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Hi Guys,

Long time since i posted on here but with the demise of Nuggets and another private forum it is time i contributed to the only good forum left.

I have been quiet for the last couple of years due to my 40yr old tinnie finally being bashed to death and unsafe to get offshore anymore. 

Time has come to buy a new boat and after opinions from the more experienced than myself.

I have up to 70k to spend on my dream boat to last me until i retire.

I am liking the Quintrex Top Ender 520 but the dream would probably be a Haines SIgnature 543sf but a bit out of my price range to have it fully fitted out. 80k plus new.

Does anyone on here have a Top Ender and how do they find it?

I have been out in Youngy's 485sf plenty of times and it is a great boat but would prefer something a bit bigger to get further offshore so hence the 543sf.

What i am after,

A boat to get offshore safely with high sides to safely hold me and the pup. Ideally get out to Lady Musgrave etc. for an overnighter. Will the Top Ender be capable? I think so.

Something i can sleep in. This is why i would like a side console and not a centre to give me floor room for a swag.

Electric motor is a must.

Soft ride for my old decrepit back.

Longevity and quality. You pay for what you want and the better quality the better.

Time is not really a concern. I have waited this long a few more months to get a custom build won't concern me.

Rod lockers on the 520 TE look good but are they functional? Youngy has some but does not use them as they get water in them.

Suzuki or Yamaha? I know these days most motors are reliable but i believe Yamaha have the best reputation?

 

Sorry for all the questions guys but this is something every boater dreams of for a long time. I can't wait to get back to seriously fishing again and catch some fish i have wanted for a long time. 

Any opinions on what would be your dream boat would be awesome as well.

Thanks guys in advance and look forward to putting up many reports in future.

 

 

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Personally If I was planning to go out as far as Lady Musgrave I would probably be looking for a much bigger boat, even a good second hand one to keep it under your budget, whilst it can be done with small boats on good days with flatish seas, on the other days it would be quite hairy as the weather can change quickly.

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If you fish on your own then that will restrict you greatly unless you can get a drive on/off trailer setup, for myself, a 6.5m would probably be about the minimum I personally would feel comfortable going out that far, 7-8m would be better but you would be getting well over your budget unless you go for a much older boat in that size.

I mean, if the seas were flat then you could even do it in a 4.3m, however you can never guarantee that it will stay that way all the way out there or when you want to go back, as it will take  approx 2 hours out and could take more than double that to get back if the seas get rough which is where the problem lies. It is not uncommon for seas to get up a sea height of up to 1.5 to 2m if the wind increases or changes direction, so that is about 1/3 of your  boat length and don't forget the occasional breaker. You might get out there, but would you be able to get back?

That part of the world can get quite windy for long spells or whip up quite quickly. Late last year, I took my 5.7m boat from 1770 with the intention to do the same, it wasn't too bad when we left but after about 10NM we turned back as I wasn't going to risk it,  It just kept getting worse and worse. It was just as well I did, it was a good judgement call on my part as it got considerably nastier as the day rolled on, and that was the best of the days we were there in over the week we were there.

A friend of mine was in a 7.5m and he kept on going and even then he had a rough time coming home. You will also need to take into account how much fuel a small boat can carry. My boat was way too small to do that sort of trip safely. Just my 2 cents worth.

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19 hours ago, leeroy1 said:

Suzuki or Yamaha

I have a Suzuki 70hp on my 5m boat and a Yami 115 on the OzFish boat. Neither have skipped a beat. Both have pros and cons. I don't think you would have a problem with either and I think Merc put out a good engine now (I don't think I could get past the black anchor reputation...)

Exciting for you to be looking at a dream boat. 

A mate of mine used to say "hey dreamboat!" then when the girl turned to say yes he would reply with "not you shipwreck". I never laughed....as it was rude....

N.B. The last bit may or may not be true. 

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Open boats offshore are wet boats, and a side console means you are sitting down all the time. You mentioned your back.

I would never own another one.

 

Trailers are easy to set up for drive on/off, however on the retrieve I have to leave it in gear and climb out around the front and down onto the trailer. Hook up the winch, then climb back around and switch it off. I can do this extremely quick. I've had groups of three men beside me take longer to load a smaller boat. Figjam... Hahaha. 

A quick hitch may be of an advantage for you, but they look ugly in the hull imo. 

 

I do Musgrave regularly in a well fitted out (because I did it) 5.5m plate Sea Adex armour hardtop. It's in my avatar next to my name. My dream boat. Best riding alloy hull on the market imo, but they're expensive, and some people find them "ugly", but I don't buy boats for their appearance. It's the performance that matters for me.

I was lucky, my father in law used to own the company so I got mine when they first started and it was a lot cheaper than they are now.

 

That stretch of water is very unpredictable. Swells v wind is what throws it into a washing machine. That and it's relatively shallow (40m) untill you get out past the island. 

I can tell you that from Round Hill creek to the leads in the lagoon is a 68k slog, so consider fuel capacity and consumption when you're looking for your dream. 

I have 150ltr tank and a 150hp merc. It is spinning an 18inch enertia getting 1.7k to the ltr travelling 43kph at 3700rpm (in most seas). I use approx 45ltrs heading out. Big swells and chop on top could see that figure increase substantially. 

You have to weigh up how often you're going to be doing this trip. 

Good luck and take your time. 

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We have a 5m waverider at work built to survey. All of us own boats and were very impressed with the build quality, customisation and ride of this thing. It eats up the chop and is super stable (we tow a 3m beam for research work) compared to the last plate boat we had built by Origin. it was a solid boat but the reverse chine/deep vee hull design didn’t work with all the weight at the back and off the plane would be so tippy that no one was comfortable working in it. On the plane it was good but really sensitive to any slight movement. It was a dog!

heres the link to the Waverider 

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worth a look at the videos crossing the bar

my personal boat is a 3.85 seajay nomad and it is a “smooth water” boat. 1.6mm pressed aluminium tinny with a 25 yammy. I’m fairly conservative but Have crossed bars and fished up to 3nm offshore on good forecasts. Pick the eyes out of the forecast and have a second boat for the long journeys is smart. We do 1770 3 day trips in a 530 cruise craft explorer and have been 14nm off waddy point fraser in a 14ft tinny on a good day.  
 Just learn the capabilities of your vessel and what conditions you are comfortable with and be safe

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7 hours ago, Nog said:

FYI. I have a Galeforce 5.5 glass boat and at a stretch would do LAdy Muscrave on a calm day

 

I have a 6m Galey, so personally curious to hear what makes it a stretch for you in the 5.5m and what is considered a calm day?

 

As for other feedback, Lady Musgrave isn't too much further than parts of Deep Tempest (eg 90m stuff) or the northern end of the Banks / southern end of Hards from M'bah. What's different about Lady Musgrave? 

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Thanks Guys,

Getting out to Lady Musgrave is a wish but not necessary, most fishing will be around SE Qld and Northern NSW, Barra Dams and around Rocky. LM would be once a year or two at max.

I have had my 4.2 a long way off the GC on a good day but have been caught a couple of times but take it slow and cautious.

Versatility is probably more important than having a larger boat to get out there and then not being able to use it up the creeks and canals around the coast. Still chase Jacks and Trevs in summer and flatties etc around the Pin.

I know there is no such thing as a boat that will do everything and a compromise is needed somewhere.

Launching is a major concern as i'm not a small guy and getting up and over a higher side will not be easy. I live near the Broadwater Parklands ramp and the plan was to back down next to the pontoon and jump from that into the boat. And use a quick hitch. On other ramps i may need a step ladder but that is not safe on ramps? Any other ideas? Board through the transom door which would need a swim?

I think you are right Drop Bear re motors i would be happy with all 3 brands in the end. But will definitely want the max HP for the hull i get.

The Waveriders look nice Andrew, do you know if there is a dealer where i could look at a demo?

 

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3 hours ago, leeroy1 said:

Thanks Guys,

Getting out to Lady Musgrave is a wish but not necessary, most fishing will be around SE Qld and Northern NSW, Barra Dams and around Rocky. LM would be once a year or two at max.

I have had my 4.2 a long way off the GC on a good day but have been caught a couple of times but take it slow and cautious.

Versatility is probably more important than having a larger boat to get out there and then not being able to use it up the creeks and canals around the coast. Still chase Jacks and Trevs in summer and flatties etc around the Pin.

 On other ramps I may need a step ladder but that is not safe on ramps? Any other ideas? Board through the transom door which would need a swim?

 

 

On both my ex 23ft and 26ft boats, climbing into it from the front was a hassle for my missus and kids, at the ramp with a pontoon it wasn't a problem, as we would just step on the duckboards, but for those ramps without the pontoon I would take the boat off and then bow beach it, so climbing in from the front was a pain even for me.  I ended up making a removable ladder clipped over the anchor winch/or cleats and then pulled it up when in the boat.

As you said, regarding the 4.2m and getting caught out when the sea changed, just because your boat can get out a long way when the seas are flat doesn't mean it is a good idea to do so. The problem is, you go out a long way when it's flat and then the seas change a bit so you think to your self it's not that bad I will stay a bit longer, by the time you realise that it isn't getting better and you should have left earlier, you now have several hours to get back as you are now a long way out and won't be able to do the same speed as you did when you went out, which adds time for the seas to get really nasty and that is when most small boats get into strife.

Alternatively you go out to the Island on a calm day and stay the night and the weather changes, what do you do then, you either take the chance and come back in a rough sea, or be forced to stay the night, but what if the wind increases and keeps blowing for a week or two? That would have happened to me at LM, as it kept blowing big time for another 10 days after we came back. The seas got that bad I would not have gone out in a 35ft'er let alone coming back in my 5.7m boat.

Some people are happy enough to take a small boat out a long way, but myself I would be more relaxed in a much larger boat, I have seen enough of the ocean to know what can happen. Bigger boats are generally safer to be in a sloppy sea than a small boat.

For yourself if the LM trip is only once a year then I would be more inclined to get a boat that is sized for the majority of your boating needs and for once a year to LM, maybe go on a charter.

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12 hours ago, Terry H said:

I have a 6m Galey, so personally curious to hear what makes it a stretch for you in the 5.5m and what is considered a calm day?

 

As for other feedback, Lady Musgrave isn't too much further than parts of Deep Tempest (eg 90m stuff) or the northern end of the Banks / southern end of Hards from M'bah. What's different about Lady Musgrave? 

Hi Terry

 

I'm just very cautious and the lack of freeboard is a factor.  Also I've had some green come over the bow on occassions. I know it's self draining and it was probably driver error, but it freaked me enough to choose my weather windows wisely.

Of course YMMV

 

Cheers

Norm

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4 hours ago, Nog said:

Hi Terry

 

I'm just very cautious and the lack of freeboard is a factor.  Also I've had some green come over the bow on occassions. I know it's self draining and it was probably driver error, but it freaked me enough to choose my weather windows wisely.

Of course YMMV

 

Cheers

Norm

Thanks Norm. 

I think I know what you mean - particularly if you're talking chop in 15-20 knots of wind. I find in that sort of weather, it's about finding the right speed to stay "up" and not get into the up and down of every chop where you sink the bow. Of course, balanced with too much "up" that results in broken backs for all on board. 

I don't purposefully go out in that wind speed - natural drift is too fast and you'd be soaking wet before you got anywhere - but have certainly found myself in it.

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On 29/07/2021 at 10:30 AM, Ed. said:

Personally If I was planning to go out as far as Lady Musgrave I would probably be looking for a much bigger boat, even a good second hand one to keep it under your budget, whilst it can be done with small boats on good days with flatish seas, on the other days it would be quite hairy as the weather can change quickly.

I totally agree with Ed. I used to camp on Lady Musgrave often when I was younger and there’s no way I’d be going out there in any boat less than about 21 foot. 

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1 hour ago, GregOug said:

I totally agree with Ed. I used to camp on Lady Musgrave often when I was younger and there’s no way I’d be going out there in any boat less than about 21 foot. 

Meh I go there in this. 

Boat Float GIF by Justin Rarri

The information contained above may or may not be true. 

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9 hours ago, leeroy1 said:

That's a weapon Ed definitely something to think about. Maybe I need 2 boats lol.

 

That pretty much sums it up, unfortunately 1 boat will not do the lot. If you do a lot of creeks and shallow areas then you need a small tinnie, but to get out further than you need a bigger boat. It is a bit like fishing rods, you wouldn't go fishing for Whiting with a Tuna rod, so you get rods for the purpose.

Having a bigger boat has it's advantageous, easier ride in the ocean, much safer, holds more stuff, people, gear, fuel etc, but it is not suitable for shallow areas.

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An ali floor is a good idea, and  Seajay have one that is fitted like that.. To me that's the issue with a quintrex, it has a ply floor. I thinkthe waveriders look pretty good, but also consider, if you can find one, a Borger Cat from Ingham. Also McLay aren't a bad little boat. What ever you go with, you won't get one that does everything. You have to go around the 5 mark ali (iight and strong and able to lift off banks etc and not get scratches from rocks bars etc) for inshore work and creeks etc then a glass boat for offshore work, preferably 6m plus. My advice would be buy the inshore boat then hire or borrow for the offshore otherwise you'll have a boat for neither situation.$0.02

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I was surprised Quintrex had a ply floor definitely a negative,

Ali floor with the new sea-deck flooring would be nice.

Do any brands foam fill their hulls if requested? Not for survey but safety? Besides getting a positive bouyancy hull like a stabi-craft i would feel safer in a foam filled hull like what i have done with my current tinnie?

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16 hours ago, leeroy1 said:

Do any brands foam fill their hulls if requested? Not for survey but safety? Besides getting a positive bouyancy hull like a stabi-craft i would feel safer in a foam filled hull like what i have done with my current tinnie?

I know my Stessco Tornado SF 500 has loads of polystyrene in between the ribs. Dunno if that means foam filled. I was told that expansion foam gets soggy and doesn't float after time. 

It has a ply floor but ally ribs etc. It is a good solid boat. 

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17 hours ago, Old Scaley said:

Sea Jay are the same. 

Most seajay are the same and have a ply floor but for example the ranger sports has acheckerplate floor, ideal for hosing out the mud etc. Also built by family business in Bundy. The McLay has a checkerplate floor and has foam trapped underneath thee gunnels and floor. There might also be some of the quintrex and other brands that come with a chckerplate floor but you have to pick and choose. Trailcraft used to be built in Western Australia but I don't believe they are any more, but their tinnies had a plate floor. Correct me if I'm wrong about where they're built. Youll also find some of the plate boat builders have plate floors, like OMM , AMM in a 5 m centre or side console.

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