BOAT TEST: WEBSTER'S 4.9 TWINFISHER

By: Geoff Middleton, Photography by: Geoff Middleton


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The Webster’s Twinfisher is a distinctive boat manufactured in an equally interesting part of Australia. Geoff Middleton discovered it also had some other surprises

BOAT TEST: WEBSTER'S 4.9 TWINFISHER
WEBSTER'S 4.9 TWINFISHER

The Webster's Twinfisher is a unique boat on the Australian trailerboat market. As the name suggests, it's a catamaran, but what sets the Twinfisher apart from other cats is the fact that it runs just one motor.

Most catamaran operators are familiar with the twin-rig setup, where one outboard is usually mounted on each hull. The Twinfisher is an entirely different story because it has a single engine mounted between the hulls.
This setup provides some distinct advantages over the twin-engine cats. Firstly, it means the back of the boat now has two broad swim platforms with no impediments, meaning the kids can swim and access the boat more easily. For anglers, working a catch to the rear of the boat is also a lot easier and lines are less likely to be fouled on the engines.
According to Tim Edney from Inverloch Marine in Victoria, single engine cats like the Twinfisher also offer a significant cost saving. "With the Twinfisher, you don't have to pay for, or maintain, the second motor. The boat's purchase price is less, you have less fuel to pay for and there's less servicing," he said.

 

 

AUSSIE BUILT


Webster Twinfishers are manufactured in the Central-West NSW town of Orange, which is probably better known for its historic buildings and its gold mining than for its marine industry. However, that's where Daniel Schofield has the company at 11 Corporation Place and if you're ever in the vicinity, he's happy for prospective Twinfisher owners to pop in for a cuppa and look around the factory.
From there, the company manufactures a variety of boats from 3.8 to 5.2m including a centre console, a bass boat, a 4m tiller-steer, and a runabout like the one seen here. The runabouts come in 4.3m, 4.9m or 5.2m variants - ours is the handy and versatile 4.9m.
All Twinfishers are made from powder-coated aluminium with the 4.9 having 3.3mm sponsons and 2.5mm sides. It's a chunky little boat with a 2m beam which, being a cat, is fully usable from stem to stern. This gives the Twinfisher a remarkably roomy cockpit, which is a great platform for fishing, diving, or just having fun with the family.
Cats are also easily driven and don't require huge horsepower, because of their small wetted surface area and their inherent lack of weight. The test boat was powered by an 80hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard, which was quite adequate and pushed the boat up to a comfortable cruise speed of just under 30kts.

 

 

AFFORDABLE PERFORMANCE


The 80hp Yamaha is a four-cylinder EFI motor with power tilt and trim. It's an economical and very quiet engine that felt under-stressed in this application.
According to data we received from Yamaha, the Twinfisher will cruise at 14.8kts at 3500rpm and use a very reasonable 11.25lt/h. Push it up to 4500rpm and you'll do around 21.6kts and use 19.3lt/h. At wide open throttle (5700rpm) you'll do around 30kts and use 31lt/h.
I found a comfortable cruise at around 4000rpm at 19.4kts. With three of us onboard, we felt quite comfortable at this speed and we could happily hold a conversation without shouting.
The Twinfisher is a remarkably manoeuvrable boat on flat water. It feels stable and you can confidently flick it around in tight arcs without
it feeling unstable. But where it really comes into its own is in the rough stuff.
During our test we had an ebbing tide across the entrance into Anderson Inlet at Inverloch and about 1.5m of swell. The Twinfisher handled it all with aplomb. The boat was stable, not fazed by the waves and only once got a bit of water over the bow when Tim got a bit enthusiastic while showing off for the cameras.
Once out on the ocean, the Webster Twinfisher 4.9, like all cats, proved stable and roomy. It didn't roll at rest which would make it a great light-duty gameboat with a few accessories.
As standard, the Twinfisher does not come with many extras, although the basics are certainly there: gauges for the engine, fuel and speed; all-weather carpet throughout; pulpit and bowroller on the front; a plumbed-livebait tank on the transom; a big central fishbox with a seat atop; sidepockets; a couple of rodholders; and side storage pockets.
Sitting at the helm are a couple of comfortable seats with good lateral support for when the going gets a bit bumpy. There's good vision through the wraparound screen, which opens in the middle for access forward to the anchor locker. Strangely, it doesn't have a cover so I'd be inclined to fit one to prevent the anchor from flying around in rough water.
The Twinfisher may be a fairly basic package but as Tim says, they're a great canvas on which you can paint what you like when it comes to customisation. And since the price starts at only $39,000 including trailer and motor (a Yamaha 60 is fitted to these boats), you can afford to spend a few sheckles on some goodies to give your Twinfisher a genuinely personal touch.
The Twinfishers come on a galvanised EasyTow trailer with single axle and 13in wheels. There is also an optional upgrade to a twin-axle trailer.

 

 

GOOD PACKAGE


Tim offers a great package for the Twinfishers that includes a bimini and full clears, a rocket launcher, marine radio and aerial, Lowrance sounder, stainless steel baitboard and more. This brings the price up to about $45,450, but at that rate it is a well-equipped boat - perfect for hopping onboard for some fishing or just hitting the water for some family fun.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


Very manoeuvrable yet sturdy boat
Great in the rough stuff
Affordable package pricing
Solid construction

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


No hatch on the anchor locker
Somewhat basic starting package
No nav lights in the start-up package

 

 

 

Specifications: Webster's 4.9 Twinfisher

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $44,000
Options fitted: 90hp motor, stereo, VHF radio, icebox, and insulated seat locker
Priced from: $39,000

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Powercat
Material: Powder-coated aluminium
Length overall: 4.9m
Hull length: 4.9m
Beam: 2m
Weight: 460kg (hull only);
1200kg (approx) as tested

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel: 100lt
People: Five

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Yamaha F80BETX
Type: Four-cylinder four-stroke
EFI outboard
Weight: 181kg
Rated HP: 80hp
Displacement: 1595cc
Gearbox ratio: 2.31:1

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Inverloch Marine,
2 The Esplanade,
Inverloch, Vic, 3996
Phone: (03) 5674 1502
Websites: www.inverlochmarine.com.au;
www.websterstwinfisher.com.au

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #247

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