By: Rick Huckstepp, Photography by: Lou Martin

The Water Scorpion 4.4 Nymph is a stable, economical machine built for the bass and bream circuit

Small boats are burgeoning within Australia’s marine industry, so we recently looked at the Queensland-built Water Scorpion 4.4m Nymph. The design for this boat was first conceived more than 15 years ago and has been built for the bass and bream fishing circuit. It features a lot of ideas that make it ideal for such territory. And, with a few more refinements, it would be a cracker of a boat that would lend itself to a wide range of lake and estuary fishing applications.
Its monocube-style of construction includes a polyester handlaid deck and a vinylester resin-infused hull. The outer wings of the hull offer good stability at rest and their aft sections have been rebated to allow water and air to escape. This somewhat reduces the aeration at the propeller during tight turns, while also alleviating some of the ‘lean out’ effect.
Rising up from the wings, the hull sides swell outwards, creating an anti-spray chine, where they meet the topside.
This rig has a compact centre console, which has a tinted perspex wind deflector. The rebate under the rear of the console for the skipper’s leg space has a drop-down hatch, to which all the fuses are fitted. There are comfortable passenger seats either side of the helm seat. With only two up front, the boat will list no matter which side the passenger sits. This unbalance could be alleviated, to some extent, by placing both batteries and other accessories to one side.
The grabrails for the passengers were too far aft to be effective in stopping you from lurching forward should the boat come to a sudden stop. This will be rectified in future models, with the manufacturer set to mount them further forward.

While this boat is capable of carrying three people, it is ideally suited to fishing two at a time. The controls for the 50hp Johnson four-stroke are mounted on a vertical plate between the helm seat and the starboard passenger seat. This mount had worked loose over time due to the controls being knocked and undue body weight being placed against the plate. This setup was being redesigned, but maintaining the vertical throttle assembly rather than installing a binnacle type reduces the price of the rig by about $700.
Racks for tackle boxes are installed under the passenger seats. A small step either side of the console allows for easily access to the foredeck and, if you have a plethora of rods racked up in the holders on each side of the console, you might not have too many handholds when traversing this section.
The crank battery is hidden below a hatch in the aft port corner of the rear casting deck. A hatch in the opposite corner opened to stowage bins, which can be lifted out to access the bilge.
The gunwales were raised about 150mm above the carpeted deck, making for a good water barrier for those standing up. In the top of the gunwale, on the aft port corner, there was a round hatch to the deckwash hose. A matching hatch in the opposite corner provides access to a space that could hold a few live baits.
Directly in front of the console, livewells sit under twin, inward-opening hatches. An anchor locker is located on the forward casting deck, and opposite this another locker retains the bum pedestal seat. These lockers also had removable bins, but can be locked in place with a key.
Stability remains very good when a couple of anglers work both decks. While the broad multi-hulled underbelly offers stability, the down side is sometimes a hard ride in the chop, but this is not the case with the Nymph. At fast idle speed you could feel the chop hammering the hull, but on plane the hull had a cushioning affect, making for a smooth run over small, steep waves.

With the Johnson at full throttle at 5600rpm, the speedometer showed 32mph and the Nymph scooted comfortably across the chop. In fact, the faster we went, the softer the ride was. Some spray did come off the forequarters when the wind came toward us, but the hull was not unduly wet in this situation.
The flat deck required for the bow-mounted 55lb Minn Kota electric engine allowed some spray over the gunwales. The battery for the Minn Kota is forward-mounted in one of the hatches.
This rig is fitted with manual steering, but I much prefer hydraulic helms. This is especially so in many small boats due to fact the cables often have sharp bends in them. So I was surprised to find the Nymph’s steering performs better than most hydraulics I had used over the years. The manufacturer had gone to the trouble of extending the shaft from under the helm down into the console, mounting the manual steering box down low to ensure minimal stress on the manual cable. A little ingenuity and R&D and you have a steering system that is easy on the arms and comes in at the right price.
This is a nippy machine. The steering is a joy to use but there is slight cavitation in tight turns. I should mention that a Hydra-Foil wing was fitted to the leg of this motor. The advantages of this such that the boat can get out of the hole quicker and with less horsepower, and stay on the plane at a lower speed. The only downside is that generally the engine must be mounted one bolt hole (about 25mm) higher than it would otherwise, and in tight turns some cavitation may be experienced. This may explain the minimal aeration at the prop.
All up, though, this is a smart rig that could be launched and retrieved with a small four-cylinder car. With a few minor issues ironed out, it would make an economical, fun fishing boat for rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Good steering
Excellent stability
Economical to tow, run, and store

One forward passenger makes the boat list to one side
Handholds incorrectly positioned


Specifications: Water Scorpion 4.4 Nymph

Price as tested:                          $32,000.00
Options fitted:                           Minn Kota engine, deckwash, nav lights, courtesy lights, livebait well and pump, livewell, pedestal seat, upholstered seating, accessory sockets
Priced from:                             $18,000 (boat and trailer)

Material:                                   Fibreglass
Length overall:                          4.4m
Beam:                             1.9m
Draft:                                        600mm
Weight:                                     450kg hull only
Deadrise:                                  12° at transom

People:                                     Three
Fuel:                                         70lt
Rec. max HP:                          60hp Evinrude E-TEC

Make/model:                             Johnson
Type:                                       Four-stroke, three-cylinder DOHC
Weight:                                     109kg
Rated HP:                                 50
Displacement:                           815cc
Gearbox ratio:                           2.27:1
Propeller:                                  14-inch alloy

Water Scorpion Sports Boats,
PO Box 549,
Runaway Bay, Qld, 4216
Phone/Fax: (07) 5537 1766

Originally published in TrailerBoat #216


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