Size matters!

Reviewed: Amara “Kimberley” & 75HP Honda

With a healthy hire business and a growing range of sportfishing models, Amara Boats is sitting pretty. Jim Harnwell checks out the latest in the line-up.

THE new generation of specialist estuary/impoundment/inshore sportfishing boats all feature loads of uncluttered deck space. This design feature is aimed at maximising the overall fishing experience. The more room you have, the easier is it to cast to and fight hard-running sportfish.

Up until recently you had the choice of tinnies, like those from the popular Quintrex or Sea Jay stables, or specialist fibreglass boats like the US-made Skeeters or the Aussie-made Haines Hunter Strike Pros or Haines Signature 485SFs, among various others.

But plate alloy boat builders, like NSW South Coast-based Amara Boats, have also designed inshore sportfishing boats which feature acres of fishing room in a user friendly and versatile package.

 The Amara Kimberley is a 4.9m vee-nosed boat which has become a popular fishing option in the range of boats offered by the burgeoning Boab Boat Hire franchise. I’ve used this particular model a few times over the past year. Each time I take it out for a fish, I find myself wishing I could keep it.

Although only 4.9m in length, the Kimberlely can only be described as “massive”. It carries a 2.25m beam almost all the way aft and it boasts a truly enormous front casting deck on which two anglers can easily cast and fish. The side console configuration means there is plenty of room amidships and down towards the transom.


Amara builds extremely solid boats. In fact, I would say they are over-engineered. They are designed primarily for the hire boat market and I guess they have to be solid to take the rough treatment that punters probably dish out.

For the fisho, this equates to a rugged boat that will certainly last the distance. While I’m no tradie, I appreciate good work. In my opinion, the welds and general build quality and attention to detail on the Amara was first class. This is a genuine custom plate alloy boat, not a mass produced tinnie.

I’ve used the Amara Kimberley casting and trolling in St Georges Basin, a fairly sheltered estuary on the South Coast, and in my home waters of Jervis Bay. The conditions I’ve used the boats range from calm to choppy. As you’d guess from the design of this boat, it’s a very stable platform, which makes it ideal for lure or fly casting. It certainly handles a bit of swell and chop, although you

get a bit wet travelling in a cross sea. There aren’t many boats in this class that wouldn’t cop a bit of spray – if you don’t want to get wet, buy a cabin boat!

The first time I used a Kimberley it was powered by a 50hp Honda, which wasn’t enough engine for the boat. The most recent test trip saw a 75hp Honda (plus a 5hp auxiliary) on the transom. This was a far better match, giving 30+ knots

top speed and a nice cruise of 20 knots. The 100 litre underfloor fuel tank provides plenty of range, especially when mated to a frugal four-stroke like the Honda.

The Amara Kimberley would suit the serious fisho who wants to chase bream/bass/barra etc in rivers and impoundments but who would also like to head out on good days in search of snapper, mackerel or reef fish. The plate alloy hull is self-draining, with positive floatation, and the high gunwales and solid 5mm construction provide a sense of security. You won’t break this boat.  

The Kimberley is big and friendly enough to double as a family day boat, and there’d be no issues pulling the kids on a tube while the wife relaxes in the comfy padded casting/sunbaking deck. A rear ladder and transom door helps make boarding from the water a relatively easy affair.

The boats come complete with just about all the angling features you need – check out the Amara website for the full specs. I appreciate the need for the solidly built bimini top – it certainly provides shade and protection – but I reckon I’d unbolt it and only use it for family days. According to the makers, the bimini is easy to remove and replace via tec screws in the gunwales.

I’m not a huge fan of side consoles, although the layout of the Amara works well. We did a fair bit of trolling last time I used a loaner Kimberley and it was nice to sit there out of the sun watching the sounder screen while the kids kept an eye on the rods. I was pleased to note that the Amara came standard with a stainless “captain’s wheel”. I use one of these on my boat with the knob on the wheel allowing excellent steering and manoeuvrability.


The boats are fitted as standard with a dash mounted Furuno sounder, GME marine radios and a Jensen iPod compatible AM/FM stereo. A bow mount 55lb Minn Kota electric engine is ideal for snooping around snags or flats in search of fish and the storage cavity under the massive hatch on the front casting platform would easily hold an entire tackle shop, plus all the necessary safety gear. An excellent switchable twin battery set-up under the transom provided power for the engine and electrics.

After a session in JB targeting squid (we ended up with 17), the boat proved easy to wash out. Some boats have tricky corners and angles which are a pain to clean but the flat, open surfaces of the Kimberley made cleaning it a breeze.

An impressive custom built single axle aluminium trailer was the icing on the cake, as far as I was concerned. This solidly built yet light trailer is one of the best I’ve seen and is built in-house at the Amara factory specifically for the Kimberley. Easy to tow and maintain, this sort of serious trailer ideally matches the solid Amara hull. Too often good boats are whacked on inferior trailers, causing the end user problems and thus reducing the overall appeal of the boating experience. After thoroughly checking out the Amara trailer, I’d reckon it would probably outlast the boat!

All in all, the Amara Kimberley impresses as a well built and functional inshore sportfishing rig. You can hire one from the Boab Boat Hire franchise all around the country (the boat I used came from the newly opened Hawkesbury River Boab operation; call Craig Usher  0419 989 389 for details) or you can look at getting one built for you by the Amara factory. These are not cheap boats – they start at about $55,000 – but you definitely get a lot of boat for your money.

Amara Kimberley

LENGTH ……4.9m


DEADRISE…….12 degrees

FUEL…………100 litres

As tested, 75hp Honda four-stroke

WEIGHT….1275kg on trailer

From $55,000; hire from $275 a day

Contact: Amara Boats on (02) 4256 0510 or;

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.