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Kellick has produced an admirable dory by mixing historical precedent with current technology.



At some time in our lives we've all experienced it: getting into something that feels like it was made for you. That feeling is (sort of) like slipping on a comfy and well worn old boot and that's exactly what it was like jumping into Kellick's 16 Dory.

This 16-footer has its history rooted in the commercial fishing industry. Specifically, it was the dory of choice for the commercial harvesting of coral trout in the Swains Reef area in the early '80s, albeit in a 14ft model. As the market's appetite evolved from trout that were dead to living trout swimming in tanks in Japanese kitchens, the boats thinned out in that part of the industry and evolved into what we see now in the recreational sector, but two feet longer. This evolution was caused by the need to carry massive, reticulated live-fishtanks above the deck.

Some of the old lines on this boat make it what it is today - a modern classic. Of note is the old style hitching bollard, which is a timber stanchion running through the foredeck to the keel line. It's glassed over for longevity and is strong to boot. Back in the early trouting days, half a dozen dories were hitched in line and towed via these bollards by the mothership.




While the foredeck is short, it's functional in as much as the bulkhead inside the boat allows the void therein to be used for ground tackle if necessary.

The front thwart-seat has an open front end in which sit two tote fuel tanks. Here the options are many as far as more permanent tanks are concerned, but considering the economical running of modern day four-strokes this would be unnecessary.

Midships on the port and starboard side, stowage boxes form part of the inner hull. They're about 110lt apiece and are well designed, with a raised inner lip under the hinged lid, augmented by a rubber seal to keep water out. Many boats lack this, which makes going out for the day a labour intensive exercise, since anything that gets wet needs to be removed and rinsed before it's dried and re-stowed. It's a painful and unnecessary chore, so these boxes get full marks for their design. One is actually insulated so it can be used as an icebox, while the other has a brow moulded into the structure in which instruments can be flush-mounted.

Moving aft from there across the flat deck, two more boxes are moulded into the corners at the transom. The box on the portside houses the starting battery and isolation switch while the other is the skipper's seat. Both have cushions Velcroed to their hinged tops. Again, options are many with this Kellick and I can see swivel-bucket seats improving the comfort level further.

The deck can be drained via two large bungs operated from inside the boat. As tested, the boat can actually be used with them removed, with only minimal water ingress onto the deck, which quickly drains. This design came about so the dories floating out the back of the mothership didn't fill with water during monsoonal weather in the tropics.




Profile-wise there's a hint of "longboat" in the Kellick. It has swooping low gunwales to make easy work of hauling fish, and a reverse chine that runs well forward to offer good stability when it's dead in the water, especially when occupants are moving about in the fore. The overall stability of the boat is actually very impressive (to say the least) and 90kg of angler standing in an aft corner fails to upset its balance. The lip of the gunwale is protected by a 65mm split "blue line" pressure pipe which serves it admirably. This irrigation pipe is tough stuff and if you somehow manage to scar it by dragging anchor chains and crab pots over the side, it's simply slipped off the back and replaced.

The keel line remains flat until well forward, then rises to the bow. It is lined with a stainless steel bash-strip to protect the gelcoat.

The test boat was fitted with a tiller-control 60hp Yamaha four-stroke. The tiller sits a little high relative to the skipper's left arm so a short swivel seat would remedy this. In earlier model Yamaha tiller-controlled outboards, the gearshift was located on the opposite side of the arm from where the skipper sits. For some reason Yamaha's R&D department put the shift on the skipper's side and, as tested, it continually clashed with the forearm. Once again, a higher seating position would remedy this situation.

Underway the Yamaha displays plenty of power for this hull. Holeshot is good although some aeration at the propeller was experienced in hard turns throughout the trim range, suggesting the engine could go down another bolt hole.

Taking it over chop, its ride is good and dry in most situations. For the length/height/beam ratio of the hull it has surprisingly little flex when cutting at angles across small waves. The sandwich-foam construction, and full glass and foam-substructure under the deck, obviously does its job well.




These hulls are proven among commercial fishermen. I actually saw four others of varying ages on the water at Noosa on the test day, which suggests they're liked by recreational anglers in that part of the world.

They certainly have all the attributes that sportfishermen look for and they could even give some of those estuary and lake boats a run for their money in the practicability stakes.

The Kellick 16 Dory presents as a nice, light and practicable fishing platform with plenty of room for options - and it's got class.



On the plane...

Well laid out and solid construction

Low power requirement

Excellent stability and quality finish



Dragging the chain...

Gearshift on tiller arm annoying to skipper






Specifications: Kellick 16 Dory




Price as tested: $32,000

Options fitted: Raymarine electronics, 60hp four-stroke, insulated iceboxes, LED lighting

Priced from: $25,000




Material: Fibreglass foam-sandwich

Length: 4.9m

Beam: 1.97m

Draft: 200mm

Weight (boat and engine): 360kg




People (day): 6

Max. rec. HP: 60

Min. rec. HP: 40

Max transom weight: 120kg

Fuel: 2 x 24lt tanks




Make/model: Yamaha FT 60 four-stroke

Weight: 114kg

Displacement: 996cc

Gear ratio: 1.85:1




Kevin Dick Boat Builders

4 Production Street,

Noosaville, Qld, 4566

Tel: (07) 5474 0300





Originally published in TrailerBoat 262.


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