REVIEW: SHARPCRAFT SCOUT 4.7

By: Tim Van Duyl, Photography by: Nathan Jacobs

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Shipwright Nick Sharp knows a thing or two about making plugs and moulds and now he’s created one of the toughest family-friendly runabouts around.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7

REVIEW: SHARPCRAFT SCOUT 4.7

HIGHS

• 10-year warranty

• Tight, squeak-free hull

• Bespoke build

LOWS

• Availability

• Deadrise is a bit shallow

• No transom step-through

More than just a shipwright, Nick Sharp is also an avid fisho and he has been working behind the scenes in the South Australian boating industry for years.

His impressive resume features both established brands and technical insurance work. More recently, in a culmination of all he’s learned, Nick has released the all-new SharpCraft Scout 4.7.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-2

This is a tough little fibreglass fishing boat designed to sell at around $35,000 for a starting package.

The most striking thing about the Scout – and any future models, Nick adds – is that he’s so confident in the build, that they come with a 10-year hull warranty. Epic.

Now what’s a boat reviewer to do when they hear a boast such as that? Why, head across to Adelaide to test that claim in atrocious conditions, of course…

Hitting the water at 10am, the wind was blowing a steady 30 knots as we met 2m swells outside the marina heads.

The only problem with this sort of weather, is those same great boat-testing conditions make it tough to get usable video footage – our cameraman was bobbing around like a cork, even on the 9m chase boat.

But for this reviewer, it was perfect. I had ample troughs to jump and crests to break through as we motored out for 30 minutes upwind, then back again with the brisk sou’easter, chasing our shots.

LAYOUT

The Scout is a neat little package. It looks compact from afar but up close, it seems to grow.

How is this so? The hull sides are tall – much taller than you’d expect on a 4.7m vessel – which hides some of its length.

But that length, when measured by ABYC standards as most manufacturers do, is a lot closer to 5m LOA.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-3

The external beam is 2.1m, so the length-to-width ratio trends wider than the ideal 3:1. It’s very much a ‘big’ 4.7m, then.

Peering under the transom and sides, the hull has strongly defined reverse chines, about 60-75mm in depth, while the deadrise is modest at 15˚.

Twin boarding platforms flank the outboard, though the transom is set at the same height as the sides, making entry potentially difficult for elderly owners or little boaties.

Inside, the external bulk makes for a deep and wide cockpit with big side pockets and enough dancefloor to accommodate four fishos, though I suspect two-up fishing will be more popular.

Seating is comfortable and since Nick builds to order, they can be optioned any way you want.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-4

The owner of our test boat put in seats with flip-up backrests – a great idea for sitting at anchor watching a flurry of snapper rods.

Our vessel also had an optional bimini set way too low for my outlandish height, but that’s my own problem – you can set yours wherever you want it.

The windscreen is toughened glass in an alloy frame with handholds and supports designed in.

The dash is compact but will take a 9-10in screen, more than enough for the entry-level price segment it competes in.

A walk-through screen is standard and handy when setting off, while the cuddy interior has been laid out for storage with partitions to hold lure bags, safety gear, towels and other handy bits and pieces.

TESTING

I knew before heading out, that the big chines and moderately shallow deadrise would mean a flat and hard ride with the possible saviour being a well set-up engine that could lift and tuck the bow quickly through trimming.

So I won’t tell you the Scout 4.7 rode like a 9m twin-rigged deep-vee hull, but it wasn’t as bad as expected.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-5

The hull worked well in combination with the quick-trimming Merc, so I could get the bow up and in, when needed.

Plus, with masses of torque down low from the 2.1L engine, popping from crest to crest was easy and fun.

But what surprised me most was what I came to test – the strength and feel of that hull. It was solid and squeak-free.

At no time did it feel like it was flexing or twisting and even when I missed my landing spot and dropped us into a two-metre hole, the hard landing only fussed the passengers on board, not the hull itself.

Conditions on the day were so bad we couldn’t even record consistent fuel figures, even while sneaking inside the marina mouth and breaking the speed restrictions.

Eventually we did manage to tie a few smooth runs together, where the Mercury Tigershark 75hp four-stroke showed economy of 2km/L was possible at best cruise.

BUILD

Back on the hard and out of the wind, Nick talked me through what goes into making such a tough little boat.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-6

He uses a mould of his own for a pair of bearers with six integrated stringers.

The lattice is joined to the hull mould with chop matt and hand-laid multi- and bi-axial matting.

The mould has provision for a 90-litre fuel tank and once in, this joins with the floor to make one hell of a tough floor structure.

The same approach is taken above decks in the cuddy, with the dividers working as supports for the cuddy and sides.

All in all, it’s built like a tank and far better than some bigger boats I’ve looked over.

FISHO OR FAMILY?

Why not both? A pair of fold-down rear seats gives the SharpCraft Scout 4.7 the flexibility to take extra passengers and with the optional baitstation, it would work as a stink-baiter or lure fisher just fine.

The high sides will keep the youngsters safely inside the boat, while estuary fishers will welcome the shallow draft.

Options will define the overall usefulness – an anchor winch can be added for bay fishing – which I think is the boat’s greatest appeal – while a bimini will keep the harsh summer sun at bay.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-7

I would definitely add the optional 90L fuel tank, as that should give you more than a weekend between fills.

Toss in a half-decent sounder and expect to pay a bit over $40,000.

VALUE & AVAILABILITY

The SharpCraft Scout 4.7 sits right amongst one of the most fiercely competitive segments: the 5m fibreglass market.

Offerings from Haines Hunter, Whittley, Cruise Craft and Signature all come to mind, and all offer broadly similar value, if admittedly a touch more expensive.

The Whittley Clearwater 1650 comes closest on price and spec.

Sharpcraft -Scout -4.7-8

What is significantly different though, is that they all come from established companies with decades of experience and dealer networks.

SharpCraft, by contrast, currently sells direct and by cutting out the dealer and his margin, savings can be realised.

THE WRAP

The SharpCraft Scout 4.7 is extremely well-built and it’s also excellent value for money.

The ride might not be best-in-class, but I also would not expect owners to push the hull as far as we did.

That said, it’s good to know that should the situation arise, the SharpCraft Scout 4.7 will get you home.  

SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$42,900

OPTIONS FITTED

Bimini, bait station, sounder, VHF, rear seats, fuel tank

PRICED FROM

A$35,990

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

LENGTH 4.7m (LOA)

BEAM 2.1m

WEIGHT 500kg (hull only)

DEADRISE 15°

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 5

REC HP 70

REC MAX HP 90

FUEL 90L (optional)

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 75hp four-stroke

TYPE Eight-valve, single overhead cam, four-stroke petrol

DISPLACEMENT 2.1L

GEAR RATIO 2.38.1

PROP Stainless steel, 13.5x15in

WEIGHT 165kg

MANUFACTURED BY

SHARPCRAFT

23 Oaklands Rd

Somerton Park, SA 5044

PHONE +61 (0)411 383 014

Check out the full review in issue #504 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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