TESTED: PROCRAFT 470 RUNABOUT

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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Designers of the ProCraft 470 Runabout have utilised a seemingly simple blueprint to create a great boat for the whole family.

TESTED: PROCRAFT 470 RUNABOUT
Not just any tinne: the Procraft 470 Runabout comes in a range of configurations.

Queensland’s Coastal Powerboats has recently added a new quiver of tinnies to its already impressive arsenal of boats. Branded as the ProCraft range, these beauties come in a number of different flavours in sizes from 4.2-5m and feature tiller steer, centre console, runabout, side console and even cuddy cabin variants.

I have recently noticed something of an influx of new brands hitting the market, and I must say that is actually a positive thing because not only does it help promote a healthy level of competition, it also means there is a lot more innovation going into the boats, with the customers getting more features and a bit more bang for their ever-diminishing discretionary buck. And such is the case with this new line-up of boats.

The first of the new range up for test was the ProCraft 470 Runabout, built to suit those who may be on a tighter budget but who are still looking for a versatile rig that can be used across a number of different boating purposes.

When I first saw the boat, I was immediately taken with the striking white paintwork and graphics. Quality paint is always a winner for me because it not only maintains a clean look and resists electrolysis, but is also cooler on the hot days. And it often helps to maintain a bit more resale value if kept in good condition.

The 470’s graphics were also appealing to my eye because they’re not too overpowering and are just enough to break up the slab of plain white, giving the boat a sporty, more contemporary look.

A functional wraparound windscreen and bimini cover finish things off nicely and add to the vessel’s intended purpose — a fun little boat for the family.



CLEAN AND SIMPLE

Stepping aboard the 470 Runabout gives you a couple of options: either via a rear boarding step on either side of the motor, or by flinging a leg over the gunwale (which will likely be more suitable for the nimble minority).

Once on-board, it’s a neat little setup with enough space to kick back and relax on the front swivel seats while keeping an eye on the rods down the back. And if the lazy way of fishing is not sporting enough for you, folding the rear lounge to flick a few plastics off the rear deck is another option.

Although the boat is small in size, you can still comfortably seat four adults, or two and a handful of whipper-snappers with the use of the rear lounge. There is some storage space under the hood up front and in the sidepockets, and although it may seem as though the boat is somewhat lacking in this area, you would likely be adding eskys anyway, so it shouldn’t really be an issue.

For something a bit different, the oversized coaming width provides extra space to mount rod and / or drink holders, or it can even be used as a stepping platform for boarding, although non-slip pads would definitely be needed. The manufacturer has also included a small pod system which, in addition to adding buoyancy to the transom, eliminates the need for the big well to stick out into the deck, which means more deck space.

Overall, the less-is-more concept applied to these boats works very well in the 470, making for a very clean and simple rig. Even the dash section is free of any overkill and can house a number of gauges, as well as the range of small electronics mounted on top. And for those who like to anchor, the windscreen is split in the centre and has a hinged section for access to the anchor well.



SMOOTH RIDER

Although rated up to 70hp, the Suzuki 50hp four-stroke on our test boat proved to be a particularly good match on the 470. I have to say, Suzuki engines keep getting better and better over time; although I often feel very silly when I try to start one only to discover it’s already running — they’re that bloody quiet. From the small engines through to the big guns, they just purr.

On the go, the 470 has a decent holeshot and planes quickly without much effort, probably due to the weight distribution being more forward than usual. Having a motor with trim and tilt on this kind of setup is definitely the way to go because it allows you to more easily adjust to suit the conditions and on-board weight.

The broad water on the day of our test had enough chop and tidal wash to give us a good feel of what kind of ride the hull would produce, and considering it wasn’t a great day, it was not bad at all. Given the seating and console are positioned so far forward, you do get a few jolts off the hull, but nothing too worrying. Again, the trim and tilt help with getting the most out of the ride, and when trimmed correctly you can eliminate some of the excess spray flaring off the bow.

In the chop, the ideal cruise speeds were around the 12-14kts (22-26kmh) mark and on the flat water you can quite easily open it up to more than 20kts (37kmh) while seated and driving. The hull proved responsive while carving up a few turns at safe speeds, although it did pick up a bit of cavitation on full-lock turns. But given you are unlikely to be doing major bar crossings, this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

So if you like maximum performance then leave it as it is, otherwise drop a bolt hole and that would eliminate it.



THE WRAP

With a hull weight of comfortably less than a tonne, towing and launching the ProCraft 470 is anything but an issue. And its relatively small size makes it easy to store or garage.

Rather than being just a bloke’s boat, runabouts are more ideally suited to families looking to get into the boating lifestyle. ProCraft packages start from at a little less than $20,000 including a 40hp Suzuki two-stroke, which is not bad at all when compared to other craft of a similar size.

The 470 Runabout is quite a cool little boat that could be used for tubing with the kids up at the dam, chucking a few pots in creek, cruising bays, or just fishing with the family and mates.
What more could you ask for?



PERFORMANCE

5mph (8kmh) @ 1500rpm

6.5mph (10.4kmh) @ 2500rpm

12.9mph (20.6kmh) @ 3500rpm

18mph (28.8kmh) @ 4000rpm

22mph (35.2kmh) @ 4500rpm

29mph (46.4kmh) @ 5500rpm (WOT)





ON THE PLANE...

  • Neat and simple design
  • Ease of use
  • Very economical



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • Rear seat clips need attention
  • Needs more rod holders




SPECIFICATIONS: PROCRAFT 470 RUNABOUT

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $25,690

Options: Lowrance Elite 5 sounder; bimini.

Priced from: $19,950 (with a 40hp Suzuki two-stroke)



GENERAL

Type: Runabout

Material: Aluminium

Length: 4.95m

Beam: 2.2m

Weight: 300kg (hull only)

Deadrise: 13°



CAPACITIES

People: 4

Rec. HP: 50

Max. HP: 70

Fuel: 60L



ENGINE

Make/model: Suzuki DF 50A 50hp four-stroke

Type: Inline three-cylinder EFI Lean Burn four-stroke

Weight: 104kg

Displacement: 941cc

Gear ratio: 2.27:1

Propeller: 11.5x15in



MANUFACTURED BY

ProCraft Aluminium Boats

Web: www.procraftboats.com.au



SUPPLIED BY

Coastal Powerboats

2 Junction Road

Burleigh

Queensland 4220

Tel: (07) 5568 0904

Web: www.coastalpowerboats.com.au

 

Published in TrailerBoat #293, April 2013.

Find Procraft boats for sale.

 


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