REVIEW: SAVAGE 380 BIG BOY

By: Daniel Nash, Photography by: Ellen Dewar


The TrailerBoat crew headed out for a play in the Savage 380 Big Boy that’s up for grabs in our ‘Win a Tinnie’ competition. We can guarantee the lucky person who wins this boat is going to be in for hours of fun… just add water

Let’s face it: we’d all love to own a whiz-bang, beefed-up, power-laden trailerboat. Something that you can do it all in: fish, ski, cruise, and entertain.
But sometimes the reality of your bank balance means you have to look for a basic package to enjoy life on the water. Enter the Savage 380 Big Boy, one of Australia’s newest utility dinghies from Savage Boats, a division of the Brunswick Boat Group. This boat won’t have your bank manager bashing down your door for a review of your credit rating just a couple of months after you take the helm. It won’t see you needing to cut a deal with dodgy used car salesmen as you chase a good price on a tractor-like four-wheel drive to tow it down to the boat ramp. And it won’t burn a hole in your wallet at the fuel pump after a day on the water. But what it will do is give you plenty of hassle-free fun on the water at a little over $9000???

BIG ‘N’ BEAMY
The 380 Big Boy is plated to carry up to four people. A boat like this is the perfect way for dads to introduce a couple of budding young anglers to the simplicity of fishing. Throw a couple of rods and reels aboard and zip out to your closest lake or inlet, drop a line over and teach the kids that you don’t need a six-metre, fully decked out, fishing beast to enjoy snaring a prized catch. Alternatively you might be looking to downsize from the aforementioned fishing beast to something more practical, that you can tow with ease and launch on your own. Whatever your wants, the 380 Big Boy might be just the answer.
Big Boy certainly is an appropriate moniker for this tinnie. It’s a very beamy 1.83m and as a result is up there in terms of usable fishing space. The extra-wide hull means superior stability out on the water and allows you the flexibility to move around the boat while stationary and chasing your targeted fish species of the day.
A simple yet practical design, the 380 Big Boy is built to the latest ABP buoyancy standards and the hull and topside section is fully seam welded along the length of the boat. An additional feature of the 380 Big Boy is anchor storage at the bow. Other than that it’s pretty much ‘what you see is what you get’, although you can option up your basic package to include a bimini top and tonneau cover.

FOUR STROKE FIZZ
The basic boat, motor, trailer package offered by the Brunswick Boat Group offers the choice of a Mercury or Mariner 15hp outboard. The test boat (and prize package) was powered by a 25hp Mercury four-stroke outboard, which had us zipping out of the hole and on to the plane with ease. When paired with the hull, this results in a racy little tinnie. The 25hp four-stroke is the boating industry’s first battery-free manual-start EFI four-stroke. It kicked into action without a whimper and ran smoothly and quietly and, while fuel figures weren’t available over the course of the test, one can envisage it being a real economical power source for the Big Boy. Its exclusive multifunction tiller handle features shift, steering throttle, throttle friction and stop controls for convenient one-hand operation.
This boat is simple to tow and launch. With an on-trailer length of 4.7m, the Big Boy will find a dry home in most Australian garages. And when you need to get this boat on the water, it’s not going to require a great deal of preparation and manpower – another real positive of the humble little tinnie. A one-man launch poses no problem and getting the boat back on the custom-built Savage easy launch trailer after a long day on the water will be a breeze.
The 380 Big Boy is a quality option for those seeking a boat that is not going to break the bank and is proof you don’t need the Taj Mahal of boats to enjoy water-based recreation. And if you’re lucky enough, it might arrive on your doorstep and the bank balance won’t even be a factor. Simply fill out the two bonus coupons on this page or for 12 entries into the competition subscribe to TrailerBoat before April 17, 2007.

Specifications: Savage 380 Big Boy Tinnie

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $9329 includes 25hp Mercury four-stroke, Savage trailer, registration and delivery

GENERAL
Material: Aluminium
Type: 500 series marine grade alloy
Length: 3.8m
Beam: 1.88m

CAPACITIES
Passengers: Four
Fuel: 25lt

ENGINE
Make/Model: Mercury four-stroke
Rated HP: 25
Displacement: 526cc
Weight: 71kg
Gearbox ratio: 1.92:1

Originally published in TrailerBoat #216

 


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