The world of boating encompasses a myriad of water-based activities, although fishing is a huge part of we do. Add to that skiing, cruising and just having a leisurely fun day on the water and you will soon see what the new 5.75 Baysport can deliver.
Formerly known as Freedom Boats, Baysport Boats have created a very versatile vessel, ideal for all boating enthusiasts. This boat can accommodate the weekend angler to those that just want a boat for leisure activities. For me, it’s fishing all-round and this boat is the ideal match up for those looking for something compact with great value for money.
The test day was bleak to say the least, a north nor westerly blowing around 15 knots as we headed up middle of Port Phillip Bay. Whitecaps aplenty were the call for the day, but they didn’t hamper the performance from the 5.75 cuddy; it really only limited top speed. Dirty days, while uncomfortable for your intrepid boat tester, are a great test pad for any boat, after all, the water is rarely smooth!
The ‘Tunnel Hull’ design that the Baysport features is a convex shaped hull, opposite to that of conventional V hull. This concept behind this is to increase fuel economy, acceleration and handling along with getting the boat up on the plane in quick time. This design delivers all of the above in a stylish package, and I was quite surprised at just how fast it was to get on the plane, far quicker than any other boat I have tested before.
The Baysport is powered by a 115 Yamaha V4 two-stroke that was more than plenty enough to get good speed and performance. With a maximum rating of 150hp, the 115hp had enough grunt to get the 820kg hull weight on the plane in no time and punched through the choppy conditions with ease.
If you were going to mount a 150hp on it though, no doubt you’d be concentrating your activities more so on water skiing than fishing. Nevertheless, the 115hp pulled 12km at 2000rpm before pushing the throttle down. Sitting on the chop we got 41km at 4000rpm and heading along the waves we just nudged 6000rpm before reading 70km, but I suggest pulling this much speed in calmer conditions.
With the wind blowing an easy 15 knots you shouldn’t need to do these speeds when targeting snapper in the Bay; rather sitting around 4000rpm to get to where you want is suitable. I’m sure 40kmh or so is fast enough to get from A to B without it costing an arm and a leg in fuel.
Still, the boat did handle very well due to the hull design and the 21 degree deadrise provided a very comfortable ride.
At all times the boat was trimmed down in the weather conditions we were dealt with, but trimming up in calmer conditions will increase speed and improve fuel economy.
We certainly belted into some solid waves but that didn’t seem to bother the boat; the deflective chines kept water outside the boat rather than in and I can’t remember even seeing a droplet entering the cockpit.
The tunnel hull design showed amazing stability while on the move, yet at rest felt as though I was in a much larger craft. There is no doubt that good stability is high on my agenda considering seasickness is something I have never been able to shake.
Trying to incorporate a leisure boat with a fishing boat doesn’t always work in most cases, purely because you end up losing out on fishing room. However the beam of 2.45m can easily accommodate three active anglers with one monitoring the helm. Baysport has put a lot of work into this model to blend it all together and have done a superb job. Moving around may be a problem for three or more anglers but the thing to remember is this design is for all aspects of boating, not just fishing.
From the transom there is a stainless steel folding ladder along with two ski hooks as standard inclusions. Inside the boat and more features arise; the padded rear lounge is a unique design. When lifted, two kill tanks exist and could be plumbed, or just kept for storage purposes. These are also removable enabling more fishing room should you require it.
Each gunwale has adequate storage facilities to accommodate hand gaffs and smaller tackle boxes and so on, and there were also more storage compartments under the helm and passenger seats for other smaller items.
The deck of course is completely carpeted throughout which extends into the cabin, where you could comfortably fit two, maybe three, people lying down at any one time. Inside the cabin there are two deep side pockets on either side with a large hatch providing access to the bow. The bow rails and stainless steel bow roller are within an easy reach, which is great if you as short as I.
Back at the helm, and although the test boat didn’t come with a sounder, (as this is optional due to the large amount of packages available), there is plenty of dash space to fit one in. Obviously if this is going to be a pleasure craft you won’t need to go to the extremes in this area, but do get something that’s suitable for the fishing you are keen to get into. I suggest the Lowrance HDS 5 in either the GPS model and or standard sounder unit. Either is suitable and the perfect fit to flush mount into this dash design.
Still, there is more space for additional electronics should you requiring them; a good stereo or CD/DVD player wouldn’t go astray.
The 5.75 Cuddy is a very nice boat with some excellent features to suit those dabbling in all water sports, which will suit a family who enjoys all manner of water sports.
Suiting anything from trolling for trout in an open lake to snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay, the 5.75 can do it all within reason. In this day and age, I can see the newly designed Tunnel Hull will appeal to many, considering the handling and fuel saving performance. You’ll quickly notice this if this boat is an upgrade for you.
It is a most practical and affordable boat, and can be used for a wide range of purposes. For those looking to accommodate the entire family for weekend pleasure, you should look no further than what the 5.75 Baysport can deliver. Test one today.
Price as tested $42,990
Split Bow Rail
Rear Grab Rails
Passenger Grab Rails
Under Bunk Storage
Cloth Bunk Cushions
Bucket Seats on Fibreglass Risers
Cabin and Cockpit side pockets
Cabin Side Windows
Large Deck Hatch
Separate Anchor Well
Rear Upholstered Lounge
Deluxe Deck Hardware
In Dash Compass
2 Rod Holders
Electric Anchor Winch
Stainless Steel Fisherman Targa
Approximate Weight 820kg
Max Rated HP 150hp
Recommended HP 115hp - 130hp
Fuel under Floor 145lt