TESTED: OFFSHORE MARINE MASTER MAC 5 CENTRE CONSOLE

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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As Kevin Smith discovered in some less-than-perfect testing conditions, Offshore Marine Master’s new Mac 5 centre console is as solid as they come.

TESTED: OFFSHORE MARINE MASTER MAC 5 CENTRE CONSOLE
The Offshore Marine Master Mac 5 Centre Console. It’s a tough plate-boat alright, just not quite as big as some of the other craft from this boatbuilder.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the centre console market has really been hotting up of late, with a very decent selection now available in fibreglass and aluminium. They are best suited to a niche market, but there is a real demand out there and I have been seeing more and more on the water when it comes to estuary and offshore angling.

A manufacturer known for creating some pretty fancy plate boats best suited to the upper end of the offshore market, the latest from Queensland’s Offshore Marine Master (OMM), the Mac 5 centre console, is sure to garner some of the market’s attention.

I have always liked the overall look and design of the OMM plate boats because they manage to maintain a successful balance between modern and a bit of the hardcore. The new Mac 5 centre console is no different and although it’s only a 5m boat its big shoulders and wave-threatening bow make it seem like a much larger unit.

I am also a fan of OMM’s build quality, with the manufacturer using thick flowing welds and solid 5083-grade plate alloy, as well as a foam-filled hull with survey-approved buoyancy foam making up the bulk of the Mac 5’s construction. After giving the rig a couple of forceful bangs with the bottom of a fist, "hardcore" and "solid" again come to mind, and to touch.

As a relatively small business OMM doesn’t mass produce its boat, which I think can be a real benefit to the buyer, especially when it comes to non-standard items. These guys can customise to suit, giving you exactly what you want, and in high quality.



CENTRE OF ATTENTION

When it comes to centre consoles of any size, innovative and ergonomic use of space is imperative because the boat needs 360° fishability, as well as enough space for gear and other accessories. It’s actually quite tricky to get this spot on, but OMM has done a pretty good job with the Mac 5.

The fact the boat is fully self-draining means a higher deck level, with high gunwales and wide coamings to match. This gives the Mac 5 a serious freeboard without affecting stability at rest. The deck is a fully-welded 3mm alloy floor in tread-plate, which not only looks good but is as solid as a rock.

I particularly liked the step onto the cast deck, which gives more storage space below and even has a removable seat option.

Back in the stern, the raised side pockets sit at a good height that enables toes to be locked in on either side and with everything flowing into the transom shelf you don’t have to worry about batteries or plumbing getting wet. A large baitboard and livewell also compliment this area.

The flush-mount kill tank between the transom and console seat is sizeable enough to take a load of fish, but it could do with a different hinge system that doesn’t protrude up off the deck. Depending on the size of esky under the console seat you might find the kill tank access a bit restrictive, but it’s really not a major issue and could likely easily be rectified.

Seating up front consists of a box-style leaning post for two, with some storage space and an esky below. The whole thing is positioned to suit standing and seated driving.

I really liked the simple open shelving for the storage below the console, which also works very well as a foot rest when seated. If anything, I would position the steering and controls on the left side of the console, thus creating more space for the passenger when seated.

Overall, this is a very nice layout; spacious and comfortable with plenty of grabrails, decent bowrail, good console setup, electric motor bow mount, a few little things like non-slip on the coamings and, of course, OMM’s top-secret clear coat paint that eliminates glare and keeps the ally cool to the touch.

From a fishing perspective, I like the fact the Mac 5 appeals to both bait and lure anglers. The layout in the stern lends itself to those trolling or chucking berley, while the cast deck up front is ideal for the avid lure fisho.



A BIT OF ROUGH STUFF

The fact the majority of boat tests are conducted in ideal conditions is great for photography, but it really makes it tricky to get a true feel for a boat’s performance and handling. So it was lucky that we were able to put the Mac 5 through its genuine paces offshore of Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, with a delicate bar crossing to start and some leftover swell and chop to contend with once we were offshore.

Crossing and returning through the bar on an outgoing tide can always be entertaining, but the Mac 5’s big shoulders and bow made the crossing almost easy. A few curlers and tight turns were hurled at us on the way out and when running back in, and the boat was worked in and out of the troughs to check handling.

I have to say that the higher bow makes a definite difference when taking on waves and swell — you can really jab it into the broken waves without duck diving. It’s also beneficial when running into the trough, when correct use of power sees the boat track nicely without broaching.

With a minimum horsepower rating of 70 the Suzuki DF70A is a good match on this hull, providing sufficient power throughout the rev range. It’s gutsy enough down low to keep you out of trouble and the top-end is quick enough to please those with heavy throttle hands.

The ride on the Mac 5 centre console is also very respectable, with surprisingly good stability considering the raised deck and big shoulders protruding off the waterline.

The fact these boats don’t have a massive deadrise (15°) also adds to the stability, but that comes with the compromise of a more relaxed ride in the chop and swell, rather the ability to bang the hammer down, which in turn means a longer run in rough conditions. It’s also a dry-riding hull, which I appreciate on any boat.



THE WRAP

Our Offshore Marine Master Mac 5 centre console came in at $39,400 as tested.

It might not be a budget-buster, but the difference here is in the overall quality of build.

These rigs are tough as nails on the build side, have a dynamic look and feature enough gear as standard to satisfy the serious angler.

The Mac 5 really is the kind of boat you hold onto for a long time, and if an upgrade was ever in order you would more than likely be moving up to one of OMM’s larger offshore machines.



PERFORMANCE

6.5kts (12kmh) @ 1500rpm

8.4kts (15.5kmh) @ 2500rpm

16.2kts (30kmh) @ 3500rpm

24.1kts (44.6kmh) @ 4500rpm

28.6kts (53kmh) @ 5500rpm

29kts (53.7kmh) @ 6000rpm - against tide

30.5kts (56.5kmh) @6000rpm - with tide



ON THE PLANE...

· Hardcore build

· Dry ride

· Good stability

· Works well as a bait and lure fishing craft



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

· Esky restricts entry into kill tank

· Rear hinge could stub toes

· Could use a ladder system as standard



OFFSHORE MARINE MASTER MAC 5 CENTRE CONSOLE SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $39,400

Options fitted: Esky; baitboard

Priced from: $38,489 (BMT)



GENERAL

Type: All-round fisher

Material: Plate alloy

Length: 5m

Beam: 2.25m

Hull weight: 480kg

Deadrise: 15°



CAPACITIES

People: 5

Rec. HP: 70

Max. HP: 90

Fuel: 103L



ENGINE

Make/model: Suzuki DF70A

Type: Four-stroke DOHC 16-valve

Weight: 156kg

Displacement: 1502cc

Gear ratio: 2.59:1

Propeller: 19in



MANUFACTURED BY

Offshore Marine Master

151 Mark Road East

Caloundra West

Queensland 4551

Tel: (07) 5492 6555

Web: www.offshoremarinemaster.com.au



SUPPLIED BY

Mad Alloy Craft

8 Theresa Street

Golden Beach

Queensland 4551

Tel: 0404 891 776

Web: www.mac5boats.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #297, July/August 2013.

Find Offshore Marine Master boats for sale.

 


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