The Pelagic is a serious fishing machine at 5.8m, and if you’re keen on dangling a line whenever you can, then this boat is well worth a serious look; it’s built to handle all sorts of nasty conditions.
On stepping into the 5.8 I knew I was in for a treat as the wind was blowing a solid 20 knots from the north and Port Phillip Bay looked like a washing machine – just your typical snapper fishing day for Melbournians!
Built in Leongatha, the team from Pelagic has developed a quality offshore fishing vessel that can battle it out in Bass Strait and be just as comfortable fishing inside the bays in perfect weather. They really have hit the nail right on the head with this model.
On entering Port Phillip from the Patterson River it didn’t take long to see how the Pelagic’s deep V hull easily carved up the nasty bay chop. Excessive water spray internally was kept to a minimum, however such was the roughness of the day that a few waves came over the top, with a little water seeping between the press studs in the canopy. Given the horrid conditions on the test day this small amount of water was nothing to complain about.
Like many plate boats, the Pelagic did bang on the odd occasion as it lifted over a bigger wave and crashed into the trough behind it, but for most of the time the boat sat nicely on top of the waves and you could instantly tell it was designed for these conditions.
Being a purpose-built fishing boat, the Pelagic gives confidence that it could handle most weather conditions thrown at it. If it’s shark fishing offshore or snapper fishing in the bay, this boat has the capability of getting you to where the fish are found in comfort and safety.
Mounted on the transom was an Evinrude E-Tec 200hp. The power and performance from this engine was more than enough to get the rig on the plane, but for those with a little extra in the budget, this baby can support a twin outboard rig, which would add a margin of safety and extra power to boot.
Launching into the chop at 2000rpm the Pelagic cruised at 13 knots. Given the rough conditions we set about getting the boat going as fast as safely possible and wound out the E-Tec to 4000rpm, giving us almost 24 knots. I would have liked to have tested more speed readings from this boat but anglers don’t always have to go full noise to get to a fishing mark and the conditions just didn’t allow us to do it safely.
The good thing about the 200HP E-Tec’s is that it is good on fuel efficiency, and with a 200L underfloor fuel tank, the Pelagic would have considerable range on a better day when you are not massaging the throttle to maintain a safe ride at speed.
Stability wise, the 5.8 was very good while under anchor, testament to the 15 degree deadrise. Although it did rock around a little, it was nothing to be concerned about. Even while drifting the stability of the boat was quite good, which is a lot for me considering I almost get seasick in the bath. A lot of thought has gone into the design of this hull and the final product has to be driven to be believed.
The transom was set out cleverly. On each side of the engine was a small standing area should you need to gaff a fish or access the engine. A telescopic stainless steel boarding ladder was mounted on the right side. Providing access to the transom area was a neat and small transom door.
The deck was quite plain, but that’s how big, tough plate boats are built, for fishing. It’s all about a clean and efficient workspace. The beam was 2.5m, large enough to fit in a good crew, especially for any offshore work. With plenty of fishing room, five anglers would be more than comfortable.
There was an in-floor kill tank large enough to fit a catch along with live bait tank for those who love to float out a livie. Another asset was the self-draining deck should you need to hose out the mess at the end of the day; a very nifty inclusion and good for the tuna fishers – these fish always seem to fling blood from one end of the boat to the other.
The test boat was fitted out with a full set of stainless steel snapper racks, something I suggest you add to your craft. The wide gunwales are great assets in a boat of this size and the gunwales sport four rod holders as a standard inclusion.
There is storage space aplenty in this rig. Beginning at the side pockets, they have been divided into two by a single shelf. This design has been well thought-out, enabling plenty of storage areas for gaffs, nets and other fishing paraphernalia, along with adding extra strength from the aluminium shelf running the length of the gunwale.
The bimini and rocket launcher is capable of storing eight outfits. This was more than adequate for most fishing situations. Grab handles on each side of the bimini are a nice addition should the weather be uncomfortable and you need to hang on.
What I did like was the head-room available under the canopy. There was plenty, meaning there was no need for ducking, or if you are storing your rods in the cabin, placing them in and out shouldn’t be a problem with the available height. The wide, five-panel windscreen allowed good visual range and its steep angle aided in deflecting any waves or excess water that came over the bow.
Under each of the Relax seats were purpose built boxes. These provide more storage space for terminal tackle as well as for larger items like flares, raincoats, torches and other items that never seem to find the right home in a boat.
The dash was spacious enabling myriad electronics to be fitted. There were two I-Command one touch gauges plus two 5” GPS/sounder screens and a stress free anchor winch control fitted. That’s a lot of electronics and simply means whatever electronics package you choose that there is more than enough room to fit them easily.
The split dash from the helm to the passenger’s side was a good idea enabling more room to mount the other important electronic units such as UHF, 27MEG radios and a good stereo should you require one.
Forward into the cabin and you will find the cabin and bunks, which were quite plain but serviceable. I totally agree with this design having centred more of the focus towards the hardcore angler who doesn’t need to rest when on the water. Still, the vinyl cushions were comfortable enough should one of your crew need to lie down.
Access to the bow was through the cabin hatch, which allowed an easy reach to the stress free anchor winch should you need to.
As a serious fishing boat, this one takes the cake. Designed for those wanting to get out in all conditions and head offshore for shark and tuna, or just snapper fishing in the Bay, the Pelagic is the boat to be doing it in.
The overall performance was great for any offshore work and the power to get up and boogie should you need to is all at the tips of your fingers.
If you’re in the market for a boat to take you further in search of quality fish then check out the 5.80 Pelagic today.
As tested the Pelagic 5.80DF comes in around $85,000. Prices for standard models with fewer inclusions start from $59,000 For more information on Pelagic boats drop into LyndPark Boating Centre at Hampton Park or call on 03 8768 7990.
|Engine||200HP (can be twin rigged)|
Sealed rear battery and pump locker
Under floor fuel tank
In-floor kill tank
V Birth shelfs
Duel side shelfs
Extended rear duckboards
Live bait tank
Rear transom door
Extra kill tank
Front storage lockers
Aluminium bait board