Turning Pro

BROOKER Boats has been in the tinny business for more than 40 years. The Sydney-based manufacturer has a long-held reputation for producing affordable tinnies and trailers for estuary and freshwater fishos.

The company recently went through some changes with a new owner and a new factory in Western Sydney. Following the changes, the future looks good for Brooker with plans to grow the brand and capitalise on its well-known name. Boat Fishing recently tested one of the company’s most popular models on Sydney Harbour – the 420 Pro. This model is an open deep vee style tinny suited for fishing estuaries, rivers and impoundments.

The Pro is Brooker’s answer to a specced-up sportfishing boat, with fully carpeted floors, rear and forward casting platforms and a few other add-ons. Under the rear platform on the starboard side there’s a 25 litre fuel tank, while the opposite hatch features a battery tray and wiring.

The test boat featured two sturdy pedestal seats and was a tiller steer configuration. Brooker offers this range of boats in tiller, side and centre console configurations. I found the tiller steer worked well.There’s a reasonable amount of storage under the front casting platform and more in the side pockets.

Most serious fishos these days find an electric motor essential, so Brooker has installed a dedicated bracket on the bow. Accessories such as electric motors and sounders aren’t included with the 420 Pro. A 55lb bow mount electric and a sounder of your choice is about all you’d need to turn this boat into a complete sportfishing package. The test boat also featured a vertical rod holder on the wide gunwales.

On the water
The maximum rated outboard for this hull is 40hp. The test boat was fitted with a two-stroke 30hp Mercury. I found the 30 more than adequate with a maximum speed of 25 knots. With glassed-out conditions, we took the boat for a run along the Parramatta River. Passing boat and ferry wake was our only option for testing the boat’s performance in the chop. It handled well with a softer than expected ride. In my view, the 420 would be suitable for fishing two people. We tested the boat with two on board and found stability was good, although a little tippy at the bow. That’s the trade-off with this style of hull.

Attention to detail
The 420 Pro is nicely finished with visible welds on the gunwales kept out of sight. This both looks good and helps prevent corrosion.The 420 Pro is available in several colour options and various sizes ranging from 360 to 510. It’s easy to understand why this size and model remains most popular. The 420 Pro is easy to tow, easy to store, is more than manageable solo and won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a purpose built estuary fishing boat that ticks the above boxes, the Brooker 420 Pro is worth checking out.

More information and the full range of boats can be found on the Brooker website.

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