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Old 31-03-2008, 21:09   #1
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Put me on an even keel

Firstly, Hi
Nice place you all have here.

I was hoping someone might be able to point me to a respectable Australian powerboating forum. I realise that you mob are more of the four sheets to the wind variety, which is great and more power to ya. However I'm in the market to get one of those noisy gas guzzling things, as my circle of friends is more into wakeboarding, spearing, harbour/river fishing, etc.

For reference, I'm after something to seat 6-7 people, that will move at a fair clip whilst being reasonably economical. Will be kept in dry dock (my garage) and be towed by 2.4L Rav4, so size and weight (<1500kg including trailer) will need to be relatively small (18-24ft), with a beam less than 4m due to driveway width. 30-35k AUD is my comfort zone and I would prefer buy new.

As a result of these requirements, I've found myself looking mainly at Bowrider style boats, as they allow for more seating. Not really all that interested in having quarters/toilets,etc. The other question is whether I can get anything within these constraints that will be able to cope with going offshore safely if the weather turns. ftr I'm not experienced with going offshore, but know a couple of old salts that will show me the ropes on my first forays. I'm happy to stay out of the deep end of the pool, if the above specs don't pass muster.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:43   #2
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For wakeboarding an inboard is ideal - you want the weight to create the wake. But for towing with a RAV, an outboard would be lighter.

A bowrider isn't a great choice if you want to go offshore.

Years ago we had a very similar list of requirements - skiing, wakeboarding, diving, and fishing. We also spent quite a few weekends out on the boat (overnight). The boat we had was an Allison Vision 195. (19.5 feet) There are slightly smaller versions and more dedicated fishing versions available. They are good solid Australian made boats.

Mustang also make some boats that might suit.

Have a look here: Watersports Marine 76 Sunnyholt Road Blacktown NSW 2148 - the Boating Warehouse of Sydney Australia! fibreglass boats, aluminium boats, Mercury, outboards, Dunbier, trailers, Mustang, Allison, Savage, Bermuda, Tabs, Stingray, Silverline, F1 boats, fi
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:01   #3
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The other question is whether I can get anything within these constraints that will be able to cope with going offshore safely if the weather turns.
As long as it's on the trailer when the weather hits there are no problems. In the US we have what are called "Small Craft Warnings" that is when boats like you describe (and a littel bigger) are best in port. You may want to inverst in a weather radio and a VHF radio if you expect to get away from close port access even in good weather.

In the boats you are talking about you really don't want to be "shown the ropes" in a boat like this. Once you add the offshore requirement the cost, weight, and size parameters just went far out of reach. I wouldn't call that a limitation given the things you really do want. I would just remove that item from the list and focus on the others.

I'm really not up to speed on small power boats in OZ but did a fair amount growing up. If you pick your weather you can still complete some nice trips in additon to fishing and other fun stuff on the water.
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Old 01-04-2008, 13:45   #4
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Old 01-04-2008, 14:02   #5
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Probably not a bad choice as it just sneaks under the weight limit. That design will handle al ittle more weather than some others.
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Old 01-04-2008, 15:59   #6
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Probably not a bad choice as it just sneaks under the weight limit. That design will handle al ittle more weather than some others.
I would not think of pulling it with a RAV4............because stopping it might not happen.....................there are smaller ones with outboards though.
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Old 01-04-2008, 16:14   #7
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Should be able to get a decent alloy boat for those dollars.

Less weight, less HP easier to tow and stop with the RAV 4, more robust and can do everything, unlike a dedicated ski/wakeboard boat.

To give you an idea on style HP and weights

Stacer Boats - Superior Design, Quality and Reliability

Stessl boats - Fun Seeker Overview



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Old 01-04-2008, 16:47   #8
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I really like the two that Cat pointed out. An outboard with a good closed transom is your best bet for light weight and ability to handle weather. You could always throw in a ballast bag for increased weight for wakeboarding.
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:03   #9
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Again, many thanks for the advice.

@CruisingCat. The Allison's interest me. Looks to be quite a robust boat. Did you have the 3.0 Mercruiser model, and if so did you find 135hp to be adequate?

With the Mustangs, is there any particular models you had in mind? I couldn't find many south of 50k, which is more than I'm willing to spend.

@Pblais. Yeah in Oz it's a requirement for all boats operating in open water to have a radio. I would get one anyway, as it's very handy if things go wrong in the harbour.

I should have specified that I was more interested in Coastal fishing than full on offshore stuff. A lot of the boats I've been looking at don't have much freeboard (?) at the stern. I'm particually concerned about negotiating breakwaters with a big swell following me in, and having it come over the transom. Any recommendations on a minimum height of stern freeboard for preventing this, or should I just go faster through the breakwater?

@Therapy. Nice boat, but not what I'm after. Thank you for the suggestion in any case. Looking for something with a bit more get up and go, and more creature comforts. Also I have concerns about operating too close to the maximum towing capacity of the Rav, and what detrimental effect it will have on it's drivetrain in the long term. Braking capability, is also highly important. I'd consider fitting new brakes/oversized rotors if it was going to be a problem. Guess I'll just have to test it out.

@Catmando. Those Stacers are most impressive. I had mainly been looking a glass boats, but I'm now seriously reconsidering.

This 539 Sportster in particular, has very much caught my fancy. Around a ton with trailer+engine, definitely makes it more towable. (The 579 Sportster is also an option, although I may need to make do with less of the options which I would like)





My only concerns with alloys are of ride quality and noisyness. Do you think these concerns are warranted?

I'm also looking at this Quintrex 560 freedom cruiser. Do you think this would be a better option than the Stacer? They are pretty similar, though the quintrex has slightly thicker hull plates. 4mm compared to the Stacers 3mm. Is there much of an advantage to this in terms of noise/ride comfort, or should I just be concentrating on hull shape? (The site also says that a ski pole insert is not an option with model, which sounds wrong given that it lists skiing as one of it's main uses. Any ideas as to why this might be?)





@GDFL. I have a ballast bag perfect for the job. His name is Kev. I'll get him to sit up back.
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Old 03-04-2008, 15:31   #10
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@Therapy. Nice boat, but not what I'm after. Thank you for the suggestion in any case. Looking for something with a bit more get up and go, and more creature comforts. Also I have concerns about operating too close to the maximum towing capacity of the Rav, and what detrimental effect it will have on it's drive train in the long term. Braking capability, is also highly important. I'd consider fitting new brakes/oversized rotors if it was going to be a problem. Guess I'll just have to test it out.

Ahh the compromise that is called a boat.

I think you will have a bit of a task getting the boat you want for the money you want to spend that will not trash your RAV4.

If you put four of you and your gear for the day in the RAV you might find that you have only a few pounds left before you reach the max vehicle weight. They conveniently give you a total figure and one for a "towable weight" but the towable weight given usually assumes an empty vehicle. Once you put a pound in the car then you have to take a pound out of the boat. At least that is the way all the books, door stickers, and ads are in the US. Fortunately they under rate and overbuild some for the "public."
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Old 03-04-2008, 20:22   #11
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Alloys can be a bit bouncier in the rough, but how much of that do you plan doing?

Alloy is the choice of a lot of commercial guys who operate in the rough, so not really an issue.

Alloys can be noisier, but you have a bloody roaring engine 15 feet away and the wind whistling through your ears at 30 knots as well.

The advantages of light weight, easily towed and less hp outways the disadvantages IMHO.

Cost?
Second hand is nothing to be scared about, remember how a new car drops 20% driving it off the showroom floor?

Heres similar what you are after for $28,000
4 SEASONS 525SS WINDRIDER boat details - BoatPoint Australia

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Old 04-04-2008, 01:50   #12
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I was hoping someone might be able to point me to a respectable Australian powerboating forum
There are probably more here than you realise. It just takes one or two to get the ball rolling. Besides, many of us started in "fizzboats".
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My only concerns with alloys are of ride quality and noisyness. Do you think these concerns are warranted
Depends. Yes they can be noisy and I hate the ride. I have always found Alloy's chine walk something bad.(here, that means they flop from one side to the other of the chine) But it depends on what you want to do. Is it an all rounder, or skiing/wakeboarding, or fishing or cruising etc etc.
As for noise, there are two main types of alloy. The ruff and tumble made to be cheap and made to get you there and back from the fishing grounds, or the flashier that have the finish of the Glass boats and are fitted out with carpet and other finishes to helpt reduce the noise.
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Alloy is the choice of a lot of commercial guys who operate in the rough, so not really an issue.
That's because they don't mind knocking them around. No paint to scratch. I am not so sure I like them better in ruff sea's though. However, that is not to say that Alloy's are any less able to handle big seas and ruff conditions. That still comes down to design. Personaly I like glass. And it's hard to go past Haines Hunter and Bayliner. Both outstanding boats, although I lean more toward the Haines.
I hate to say it, but many of the American production boats just don't cut it down here. Many are too "flashy" and simply deteriorate in our harsh weather. Many are also desinged for the lakes and rivers and don't hack it in the ruff sea's down here.
One of the worst riding and performing boats I think I have ever driven has to be Campion.
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Old 04-04-2008, 02:32   #13
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Exactly why I like alloy Alan, come into a boat ramp and just nudge them up and step out with dry feet.

Needless to say I wouldnt have a flash bit of tin like I posted above. Paint and pretty doesnt make the boat work any better, and I' reckon the hull shape on the flash one would be the same as the hull shape on the unpainted rough and tumble centre console for considerably less.

Second hand scabby looking Plate boat for me, give it a strategic sand an acid wash and a coat of clear Tectyl, lovely.

Money left over for beer and fuel for a loooong time

Dave
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