Since buying the iconic Savage boating brand last year new owner, Gold Coast based boat manufacturer Telwater, hasn’t rested on pre-existing laurels. A media launch this week saw new Savage fishing models unveiled alongside revamped pre-existing models, and the company’s first ever all fibreglass sports boat.
On mention of Telwater, comparisons with the company’s other brands, Quintrex and Stacer, are difficult to avoid. Understandably, Savage’s 2009 line-up has an air of familiarity about it and comparisons are hard to avoid; that said the new Savage range offers boat fishos another brand alternative in the competitive alloy fishing boat market; buyers too now have the freedom to specify their choice of outboard engine brand through participating dealers. The Savage brand now boasts a 22 model range that includes open dinghies, several revamped runabouts and bluewater cabin fishing boats -. Refinements include the introduction of the Maximum Ride Hull – on specified models – and upgraded flotation material used across the range.
Savage’s fishing boat range includes old favourites such as the Jabiru – which has undergone a makeover – the Blue Water cuddy cabin series and a new Piranha model.
The Jabiru 435 Pro is another in the pointy nosed punt niche that features most of the standard features estuary and impoundment fishos require.
The side console 435 Jabiru Pro was fitted with a max power rated 40hp Mercury four-stroke and featured Jabiru’s pre-existing hull. In Fisho’s opinion the sportfishing punt coped quite well in the Gold Coast broadwater’s confused sea conditions, courtesy of big boat traffic and gusty winds.
The Pro is distinguished from a standard Jabiru via standard fit bow and stern casting platforms and wide rolled gunwales. It also features large up front wet storage/live well (plumbing optional) and additional under hatch storage under both casting decks.
Most buyers of this model are likely to opt for extras such as bow-mount electric mounting plate, live bait tank, extra rod holders and rod storage pocket. Priced at around $18,000 the 435 Jabiru Pro should prove a popular entrant to the pointy-nosed punt ranks.
Joining the pointy nose punt ranks – the 435 Jabiru Pro
The new 495 Piranha side console – also available in centre console option – is a roomy, open style 5metre dinghy, reminiscent of similarly configured boats from Quintrex (Top Ender), Stacer (Barra Pro) Trailcraft (Pro Fish) and others.
A dinghy with good freeboard and space to spare, the Piranha features Savage’s new Maximum Ride Hull for better performance and ride, a rolled deck, plumbed live bait and kill tanks, padded transom for fishing comfort and a max power rating of 90hp.
The versatile looking package handled the broadwater’s messy chop with aplomb, giving an indication of its versatility for inshore waterways while looking a viable offshore option in reasonable seas.
The 495 Piranha is dealer priced at around $32,000.
New addition – the 495 Piranha side/centre console
The Blue Water range consists of 515 and 545 models. These models reintroduce Savage’s combination of moulded fibreglass cuddy cabins and alloy rolled deck hulls. Fisho was impressed with the dry comfortable ride and handling of the 545 Blue Water, which is sure to garner interest from offshore and family fishos in the market for this popular style of boat. While the Blue Water’s cabin bunks are realistically only long enough for kids, the walkthrough section gives good access to the bow hatch and anchor well. With four on board the max power rated 115hp E-TEC saw the 545 with power to spare, the boat exhibiting impressive ride and handling in broken water, despite heaviness from the standard cable steering – hydraulic steering is optional. The 545 Blue Water is priced at around $49,000.
Refreshingly, Savage used its 2009 launch as an opportunity to welcome feedback from boating media for potential improvements – feedback mainly centred around a newly introduced live bait tank’s lid design and the side pocket height above deck on one model – these minor areas are expected to see attention from the manufacturer prior to full scale production.
Savage Runabouts – Bay Cruisers 455 (left) and 435
Stay tuned for video footage of the 2009 Savage boat range.
For more information go to www.savageboats.net.au