BOAT TEST: EXPLORER 520 CENTRE CONSOLE


Carefully designed by a champion angler for other keen fishos, this South African-made centre console offers safety, comfort and room to move.

BOAT TEST: EXPLORER 520 CENTRE CONSOLE
The Explorer 520 Centre Console, made in South Africa.

First published in TrailerBoat #174, Nov 2003

 

Osprey Marine distributes a range of fibreglass boats built in South Africa exclusively for Yamaha, and the Aussie company is very excited to announce a new addition to its range that it believes will find favour with local fishers.

According to Osprey's Roger Barnes, the 520 Explorer centre console is a fibreglass fishing boat with a more comprehensive inventory of standard features than your average boat. Designed by well-known South African sportsfisherman and Yamaha Motor marine manager Greg Bennett, the Explorer also packs plenty of safety features to offer peace of mind to inshore anglers.

Featuring fully self-draining and scuppered decks, buoyancy chambers built into the hull and dedicated storage for extra fuel tanks beneath the helm centre console, this rig is an appealing inshore fishing boat, Mr Barnes said.

But this boat is not purely for serious anglers, the company says. Comfortable seating is found throughout, and the boat comes standard with a skipole for social forays with the family.

The Explorer is fitted with a 145lt fuel tank to deliver over a long range, and comes with a baitboard work station, a generous livebait tank, tilting console with tote tank storage, stainless-steel keel strip, and deluxe helm and bow seats - all as standard equipment. With the competitive Australian-South African exchange rate, the 520 Explorer makes for competitive buying, Osprey Marine reports.

Mr Barnes said the boat is both stable and dry, and delivers pedigree rough-water performance for those afternoon runs home from the summer reef fishing grounds. In South Africa, twin outboard installations are popular with offshore anglers for the added safety factor. Here in Australia, Osprey says a single Yamaha 100hp four-stroke pushes the boat admirably, with economical performance being a major selling point.

The hull features a graduated entry point, prominent strakes and pronounced chines to smooth the heaviest chop and deliver directional stability at speed. Smooth, fair coamings make leaning outboard more comfortable, especially when fighting fish. Big stainless-steel grabrails are scattered around the boat while a particularly sturdy model traces the top of the console right where it's most needed, Osprey says. The boat has a good-sized anchor locker and there's dedicated dry storage throughout for items like clothes and safety gear.

The 520 Explorer fishing boat joins a number of other models exported to Australia, including some cool-looking dayboats and bowriders.

 

Specifications: Explorer 520 Centre Console

Priced from:  $28,950 w/ Yamaha 90hp two-stroke
Hull type: Monohull centre console
Material: Fibreglass
Length: 5.2m
Beam: 2.3m
Max load: 800kg
Max/rec hp: 100/120
Fuel capacity: 145lt underfloor plus tote tanks
For more information, contact Osprey Marine, tel 0414 988 545

First published in TrailerBoat #174, Nov 2003

Find Explorer boats for sale.

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.