Australia’s Greatest Boats 2015

By: Tim Van Duyl

Every year we compare the best fishing boats in the Australia’s Greatest Boats mega shootout. The biggest of its kind in Australia, in 2015 we once again look at the best fibreglass fishing boats and aluminium fishing boats.

Let the games begin! Australia’s Greatest Boats 2015 wasn’t quite the life and death battle of the Hunger Games but the generals of the trailerboat industry gathered with just as much conviction.

Australia’s Greatest Boats 2015 was the fifth edition of this annual competition that brings together the best new-model aluminium and fibreglass fishing boats as reviewed during the previous year by Trade-a-Boat. We line ‘em up to face intense scrutiny before a highly experienced panel of judges.

Boats and people are pushed to their limits to determine which of the five is the best new boat of the year in both the Fibreglass Fishing Boats and Aluminium Fishing Boats categories.


See the video for a teaser of the second installment of Australia's Greatest Boats 2015 - the Aluminium Fishing Boats category.


Fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass fishing boats

The premium cateogry, fibreglass fishing boats with the finest finishes, the most innovative hulls and the softest and best rides. The contenders in 2015 included the Savage 585C, Arvor 605 Sportsfish, Robalo R227, Caribbean 2300 Outboard and Haines Hunter 675 Offshore Hardtop.

Read: Fibreglass fishing boat reviews


Aluminium fishing boats

Aluminium fishing boats

Gutsy plate-aluminium fishing boats, gun tinnie battlewagons, and alloy hulls that ride like glass. The contenders in 2015  included the Bar Crusher 730 Hard Top, Sailfish S7, Surtees 5.5 workmate Hardtop, Stabicraft 2050 Supercab and Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk.

Read: Aluminium fishing boats


It’s a massive undertaking involving some 50-odd professionals. There’s five expert judges, a full video team, sound engineers, stills photographers, helicopters, presenters, producers and catering staff – all gathered to record the action presented by 10 of the best fishing boats available to the Australian market. Add into the mix a collection of manufacturers and dealers and a few hangers-on, all keen to ensure that there is no stone unturned in demonstrating their brand’s latest innovations and capabilities.

Reputations have already been earned by the time we get to the Australia’s Greatest Boats event. Every boat we review throughout the year is scored on its individual merits and only the top ranked boats are invited to attend the final playoff.

It’s very serious stuff and all the competitors know that even attending the event means sales in hand from the prestige of being nominated "best of the best".



Now, personal taste is a huge factor when purchasing a fishing boat. Fishermen are all individuals, so we try to reflect this by employing judges from every spectrum of the fishing and boating fraternity.

Their opinions are as varied as the boats, and it’s enlightening to hear the topics under hot debate at the end of every day’s rigorous evaluation and reviewing. To ensure a fresh new outlook, we also mixed up the judging panel with a host of new contenders.

Trade-a-Boat stalwarts John Ford of Merimbula, NSW and Kevin Smith from Brisbane, QLD, are long experienced judges and reviewers, adding their inevitable spice and experience to the trials.

Gold Coast fishing legend Peter Pakula joined the team this year to bring a fresh and exciting opinion from his wealth of knowledge and experience, while young gun and fishing guru Jack Murphy stepped out from behind the lens to add that his own brand of enthusiasm.

We were also very pleased to recruit local boating professional David Talko-Nicholas, a Marine Officer from Gippsland Ports, as our second industry judge, assured this keen recreational angler boot would share his wisdom and experience.


Best boats judges Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria


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