Fishing by Stealth


Fisho writer BEN CADDAYE had been on the lookout for a new boat for some time – recently he found exactly what he was after.

I had read and heard a lot about Anglapro boats before I first laid eyes on the range at the 2010 Sydney International Boat Show. For months prior to the show I had been researching V-nose aluminium punts with a view to purchasing a craft suited to poking around the tidal rivers and lakes on the NSW far south coast.

The small to medium V-nose punt market is a very competitive one and the task of narrowing down the options wasn’t easy. In fact, the more I searched the web and scoured fishing and boating magazines the longer my list became.

The Sydney show, however, provided me with the perfect opportunity to view all the candidates up-close and “in the flesh” and arrive at a genuine short list. In the end the show helped me do more than that; it helped me narrow down the list to one – the Anglapro Stealth 424 Pro.

As far I was concerned, this particular  Anglapro stood head and shoulders above its competitors in terms of features, build quality and, most importantly, value for money. Derek Rodway and his team at Good Times Marine in Sydney established Anglapro a couple of years ago and the brand has gone from strength to strength ever since. The Anglapro range of aluminium boats are built in Queensland and fitted at Derek’s Taren Point workshop. They are then packaged and sold with the serious angler in mind.

The basic Stealth 424 Pro package includes an electric start 30hp Suzuki, painted hull, Eagle sounder, casting decks, carpeted floor, swivel seats, 100 litre live well, rod locker, navigation lights, safety gear and Dunbier trailer – all for under $15k on the water. Through Good Times Marine I upgraded to a 40hp Yamaha two-stroke (with power tilt and trim) and added a 55lb Minn Kota bow-mount electric and bimini and I still walked away with significant change from $20k. In my book, that’s pretty good value for a brand new set-up, and I would have struggled to put together a similar package for the same price from another manufacturer.

Getting it wet
On the water the Stealth 424 Pro has impressed. As a purpose-built fishing boat it has delivered in nearly every respect. For a “small” boat it is surprisingly roomy and very stable. The tiller-steer arrangement frees up the cockpit and allows up to four adults to move around and fish with relative ease (although two to three anglers is ideal).

The Stealth lives up to its moniker as well, with the Minn Kota and full carpeting allowing you to silently approach the snags or sneak up on fish in the shallows. In fact, its ability to negotiate extremely shallow water is excellent and I am regularly impressed with the craft’s proficiency over the flats in depths of less than half a metre.

The rod storage is very handy (although the compartment would benefit from being longer than 1.8m) and the moveable swivel seats allow you to change the layout to suit your needs on the day. One failing is the positioning of the rear driver’s seat – it has been placed too far back and interferes with access to the rear compartment containing the battery. The seat is also awkwardly placed in relation to the tiller, making steering difficult at times.

If I had my time over, I would have also upgraded to a colour sounder, but the base model Eagle Cuda 3000 that comes with the package is perfectly serviceable.

It is a very comfortable craft. Its ample freeboard is a major plus with kids on board and, even when ploughing into significant chop, it is a mostly dry ride. The 40hp Yamaha gets it up on the plane nicely, especially when weight is evenly distributed across the boat. Sure, it’s not a Skeeter packing 200hp, but it’s a setup that will still tootle along at 30 knots – and that’s as fast as I’ll ever need to go on the tranquil waters I fish.

Although specifically designed for quiet estuaries, the Stealth 424 Pro would be quite capable of handling larger, more exposed bodies of water like Jervis Bay or Twofold Bay on flat days. But I doubt mine will ever venture that far. It has proven such an effective fish-catching weapon in the tidal lakes, river and creeks it deserves to be a full-time estuary boat.

The Stealth 424 Pro, like the rest of the Anglapro range, is a smart looking boat and turns heads at the ramp. The standard white hull is eye-catching but you can upgrade to the classy black or sapphire blue finish if you choose (for an extra $500).

According to Derek Rodway, the Anglapro’s aesthetics are no accident.

“In attempt to look unique and current, we went with a clean, slick, sporty presentation with a dash of colour with the model names,” Rodway said.

“The Anglapro ‘brand’ has a logo and so does each of the models. This is a unique approach that seems to have worked well. Our boats are designed well and finishing them with a classic look means the boat will continue to look great for years to come,” he said.

The Anglapro range is making plenty of waves on the local fishing scene, and for good reason. Anglapro has seen a market for budget conscious anglers who want a purpose built fishing boat that he or she can customise to suit their needs. The Stealth 424 Pro is a perfect example. It’s affordable yet packed with all the features you would expect in a top-notch fishing boat. And it looks great, too. What more could you want?

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