a three-year industry best consumer (non-commercial) warranty. All models are available in 20-inch (L) and 25-inch (XL) shaft lengths. 30-inch (XXL) configurations are available in 225, 250 and 275 horsepower models. The 25-inch and 30-inch models will be available in right and left-hand propeller rotations.

With delivery expected late this month, you should be able to get more information from your Mercury or Mariner dealer about Verados right now. Call 1800 114 500 for your nearest dealer.

It’s no Mirage from Savage

After much research and development the new Savage Mirage 480 tournament boat has hit the market. Displayed at the Nitro Marine stand, the Mirage is a great rig for serious lure and fly casters and is ideally set up for the growing number of tournament bass and bream anglers. And at 4.8m in length, it’s the right size for many fishing scenarios.

Making use of the Savage Superlift SL hull, the Mirage quickly gets onto the plane and has excellent handling when at speed or at rest. Powered by a 115hp Mercury OptiMax, the Mirage can cut through the water with a maximum speed of 55mph – fast enough to blow the sleep out of the eyes, that’s for sure!

Internally the boat is well appointed with two livewells, rod locker and heaps of storage room, and the team at Savage is looking forward to entering into the tournament market with a boat that is comfortable in all types of water.

The recommended retail price is not fixed as the cost is linked with accessories and engine size, but expect a figure of around $30,000 for a great rig that will get you into some great fishing. For more information contact Savage Boats on (03) 9360 9987.

Portable safety

A small, portable VHF radio is something many boaties have been craving for years, and with the release of the Navicom RT-250, Silverwood has delivered a great product.

The compact size of the RT-250 (62mm wide x 39mm thick x 130mm high) means it can fit almost anywhere in a boat and be within easy reach if needed. This waterproof unit has 54 channels and can store up to 10 frequently used channels. The RT-250 can operate up to 12 hours in standby mode and endure 30 minutes of constant use. It has quick access to Channel 16, the emergency channel, and the backlit display is easy to read in almost every lighting situation.

Complying with commercial standards, Navicom’s RT-250 VHF offers reliable communication supported by clear reception and transmission. Priced at $349.80, the RT-250 is well worth checking out. Contact Silverwood on (08) 9444 0233 for information on local dealers.


This new unit from Navman offers the highest resolution marine screen on the market, with commercial level sonar performance and a wealth of new features including SmartCraft integration, simple user interface, fuel software (with optional transducer), 16MB of onboard memory and a new swivel base and antenna design.

As well as being an exceptional sonar with a dual frequency (50/200khz) transducer and 4800W peak-to-peak power, 1000m depth capacity and an ability to display more detail of data than ever before when charts are not present, the 6600 features a 7”, Wide VGA, 800 x 480 pixel screen that provides around five times the detail of most quarter VGA screens on the market.

Mercury owners, though, with SmartCraft enabled outboards, can really plug into this unit’s versatility. All engine running and diagnostic information is available through this unit, allowing the owner to customise the split display of data, analyse engine faults and even set trolling speeds through the SmartCraft interface.

Both gasoline and diesel engine owners can add the optional fuel transducers to accurately track fuel usage and any inefficiencies in the system.

RRP for the base unit and antenna is around $3000. See [url=http://www.navman.com/] for more information.

Trailer Trouble

I don’t know how many times I’ve been on my hands and knees checking the wires, scraping off corrosion or replacing globes on my trailer lights. They are all bad and require constant attention to ensure you’re are towing a legal and safe trailer.

A few years ago LED trailer lights came onto the market and they were expensive. The advantages of the LED lights included being waterproof, dustproof, impact-resistant and maintenance-free. At the Show this year we came across some LED lights at Steadfast Marine that were reasonably priced at $120 for a set of four (two red and two yellow). Made from polycarbonate lens and extremely bright, the Steadfast Marine LEDs also come with a 24-month warranty. So if the trailer blues are getting to you, give the guys a bell at Steadfast on (02) 9973 2666 for more information on their LED trailer lights.

Mobi-lert Works

Safety for your crew or family at sea is always a big responsibility. It’s no longer acceptable just to assume your crew is on board and to take for granted that there have been no mishaps, especially with so many boats on the water these days.

A new system that monitors every crew member was released at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. The Mobi-lert system uses individually coded pendants linked to a console receiver which monitors each pendant. The system provides an instant alert by pinpointing the last GPS co-ordinate the pendant was registered at. This makes it easy for skippers or rescue crews to locate the pendant attached to the missing person.

Best of all, no action is required by the displaced crew member. They don’t need to pull a toggle or flick a switch to activate the system; the alert is raised as soon as the pendant goes out of a predetermined range.

Lasting for up to 10 days, the pendant gives visual notification of a low battery power and, if not recharged, will send an alert to the console to notify the skipper that it needs recharging. It really is a great system.

The Mobi-lert Basic Kit, which comprises a two-pendant system with console receiver and charger. retails for $2198.90, while the Mobi-lert Complete Kit comprises a six-pendant system with console receiver, external relay aerial, charger and GPS antenna, retailing for $3,298.90. Contact Silverwood on (08) 9444 0233 for information on dealer locations.

Arvor 20 Mark II

Along with the Arvor 23, John Crawford Marine has just taken delivery of the Mark II Arvor 20. The improvements of the Mark II include a walk-through transom, plumbed stern livewell, cockpit safety rails, new side decks and coamings and of course a Nanni 5-cylinder turbo diesel engine.

Matt from John Crawford is rapt with the Mark II.

“I believe it really takes this boat into the fishing market,” he said. “The walk through transom makes loading and unloading easy, the layout is perfect for cruising and the rear deck space is ample for up to four anglers.”

Priced at around the $80,000 mark, depending on options, the Arvor 20 Mark II could be the offshore rig for you. Check it out at John Crawford Marine or give them a call on (07) 3890 2322 for more details.

Keeping in touch with Navman

Two waterproof VHF marine radios now complement the Navman navigation, fuel transducer and fishfinder lines. The non-DSC VHF 7000 and the DSC 7200, and a matching range of removable VHF antennas, will be of interest to offshore anglers.

In both units, superior RF performance is assured with switchable 1W/25W and a unique local/distance function that eliminates noise in urban areas. Multi-level backlit displays and a top-mounted PTT key on the microphone make for easy transmission.

On the 7000, channel changing, instant Wx channel access, 16/9 and Hi/Lo power functions are microphone controlled. Group calling allows your fishing team to easily keep in contact with each other.

The 7200, Navman’s premium model, adds an extra-large display, graphing barometer, weather forecasting, fishing predictor, and a track-your-buddy position polling feature if your fishing buddy has a DSC radio connected to their GPS.

Completing the package, Navman’s high quality VHF antennas feature a ‘quick fit’ mounting system that allows the antenna to be unscrewed from the mount for trailering and storage.

The 7200 retails for RRP $295 and the 7200 for RRP $485. See [url=http://www.navman.com/] for further information.

It’s a wrap

So there’s a wrap on a few of the products and bits and pieces we found interesting at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2004. As usual it was a great show and plenty of sales records were broken. If you get the chance, make sure you drop into next year’s show and scan your eyes over the new products.

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