You might be wondering how a boat can be designed as a 4x4. Origin Boats of Clontarf, South Queensland, make it easy with the 4000 rig, which is 4m long and constructed from 4mm bottom plate and 4mm side plate.
It’s a somewhat novel concept for a fishing craft but there’s a lot more to this neat Origin tiller steer rig than just a catchy name.
Origin might be a new comer to the southeast Queensland boating scene but the company brings with it a wealth of fishing and boat manufacturing experience. Col Svensson, with his years of alloy craft construction backing him, is involved in all stages of manufacture and water testing. These craft also come with a five year hull structural warranty.
At first look, the 4x4 boats have outstanding build quality and after a short test run the 4000’s performance matched its finish and presentation in every respect.
Origin Boats rate their 4x4 series craft as tough as nails. With a full alloy plate construction they are ideal for anything from towing to the Cape to fishing lakes and rivers.
The 4m rig is beamy at 2m, with an inside height of 52cm and an exterior side depth of 69cm – there’s terrific freeboard for a craft of this length.
Given the weight of the plate rig, plus that generous beam, the Origin plate 4000 is a very comfortable craft to move around in concerning at-rest stability. Once under way, it’s mighty quiet too, thanks to a full foam fill under the checker plate floor.
The 4x4 is unashamedly a fishing rig, therefore storage is not neglected. Right up front there’s an alloy mesh storage compartment directly aft of the wide anchor well and bowsprit. A bow rail will assist around the ramp, and it’s good to see Origin have wisely incorporated a mounting plate for an electric motor to port.
In the forward third of the craft, there’s an elevated cast deck to cater for a couple of anglers, including an additional seat spigot.
Aft of the cast deck, the craft’s strong non skid floor featured self-draining capability. Wide and solid plate alloy decks were set up with an impressive five rod holders per side, grab rails aft extending down over the transom, a boarding platform to port and a fitted transducer bracket.
Three seat positions were offered in the Origin’s main cockpit area. I found the skipper’s swivel pedestal style seat to starboard was within easy reach of the outboard motor controls. Another two seat spigots offered options to sit aft or forward towards the cast deck.
A tote tank for fuel was in a dedicated frame set up within the port corner. The craft’s battery was in a separate holder aft of the skipper’s seat. The height of the pedestal supporting the first mate’s seat allowed it to sit neatly over the fuel tank.
Wide and almost 2m long, the side pockets of the Origin 4x4 offered useful storage space for smaller items. And the finish was of the same high standard as the rest of the craft.
The Origin 4000 is rated for outboards from 40-60hp. The test craft’s 40hp Yamaha was a surprisingly free and easy traveller: the ride was quiet and very smooth.
Initially, I had a few misgivings as to whether the 40hp four-stroke would be up to the task (the bare hull weighs 300kg and we were two up) but the craft eased onto the plane at around 14.4km/h. It was obvious that the neatly finished but very strong 4m craft was blessed with a very fuss free and slippery sort of hull that could extract an easy turn of speed from even modest power.
A cruising speed of 38.2km/h was easily achieved with negligible engine noise from the 40hp Yamaha four-stroke astern, while a wide open throttle burst saw 44.9km/h recorded on the hand-held GPS unit.
The Origin 4000 offered one of the sweetest rides I’ve experienced in an alloy boat of this size. While the test runs were carried out on quite smooth waters there was always ample opportunity to cross washes and pressure waves, and the 4000 4x4 came through with flying colours.
The Origin’s hull featured an entry area that was well raked plus fine enough to cut through chop quite sweetly. It was also mated to a prominent outer chine that pushed water away from the hull and finished in a reversed chine aft on the 14º dead rise hull. The result of the excellent designed features was a ride that was very hard to fault with lack of impact and overall dryness.
Cross winds linked to chop might present a case for the wet weather gear to be kept handy, same as we would expect from other open boats. However, I feel that with such high sides plus the water management system I’ve described users would not be bothered too much with unwanted water.
There’s no doubt that the high degree of sea keeping ability is a strong point of this craft, which makes it quite suited to bay and estuary work, and even perhaps a run-off shore in smooth conditions.
I’d rate the new Origin 4x4 4000 tiller steer as one of the best finished, best handling and best riding 4m open boats I’ve reviewed. Stability was also exceptional and given the strong plate construction it should give many years of service.
With the 40hp Yamaha four-stroke and Bellco skid and roller trailer the rig was priced at around $23,000.
Fitting a standard two-stroke outboard would offer cost savings and Origin Boats offer a bare hull for around the $9,000 mark. Contacts are telephone (07) 3284 0778, fax (07) 3284 0181 or on the net at www.originboats.com.au
|Length on trailer:||5.3m|
|Inside side height:||52cm|
|Outside side height:||690cm|
Fuel:Tote tank 25L
Towing:Family six or big four sedan.
Engine fitted:40hp Yamaha four-stroke.