BOAT TEST: SAVAGE 435 BAY CRUISER


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You don’t have to spend a fortune to get into boating

BOAT TEST: SAVAGE 435 BAY CRUISER
SAVAGE 435 BAY CRUISER

 

BUDGET BOATING


Going boating doesn't have to cost an arm and leg, which is a philosophy that Telwater have taken on board with its Savage range of aluminium boats. This production boatbuilder researched the market, identified buyers' needs and shifted its strategies to suit. Telwater have tried to make it easy for people to get into boating and have narrowed its focus on some of the smaller models in its range, including the 435 Bay Cruiser.
While the aluminium gauge in the 435 doesn't differ from opposition boats of a similar size, it's the way it's shaped and welded that results in a surprisingly strong build and gives the boat longevity.

 

 

LAYOUT


For a boat with an LOA 4.35m there's plenty of cockpit space for fishing, crab pots and the like. With the helm positioned well forward, the driver's and navigator's seats have been sensibly sited. This allows the occupants to comfortably stand and hold the grabrail around the windscreen without knocking their knees on the dashboard bulkhead, or having the backs of the legs sandwiched against the swivelling bucket seats.
The windscreen has a centre-opening pane that allows close quarters access to the open anchorwell. This is a rotomoulded bin that keeps chain and anchor rattles to a minimum. A sturdy split cleat is located behind a robust bowsprit roller, which has rails extending down each side onto the top of the forequarters.
The helm is fitted on a sloping fascia that covers the boat's beam, so there's ample room to install switch panels, radios and other equipment. The flat ledge on its topside is not deep, but is large enough for small cabinet electronics. However, by using a RAM-bracket, any sized cabinet may be mounted here with ease.
At the front end of the lower helm deck is a panel between opposing structural ribs, which forms a handy storage area for safety gear.
The wraparound windscreen offers the driver good protection from the slipstream with no visual obstructions, other than the struts supporting the screen on each side of the opening centre pane. The coamings at the sides of the screen can be used as arm rests when underway.
The cockpit boasts long sidepockets, which have brackets mounted on their end plates to support the pivoting axle of the fold-down and removable rear lounge. A locking pin ensures the lounge can't bounce free if no one is sitting on it while underway.
With the lounge base removed, an angler can stand at the transom to fish using the permanent backrest as a thigh lean. This backrest is on a tubular frame welded to the top of the front of the engine well. If this frame was removable, the standard-fit post holes (when installed) could be used to mount a higher fence system creating a more stable lean for those unsteady on their feet at sea, or a baitboard or other accessory.
The gentle slope at the bottom of the engine well, along with its dimensions, make the space on each side of the engine ideal for fish bins and bait buckets etc. A couple of eyelets screwed hereabouts will allow these to be tied down, so they don't end up overboard.
There are grabrails on the aft gunwales. The rail on the portside extends overboard and down the stern to where it's welded onto the boarding platform. This platform is deep enough to allow a person to stand with both feet firmly planted before cocking the leg over the engine well when climbing aboard.
Under this engine well is a 'tote' fuel tank. The battery is housed in a plastic-battery box, which is screwed to the deck. It sticks out a bit from the side of the hull, which cuts down the available space to stow a second tote tank for big days on the water. A simple repositioning of the battery box, without blocking access to the battery-isolation switch mounted nearby, will remedy this.
This hull looks rock solid and it is. The first thing that caught our eye was the style of the dash bulkhead, which was shaped to offer maximum strength where it's needed. We also noted the way the gunwales have been folded in and attached to the sidesheets. This creates a broad, flat top before bending down, across, then up again to form a G-style section. You won't get aluminium to form into a stronger shape without adding more material such as gussets.

 

 

AT THE HELM


This boat's helm is a real winner. Even though it's only fitted with manual-cable steering, there was no excessive torque to contend with when turning and we checked this at various levels of trim. With only a 40hp two-stroke Mariner pushing the Bay Cruiser we found it had ample acceleration for holeshot. At 5400rpm (WOT), it delivered a top speed of 46kmh (24.8kts) during our speed trials. The boat cruised effortlessly at 4000rpm running at 35kmh (19kts).
If you need to trim your budget even further, the recommended HP rating of 30 will still get the job done.
I can see this rig finding a home with many retired couples, or small families that want something more robust than the average tinnie and a boat that offers some protection from spray and wind. While many may find sitting uncomfortable travelling over chop, the ability to stand and face the breeze without being cramped will also be most welcomed.

 

 


WHAT WE LIKED


Strong build which will last

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Not so much a dislike, but a potential change to the rear lounge's backrest will make for better optioning of other gear
Battery could be repositioned for more usable space under transom bulkhead

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Savage 435 Bay Cruiser

 

 


HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $19,180
Options fitted: nil

 

 

GENERAL


Type:  Monohull
Material:  Aluminium; 2mm bottom,1.6mm sides
Length overall:  4.35m
Beam:  1.87m
Weight:  273kg (hull)

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: Tote tanks
Rec. min. HP:  30hp
Rec. max. HP:  40hp
Rec. max. engine weight:  120kg
Rec. max. load:  480kg (w/ engine)

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Mariner Lightning XR outboard
Type:  Single carburettor three-cylinder two-stroke
Rated HP:  40
Displacement:  697cc
Weight:  69kg
Gearbox ratio:  2.00:1
Propeller:  12in alloy

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Telwater,
53 Waterway Drive,
Coomera, Qld, 4209
Phone: (07) 5585 9805
Website: www.telwater.com

Find Savage boats for sale.

 


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