BOAT TEST: ANGLAPRO BANDIT 444 PRO
Anglapro may be a newcomer to the Aussie scene but the company has grabbed a market share in double quick time
ANGLAPRO BANDIT 444 PRO
Launched at this year's Sydney International Boat Show, Anglapro Boats - a new Aussie-built plate-aluminium offering - won almost instant approval from fishos. But there's much more to the Anglapro saga than simply the release of a new range of tinnies.
After looking for an Australian-built plate-aluminium boat range to sell from his Sydney-based showroom, and not being able to find one that totally suited his needs, Derek Rodway from Good Times Marine set about building his own. He asked his customers and mates what they wanted in a boat, drew on his own years of boating and fishing experience; and then sat down with naval architects and a Brisbane-based aluminium fabricator and came away with the Anglapro model range. When the range is completed (around the end of the year) there will be seven new models in the line-up, ranging from a 4m tiller-steer through to various bass, estuary and bay boats, as well as a family runabout and a full-blown offshore fishing platform.
First cab off the rank is the Anglapro Bandit 444 Pro. When poise, balance and performance all come together you get an exhilarating combination, and when you add all the tools required by a cunning fish hunter you get the Bandit.
These carefully crafted, tough as you will ever need centre consoles are built to go anywhere. The Anglapro 444 Pro gives you the confidence to let nothing get in your way with its 3mm bottom and side construction.
One thing's for sure, the Anglapro Bandit 444 takes away all the excuses for getting you there and offers no restrictions once the hunt is on. The fibreglass consoles offer no wasted space, and the helm position maximises the potential of the hull with perfect weight distribution.
BAY AND ESTUARY BOAT
The Bandit 444 Pro is an ideal vessel for estuary and bay anglers, because she's surprisingly good at handling a bit of rough water, which is exactly what's needed from this style of boat. Lakes, bays and estuaries can all blow up from time to time and a good fishing boat needs to be able to handle it.
Although she has a moderate-vee hull, her sharp bow entry and forward spray-deflector rails deliver a relatively soft and dry ride, even when the wind is quartering across the bow. The conditions during the test day on Sydney's Port Hacking were as smooth as a baby's bum and it wasn't much better outside, so I had to resign myself to jumping other boats' wakes to access the rough-water credentials.
After ploughing through the biggest wakes I could find at full throttle I came away pleasantly surprised. Most moderate-vee tinnies bang hard amidships, which is normally under the helm, since that's where the hull begins to flatten out and presents a flat surface to the water. But this boat was decidedly quieter and much more smooth-riding than most similar aluminium boats I have driven. The ride over chop-cum-wakes was excellent.
Powered by a 50hp Suzuki four-stroke, she also gets up and boogies when the power is applied, and she's got a very sporty feel about her. At WOT she topped out at 64kmh (34.8kts) with full fuel and one adult onboard. Knock her back to 4000rpm, or three-quarter throttle, and she'll cruise around economically all day sitting on 48kmh (26kts).
Her steering is light and responsive and you can throw her around like a skiboat. In tight turns at full noise she didn't lose her tail (with the motor trimmed in) and she tracked straight in a small following sea.
As a centre console fishing boat her cockpit is intentionally left uncluttered, so anglers can move about easily. But there's only a driver's seat in this boat, so any passengers would have to sit on the floor at the transom. A couple of folding quarter seats wouldn't go astray here, or even a folding rear lounge. Most of us like to take at least one other crew member along when we go fishing.
After all, who else are we going to brag to, or have confirm the size of the one that got away?
Standard layout includes: an enclosed engine well; 25lt-fuel tank; grabrail above a small windscreen; pedestal mount seat (on slide); bow and gunwale grabrails; carpets; navigation lights; small sidepockets; bowsprit and roller; paint; rear step; and non-feedback steering.
Optional features such as a fold-away rear lounge, casting decks, bait tanks and killtanks, combine to create the ultimate in centre console boating. Other options include: hydraulic steering; transom bollards; bimini; courtesy lights; a plumbed-keeper tank; spray chines; cupholders; VHF radio; compass; fire extinguisher; coloured painted sides; 38lt underfloor-fuel tank; Lowrance sounder with GPS upgrade; and much more.
I was quite impressed by this sporty little centre console and she'd make an excellent boat to fish from in places like Sydney Harbour, where lure fishing and bottom bouncing go hand-in-hand. I can also see a big future for her up north where the big barra roam.
Plus, like all Anglapro models, if you have a wish list of what you want in your boat they can make it happen. As long as you stay within the parameters of the hull, you can customise your new Bandit as you see fit. But I reckon there won't be much more you need that the Bandit doesn't already offer.
For more information about the entire Anglapro range phone Goodtimes Marine on (02) 9524 6999 or email:
WHAT WE LIKED
Wide open cockpit
Good power-to-weight ratio
NOT SO MUCH
Only one seat
Price as tested: $17,990 w/ standard 40hp Suzuki two-stroke outboard and Dunbier single-axle trailer
Type: Monohull centre console
Material: Plate aluminium; 3mm bottom and sides
Hull warranty: Three Years
Rec. max. HP: 50 (Suzuki four-stroke)
Make/model: 40hp Suzuki
Type: Two-stroke petrol
Rated HP: 40
Good Times Marine
2 Toorak Ave,
Taren Point, NSW, 2229
Phone: (02) 9524 6999
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