Since Gold Coast-based Seascape Boats burst onto the Australian market in 2004 they have succeeded in raising the bar in aluminium boats and the 4.52m Frontier, available in side console, centre console and tiller steer models, shows why.
We hitched up a Frontier side console and drove about 5km to the ramp and being a plate boat, I was expecting it to be heavier and behave a little differently on the trailer than your standard tinny. But the wagon pulled the hull on its unbraked, single-axle trailer with ease and the whole rig stopped beautifully when required.
The Redco trailer galvanised mudguards and heavy-duty rollers and skids, along with a full-length galvanised walkway to keep you dry on launch and retrieve.
The harbour had a bit of swell and a slight chop, perfect conditions to sample the ride and performance of this neat package powered by the relatively new BF50 fuel-injected Honda..
The hole shot was great. Some think that a four-stroke outboard has to produce sluggish pick-up but somebody forgot to tell Honda.
The new BF40 and BF50 join the B90 in boasting Honda’s BLAST feature, which optimises air, fuel and exhaust to supply quite brisk performance during acceleration. BLAST also gives you more performance at the top end, so it’s a win-win.
Now a medium-range four-stroke and has the power to perform like any other motor would, while giving great fuel economy.
Another very impressive improvement to Honda’s technology is the latest engine diagnostic system, called Dr H. On completion of our day with the Seascape, the head mechanic plugged in a laptop loaded with Dr H and told me everything that this motor had done, from how many seconds I was above the rev limiter down to how many time the motor had been started!
If it needs new plugs, it tells you; if it needs a fuse, it tells you. When selling or buying one of these models, you now can hide nothing – just type in the serial number and you know everything about it. Honda also offers a five-year warranty.
The ride in the Seascape was great. It turned hard, the speed grew with the engine trim and the hull gripped the water. You do get a good feel for it after a couple of hours of throwing this boat around like it wasn’t mine – I was impressed.
This boat is versatile enough to allow the owners to go fishing in the bay or even offshore if conditions are right, or throw in the family for a picnic and then go fish a tournament the next day.
The test boat had some options fitted and some standard features had been omitted, so it’s best to check with your dealer on the features you need and those you don’t – Seascape can make your boat for you!
The Frontier had a massive anchor well and heavy-duty bowsprit with anchor roller and a welded pad for an electric motor. You can mount your electric straight to the pad or get a quick-release bracket.
The carpeted casting platform as two storage hatches, one capable of holding all your safety gear and the other is a fully plumbed aluminium 120L livewell with pump switch on the console.
There is a removable centre baffle/divider and the whole well is really solid and well-built. The drainage and overflow had been well thought-out and very little water escaped.
In between these two hatches is a seat pedestal base so you can be comfy when fishing from the casting deck.
Along the port side a very long, strong side pocket which would be great for rod or paddles or anything you need in a hurry.
The or console is positioned far enough back to give you a lot of fishing room in front and the passenger seat has two pedestal bases, allowing for excellent weight and load distribution.
When the test boat was being driven solo, the lateral trim was just off a tad so if you do a lot of solo fishing, remember this when placing batteries and extras. Moving your battery 15cm can make all the difference to your solo boat trim.
The console has four Honda gauges and Honda can supply more, but the speed, fuel, trim and a tacho with hour meter and other data are more than enough to keep you out of trouble.
The dash has room for a depth sounder or sounder/GPS combo of your choice. The moulded windshield offers protection from wind and a bit of spray and under the console there is a lot of leg room or that little bit of extra space for your tackle. Having packets of lures under the console saves them from blowing off when under way fast, which we all have experienced.
The raised rear deck has carpeted storage in each corner and for starting and electric motor batteries and an isolator switch and fuel pump are tucked away there.
The gunwales are wide enough to mount rod holders anywhere you like and there are bollards at the bow and on each aft quarter to allow tying off with no worries at the ramp, pontoon or jetty.
The aft step and grab rail help you get in and out of the boat with ease.
You have plenty of choices to make when ordering your Seascape, with a wide range of paint colours, bimini tops and canopies, to name but a few.
The tournament-ready test boat has a drive-away price of $23,699 and comes with Seascape’s two-year limited warranty. For more information on the range visit www.seascapeboats.com.au.
The test boat was supplied by Coffs Harbour Marine, 10 Alison Street, where Mark and Annette, owners for nearly three years, have taken this business to the next level with a new fishing and chandlery department and specialist servicing and maintenance. Phone 02 6652 4722, email --e-mail address hidden-- , website www.coffsharbourmarine.com.au.
Seascape 4.52m Frontier Specifications