Formosa 595 SRT PRO Centre Cab review


FORMOSA Boats are well known for manufacturing no-nonsense “overbuilt” plate boats. The Brisbane-based boat builder has a range of solid plate models, all loaded with useful features and endless options, and all built for serious fishing.

One such model is the SRT PRO 595 Centre Cab. The latest generation SRT launched in 2019 as a combination and evolution of the previous two hull lines – Searod and Tomahawk. Formosa says it combines the best of both designs and further enhances them into the new SRT range.

Formosa’s “Quality Build, Ultimate Performance” has been the boat brand’s motto, central to Formosa’s evolution since it started in 1998 on Brisbane’s bayside. With over 20 years of boat building experience and multiple generations of hulls, the latest Formosa boats are well-designed fishing platforms with excellent performance, stability and durability.


Rob’s boat
This particular boat belongs to Sunshine Coast local Rob Noy.

Rob is a Sunny Coast family man and owner of two Brisbane gyms. Rob grew up further north around Mackay and knows his way around boats and fishing. When it came time to upgrade, Rob says the Formosa was an obvious choice. `

“The centre cab allows enough room for a mate or two and I to go and spend an overnighter on the reef, but also to give the kids some protection from the weather.”

“We’ve gone from an open top tinny to a Formosa for that extra protection,” says Rob.

Rob mostly fishes the reefs and wider offshore from the Sunshine Coast, plus the odd bit of trolling when the Spaniards are on. The 595 was the ideal size and the features and options work well for his style of fishing.

“The back deck and the rails on the transom allows more space and lets me take a couple of mates out. It fishes better with that extra space and it’s a bit more comfortable,” he says.

The beige colour and the name “The Gov’Nor” came about from Rob’s late father and his late father-in-law.

“My dad got me into fishing when I was young and having that presence and tribute to him is important.

“The colour of the boat is that Land Cruiser Dune Beige. My Dad had a Land Cruiser FJ45 that I took when he passed on and refurbished. Unfortunately it’s not in the family anymore, but the beige colour is a tribute to that.”

Formosa offers its boats in a large range of AS2700 standard colours, plus some metallic options and the possibility of custom paint (as this boat has with the Toyota Dune Beige coloured sides).


Formosa is a brand known for its long list of clever features and this 595 is no exception.

The stand-out feature and one that becomes instantly obvious is the “cage” at the transom. This optional extra closes in the duckboard area on each side of the outboard at the rear. It’s an area otherwise used to board and disembark, and that’s about it. Now, with the addition of a rail, anyone can comfortable fish in this area. It opens up more space and it’s space that’s out of the way of others in the cockpit area. It’s ideal for flinging lures around, etc. It’s also a safe place for kids to go and fish.

Moving slightly forward and Formosa offers four configurations of its Active Transom.

Depending on hull size, you can have no door, single door (standard), dual doors or with a transom that fully folds down into the hull completely opening the rear.

This particular boat has the aforementioned rails on each side, plus walk-thru doors on each side and a neat bait station area. There’s a cutting board and extra storage along the rear and underneath the board for pliers, knives etc. The plumbed livewell sits underneath the cutting board. There are also rod holders at the rear of the bait station. It’s a neat bait station that fits a lot into a small area and doesn’t impeded on the cockpit. There’s also a fold down seat in front.

Moving forward and there’s a large kill tank that’s welded in and drain plumbed to transom. It’s a decent size for the type of fish you’d want to chase from this style of boat.

The floors and gunwales are coated with Deck Armour. This grippy flooring option makes walking around safe and comfortable. It’s also cool under foot and is available in many colours and patterns. There’s also the option to have custom graphics. In this case, Rob had the boat’s name “The Guv”Nor” and an Akubra hat and plumbing wench, a tribute to his late father and father-in-law.

Moving forward towards the centre cab, there are two seats with aluminium storage underneath. A perfect place for additional tackle and safety gear. On top of the seat boxes are two fold down padded seats.

Rob has fitted two 9-inch Garmin 953 Fishfinders to the dash and has a 1kW transducer installed.


Underneath the walk-around cabin is a small bunk. I really like this set-up. Most bunks are great for storing excess fishing gear or maybe sleeping a kid or two. This can be used for all of the above, but being completely open, Rob has created a “filler” to insert where the driver and passenger’s feet go when under way. This extends the sleeping area to fit two adults. It’s a great idea and one of the advantages of an open centre cab layout like this. It’s a perfect set-up for loading the boat and heading to an offshore reef overnight or heading away camping from the boat with the kids.

The cabin area features a folding rocket launcher, side pockets and windscreen as standard.

Walk-around configurations have made a big comeback in recent times and this Formosa is a great example of why the trend has gone that way. Every inch of the boat has been used to its maximum value. It’s first and foremost a fishing boat and the space at the front is perfect for throwing lures or fighting fish. The gunwales all the way around the boat are high enough to feel safe and I found fishing from the front comfortable and secure.

Rob has also installed a Minn Kota to the bow. It’s a long shaft 80lb 24 volt Minn Kota with manual deploy. Again, another advantage of having the walk-around is to deploy the electric.


We used the Minn Kota to hold us in place while fishing some structure in Moreton Bay. even with the strong current and heavy boat, the 80lb did a great job. I’d highly recommend buying a trolling motor for this stye of boat. It opens up more fishing opportunities and makes fishing solo or with kids so much easier.

Other features
Formosa’s Pro Deck True Self-Draining deck is an option available on all hulls (and standard on larger hulls 675, 715, 755). This feature includes a welded aluminium deck that sits above the water line, with plumbed scuppers through the transom (able to be finished off with carpet or checker plate from the factory, or left bare for a supplier to install EVA foam marine flooring. In this, the dealer supplied it with Deck Armour as mentioned above.

Another handy feature and one that makes it a stable boat with great performance is the Quad4 Ballast system. It’s and option available on all Formosa hulls and includes 4 tubes (2 each side of the keel) that flood with water at rest and offer counterbalance weight to combat keel roll from wave and internal movement.

It’s different from a traditional ballast that adds water to the keel area only. The Quad4 offers counterbalance. Even without Quad4, the wide hull and generous reverse chine and chine extrusion would offer good stability at rest.

Speaking of performance, the boat test day was a 10/10. No wind and glassed out conditions. We made our way from Bribie island across Moreton Bay towards Tangalooma where we shots some photos before heading back inside the bay for some fishing. It was ideal fishing weather, not so much boat testing weather. That said, we did experience the odd bump and I got a good feel for the boat and how it performs.

It certainly feels like a much larger boat with a beamy configuration and excellent stability and a comfortable ride.

“The performance of the boat has been amazing. I took a mate out last week and he said it’s a six metre boat that handles like a seven metre boat. It was great to hear that feedback.”

“We have the Suzuki 175 on the back, so there’s plenty of power and it never struggles to get the boat going out of the water and has great top end speed,” says Rob.

Suzuki’s 175 is a great choice for the SRT PRO with a solid reputation for reliability, performance and fuel economy.


Back at the ramp and we got an opportunity to see Formosa’s Towcatch system in action. Being new it needed some adjustment, however, these systems make launching and retrieving boats a breeze. It’s especially useful in larger boats like Formosa’s with high gunwales, making getting in and out more difficult at the ramp.

Overall, the SRT PRO makes a great fishing boat ideal for bays and offshore conditions. The centre cab configuration makes for a roomy boat. It really feels like a much larger boat than a 595 when you’re fishing and under way.

Feedback from Rob indicates it’s a great family boat for the kids and equally useful for some serious fishing and overnighters on the reef with some mates.

If you’re in the market for a “overbuilt” plate boat that punches above its weight, it’s worth checking out the SRT range of boats from Formosa. Formosa boats are available across 14 different dealers around Australia. Find out more at

Rob purchased his boat locally from Laguna Boating on the Sunshine Coast. You can find them at

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