Reviewed: Webster’s Twinfisher 4.9 Runabout
By Mick Fletoridis
HAVING owned a 4.3m Webster centre console for several years, it’s fair to say I’m au fait with these unique single engined alloy cats. So it was with much familiarity I recently jumped aboard a new 4.9m Webster Runabout on Botany Bay. Adding to the theme, Gavan Daly of Sydney’s Webbe Marine soon had the demo boat onto water my own Webbie regularly haunts.
The 4.9 felt much bigger overall than my 4.3 centre console; the extra metal up front supporting a large curved windscreen and optional full clears and bimini top provided quite a contrast. You’re clearly a lot better protected from the elements in one of these.
The Runabout displayed familiar stability and a soft ride; if anything the former was accentuated by in-sponson fuel tanks, designed by Webster’s Daniel Schofield. This smart set-up features a portside filler to supply both self-levelling tanks – one in each sponson. A smart system of pipes and hoses keeps fuel levels equal. These tanks are standard on models 4.9m and up.
Cats are renowned for stability and the 4.9 displayed minimal lean as Gavan and I stood up against the portside gunwale.
Rated to 90hp, the demo boat featured a Honda BF90, which felt about right for power and weight. You’d get away with a 60hp if you don’t have too many mates (boat is rated to 5) or tonnes of gear. The Honda was a nice match for the 380kg (dry) twin hull and was a pleasure to use, with its quiet running and impressive performance. With a Solas SS 15” x 13/7/8” prop it reached over 30 knots at 5800rpm using 36.7 lph of fuel. The Honda showed healthy midrange power, with 19.4 knots @ 4100rpm using 13.3 lph.
The boat didn’t reveal any bad habits on the water. I was keen to test out the weather protection offered by those full clears and bimini but it was too calm. A decent southerly on the bay often means a wet ride home in my open 4.3.
The 4.9 hull sliced through any chop or wake we found (or made). The boat demonstrated the standard of ride and stability Websters – and cats in general – are renowned for. Most cats too lean out in turns, unlike mono hulls that lean in. Turns at speed or fast holeshots on the 4.9 didn’t cause prop ventilation or other annoying traits. Being a “tall” boat, extra long shaft motors are fitted to ensure props work optimally. The hulls feature full length buoyancy chambers, which has improved on the bum-down attitude of earlier models.
The Runabout’s cockpit is sparse but roomy. An optional foldaway lounge will keep fishing families happy. A padded backrest stays in place as the lounge folds and will provide comfort while fishing. The live bait tank lives here also, to starboard. The transom itself underwent a recent makeover with the section’s ‘boxiness” replaced with a stylish tapered entry. A transom door and folding boarding/dive ladder provide access to the cockpit. The full length side pockets feature plenty of toe room under. The transom gives access to the batteries – although you have to remove an alloy cover to do so – and safety gear and pumps. The boat could do with more rod holders (there are only two) or an optional rocket launcher set-up on the bimini.
There’s storage space under the front deck and seating is via dual revolving buckets. The helm station is plain and functional and featured a six-spoke wheel controlling hyrdaulic steering. Garmin electronics were fitted atop the dash as was a compass, engine instruments and switch panel. The portside dash had a glove box, Icom 27meg/VHF radio and Fusion iPod dock stereo.
The bimini was free of annoying rattles and at a good height – a 5’11” Gavan Daly had headroom to spare. From the helm good all-round vision was on offer while seated. Reaching the anchor well and foredeck is fairly easy via the windscreen’s hinged mid section.
Webster’s 4.9 Runabout is a worthy option for buyers in the popular sub 5m market. In the right conditions it suits both inshore and offshore waters, has loads of internal room and you don’t need a big, powerful vehicle to tow it.
See a video review at www.fishingworld.com.au
Twinfisher 4.9 Runabout:
Weight:Hull only 380kg (dry)
Power:60-90hp X/L shaft
FUEL:100L (50L each sponson)
Price:As reviewed, around $46,000