Reviewed: Savage 585 Cuddy Cabin

The Savage 585 Cuddy Cabin is an impressive entry-level fibreglass boat ready for serious fun, dedicated fishing or relaxed family days on the water.

Featuring a hull manufactured in China, the boat is priced well, an important consideration in these tough times.

Making my way up the Pacific Highway to rendezvous with Craig from Huett Marine at Berowra, I felt some trepidation as to what to expect from these recently released hulls.

Over the years I’ve stepped aboard a number of questionable quality imports. I couldn’t help but wonder what lay in wait with this boat.

The moment of truth revealed a slick looking vessel, with clean lines, a sturdy build, robust stainless rails, tidy finishes and a user friendly design. Delivered on a single axle alloy trailer with an E-TEC 150hp on the transom, the overall package looked pretty appealing.

Running over the hull in detail from bow to stern, inside and  out, left me in no doubt  that the team from Savage mean serious business with this range of boats.

On the water
As you’d expect from a trailer designed to suit the hull, the boat launch and the retrieve were effortless; we even managed to keep the tyres and axle dry.

Pushing out of the boat harbour, I was twitching to plant the throttle and see what this sporty fishing boat had in the way of get-up-and-go.

The holeshot was instantaneous and the pace to full speed outstanding. In fact, this rig would easily suit a 130hp E-TEC should you want to make a further saving.

We put the boat through its paces while running down river and out onto Broken Bay, making hard banking accelerated turns with ever more courage and bravado.

The stepped chines dug in and no matter how hard I pulled into a corner or accelerated out, the hull stayed true and the prop never once faltered or cavitated.

Across sizeable chop and a moderate swell the hull rode softly and re-entered comfortably. There wasn’t a big sea by any means, but  we stayed dry despite the puffing south-wester carrying its chilly winter wind.

At rest the hull feels safe, it isn’t the most stable fishing platform I’ve encountered due to the lack of reverse chines, but with a 2.38m metre beam there is plenty of boat resting in the water to keep you standing, not sitting, and two anglers could comfortably work from the same side of the cockpit.

Lay-out & fishability
There’s a lot to like about the way this boat is set-up, and a few things that need improving or retrofitting.

Starting with the positives, all the edges are safe and clean, the decking and cockpit moulds meet snuggly and the gel-coat was gleaming.

The bow features a substantial roller with twin heavy duty stainless bowrails either side of a decent sized anchor well. The access hatch to the bow is large and well sealed with double latches to keep the water out.

Inside the cabin, cushioned seats (with storage) provide a decent place for a midday kip. The side pockets have removable cushions which are fixed in place by velcro, and provide the place for your charts, life jackets, towels, spare caps, sunscreen etc. The rear access to the helm is immaculate with a custom built hatch and super tidy wiring and controls.

The dash was one of the few things I felt could be designed better. While a larger dash area may reduce some cabin access, it would open up space for crew members and the skipper to store those items we all like to have at hand.

Plus, as is always the case, I’d like more room for pedestal mounted electronics. I think that flush mounted helm/dash electronics are a thing of the past, fishing has evolved to the point that we like to be able to see what our sounder and plotters are telling us from every corner of fishable space in the boat.

The helm itself is very simple, with basic gauges, a hidden control box, a standard six switch panel, and a robust steering wheel. The quality pedestal seats are a great addition, being sturdy and fully adjustable.

The cockpit boasts plenty of room for a family of four or just as many capable anglers. However, some changes need to be made to make this a true fishing set-up.

The side pockets are long but difficult to access. Additionally there are only four gunwale mounted rodholders, meaning you will need to fit extras. Along the transom, removable padded bench seats (again with storage) provide comfortable seating, and can be repositioned easily when it’s time to get down to fishy business.

It would also be great to see one of these seat storage compartments become an insulated cooler for food, drinks and fresh fish when captured.

There are dual removable transom access doors – one on each side of the motor well. This strikes me as being great for kids and divers, but a little unneccsary for anglers, especially when after a little wear I could see these becoming a little unstable too lean against in a big sea.

There’s no real space for a cutting board or live bait tank. As you’d imagine, Savage is looking at solutions to this and very soon we will see custom options to add these to the base package.

Over the transom there is a decent boarding platform and a folding ladder to make egress out of the water easier. The underfloor stainless 75 litre fuel tank is definitely undersized and could do with being twice as big. I’d happily sacrifice the so called underfloor kill tank to have longer range capability.

Once a few small storage and fishing options are reconsidered, these boats will find doubtless find many fans all around the country. So if you’re in the market for boat, motor and trailer package, take the time to test drive one of these. ¦

Savage 585 Cuddy Cabin
Length: 5.8m
Beam: 2.38m
Deadrise: 19 degrees
Weight: (Hull only) 800kg
Power: 115hp to150hp
Price: From $41,500 as tested $47,500
Contacts: Visit Test boat supplied by Huett Marine, Sydney;


This story was first published in the Fishing World October 2013 issue.

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