Double Play

A new kid on the boating block has been kicking plenty of goals with its range of aluminium fishing boats. Mick Fletoridis investigates. 

THE market for vee-nosed punts has always been a competitive one. There are a stack of brands and models available. A favourite with estuary, inshore and impoundment fishos, this style of boat is perfect for bait, lure or fly work in calm water environs. On “small” days offshore, the punt brigade are often out there too, surprising big boat owners as they jockey for water over popular reef grounds. While not designed for serious offshore use, in the right hands and conditions these boats are quite versatile. 

Derek Rodway operates southern Sydney-based boat dealership Good Times Marine. Rodway’s Taren Point showroom had for some time displayed various brands of fibreglass fishing and leisure boats, but when it came to a range of aluminium boats he says he couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for. 

So around the time businesses were feeling the bite of the GFC, Rodway boldly started from scratch with his own tinny brand: Anglapro. These neat looking boats are manufactured on Queensland’s Gold Coast, with general internal fit-out carried out in the  Good Times workshop. Anglapro boats were launched at the 2009 Sydney International Boat Show and from  there have gained popularity and  a market presence. There’s now a four dealership network: two in NSW;  one each in SA and Noosa, QLD;  and a Victorian dealer is also part of future growth plans.   

The Anglapro range encompasses five models – the Chaser, Bandit, Getaway (runabout), Outlaw and the Stealth Pro released in March at Sydney’s Rosehill Boat Show. 

Rodway says there are also plans to introduce centre cab and cuddy cab models to the line-up later this year.

Two of a kind

The two boats featured here – the Stealth 424 Pro and Outlaw 444 Pro – basically share a hull design; it’s in the level of fit-out where the main differences can be found. While the hull design of both is fairly representative of other pointy-nosed punts on the market, there are differences. Notably, Anglapros feature 3mm alloy top and bottom. Fairly typically, the hulls carry three planing strakes either side and pronounced chines to help divert water away and prevent spray coming aboard. A departure from the norm is the use of stylish plate sides rather than the more common pressed and rolled arrangement. This adds to the boats’ aesthetic appeal and is complemented by quality paint finishes – there’s a choice of three colours: white, black and sapphire blue.   

Basic flotation is standard across the range and both boats carry full length flat gunwales that are a good width for rod holders while adding overall strength.

The Stealth 424 Pro is a basic tiller steer rig without all the goodies featured on the higher specced (and pricier) Outlaw 444 Pro side console. The “Pro” denotes models fitted with extras over the standard package. These extras include casting decks, nav lights, an electric motor mounting plate, 100 litre live well, bilge pump and sounder unit. And to ensure customer satisfaction come delivery time, Derek Rodway says he encourages  Anglapro buyers to specify, when ordering, any internal layout customising – within reason – they may require.     

On first impression the Stealth looks to make a good fist of being a fairly capable estuary/inshore sportfisher. While the Stealth carried a standard “open” engine well transom, the Outlaw side console sported a full height enclosed transom with live bait tank in the portside corner and bait board/ prep station opposite. If not fitted as standard, the enclosed transom is an option on other models.    

On the water 

The Stealth 424 Pro carried an electric start 30hp Suzuki carbie two-stroke outboard. While I’m personally not a huge fan of tiller steers, in this case it seemed to work quite well. In any case there was no need to constantly wrestle the tiller arm to stay on course. While smoky at idle, higher revs saw the two-stroke clear its throat and deliver a smooth rush of power. Rodway says many buyers of similar sized tiller steers opt for the sweet 40hp Suzuki four-stroke (Good Times Marine is a Suzuki dealer), which should provide plenty of zip to the Stealth Pro’s day while being user and enviro friendly. I can’t see the hull needing a 50hp (max power) motor unless buyers regularly fish three up and cart around tackle shop stocks of gear. The 30hp stroker, with Chris Amy from Good Times Marine and I on board, had the Stealth planing and covering water in quick time. The hull handled and tracked nicely with predictive cornering and good overall stability. In glassy conditions turning back on our wake sufficed for providing speed hump sized chop with which the hull tackled without fuss. 

The Stealth has a large open deck  for fishing. There’s a forward casting platform that still provided ample freeboard so you don’t feel in danger of falling overboard when a bigger boat goes by. Up front is a mount for the boat’s pedestal seats – which featured optional deluxe padding which is well worth the extra dollars over the standard seat – and a 100 litre live well. The Stealth, like the Outlaw, features a large enclosed rod locker running along the portside and carpeted on top; it can handily double as seating if needed. It’s a good example of  intelligent use of available space.

The Stealth was fitted with the optional bimini top that might restrict casting at the rear but would provide relief from the sun when zipping around on the water on hot days. An Eagle Cuda 300 sounder was fitted neatly to the side of the gunwale via a RAM mount. As Good Times Marine is also an authorised Minn Kota dealer, both boats featured 12-volt bow-mount electrics.

Outlaw 444

This is a sharp looking side console that probably has rival brands taking note; it’s hard not to compare this boat with similar rigs from the likes of Quintrex, Stacer, Sea Jay, Trailcraft and many others. 

The 444 is a beamier boat at 2.05m than its smaller sibling (1.88m) and feels roomier as a result. Casting lures or flies from that front platform should be a pleasure. The deck height at the pointy end isn’t so close to the gunwales that you feel in danger of tipping out in any swell – as is the case in some boats with casting decks.  

I liked its internal layout, in particular the moulded console that’s nicely curved rather than a standard boxy shape and not too big to take up valuable deck space. There’s some storage space below and – handily – between the console and starboard gunwale. The neat tinted and curved screen gives a little wind deflection but more importantly protects electronics units – in this case a Lowrance HDS 5 sounder/GPS that’s about the maximum size for this console. The makers haven’t skimped on deck space and storage with plenty of under deck storage available. As with the Stealth, there’s a 100 litre live well on the forward casting deck, to complement the aforementioned transom tanks.

I found the Outlaw’s helm position to be comfortable thanks to the optional plush upholstery on the seat and good overall ergonomics. While the 60hp four-stroke Suzuki was slightly under propped on the day (this has since been remedied), the boat effortlessly reached 33 knots at 6200rpm. It jumped up on the plane smoothly around 4000rpm and tracked nicely while doing turns at speed. The Outlaw 444 quickly inspires confidence due to its stability and sure-footed feel. The overall finish was particularly good and those shiny black sides will attract admiring looks. As you see it here, the Stealth Outlaw 444 sells from around $33,990, ready to fish including Minn Kota electric and Lowrance HDS 5 . A more basic package will obviously cut the buying price substantially. The Stealth 424 Pro sells from a very attractive $14,790. Anglapros come delivered on a Dunbier trailer fitted with skids and keel rollers; neither boat reviewed should pose a problem when it comes to towing via a standard family car or small all-wheel-drive.

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