REVIEW: SCORPION 5.1

By: Rick Huckstepp


Resembling an RIB, the Scorpion 5.1 is a solid fishing platform that’s as stable as they come. What’s more, it’s a cheap buy, considering what you get

The Scorpion range of boats from Western Australia feature similar lines to inflatable boats and the alloy offerings of Stabi Craft and Ocean Master.
The Scorpian 5.1 has a surrounding pontoon that functions similarly to an oversized chine. On top of the pontoon and slightly inwards, the gunwales rise up, giving the impression of an RIB.
While other similar boats have metal edges at their widest point, the Scorpion utilises a rubber buffer strip around its sides and forequarters.
If ever there was an award for maximising casting and stowage space, this boat would probably get it. Being powered by a 50hp tiller control, the Scorpian increases space that would otherwise have been lost to a console.
The engine is mounted in a rebate between two short pods topped with deck tread to provide non-slip to those boarding via the well-built fold-up ladder on the portside. The starboard side had a lift-up auxiliary engine mount installed.
The engine well is expansive and serves a couple of purposes. In each aft corner a carpeted lid over a frame provides for a casting deck each side. When the lid is lifted, a tote tank of about 25ft is located underneath. There is an icebox between the two decks. The tiller handle on the Honda is long enough to be used sitting on the thwart seat, which has a padded cushion fixed with Velcro, with four drinkholders nearby.
The lid of the centre section of the seat lifts up to create access to the battery and the face of the seat has two vertical hatches for access. The seat was seal welded to the deck and each end featured a scupper that allowed water back into the engine well which allowed that back section to be used for wet stowage. The bottom of this wet area featured an open sump, to which a bilge pump was fitted.

CONTROL FREAK
When the skipper is correctly positioned, the trim gauge and tacho are behind him, mounted to the side pocket fascia. Forward of that, a small pod coming out from the side pocket was fitted with Humminbird’s Matrix 17 Fishing System. It would have been more practical to have the instrumentation mounted there, instead of out of sight of the skipper.
Another stowage box amidships held a 140lt icebox. The lid was padded to create extra seating. The lips of all the top lidded compartments were angled down and away, to facilitate water runoff. Forward of this, the deck stepped up onto another casting platform, which featured another stowage box. This one had a swivel seat mounted on the lift-up hinged lid. There was plenty of room to fish on all sides of this forward box.
Down near floor level, in the forequarter cockpit liners, a pair of vertical hatches gives access to some more dry stowage space inside the pontoon. A pair of rodholders on the uprights for the short bowrail took the number of rodholders on this boat to 16! If building one of these boats to order, it would be a handy idea to utilise one side for a lock-up rod and reel locker.
Under the gunwales, side pockets ran each side from the transom to the bow, where they stopped against the open anchor well formed by a partition running across the point of the cockpit. Grabrails provide some fishing stability.

OUT FOR A SPIN
The Honda, spinning a 15-inch prop, performed well on the choppy waters off Fremantle. It had ample power for the hull and steering was very direct, assisted in part by two long skegs on the aft outer edges of the hull. They allowed for high-speed hard turns without any side slip.
With a wide beam and the pontoons acting like giant chines, the hull had a flat attitude when turning. Much of the spray coming out the sides of the boat was deflected away from the occupants of the boat, but some did come over the front when it had no where else to go.
With no GPS or speedometer to go by, the Honda wound the Scorpion out to an estimated speed of between 50 and 60km/h.
Our camera boat on the day was a centre console Scorpion. It featured less stowage space and measured 5m in length. Where the 5.1 had the gunwales rising up off the pontoons, this boat did not. Instead, it relied on the console and a box directly in front of it, fixed to the floor, for stowage.
The fuel tank on the 5m model was set in the box seat at the console. Its breather and fuel line came out of the box near its top, down onto the deck, to the transom.
Carrying a little less weight and with the punch of a two-stroke, the 5m model was nippier than the 5.1. Because it’s lower in the gunwale height than the 5.1, more spray came aboard when the wind was on the forequarters.
These boats will provide good fishing platforms for estuaries, rivers and lakes. Their stability is as good as it gets and there’s plenty of room to move.
Considering the amount of material and work hours that have gone into the 5.1m Scorpion, it is a cheap buy.

WHAT WE LIKED
Lots of stowage
Big casting deck
Very stable

NOT SO MUCH
Nothing

 

Specifications: Scorpion 5.1

HOW MUCH?
Price as tested:    $29,880
Options fitted:    Humminbird Matrix depthsounder
Priced from:    $29,000

GENERAL
Material:    Aluminium – 4mm bottom and deck, 3mm on pontoons
Length overall:   5.1m
Beam:     2.2m
Deadrise:    16 degrees, variable to 24 degrees at bow
Weight:    420kg hull only

CAPACITIES
Fuel:     Tote tanks – room for two in specific storage area
People:     8
Max/rec HP:    90

ENGINE
Make/model:    Honda BF50
Type:     Three-cylinder, four-stroke triple-carburetted
HP:     50
Displacement:    808cc
Gearbox ratio:    2.09:1
Propeller:    13in

SUPPLIED BY
Alutech Water Craft,
Unit 2/5 Strang Court, South Fremantle, 6162
Phone: (08) 9336 1084
Email: alutechwatercraft@bigpond.com

Originally published in Trailerboat #209

 


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