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Boatbuilders do their utmost to keep their heads above water in this economic climate, so if that means going out of their way to close a deal, then that’s what they’ll do. The Fisher 595 is a case in point.



The Fisher boat range consists of typical plate-boats designed for avid anglers, so what happens when a client walks in and wants something different, namely a boat required for commercial purposes - and diving at that? Well, as mentioned, you make a plan and customise the boat to suit, and that's just what Fisher Boats did in this case.

When it comes to Survey standards there's a huge difference between registering boats over and under the 6m mark - under 6m being far simpler - and thus a 595 Fisher Maxi Series was selected. The client required a boat in Survey that could be used for research and diving up north. The original Fisher 6m Maxi was then modified and customised to suit their needs.

The boat had to be strong - the 595 is a plate-boat that boasts a 5mm bottom and 4mm sides - and it needed an open and spacious interior for the divers. In addition, good access into the craft was needed for the equipment. As for the layout… well as you can see it's been kept super simple and entirely functional.



Off the ramp the 595 was exactly the same as any other boat, although the one major difference was the trailer, which was also customised to the client's requirements. It was a dual-axle model with long docking-boards and no roller system and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the boat slipped off and back onto the trailer without any double takes or swear words.

To suit heavier loads than usual the 595 Maxi was fitted with twin-Yamaha 60hp four-strokes, hydraulic steering, and a binnacle-mounted box centred on the stand-up console. The console is actually a sort of side-mount, but the driving controls were mounted on the left due to its beefy size. Even so, it was quite centred and comfortable to drive.



Punching out of the hole with good low-down torque, the twin 60s quickly got the 595 up and running. This kind of low-down torque is extremely important when it comes to loading up a boat, especially when that 600kg-plus load includes heavy dive gear and six fully-kitted people.

I have run dive boats in the past (and surf-launched them at that) and I am well aware of the power required to keep you out of the dwang (Kevin hails from South Africa and "dwang" is apparently polite slang for something that gets stuck to your shoe).

Unfortunately a full pack of divers was not onboard during the test, but it would have been interesting to check the performance when loaded. In my honest opinion the 60s might be a little sluggish so 70s might have that edge. Regardless, the 595 shot onto the plane quickly enough and the engines comfortably powered up to maximum revs and speed.

Of course, since this is more of a dive boat, top speed was not really a priority. Instead, it's the stability and comfortable ride that counts. Our test was conducted around the entrance of Moreton Bay's Bribie channel, and anyone who knows this area will agree that its wind and reverse currents can turn it into a washing machine. Even with winds of 10-15kts it can get messy, with the short sharp chop doing its best to compress the old spine.

Luckily for us, that wasn't the case on the 595 and with a 23° deadrise and broad chines she took on the mess without sending us for a visit to the chiropractor. While this kind of deadrise on a standard hull would usually provide a soft ride, it can also compromise stability, leaving a boat prone to rocking and rolling on the water.

To compensate for this Fisher boats added an innovative design in the form of built-in ballast tubes - and let me tell you how well they work. Coming off the throttles to rest, the tubes instantly filled with water that added extra low-down weight that stabilised the hull. Once I pulled off, the water flowed straight out without restricting the power. When planing, the hull did bank into turns a little sharper, but it was still comfortable and was not a problem for me.

Weight distribution can be critical on the deeper-vee hulls because the hull can lie to one side or list while underway. This can be annoying because you might have to keep shifting the crew around to suit the conditions. In that case, shelling out a few extra greenbacks and slapping on a set of QL trim tabs will eliminate the problem on most boats, and in this case it merely took a double-tap on the tab buttons to get her riding flat and straight. Admittedly, there are some boaters who swear that tabs are not necessary on so-called good mono-hulls, but all I can say to that is you will change your mind if you learn how to use them properly to suit the conditions.

Travelling through the channel in these sorts of conditions is a great way to get the true handling out of any craft. As we did this I noted how the 595 maintained a dry ride when running in all directions to the chop. The chine angles worked spot-on and threw the deflected spray downwards rather than to the side. The high gunwales and selfdraining deck also helped keep me slightly higher from the water and away from any backspray.



With the 595 designed the way it is there wasn't much to the layout, save for the fact that it had exactly what it needed for its intended professional role - structural strength, an open and workable space, and none of the fancy trinkets found on recreational boats.

The transom setup had good buoyancy, dive ladder access, full grabrails, a transom door in the stern, and a few extra attachments to suit the Survey standards.

The inner section then had a foldable rear lounge-seat with batteries and pumps fitted behind. The workable space within the craft was quite evident, with the console mounted on the starboard side, and a sturdy full-beam alloy-hardtop cover for long days at sea. The console's extra width also meant there was more than enough space to rig it up with a number of gauges and accessory fittings. A protective clear windscreen was another nice little touch.

The console is another open-plan design where you can get to electrics and controls via the open area beneath, and this section also had a built-in shelf above deck level for storing gear.

Normally the gunwales would have built-in sidepockets, but on this craft they had extra buoyancy built-in from the top to deck height. As mentioned previously, the deck is selfdraining and foam-filled. With that kind of buoyancy I reckon you might battle to sink this ship! In the bow there's nothing fancy again although it did have a solid split-bowrail and an oversized open anchorhatch.



Although the Fisher 595 is not a purpose-built recreational fishing craft, a few alterations would transform it into a fantastic fishing platform. You'd have to add a couple of fishing accessories to suit, but that would be simple enough, and it did in fact have a baitboard mounted in the stern and a few rodholders. The motors are four-strokes, so they're economical on the distance and trolling side. The stability at rest is also good and in turn would be great for drifting or fishing on anchor. So just add the necessary items and you'd be set.



Yes, there is a price difference when it comes to commercial or Surveyed craft versus recreational - it's just standard. However, I do find merit within the overall strength and safety features on the Survey craft. The boats are constructed to withstand very harsh conditions, and if looked after they should serve you for many years. The 595 is no colourful masterpiece, but it boasts modern lines and portrays a commercial look that shows its strength with its visibly strong welds throughout.



SPECS: Fisher 595 Maxi Series



Price as tested: $81,975

Options fitted: Hardtop, Garmin
551 GPS, fishfinder, VHF Marine Radio, QL trim tabs, livebait tank, HP wash

Priced from: $63,975



Type: Monohull

Material: 5083 H21 marine-grade high-tensile plate-aluminium

Bottom: 5mm

Sides: 4mm

Transom: 5mm

Deck: 4mm tread-plate

Hull length: 5.95m (6.15m LOA)

Beam: 2.45m

Deadrise: 23°

Weight: Approx. 1800kg on trailer



Fuel: 250lt

People: 6

Min. HP: 115

Max. HP: 200 (not in Survey)



Make/model: Twin-Yamaha FT 60hp DETX

Type: Four-stroke SOHC in-line 4 (each)

Rated HP: 60hp (each)

Displacement: 996cc (each)

Weight: 125kg (each)

Gearbox ratio: 2.33:1



Fisher Boats

Unit 2 /77 Pasturage Rd

Caboolture, Qld, 4510

Phone: (07) 5495 4696




Originally published in TrailerBoat 258.

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