BOAT TEST: ANGLAPRO OUTLAW 444 PRO
The Anglapro Outlaw Pro is designed for fishing so we sent John Ford out in a hurricane and told him, “Don’t come back till you catch something”.
ANGLAPRO OUTLAW 444 PRO
When Australian Bream Tournament (ABT) competitor Gary Brown chose his Anglapro Outlaw 444 Pro, it was after a long deliberation and plenty of opportunity to see lots of boats on the water. Gary said he chose the 444 because of its proven handling and stability, and because it could be easily customised to suit his own style of fishing.
The company behind Anglapro boats is Sydney's Good Times Marine, and the Anglapro range is distributed through an Aussie dealer network with outlets in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The boats themselves are built in Queensland to Anglapro boss Derek Rodway's design, before Good Times Marine fits them out for fishos. The range includes various centre-consoles, side-consoles and runabouts, any of which can be customised to meet a customer's specific requirements.
The Outlaw 444 Pro is constructed from 3mm pressed aluminium welded onto multiple metal ribs that stiffen and strengthen the hull. At 4.4m and with a 1.95m beam, the boat has fairly squarish dimensions, especially when you take into account the broad bow. The hull's deep-vee entry runs back to a flat stern with sharp chines on each side, while the keel is internal - according to Derek this helps the boat turn smoothly without digging in.
At the bow a checker-plate foredeck allows for easy access and strength as well as providing a wide mounting-plate for the 70lb Minn Kota electric motor. A large raised casting platform dominates the forward third of the boat, while under the deck you'll find a number of handy storage areas and a plumbed livewell. Here you'll find space for safety gear and a compartment for the twin-batteries powering the 24V Minn Kota. Gary fitted an extra tackle locker in the same style as the original fittings, and the whole platform was finished in grey marine carpet.
The rear section has a lower level flat floor that runs unobstructed to the transom, which is also carpeted. To starboard is a narrow moulded fibreglass side-console with a small dark plastic wind deflector and a pedestal seat. A second pedestal seat is fitted to port; it's removable and can also be fixed on the bow casting platform.
The console houses a Garmin GMI 10 Digital Marine Instrument Display and a six-switch panel. A Lowrance HDS8 plotter and a Humminbird 788x take care of navigation and fish spotting, aided by a second Humminbird 345 at the bow. Along the port side there's a locker that, with the optional cut-out, can handle rods up to 7ft. A 60lt under-floor fuel tank delivers a big range from the thrifty DF60 Suzuki four-stroke outboard.
The transom dispenses with about 300mm of the boat's internal space, but it provides a livebait tank to port and an icebox to starboard - this makes for a more versatile boat with a bit of offshore ability. Of course if the sole intention is to cast lures then the raised rear casting platform might be a better idea. The stern gets a boarding step and a tow cleat while low rails to the bow and stern are suitable for tying off. The Outlaw has clean lines and looks good in its painted finish. Even better, the fittings have been thoughtfully positioned to offer the least resistance to snagging lines when fighting fish near the boat.
I recently met both Gary and Derek to put the Anglapro Outlaw 444 Pro through its paces on Sydney's Port Hacking on a day that promised good weather. Unfortunately things quickly turned nasty with the arrival of a 30-knot southerly.
We managed our speed runs and some fishing in the sheltered bends of the Port Hacking River, but out in the open the southerly was blowing the tops off the chop. It wasn't ideal for an open boat, but into the wind the Anglapro handled the situation well, and getting up to speed and riding over the chop proved to be the best option. Across the breeze the boat threw the spray wide, but that southerly blew it straight back at us. The Outlaw's low profile didn't offer much in the way of protection, but it would have been the same in any other open boat. However, conditions in the upper reaches of the river were calmer so we finally got to test the Outlaw to its full extent.
It's comfortable to drive and has easily-operated and nicely-positioned controls. Sitting in the well-padded sliding driver's seat, the steering is smooth but has plenty of feel.
The 60hp Suzuki launches the boat out of the water with a throaty growl and gets it moving very smartly indeed. It settles into a flat-running stance very quickly and maintains a quick cruise of 20kts (36.9kmh) at 4100rpm. Right up to its top speed of 30kts (55.6kmh) at 6100rpm the Anglapro sits steadily and runs smoothly. There is little in the way of slap from the hull and it has a solid feel, even when ripping across the nasty bay chop at speed. The motor is quiet - it's easy to converse, even at wide open throttle - and as mentioned the handling is great. It can be thrown into the sharpest of turns and with the trim down there's no hint of cavitation or any tendency to slip. Powered up and at full lock it just hangs on, backing up everything Derek had claimed about its abilities.
We spent an hour or so casting soft plastics into the bank. The foot-control Minn Kota put us exactly where we wanted it, and in general the Outlaw remained stable and safe, with plenty of room to cast and move around.
Due to their all-round roominess and stability at rest, this style of Vee-nosed punt has in recent times been increasingly embraced by fishos. With a number of different makes already gracing the market, Anglapro has quickly come up with a package that sets itself apart, hitting upon a sweet combination of build quality and functionality. The Outlaw 444 Pro is a safe, stable package that's fun to drive and will get you to the fish with comfort and speed.
I OWN AN ANGLAPRO
Gary Brown is a keen fisherman. At it for more than 50 years, he's something of a fishing tragic, spending his time either on the water, working on his boat and equipment, or teaching or helping others to fish. A technology teacher by day, Gary's carpentry skills have allowed him to modify his Anglapro by himself, although he's quick to praise the people at Good Times Marine and Anglapro for their willingness to tailor boats to each customer's needs.
Gary contests the Australian Bream Tournament plus several other fishing competitions, a circuit that takes him from his home in the southern Sydney suburb of Engadine as far north as the Clarence River in northern New South Wales, and as far south as Metung in Victoria. Sponsored by Pure Fishing, Pflueger and Shakespeare, in 2010 he reached the finals in the Berkley tournament in October at Metung and the Squidgy Bream Competition at St Georges Basin. His list of wins over the years
Gary's knowledge of fishing led him to pen the Fishing Guide to Sydney - Hawkesbury, which is now in its fourth reprint. He's also a regular contributor to the Pure Fishing website (www.purefishing.com.au). As part of his work for TAFE he has developed and taught a recreational fishing course that is now taught throughout Australia.
I'd love to say that after our test of the Outlaw 444 Pro we successfully fished the afternoon away, but the conditions were against us. Gary, however, as a true fisherman, wasn't heading home without hauling something aboard. We duly found a sheltered spot and let the Minn Kota drag us around the moorings and jetties looking for fish. As you can see, Gary eventually encouraged a lively trevally aboard and we were all allowed to go home.
Gary is a treasure trove of fishing knowledge and he's only too happy to share. He runs night courses in tackle shops around Sydney; visit www.garybrownfishing.com.au for more information.
On the plane...
Dragging the chain...
Not much weather protection
Specifications: Anglapro Outlaw 444 Pro
Price as tested: $33,000
Options fitted: Suzuki 60hp, enclosed transom, livebait tank, plumbed keeper tank, Minn Kota motor, sounder upgrade, rodholders, GMI Garmin instruments, cockpit lights
Priced from: $19,990
Material: Aluminium (3mm bottom and sides)
Weight (hull only): Approx. 300kg
Weight (BMT): Approx. 620kg
Min. HP: 40
Max. HP: 60
Make: Suzuki DF60 ATL
Gearbox ratio: 2.27:1
Good Times Marine
2 Toorak Avenue
Taren Point, NSW, 2299
Tel: (02) 9524 6999
Originally published in TrailerBoat 264.
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