Review: TABS 5000 Territory Pro


We water test and rate the TABS 5000 Territory Pro, a contender in the aluminium fishing boats category at the 2016 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

TABS 5000 Territory Pro
Club Marine logo

You don’t have to live up north to appreciate the TABS 5000 Territory Pro. Every angler from Burketown to Bourke Street, and Byron to Broome will be aroused by this aluminium sports fishing boat.

TABS Boats has combined myriad premium elements to make the TABS 5000 Territory Pro a great multi-use sports fishing boat. She’s got welded side decks all around for mounting rod holders, down riggers and accessories, a deep anchor well up front, and a good sprit with a welded cleat. The bow is completed with a pair of short rails and an electric motor mount.

There’s added security in the small freeboard around the carpeted bow casting platform at about calf height. Underneath we find two deep storage compartments at the front, while behind that there’s a full-width locker with a large plastic icebox that doubles as a killtank to keep the catch fresh. There is also a plug-in base for the swivel pedestal seats, one of four alternative locations around the boat.

You step down from the casting platform onto a flat carpeted floor that runs right through to the transom. There is a long side pocket to port, along with the filler and breather for the 110lt underfloor tank. This aluminium fishing boat has a plumbed livebait tank in the port side combing and a small walkthrough to starboard for the rear platform. The curved side plates at the transom are a nice touch, as are a pair of grab handles at the stern.

TABS 5000 Territory Pro image gallery

The side console on the TABS 5000 Territory Pro is a fairly simple affair, but it works fine. There is a short windscreen in a tubular support frame, with grab rails on top. The main structure features an angled dashboard face that has room for electronics and panels and wears a rather neat-looking sports steering wheel. The helm is very comfortable, with thick upholstery on the swivel seats and plenty of foot room under the console.

Powered by a Honda 75hp four-stroke outboard motor, its performance was summed up by Australia’s Greatest Boats judge John Ford: "Goes like stink and handles very well. It’s fun and thrilling for a medium-powered, well-priced boat. An impressive and well-built boat, and good value in this competitive end of the market. It’s fantastic into chop, superb with sure handling. If it had a T-top, it would be perfect!"

Steve Starling pitched in with some very strong opinions: "Arguably the best in class. A good, honest tinnie, very solidly built and well finished, with relatively few frills but a lot of attention paid to the important details that matter. The wow-factor here is the bang for your bucks!"

The TABS 5000 Territory Pro obviously impressed our panel as a strong contender for the Aluminium Fishing Boats title of Australia’s Greatest Boats 2016.

Layout on TABS 5000 Territory Pro

TABS 500 Territory Pro specs

TABS 500 Territory Pro price: $40,995

Price as tested

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Boarding step, hidden ladder, Lowrance marine electronics, VHF

 

MATERIAL Aluminium

TYPE Monohull fishing boat

LENGTH 5.15m

BEAM 2.25m

WEIGHT 1100kg (BMT)

FUEL 110lt

ENGINE Honda 75hp four-stroke outboard motor

 

MORE INFORMATION

TABS Boats

Phone (07) 5594 6333

Email sales@tabsboats.com.au

Web tabsboats.com.au

 

More on Australia's greatest Boats 2016

Fibreglass fishing boat

Fibreglass fishing boats

 

Aluminium fishing boat

Aluminium fishing boats

 

 

 

 

 

TABS 5000 Territory Pro rating

TABS 5000 Territory Pro rating

 

What the judges said

Fishing suitability

For those seeking open space and an easy to operate all-round fishing craft, the TABS 5000 Territory Pro is most certainly a good option. A good all-rounder that can handle offshore or freshwater conditions well. It’s an aluminium fishing boat through and through. All about the dancefloor.

A good honest tinnie. Very solidly built and well finished with relatively few frills, but a lot of attention paid to the important details that matter. If it had a T-top, it would be perfect. Roomy, open design. Would like the stand-up driving position to have better access to the controls.

 

Innovation

Ride is claimed to result from a combo of the rocker and rails. Use of 5083 alloy in a pressed aluminium boat is innovative. A deep bow with esky underneath the lid.

Pressed 5083 alloy is not common, blending the strength of true marine aluminium alloy with the softness only pressed hulls can give. Variable deadrise and pressed strakes are a nice touch in an aluminium fishing boat. The multi-angle shaped hull rides very well into swell or with a following sea, especially for an alloy boat.

Nothing over the top, but well-constructed with a good solid feel. Not a lot here I can see which is genuinely new or innovative. It’s more about the refinement and evolution of a previously successful formula.

 

Design and layout

Overall, a very good practical fishing boat. I like the standing or sitting helm provision. You can drive from either position. At first glance the TABS 5000 Territory Proautomatically stimulates the desire to grab a rod and chuck a few lures. Simple spacious, a good plate aluminium fishing boat.

Smart and unassuming. Great esky in the massive bow locker. Good rod storage options but could do with more holders from the factory. Access, ergonomics, and layout are all good.

There’s a lot of open, useful space and few obstacles or edges to catch a careless foot. Has quite appealing lines. Looks good and there’s a starboard door, with good storage and an 85lt tank. I’d prefer a brighter colour than white though. Rear side console gives good room.

 

Quality of finish

Welds sanded and with good paint, even carpet in the anchor well. While a basic boat, the welds and other fittings are excellent - arguably the best in class, even. Seats great too. Full white paint was flawless, if uninspiring. Personal graphics will sort that out! A well-presented plate boat that’s not only appealing to the eye but also represents quality workmanship. Solid exposed welds would look good on this boat. Pretty much a no-frills layout and finish — built to a price.

 

Handling and ride

Perfectly matched with the 75hp Honda four-stroke outboard motor. The TABS 5000 Territory Pro is a bullet on the water and abuses short chop with ease. For its size, it rides very well, particularly in a choppy sea. Also very dry.

Totally unexpected ‘Wow’ from me. To get this ride in a 5m tinnie was a dream, I thought! TABS nailed it. Balance close but not perfect. More bow weight would help — Minn Kota trolling motor anyone?

The ride is good to very good. It’s possible to generate a good ol’ tinnie "thump" into a head sea, though. But well behaved in cross seas and downhill. Fantastic into chop. Superb with sure handling. Gets flighty at speed, while still feeling safe.

 

Stability at rest

Pretty tippy but doesn’t distress. Chines stop it going too far. Somewhat less stable at rest than I expected and quite twitchy in the bow. It’s disconcerting at first, but then the boat "locks in" on its reverse chines and you get used to it.

200mm chines work hard against the deep-vee hull, but don’t work as well as a flooding keel. The mix of stability and ride is almost bang on for me but if stability is your first priority, the TABS 5000 Territory Pro is not as stable as the flooding keel boats in its class. Adequate but not brilliant at rest.

Lure fishing and stability go hand-in-hand, the TABS 5000 Territory Pro does it well at rest and underway.

 

Ergonomics

Console positioned well. Not too far back and a good size. The casting platform is a good height and easily used in slop. The throttle was a touch low to use standing. A comfortable side-console to drive with easy access to all storage on-board.

A screen on the console would be nice. For its intended usage, this is a competent all-rounder. Everything is easy to access with an uncluttered layout. Seating and helm are all good. Very little built in storage and NO rod storage apart from the gunwale holders. Quite a Spartan boat = suits customisation.

The seated helm is good, not so good when standing. Screen protects from the wind and there’s good height in the front deck, plus room underneath it

 

Standard equipment

You score a radio, sounder, livebait tank and esky on the TABS 5000 Territory Pro. Equipped to win customers in a competitive corner of the market. Level of standard items is acceptable, if unspectacular. Clearly aimed at keeping the price attractive.

Very basic boat but that’s the point — it’s flexible to your fitout and use. A blank canvas to your fishing style. Ready to go, pretty much as is. Not much more needed to add for a competent fishing package. Another add-your-gear-and-go styled boat. Add a few personal accessories to really beef it up.

 

Value for money

Everyone knows TABS boats makes no fuss and no bull***t fishing boats built to last. Good value overall and with seven-year warranty on outboard engine — should hold its value very well.

Reasonable for a boat of its size but the extra cost to finish it for your style will add a fair bit of price. Represents exceptional value for money, and resale value should also be good if well maintained. At under $40,000, this is an impressive and well-built fishing boat and good value in this market.

 

X-Factor

Goes like stink and handles very well. It’s fun and thrilling for a small, medium-powered, well-priced aluminium fishing boat.

WOW factor here is the bang for your bucks. Not quite a turnkey package, but close. The TABS 5000 Territory Pro’s soft ride surprised me — it is probably class-leading for aluminium boats. A good, honest, tough, no-frills all-rounder at a pretty good price. Impressive comfort, quietness and ride for an alloy boat.

 

How the boats are rated 

Judges at Australia's Greatest Boats Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria 
explained
 

 


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