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Mixed breeding creates a hot new look for the Savage family.




Two for the price of one is always the kind of deal I'm looking for in whatever it is I'm buying, and in the case of the new Savage Bay Cruisers that's exactly what you get: two boats for the price of one. Well, maybe that's pushing it a bit, but you get a combination of two boating materials built into one, namely fibreglass and aluminium.

It's always the same old debate about which is better and we all have our theories and opinions on that one. Here you get an aluminium hull that can take quite a pounding, and a stylishly moulded cuddy topdeck that definitely gives these boats a slick and modern look - and gives you a double whammy for your buck. How do we know? Because Brisbane Yamaha put one of its Savage 455 Bay Cruiser packages up for test with 60hp of four-stroke Yamaha grunt, with which we soon disappeared.


The beauty of boats this size is that they're fairly light and simple to tow with standard vehicles. Brisbane Yamaha's 455 Bay Cruiser is packaged with a sturdy Dunbier galvanised trailer, and when it comes to launching and retrieving, the 455 effortlessly slides off and on, whether winding on with the hand-winch or driving on with the boat. Either way, it's simply achievable as a one man band.


A Yamaha 60hp four-stroke trim and tilt is known for its quiet operation and economy. Although sitting on the maximum horsepower and weight ratings, the 455 still carries good buoyancy on the transom, and the combination was well matched for this little craft. Controls were the standard 703 Yamaha box, and steering was non-feedback cable - all comfortably positioned for operation and suited to the console design.


Considering that test conditions in Moreton Bay were far from favourable for this class of craft, our opting to stay within the sheltered areas of the Caboolture River was a wise idea. Let's face it, anyone in their right mind wouldn't want to be out playing in Moreton Bay when there's a 25-knot south-easter out there.

The 455 had fair guts when it came to holeshotting smoothly, and it was up and onto the plane fairly fast without any major bow-lift obstruction or strain. Once on the plane you can tap right off the throttle and get the 455 riding at a pleasant cruise mode of between 19-23kmh (11-12kts), with the revs purring quietly and economically around the 3000-3500rpm mark.

Throughout the speed tests the ride remained comfortable and smooth behind the protection of the screen, and little or no cavitation effects were noticed when pushing into tight turns. I did notice a fair amount of spray coming off the chines of the bow though, and that might be due to the extra weight from the forward console design. A bit of extra trim on the motor sorted that out without hindering the performance.


In the stern section the motor leads onto a full-length tread-plate platform which is uncluttered by cables. It has a fold-away step-ladder for easy access into the craft, and there is also a full-length grabrail. The transom area then tapers upwards at an angle and flows into a full-length fold-away rear seat. Behind the seat, this area is open and houses the battery and fuel filter, all designed in such a way that you can access it easily with the seat up or down. Even so, there's still plenty of extra space for other aftermarket fittings and accessories.

Running toward the console the gunwales maintain a constant height. They are fitted out with flush-mounted rodholders and have good sized sidepockets for all the trinkets. The deck area is also fully carpeted so it's gentle on feet and equipment.

The forward console area definitely adds to the look of this boat. Moulded in fibreglass, the smooth soft lines give a super modern look in and out. The console is set up with the skipper's and passenger section split by a semi walk-through to the bow (with extra hinged door and screen) in the centre, definitely providing easier access to the bow and anchor-hatch.

At the helm, the skipper has all controls and a full wraparound screen providing good protection from the wind and spray. Two things caught my attention though. First, the gauges were a bit tricky to read because they were obstructed by the wheel, and second, I like the sounder and radio to be within hand's reach. In this case the sounder and radio were mounted on the passenger side for lack of space on the skipper's dash. It's not a major train smash I know, mainly because most sounders and GPS units these days have adjustable mountings.

Below the console is a step-down in the deck which creates better leg room when you're seated. As I mentioned earlier, access through to the bow is nice and open, with a reasonable sized stowage area or anchor-hatch, a full split wrap-around bowrail, bollard, roller, and bowsprit. The rest of this spacious little craft was complemented by a bimini-top with rocket launchers, a few flush-mounted rodholders in the gunwales, and overall uncluttered space.


When it comes to fishing, the Savage 455 Bay Cruiser could be used and adapted to any style of fishing in calm to moderate waters. As it is it'd be a great small boat for those who enjoy a relaxed style of fishing, whether sitting back under the bimini while on anchor with a few baits out, or relaxing with a few rods out on the troll. Having such an open layout you can load up with Esky coolers, portable livewells or whatever you need, and still be as comfortable as ever.


The Savage 455 Bay Cruiser is an entry level craft suited to small family general boating and fishermen alike. Either way it has a classy look of its own, and with a full packaged price tag of under $30,000 you can't go wrong. On top of that it's nice and economical, doesn't cost an arm and a leg to run, and is towable with a relatively small vehicle.


Uncluttered open space

Better modernised look


No hatch in deck

Restricted view of gauges

Specifications: Savage 455 Bay Cruiser


Price as tested / priced from: $28,990

With Yamaha 60hp four-stroke, Dunbier trailer, canopy, rear lounge, swivel seats, sounder, painted hull, safety gear, Qld rego and more.


Manufacturer: Telwater

Material: Aluminium / fibreglass

Length (overall): 4.65m

Length (B-M): 4.55m

Beam: 2.05m

Depth: 1.07m

Weight (boat only): 358kg


Rec. HP: 40

Rec. max HP: 60

Max. motor weight: 120kg

People: Five (basic)

Fuel: 70lt


Make/model: Yamaha F60CETL

Type: SOHC in-line four-cylinder

Fuel management: EFI

Weight: 111kg

Displacement: 996cc

Gear ratio: 13:24 (1.85)

Starting system: Electric


Brisbane Yamaha

174 Eastern Service Rd,

Burpengary, Qld, 4505

Phone: (07) 3888 1727





Originally published in TrailerBoat 256.

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