By: John Willis

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  • Trade-A-Boat

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Attractively priced, the new three-model 5.45 range from Melbourne boatbuilder Revival has something for all in the family. Just name your configuration, reports John Willis




There's no doubt about it. Competition for the family trailerboat market has never been hotter, nor the quality of the products any better! Moreover, one group is profiting greatly and that is the Australian boating public with the terrific range of high-quality boating packages currently on offer.

Melbourne based Revival Boats have launched themselves into this highly competitive market with a lovely new 5.25m package that is available in a number of variations.



Revivals' owner and designer, Sam Catanese, has had a lifetime in the boating industry and has long held a reputation for innovation and beautiful finished quality. The all-new Revival boats are very attractive packages, with a range that will appeal to a large variety of potential new boat buyers with a Runabout, Cuddy fisherman and Deluxe cruiser versions.

The Revival hull reflects a time-honored formula of 2.2m beam with a 20-degree deadrise giving the boat very good handling capabilities. It is well suited for those after a family boat where it can be a fisher in the morning, switch to water skiing or wakeboarding during the day, and still be comfortable enough for that late afternoon champagne cruise up river.

We really put all three of these great Australian-made packages through their paces for a wild and exciting ride in some very challenging conditions on Victoria's Port Phillip Bay.

Sam has put a slight variation in the new hull by moulding a very pronounced chine that is nearly 250mm wide at the shoulders and forms to a 75mm reverse angle at the transom.

This has increased the stability of the package at rest and given the bow considerable lift. While it can be a little hard and throws some spray in very choppy conditions, the chine on the Revival ensures that the bow will not bury itself in a following sea. There has also been considerable effort ensuring that the weight distribution with the 90-litre underfloor fuel tank and equivalent sized killtank to the stern balances the hull nicely.




I was very impressed with the turning and tracking capabilities of the Revival, and this is again reflective of the fact that Sam has a long history with skiboats through his many years as owner of Stejcraft boats. He really does know what makes a hull perform!

The two strakes give the vessel very straight tracking and an easy transition onto the plane. It is a hull that you can confidently allow novices to take the helm as it really has no surprises.

All of the configurations in the Revival range look great. They have beautiful, yet simple mouldings with an exceptionally high degree of gelcoat finish. Structurally, the Revival is laid up using 24oz woven rovings giving a strong, reinforced base to the 600kg hull. The engine fitups are neat and tidy and certainly allow the hulls to work to their maximum capabilities with no evident cavitation or slip.




Of the three test boats, a 115hp Yamaha Saltwater series two-stroke outboard was fitted to the Runabout, while the Cuddy and Deluxe both had a 115hp Evinrude E-TEC. All configurations provided extremely satisfying performance.

The Revival 5.25s are rated to take all current V4 two-stroke engines and 100hp maximum for the heavier four-strokes, all with 25in transoms. The boats really did like the extra power of the V4s and to be honest, you would really be splitting hairs to choose between the Yammie and the E-TEC, except that the Evinrude is definitely much more economical at the fuel bowser.

Our trials of the Revival Deluxe with the 115hp E-TEC saw plane achieved at 24kmh and 2800m, with WOT recorded at 5100rpm and 67kmh.




Both the fishing Cuddy and the Deluxe versions are identical in the hull and deck mouldings. Visually, the boats are very attractive and have all of the elements of functional dayboats. Typically with cuddy cabin configurations the bunks are quite short and while they are large enough for a snooze, I wouldn't like to spend the whole night on them, although a bunk extension does take the length to 2.14m and is available as an option. The cabin area is well laid out and provides very good headroom and protection from the elements, as well as storage via big, deep sidepockets and cavities under the bunk cushions.

From bow to stern, the Revivals are well designed. The moulded bowsprit is not included in the 5.25m so the overall length is approximately 5.5m. The bowsprit and locking cross bollard enables the anchor to be stored outside the cabin, a real bonus with muddy anchors. Access to the bow area is through a nice, big cabin hatch, while an attractive and strong split bowrail highlighting the forward bow section.




At the helm the dashboard is very simple, yet practical and attractive. The gauges are easy to see, but there is no room for in-dash fitting of depthsounders or GPS/chartplotters. Instead, these must be top-mounted on a bracket. Personally, I do not mind this at all and it leads to very few long-term problems if electronics are to be changed or updated. The marine radio is recessed in the portside combing, just next to a stainless steel grabrail.

The helm also features a pair of nicely upholstered bucket seats, an attractive sports steering wheel, Perspex windscreen with a powder coated frame and full-length stainless steel grabrail.

Sam's philosophy is to provide a large amount of deck space with nice, high gunwales and toeholds for added security. After all, this is a dayboat so deck room is the number one priority. The internal fit and accessories are a personal choice between the cruiser or fisherman configurations.

The Deluxe cruiser version is worthy of even the most discernable customer, with a beautifully upholstered rear lounge incorporating icebox storage underneath. It also features a fibreglass seat box with a tackle box and storage under the driver's seat, as well as a removable table. The Deluxe is carpeted throughout and has padded coamings and an upholstery upgrade. The premium package is easily converted to a sportier alternative with the removal of the lounge, table and camper covers. Even the skipole transforms to a cutting board if you wish to fish instead of ski.

The Revival 5.25 Cuddy is just a simpler version. It has a flow-coat floor with a centre carpet strip, optional fold-down and removable rear lounge, big and deep carpeted sidepockets as well as dual seat pedestals, and is generally finished with an aftermarket cutting board/rodholder combination.

If a runabout with a walkthrough windscreen is more your preference, then Revival have a terrific offering with the 5.25 Runabout. I really liked this more sports-oriented version of the same hull, and I see great benefits for the ease of anchoring and boarding offered by a walkthrough.

The bow area on the 5.25 Runabout is complemented with simple and convenient storage, as well as a nice wide and deep walkthrough hatch. The minimal available dashboard space is fully utilised and compact, and even allows a glovebox on the passenger side. The Runabout has a nice, raised seating position that is a pleasure to drive, and plenty of grabrails for those high-speed turns that this package invites. This runabout is built for fun!




All configurations feature a large killtank under the floor, rear mounted iceboxes including an aerator on the starboard side, bimini and rocket launcher combination, full navigation lights, waterproof switch panel, bilge pump, and adjustable seat slides. The Revival packages are completed with Trailer Made galvanised drive-on trailers with attractive mag wheels, walkway and a mounted spare.

There is a full range of optional equipment for all three variants of the Revival 5.25, including rear boarding platforms with stainless steel fold-up boarding ladder (standard on the cruiser) as well as electronic preferences such as depthsounder, radio and GPS/chartplotter offerings to personal taste.

Revival Boats have picked their mark in the market really well with the 5.25s. The design of the three variants can be mixed and matched to customer preference, reflecting the wants and needs of a major proportion of the Australian boating market.

The functional layouts will serve all family interests and a seven-year structural warranty gives confidence in the manufacture. The Revival 5.25s handle well on the water in both flat and choppy conditions, and the available deck room really hits the mark for all trailerboat enthusiasts.

Well done Sammy!




Big deck room

Practical and functional configurations

Convenient anchoring layouts

Nice upholstery and trim

Plenty of storage

Pleasing performance

Turns and tracks well

Plenty of options




Little bit of spray in chop

The big chines slap a little


Specifications: Revival 5.25




Price as tested: $39,790 Deluxe w/ 115 E-TEC, and more

Options fitted: Camper covers

Priced from: $35,950 Deluxe
(BMT); $32,950 Runabout (BMT); $32,950 Cuddy (BMT)




Type: Monohull

Material: GRP

Length overall: 5.5m

Beam: 2.2m

Deadrise: 20°

Weight: 600kg (hull);
approx 1350kg (BMT)




Fuel: 90lt

People: 6

Rec. min. HP: 70

Rec. max. HP: 130

Rec. max. engine weight: 194kg

Rec. max. load: 680kg




Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC 115

Type: Petrol outboard

Rated HP: 115

Displacement: 1726cc

Weight: 167kg

Gearbox ratio: 2:1

Propeller: 17in s/s Viper




Revival Boats,

163 Canterbury Road.

Kilsyth, Vic, 3137

Phone: (03) 9761 4914





Originally published in TrailerBoat 245.


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