In the last few articles I have emphasized the need for potential boat owners to have a very close look at their fishing needs prior to making a decision on a new boat. As part of the last article, I discussed the pros and cons of owning both alloy and glass craft and, in fact, I was actually drawing upon my own fishing life. Unable to decide exactly which boat would suit us best, we had two – glass and alloy!
Victorian built Bar Crusher boats have definitely carved themselves out a solid niche amongst discerning plate aluminium boat buyers nationwide.
Quintrex offer so many fantastic boats that it can be difficult to nominate a particular rig most suited to a specific task. If there’s a need for a rig that will double as a competition craft fully ready to hit the starter line, or ready to be used by sports anglers to test their skills wherever the opportunity presents (in estuaries rivers or impoundments), the four person F481 Hornet Trophy will fit the bill nicely. It’s 5m in length with a 2.3m beam and a feisty 90hp Yamaha four-stroke on the transom.
It’s not often that you come across fibreglass boats as light as the Cross Country range. Whereas conventional glass craft are manufactured via layers of hand-laid fibreglass bonded with resin, the Cross Country range are different, with vacuum-infused glass bonded to a very tough, sealed foam core. The unique construction imparts both lightness and superb strength, resulting in the 4.5m Island Hopper’s hull weighing only 135kg. Think of that: a bay/estuary rig with a length of 4.5m, beam of 1.8m and with a side height of 640mm tipping the scales so gently.
A conundrum that usually confronts someone buying a boat is whether to buy new or used.
Polycraft Boats is a Bundaberg-based company that has been around since 2001 and is a branch of the very successful Poly Industries company.
Very few manufacturers classify their craft as all-rounders. However, quite a lot of boat owners refer to their craft as all-rounders because the like to do a range of on-water activities, not just fishing. Such rigs see a lot of family use, which can often involve nights spent aboard in a selected anchorage, and often combine tow sports and fishing with whatever else is going on. The same craft might be used within an estuary, out on the bay or even involved in an upriver or offshore run. Impoundment fishing? Certainly! The next 6m rig to launch at Lake Awoonga won’t be the last.
Stacer offer a veritable feast of boating experiences these days, from small tender-sized punts and tinnies right up to offshore rigs with all the bells and whistles. It means there’s an alloy boat for virtually all fishing requirements.
Estuary rigs cover a whole range of boats, from the standard dinghy right through to the pointed punt style of rig. The most popular sizes are from 3.2m right up to 5m, which means there’s a great variety of boats to choose from depending on the kind of fishing you want to do.
The Horizon 525 Scorpion has a family-oriented layout, so with this in mind we tested it with three aboard. Scott James of Horizon Boats showed how easily the craft could be launched, while Fishing Monthly’s Steve Morgan and myself enjoyed the ride.
This article is the first in a series designed to make things easy for the angler keen to own a boat for a particular style of fishing: in this case, heading offshore for a crack at the big stuff.
The second generation 2000 Bluewater sits mid range in the Tournament range of pleasure craft manufactured by the busy Haines Group. At 6.29m in length and with a 2.34m in beam it’s a lot of boat, sure to be appreciated by many people – especially those who need to have a great all rounder suited just as well for family pursuits as for dedicated fishing.
The 552 Evolution is the sort of boat every angler would be happy to own. Made in Bayswater, Victoria, it’s exactly right for Australian conditions. With an extensive legacy of fibreglass construction behind each hand-laid craft, the Evolution series of boats offer an outstanding ride, great stability, and a real sense of value for the dollar. They also come with a seven year structural hull warranty.
The Baysports 600, turned out in a well-finished package by Glen Grams of Noosa in South Queensland, has every hallmark of a rig built to last. There’s 28 years of boat manufacturing experience behind each hull, while modern glass crafting techniques, the use of solid fibreglass mouldings throughout linked to a complete fibreglass under-floor stringer system, plus a complete absence of timber within the transom and centre board flooring on Baysports ensure longevity.
Revival Boats are built in Melbourne by Sam Catanese, who is well known in the boat building industry, and his team of fibreglass crafters. With four decades of boat building experience behind each Revival, and Sam’s pride in his product, buyers can be assured they are getting a quality, no-nonsense powerboat that will stand the test of time, deliver as good a ride as possible and provide plenty of comfort for those aboard. Above all, Revival boats represent great value for money and always seem to be in demand; used models are snapped up soon as they appear on sale’s lists.
Stacer have made it their business to keep a close eye on customer demand, and they are always on the lookout for ways to make a good thing even better.
New Zealand born and bred Stabicraft are alloy pontoon-style boats renowned for immense stability, toughness, longevity and easy performance from a given horsepower. In fact, many professional services rely on these attributes to carry out their work using these well-regarded boats.
Morningstars are somewhat unique plate alloy boats, being manufactured in a Korean automobile factory. There are actually significant benefits to employing this technology, including some very innovative metal forming and rolling, the likes of which I’ve never seen in plate alloy rigs. This is particularly evident around areas such as the decks and underwater surfaces.
With a New Zealand heritage, a standard of alloy craftsmanship and overall finish guaranteed to turn heads on both sides of the Tasman, the Surtees brand has become so thoroughly established that these boats require little introduction. Suffice to say that this 6.1m craft with a beam of 2.26m and its ultra strong construction (there are 6 fully welded stringers under the floor) is as solid as a brick. The 5mm thick deep V hulls are water ballasted for ultimate stability both at rest and under way (a flap can be closed to retain water when necessary), and it’s reassuring to note the 610 Gamefisher’s below-floor section includes paired safety buoyancy chambers.
Breaking into the boating market is a Brisbane-based company called Sea Adex. With so many fishing boats on the market, owners Adam Mortimer and Rex Willis knew that if Sea Adex was to be competitive they had to bring something new to the table. This is exactly what they have done.
This neat 4.5m Horizon side console rig has a lot going for it. While a team of keen anglers could put the well turned out alloy rig to good use for some serious fishing in bay or estuary, there’s no denying the craft’s tremendous family boating appeal given the generously wide layout, ample interior work room plus a red hot price, at under $21,000 from the dealer’s yard. And that’s with electronics as well.
Coomera-based Jackaroo Boats aren’t as well known as some other SEQ manufacturers, but once word gets around I’m certain we’ll see more of these well-performing fibreglass craft on the water. These boats have an all fibreglass construction, even to the point of having a fibreglass stringer system under the floor plus a composite/fibreglass transom for maximum long-term durability. The hull warranty is 20 years!
On water boat testing can be and is a lot of fun. The opportunity to spend two or three hours putting a boat through its paces and getting to know the people that are putting the package together provides a great insight and knowledge of a great variety boats and what they are capable of.
There’s always lots to enjoy in a boat review; after all, who wouldn’t like running around in a brand new boat? But the review of the Quintrex Renegade 460 side console was extra special because we latched onto a feed of fish in the Jumpinpin Bar area before getting serious with the camera.
This big American import, with its 600 horsepower on the transom, makes a very bold statement. If the buyer wants a no-compromise fibreglass craft with a top quality finish, every conceivable fishing appointment and absolute practicality in their application, plus sizzling performance to match a ride that is simply in a class of its own, then look no further. The Sea Fox 286 Commander has it all.
This alloy craft is a radical departure from the norm. As a centre console rig powered by an 80 Suzuki 4-stroke, there’s nothing out of the ordinary there, but the Procraft 5.35 has a cuddy cab up front under the cast deck.
The Whittley Sea Legend 26 HT SD Adventure is such a striking boat that it impressed me even before the hull hit the water at Pattersons Lake.
Quintrex is a household name when it comes to boating and their reputation for being at the forefront of boat design is exceptional. They once again proved that one of the keys to their success is staying in front by continually improving on their designs at a wet and windy media day on the Gold Coast’s Broadwater.
Queensland made Haines Signature boats seem to have a boat for every purpose these days, and their new 543SF (the SF stands for Sport Fishing) model follows that trend to a T, delivering anglers a specialised, high quality, sportfishing rig.
I don’t know what it is about Grady White boats but every time I set out to review one from Game and Leisure Boats at Runaway Bay the weather takes a vicious turn to the windy side of the scale.
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