BOAT TEST: SAVAGE 455 BAY CRUISER

By: RICK HUCKSTEPP, Photography by: RICK HUCKSTEPP


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The Savage 455 offers a real choice. It’s tough, classy and above all it’s a good boat for your buck, writes Rick Huckstepp

BOAT TEST: SAVAGE 455 BAY CRUISER
SAVAGE 455 BAY CRUISER

There are not many options available as far as hull construction material goes. In big non-trailerable boats, steel and ferro-cement get a guernsey but in trailer boats, other than a small percentage of plastic or polyethylene hulls, the balance are made up of fibreglass or aluminium.

ALLOY V FIBREGLASS

Alloy boat owners will tell you it is the types of water they inhabit that calls the shots. Rock bars, snags, shallow water strewn with structure all play havoc with gelcoat so alloy gets a good run there.

Fibreglass boat owners say it's the heavier weight per size that gives them a better ride.

They also enjoy the quietness offered by a glass hull which equates to a feeling of warmth. That is, less wave-slap noise coming though the hull on a cold night at anchor makes for a psychologically more comfortable stay aboard and they like the smooth lines.

It is the latter that puts a touch of class on Savage's 455 Bay Cruiser, but you still get to dish out the rough treatment should you wish to stray into the domain haunted by the all alloy boat.

This boat has got the best of both worlds with a pressed alloy hull from the low profile cabin top, down and differs from its slightly smaller cousin, the 435 Bay Cruiser. Two differences are the fibreglass cuddy top and styled alloy transom on the 455, whereas the 435 has an alloy topside and square transom.

The cuddy top has a good size passageway through the opening windscreen once the centre of the windscreen is folded back and the small glass hatch forward of that is opened. A rebate in the front edge of this aperture allows the deployed anchor rope to insert so that the cabin top hatch and wind screen may be closed to keep out the weather.

The ground tackle and safety gear may be stowed in the forward section of the cuddy area behind a fence running across from one forequarter to the other.



 

SPACE WATCH

There is not a lot of available space inside here but down the track, pockets and shelves for tackle stowage could be implemented to make practical use of this area.

The bulkheads that make the helm and passenger dashboards are supported on aluminium posts to the deck while the windscreen each side of the opening section are supported by struts to the bulkhead.

Strengthening braces spanning from the front end to the side screen panels, act as a grab handles for the skipper and the passenger standing in front of the port side swivel chair.

At the helm, available space for small cabinet depth sounders and or chart plotters is limited by the near, sloping windscreen. Installation of such on the flat area forward of the helm wheel would block view to the instrument panel so fitting of electronics cabinets could take place on the bulkhead in front of the passenger provided the wind screen support strut did not block clear view. Larger units would more easily fit here also.

A sidepocket runs down each side of the inner hull and on the aft end a bracket is fixed, into which a supporting hinge bar of a removable swing down bench seat may be installed with a retaining clip keeping it secure.

The bench seat has fold-down legs and is light enough to easily man handle to get it in and out of the boat. The backrest for this seat system is the forward edge of the transom bulkhead which has permanent padding along its beam which makes for a comfortable lean when standing at the stern to fish.



 

NOTHING INTRUSIVE

The battery isolator switch is located on the starboard side aft corner and may be accessed with the seat installed and in the seating or collapsed position.

We thought the lines and hoses covered with convoluted protective casing could have been more neatly secured. The fuel filter is installed nearby under the transom bulkhead. The single cranking battery is installed in a plastic box which is fixed to the deck on the port side of centre.

The aft end of the bulkhead slopes away and down to a narrow checkerplate boarding platform. This sloping design rather than a vertical construction has reduced the amount of intrusion the battery box and any other aftermarket installation has or will have, on the available cockpit space.

The overall result is nice lines around the aft end and a very narrow transom bulkhead coaming which makes for easy leg over when boarding or disembarking via the boarding platform, assisted by grab rails running along the last of the gunwales and down toward the transom proper.



 

SHORT NOTICE

At the helm you will notice the upswept aft ends of the fibreglass section of the cuddy cabin moulding are in contact when resting the right elbow while the hand is on the throttle.

Those short in stature might find issue with this as the elbow will be cocked-up unnaturally high. Fitted with an economical 50hp four-stroke the 455 performed well on the plane though hole shot was a little slow. If you don't need to tow skiers you won't have a problem with this package as tested and the economy of the relatively low horsepower will outweigh any issues you have, getting out of the water at a lightning pace.

Even though fitted with a manual cable steer, operations at the helm wheel at various levels of trim was a one-handed affair with very little torque requiring extra effort on the part of the skipper, evident. Manual steering really has come a long way in recent years.



 

CONCLUSION

At WOT and 5900rpm you can expect a little over 55kmh from this boat and back at a 4000rpm cruise speed you can chip away at the kilometres with a speed of just under 36kmh.

If you find the lines of the 455 Bay Cruisers attractive, then you will be over the moon with the price to get on board. Just $28,795 will get the keys in your hand and a lot of boat for the buck!



 

WHAT WE LIKED

Cheap, cheap, cheap!

Base boat at a base price



 

NOT SO MUCH

None really, other than the untidy installation of the wires and hoses near the isolator switch

At such a cheap, recommended retail price, any slight annoyances become less of an issue



 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $28,795

Options fitted: Nil



 

GENERAL

Type: Mono hull

Material: Aluminium; 3mm bottom and sides, 1.6mm topsides

Length: 4.65m

Beam: 2.06m

Weight: 358kg (hull)



 

CAPACITIES

Fuel: 70lt

Max. people: 5

Rec. max. load: 612kg

Rec. min. HP: 40

Rec. max. HP: 60



 

ENGINE

Make/model: Mercury EFI

Type: Four-stroke four-cylinder

Rated HP: 50

Displacement: 995cc

Weight: 112kg

Gearbox ratio: 1.83:1

Propeller: 13in alloy



 

SUPPLIED BY

Telwater

53 Waterway Drive,

Coomera, Qld, 4209

Phone: (07) 5585 9805

Website: www.telwater.com 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #244

Find Savage boats for sale.

 


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