Boating Bits

REVIEWED: Silver Hawk 540

Finnish built Silver Boats are an exciting new addition to the Australian boat market. Scott Thomas takes a ride on a new hybrid fishing centre console.

I FIRST jumped aboard a Silver boat last year for a review in our sister publication PowerBoat. It wasn’t hard to be impressed with this little known import from Finland. Howard Lee of Scandinavian Boat Imports in Sydney is the Australian importer of Silver boats. The Silver Shark I’d previously tested gave a good account of itself, being a great family boat also suitable for someone who may dabble in a bit of fishing. When Howard called to say he had a new arrival from Finland Ð this time a dedicated fishing boat – I was keen to take it for a run and of course, a fish. How would it compare to other boats in an already cluttered Aussie fishing boat market?

What lies beneath

First up Silver Boats differ markedly from conventional boats. Some call them hybrids, but they’re much more than that. In the case of the Hawk 540, the outside is constructed from 4mm thick aluminium and the interior constructed from fibreglass. Combining the two materials goes a long way to solving the age old conundrum of boating compromise. But it’s what lies in between the aluminium and fibreglass that makes this boat special. Silver call it AluFibre. The aluminium is filled with a non-waterlogging polyurethane. This serves two main purposes. It acts as flotation, and reduces noise, hence the soft, fibreglass-like ride. Another positive is that space throughout the boat isn’t compromised.

The Hawk has level flotation, but unlike most other boats with this feature, there’s heaps of storage. I guess the only negative would be the difficulty of attaching rod holders or similar to the gunwale.

Although this is easily overcome thanks to the rail which circumnavigates the boat and makes an ideal location for rail-mounted rod holders and other accessories.

The end result of this hull’s unique construction is one very solid boat. Knowing that you’re basically sitting in an aluminium boat, the soft ride comes as a surprise, especially when fast running in rough conditions.

This particular boat was powered by a 90hp Evinrude E-TEC. Howard, and his business partner Kristian, decided on an E-TEC because of the brand’s popularity with the Aussie fishing fraternity and simply to try something different. Up until now the pair’s other boats all carried Mercurys. Interestingly, on the day of the test, Howard and Kristian brought along a similar boat, the Dorado 540, which is almost identical to the Hawk. The only difference being the added canopy. The Dorado was fitted with a 90hp Mercury DI outboard. The E-TEC was physically smaller and slightly quieter, however both engines performed very nicely indeed.


The rear pod of the Hawk has two empty storage compartments. The test boat’s compartments were empty, but owners could easily turn one into a livewell and leave the other for storing a spare anchor or similar. There’s a seat that stretches across the back with a removable cushion. Serious fishos might find this impedes slightly on crucial fishing space as there wasn’t a lot of room between the helm seat and rear seat. Removing the cushion helps create a bit more room and a potential casting or fish sighting platform. The centre console and helm seat is wide enough for two people.

The double console is fairly typical of this style of boat – the boat’s also available in a dual console arrangement. Back in Northern Europe where this boat reigns supreme, a fine day is anything above freezing. So protection from the elements is more than a luxury, it’s essential. In saying that, protection from spray and wind on Sydney Harbour is also, in my opinion, pretty important. Maybe I’m getting old and soft? The console has all the usual guages – trim, tacho, speed, and fuel, and there’s heaps of space on the shelf above for electronics. For best vision, I preferred to stand, and this was made easy with the help of the fold-up helm seat. This seat was also split so the passenger could sit, while the driver stood. In front of the console sat a ice box and there was plenty of floor space maintained for fishing. The bow was closed in, although could easily accommodate an anchor well.


To really determine a boat’s fishability, you need to fish. We were running short on time, but had long enough for a quick cast around some Sydney Harbour marker buoys. And long enough for a big kingfish to bury my line and lure around the barnacle-encrusted structure! The boat performed well as a fishing craft. Most importantly it was stable and quiet, despite the rather choppy conditions on the Harbour. Earlier on I mentioned the grab rails that circumnavigate the Hawk. These are a great idea and an alternative to higher gunwales. You can rest your thighs up against the rails while fishing and if the conditions get too hairy, just grab hold. The quietness of the interior due to the fibreglass and polyurethane-filled aluminium should be a real asset when dealing with spooky fish.

On the water

With the 90hp E-TEC bolted on the back, we had little trouble jumping on the plane. I didn’t have a GPS to record accurate speed readings, but the speedo read around 38 knots at 6000rpm. Plenty fast enough for most fishos in a boat of this size.

Tight turns at speed were performed flawlessly – this is actually a fun and sporty boat to drive. The 20 knot Nor easter hit us head on, on the journey back to the boat ramp in Middle Harbour and we had to cross Sydney Heads. The perfect testing ground for open boats. The chop was approaching from all directions, helped along by a bunch of annoying tourist jet boats. We made it back to the boat ramp without getting ploughed down by a passing boat and best of all we were completely dry. The Hawk is a very dry boat and features a self-draining cockpit in the unlikely event that you did become unstuck.
All up, the Silver Hawk would make a decent fishing boat for the serious inshore sportfisho. Guys that enjoy throwing lures and flies around headlands or venturing up river in search of bream and bass, would be well catered for.    


Length: 5.4m
Beam: 2.17m
Weight: 520kg (hull only); 1195kg (towing)
Deadrise: 18.5 degrees
Fuel: 105 litres
Power: Max. 100hp, as tested 90hp Evinrude
Price: From $44,995
Contact: Scandinavian Boat Imports 0431 947821;

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