TESTED: SAVAGE 415 BIG DADDY REVIEW

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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Affordable and easy to use, aluminium tinnies are often a gateway to the boating lifestyle. As Kevin Smith discovers, the new Savage 415 Big Daddy makes passing through that gate an easy proposition.

TESTED: SAVAGE 415 BIG DADDY REVIEW
The Savage 415 Big Daddy shows you don't need a big boat to have big fun.

Small and simple runabouts - or tinnies, to be more precise - can often be forgotten or brushed off when it comes to serious boat testing. But, as it turns out, these entry-level vessels are among the largest sellers in the country. For many they are the gateway to boating, primarily because of their affordability, ease of use and overall practicality.

Most of the entry-level tinnies around 4-4.5m are relatively similar in design, and the price is usually the deciding factor in making a purchase. Telwater's new Savage 415 Big Daddy is one of the company's latest budget offerings, and with a price tag of $7702 for the boat, motor and trailer, it's one that should be added to anyone's tinnie-hunting list.



SURPRISE PACKAGE

Without actually laying my eyes on the Big Daddy or its specs, I would have expected a fairly standard 4.15m tinnie with maybe two thwart seats, possibly a floor and a two-stroke motor. Well, I soon discovered that sight-unseen impression was wrong because the Big Daddy comes with quite a bit more than I expected.

To start with, the boat has a decent 1.96m beam with higher and deeper sides, as well as a carpeted floor / deck and fuel rack, rear thwart seat, usable casting deck in the bow and, most importantly, 3mm bottom and sides, which make the whole thing super tough.

Like most small tinnies, you can't expect too much when it comes to layout - they are what they are. But in this case, the simple addition of a casting deck up the front really appeals to me. It's not only great for flicking a lure, but also serves as a raised platform on which to work crab pots. It also creates a decent sealed storage area, something which is usually missing on standard open tinnies.

The carpeted deck is also a bonus because it helps limit stubbed toes and the need to perform any unintended breakdance moves when the going gets rough.

As it is, the floor works a treat, but with such deep sides I would have preferred to see the floor run level, rather than a bit lower and stopping short of the sides.

There are also a couple of small carpeted boards between the rear thwart seat and transom, which enable the fuel tank to be positioned on a level platform rather than crammed at an angle in the stern. This is another simple addition that makes the transom that little bit more user-friendly. Overall, the Big Daddy has a simple yet spacious layout that can easily be added to over time.

 

AN OLD FRIEND

When you get used to testing boats with either four-strokes or the latest two-stroke technology, you tend to forget just how gutsy the original two-stroke engines were. To get you on the water at a more affordable price, Telwater is fitting its Vortex brand of two-strokes to its small tinnies. They are available in a range of different horsepowers, with a 30hp Vortex fitted to our Big Daddy.

This little battler is as simple as they come for a pull-start two-cylinder, but still has some punch thanks to its 496cc. Externally the motor has a short tiller-arm with tension adjuster on the throttle, and a side gear select. When under power, this lightweight motor is easy to control off the tiller when facing forward or straddling the seat.

In terms of performance, the 30hp Vortex proved to be far from a chug-along when it came to cranking the throttle open, and I must admit that original feeling of gutsy two-stroke power did blow my hair back. The engine has a perky hole-shot and gets up onto the plane in quick time, cruises nicely at around 15kts (27.8kmh) in moderate chop, and can be cranked up to a healthy WOT of 23kts (42.6kmh).

When it came to the ride, although similar to most tinnies of this size, I did find the Big Daddy slightly quieter due to its built-in floors and casting deck, and it seemed a bit softer with the additional weight. Stability is not bad considering the size of the boat.

When it comes to dryness, a bit of spray is something you can't really avoid when side-on in the rough. But having said that, the higher sides did seem to successfully keep some of the excess water off.



THE WRAP

I think it's safe to say that competitive pricing and value for money have become a prerequisite for the vast majority of boat buyers (or any buyers, for that matter). As I mentioned earlier, tinnies of this size and style are among the most common boats seen on the water and that can largely be attributed to cost, ease of use, and the ability to be towed with a normal small car.

The Savage 415 Big Daddy ticks all of these boxes, but has a few extras to make tinnie boating more comfortable and suitable to the lone-ranger fisherman
and crabber, as well as families with
small kids.

Add a reasonable little sounder and GPS, a few seats, safety gear, extra rod holders and even a bimini, and you will probably still come in at a little less than $10,000. Great for that young family.



PERFORMANCE

10kts - on the plane

15kts - comfortable cruise in calm to moderate conditions

23kts - WOT



ON THE PLANE

  • Casting deck up front
  • Deeper sides
  • The 3mm sides and bottom



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • I would prefer anchorwell access from the top of bow
  • A standard sounder bracket mount would be nice




SPECIFICATIONS: SAVAGE 415 BIG DADDY

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $7702 (standard boat package)

Options fitted: None

Priced from: $7702



GENERAL

Type: Classic open tinnie

Material: Aluminium

Length: 4.27m

Beam: 1.96m

Weight: 194kg

Deadrise: 10°



CAPACITIES

People: 5

Rec. HP: 30

Max. HP: 40

Fuel: Portable jerry-can

Water: N/A



ENGINE

Make/model: Vortex 30hp

Type: Two-stroke

Weight: 53.5kg

Displacement: 496cc

Gear ratio: 2.08:1

Propeller: Details not supplied



MANUFACTURED BY

Savage Boats

www.savageboats.com.au



SUPPLIED BY

Get Wet Boating

6 Dominions Road

Ashmore

Queensland 4214

Tel: (07) 5539 6477

Web: www.getwetboating.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #293, April 2013

Find Savage boats for sale.

 


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