WHEN it comes to a serious fishing boat, it’s hard to match the versatility and fishability of a centre console. You’ve got entire deck area to fish from, and don’t have to worry about passing a rod around windscreens or canopies while fighting a big fish.
The space of a centre console also allows you to comfortably fish another mate or two out of the boat. The Australian Master Marine 4.8m centre console accommodates up to four anglers. In a runabout of the same size, two anglers is often the practical limit.
Another positive aspect of this boat is that it’s a breeze to put on and off the trailer in most locations, and it’s not affected much by the wind when lining it up on the trailer at the ramp. My high-sided 6.4m AMM can be a real handful on a windy day when it comes time to put it up on the trailer.
The wind factor applies out on the water as well. If you have ever fished drifting over a patch of reef, wreck or even a channel, the longer you can fish over that spot, the better. The low profile of a centre console, with no canopy, allows you a nice slow drift over that spot.
The 4.8m AMM is of plate construction, so you still end up with a fairly substantial boat for its length. On a good day you would certainly head out to a few of the reefs and feel confident that you’re going to get home.
The entire boat is made of 4mm plate alloy and follows similar lines to the larger AMM boats. There’s no outboard pod; instead, the hull continues right to the transom. A 15-degree deadrise on a boat this size sees adequate planing area on the hull to get you underway at a good level attitude and maintain comfortable planing speeds.
You still have that fine entry and deep foot at the bow often associated with plate boats. This allows the boat to punch into a chop and take that bite out of it, as well as running with the sea and reducing the chance of the boat broaching as it runs down the face of a wave.
It’s nice to see very pronounced chines on this boat where the sides of the boat meet the hull. These chines turn down a lot of spray which helps keep everyone on the boat a lot drier. To a lesser degree the chines also aid the boat’s stability at rest and on the move.
The layout of this boat has the centre console slightly forward of amidships. This allows a good work area around the aft deck, which is where most fishing is done.
The basic format doesn’t have any seat boxes or eskies in it, but there is the option to have one fitted behind the console and another in front of it. Because they can both be fitted in a central location, you can still walk right around the boat. You also have the advantage of an esky and additional dry storage, which is something centre consoles usually lack.
Under the aft deck of the boat is your wet tank. This makes a good kill tank or, with bung in it, doubles as storage for ropes, fenders and so forth.
The centre console itself, while of basic construction, has been built to a clever and practical design. The open front allows larger items such as fuel tanks and tackle boxes to be placed in the lower section, and there’s an upper shelf for additional items. Gauges and switches are located either side of the steering wheel, with electronics placed at eye level behind the protection of the console windscreen. The windscreen folds down, making it easier to store the boat.
When it comes to extra storage space, there are two very useful rear side pockets, along with a side pocket at the front section. This for’ard side pocket runs partially along the sides of the boat and then across the front section, behind the anchor well. The added storage capacity of this in a small centre console is a great benefit.
Back down the transom, you’ll find the bait board mounted above the transom. This area is a must in a fishing boat.
The transom has a full-width duckboard and a small boarding ladder, both of which come in handy when you decide to do a bit of swimming on those hot days when the fish just aren’t biting.
The three-cylinder 70hp two-stroke Yamaha outboard fitted to this boat is about the right match for two or three passengers. It’s not zippy but there’s more than enough pick-up, and top-end speed is just under 40mph. Most sea conditions that you head out in see you travel between 20mph and 25mph, and it’s only when you see that school of mackerel pop up that you use that extra speed.
Moving to a smaller engine won’t achieve a lot. As with most manufacturers, the 60hp and 70hp engines are pretty well the same so there’s no weight gain by dropping 10 horsepower. You just have to go faster with the smaller engine to achieve the same performance, which generally means more fuel consumption. It’s a classic example of where getting a slightly larger engine size ends up being more economical. The boat’s construction will see it accommodate engines of up to 100hp. This covers some of those bigger four-strokes, so you have plenty of options available when it comes to choosing an outboard.
At 4.8m, you’ll find the AMM centre console to be a very spacious and seaworthy boat, and not at all difficult to handle. You have the option to customise many additional features, but there isn’t a lot that you need to add. In its basic format, this is a top little fishing boat ready to perform. It’s just up to you to put the goods in the ice box!
Test boat supplied by Australian Master Marine (ph. (07) 3889 7380). BMT package price approx. $25,500.
Make - Australian Master Marine
Model - Centre console CV
Length - 4.8m
Beam - 2.2m
Weight - 455kg (hull only)
Deadrise - 15 degrees
Construction - plate alloy
Bottom and sides - 4mm
Fuel – 90L under floor
Max hp - 100
1. AMM’s 4.8m centre console is a versatile package, built to perform well on the water.
2. It’s hard to beat the open layout of a centre console when it comes to a fishing boat.
3. This boat accommodates engines up to 100hp, but a 70hp Yamaha is fine for everyday fishing.
4. The wet tank/kill box under the deck is perfect for bleeding a few fish before slipping them into the esky.
5. Simple things such as an open front, second shelf and fold-down windscreen makes these boats a little easier to use.
6. The addition of the for’ard side pocket is useful.Reads: 3326