REVIEW: POLYCRAFT 530 WARRIOR

By: Rick Huckstepp


Polyethylene makes the Polycraft 530 Warrior virtually indestructible and, like its polymer peers, gives it a soft and quiet ride, writes Rick Huckstepp

Here at TrailerBoat we’ve tested a long line of boats from Poly Industries and the Warrior is the cuddy cabin version of the centre console hull we ran quite a few issues back.
The common denominator with these boats is their soft ride. Having an outer and inner liner for the hull, fused together, there is an air buffer between that varies in dimensions between those skins which themselves average between 10 and 12mm in thickness about the boat.
These boats also exhibit a small amount of flex and the combination of these two attributes result in a surprisingly soft and quiet ride.

FISHABILITY
The Warrior features a pair of live bait tanks in the transom bulkhead and, aft of this, the typical Polycraft open bilge sits below the engine mount on the transom.
Heavy aluminium plate makes up the rack that is fixed to this area to swing the weight of the fitted 115 Johnson two-stroke motor.
The transom bulkhead also houses the start battery and two-stroke engine oil bottle on a rack which is a module secured in place with heavy stainless steel bolts.
The front of this rack is on the deck and vertically in line with the front of the bulkhead itself.
With no ability to tuck the toes in while fishing over the stern, one does not have as much balance as one would if there was a rebate for the feet. Now, the sides of these boats do not have any foot ‘tuck in’ space either. That’s the nature of the inner liner of all the Polycraft models so, perhaps, a reduction in the depth of the tray would at least offer one area for good fishing balance?
As tested, a wide, full-width carpeted bench folded down to the cockpit deck on hinges. An optional lounge cushion base may be Velcro held to the carpet and also a back rest installed if required. Should this shelf for the oil bottle and battery be rebated, the drop down bench seat would have to be shortened as it meets the floor also.
Forward of the seat, a kill tank in the deck had a volume of about 50lt and forward of this, the fuel tank is secured under a screwed down hatch.
Seating at the dashboard is bucket type and they swivel upon a poly box which features an open front for stowage.
BRP instrumentation is installed in the dashboard along with a mechanical Teleflex steering system. The steering on the boat tested was at best, very ordinary. No fit up and water test had been undertaken prior to our run and the amount of torque on the steering was totally unacceptable. Trimming out to reduce this to an acceptable level had the boat porpoising as a result. This is no fault of the hull, just a rush job by mechanics to get the boat to us. The throttle and gear assembly was also very stiff.
The flat top of the dashboard offered plenty of space for large cabinet electronics in front of the skipper and to the left.
The aperture leading into the cabin is large and the deck therein is raised up about 110mm above the cockpit deck. This effectively keeps water from entering the stowage bins below the hatches inside. There is one large central hatch and two on the wings.
A large hatch in the roof allows an oversized person access to the anchor well. While not choppy enough to generate a lot of spray to check its waterproof properties, the catches for the hatch appeared to be a little on the flimsy side.
The anchor well is open to the elements and is not overly large. A large anchor might run the risk of jumping out and over the bow in rough seas, so a snub on the anchor would be a good idea. The bowrails here are low profile, the same height as those around the gunwales, so there is no possibility of fitting an anchor stock tube to hold it another way.

PERFORMANCE
Acceleration on this boat is good but you had to literally battle the torque at the wheel until on the plane and inducing some degree of trim out to the engine. Hole shot was good and, while there was no speedometer fitted and no GPS on hand, top speed was well over 60kmh.
Running over our own boat wake, the hull is soft on landing and the attitude remains quite flat on turns due to the deep edge tracking rails on the hull. Those tracking rails also make it an easy affair to load back onto the trailer.
While not impressed with the level of preparation for this boat’s test, rest assured the hulls are up to scratch with the way they perform. They do not have the perfect symmetrical lines like a boat out of a fibreglass manufacturer’s mould, but once you are over that, you can enjoy other attributes that this material offers.
In this day and age when we worry if we have enough water in our reservoirs to shower let alone wash a hull, which is illegal now in some states, polyethylene is a robust material that seemingly is designed for droughts! It can take an absolute smashing against rocks and other flotsam you might encounter on the water, and the material is easily and cheaply repaired. And, if water is scarce, just don’t wash the boat. Rinse the brakes, flush the engine and put it away till next time. Truly, you cannot kill these boats!

WHAT WE LIKED
Soft ride
Durable material used in construction
Easy drive on and off the trailer

NOT SO MUCH
Anchor well a little small
Flimsy catches on cabin ceiling hatch
No toe room on sides and transom bulkhead

 

Specifications: Polycraft 530 Warrior Cuddy

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:                          $33,800
Options fitted:                           Bimini front, side clears
Priced from:                              $32,550

GENERAL
Material:                                   Low density polyurethane
Length overall:                        5.3m
Beam:                                      2.4m
Deadrise:                                  17.5 degrees
Weight:                                     700kg (hull only)

CAPACITIES
Fuel:                                         130lt
People:                                     Four
Rec/max HP:                             115
Rec/min HP:                              90

ENGINE
Make/model:                             Johnson
Type:                                       Carburetted two-stroke V4
Weight:                                     152kg
Rated HP:                                  115
Displacement:                           1726cc
Gearbox ratio:                           2:1
Propeller:                                  17-inch

SUPPLIED BY
Logan River Marine
1 Christensen Road, Yatala, Qld, 4207
Phone (07) 3287 4888
Website www.loganrivermarine.com.au

Originally published in TrailerBoat #219

 


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