Offshore Marine Master of the Sunshine Coast has a wide range of plate alloy craft for the keen angler including walk around, centre cab and cuddy cab models. With a reputation for top shelf finish and great sea keeping ability Offshore Marine Master craft are receiving well-deserved praise; so when the chance came to get aboard an All-rounder 5.80 Walk Around at Caloundra, I naturally arranged.
We hit the water at full tide so we could play in the bar. Not the RSL, but the sudsy green rollers between Caloundra and Bribie Island.
And play we did. With the rig's high sides, decent amount of rake and flare in the bow, plus a rock steady ride the well powered 5.80 Walk Around was a joy to drive in the breaking water.
I think anyone buying this craft would be a satisfied customer. Not only is the rig a value for money package that handles exceptionally well, but it is also eye catching with sleek lines and has great features. One such feature is the optional cockpit galley fitted to the test rig enabling cruising comfort in both day and night fishing trips.
Under the protection of the craft's windscreen and bimini (which has zip open clears) the skipper and a couple of friends can enjoy a wide bench seat set up on a massive storage cum ice box. There's also padding for a pair of aft facing seats while the rear section is equipped with the craft's fridge freezer and other galley items.
The forward seating is set up so that when driving I had no difficulty with full forward visibility. The engine controls fell to hand easily, and all instruments on the dash were within clear view. There is also deep padding and a large back rest on the seat.
A VHF marine radio and grab handle are located to port of the roll down fabric cabin door and were within easy reach of a passenger. As were the soft feel wheel, ignition key, instruments and switches for the 140 Suzuki astern and various other switch functions were located on the bulkhead to starboard. No navigational aids other than a compass were set up within the test rig but the large flat space aft of the windscreen provided plenty of room for such items. A decent lip on the shelf would also make it easy to stow personal items as well.
Inside the cabin, a very well cushioned bunk, large enough for a small family to sleep on, is a standard inclusion. There is also a side cabin window, overhead shelves, a front ventilation hatch and cabin lighting. Underneath the first cushion from the doorway is a marine toilet. The cabin's fabric door also has flyscreens to keep the mozzies at bay.
Directly aft of the forward seating is the craft's galley consisting of a Magma stainless steel gas barbecue, sink with fresh water, plus 50L Isotherm fridge/freezer. There is also storage below the passenger's seats each side of the fridge. There are six rod holders each side of the barbecue unit above the rear facing seats just for additional rod storage when under way.
With a large elevated foredeck and easy access walk around area (complete with hand holds) the 5.80 has enough fishing room up front for two or more anglers to work. But when fishing at the front of the boat, a fish would have to be lifted some distance to get it over the bow rail and onto the high carpeted deck. Alternatively, you could always walk the fish aft where if could be easily gaffed, or the fish could be hauled in via the boarding gate and rail equipped platform to port. I also think the dickie seat on the leading edge of the cabin would be ideal for spotting surface action.
At the aft of the rig, even with the barbecue and galley options within the test rig there was still ample room for up to four to fish within the carpeted, high sided, self-draining cockpit. Cockpit coaming, paired rod holders, tackle drawers, a deck wash, live well and bait station are all useful features; while large side pockets – plus another at the transom – took care of storage as well. Not to be overlooked is the generous sized under floor kill tank at the rear of the cockpit. One could store some very large fish in there. The craft also has a large anchor well.
A full transom height boarding gate with associated boarding ladder is located to port, a berley pot could be set up on the boarding platform to starboard.
With engine ratings from 130-175hp the 5.80 Walk Around was easily powered by the 140hp Suzuki motor. The smooth running and quiet Suzuki gave the craft a totally balanced feel making the boating experience all that more enjoyable. Despite the 1700kg weight of the rig the engine proved responsive and even eager throughout the rev range.
The craft planed at 2800rpm and 18.6 km/h, cruised at 3000rpm at 23.4km/h, 4000rpm at 31.4km/h, 5000rpm at 43.8km/h and 5800rpm a crisp 54.6km/h from the near new engine.
I enjoyed cruising at 4000rpm at just over 31km/h; the ride was silky smooth, the engine very quiet and yet ample power was in reserve if required. Normal conversation was easy, with no need to raise your voice.
I mentioned earlier that the ride of the 5.80 Walk Around All Rounder was very good. Yes, there were some bumps as we hit solid chop or small waves at speed but the impact was quite mild and with minimal noise thanks to the closed cell foam below the floor of the big alloy hull. Where the craft really excelled was in the white water, which saw incoming swells breasted with ease and the hull sliding down off each wave in an easily controlled and consistent manner.
Driving the craft was easy thanks to the Hy Drive steering set up and with the degree of lift in the bow plus the spray chines running aft from the stem there was little chance of water finding it's way aboard.
As expected from a rig of this magnitude stability at rest was exceptional and I'd see offshore fishing, in particular, as a strength of this craft.
This well finished and well mannered six person craft from Offshore Marine Master can easily fulfil a multitude of roles depending on an owner's requirements. It's a well set up day cruiser, an offshore rig, or it could give a family a great weekend on the water. Appointments are of a high level and add comfort for a family, which is icing on the cake for the keen angler.
The test rig is priced at $57,900 with it's many extras including the galley coming home for around the $69,900 mark.
Enquiries to Offshore Marine Master, phone number is (07) 54935111, fax (07) 54935110 or on the net at www.offshoremarinemaster .com.au.
|Construction||6mm bottom, 4mm sides.|
|Power||Outboards from 130-175hp|
|Power as tested||140 Suzuki four stroke|