PROCRAFT 430 CENTRE CONSOLE REVIEW

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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The new Procraft 430 Centre Console may look like a simple little tinnie but, as Kevin Smith discovered, looks can be deceiving.

PROCRAFT 430 CENTRE CONSOLE REVIEW
PROCRAFT 430 CENTRE CONSOLE REVIEW

It’s often tough for new boats to get a toehold in the market, but the new Australian-built Procraft range from Queensland’s Coastal Powerboats has done just that. And given these boats are priced to suit the entry-level buyer’s pocket, they are here to stay.

This is especially true of the Procraft 430 Centre Console. This rig is priced just right for a centre console tinnie, around $12,000 to $13,000, and provides you with everything you could expect from such a boat, including practicality, value for money and plenty of standard features.

At first glance, I definitely appreciated the fact the 430 doesn’t have the "factor-zero mirror effect". That is to say, it has a white colour scheme with some really cool graphics to add a bit of bling. Essentially, a simple half-wrap takes it from something plain looking to a tinnie with a bit more funk, and our test 430 had some great Aussie colours to help it stand out.



DON’T JUDGE A BOOK…

Rather than just producing a standard tiller-steer model, Procraft has gone a bit further by adding a small centre console, with a seat, to a boat that normally wouldn’t have one, and it’s a great addition.

This is a seemingly small feature that doesn’t cost an arm, leg, kidney, or whatever you’re prepared to sacrifice, but makes one hell of a difference to comfort levels when travelling the extra mile, or when having to tackle the slop.

The 430 might look pretty standard when it comes to layout but it’s really a very clever little centre console when you take a closer look. For instance, rather than an open layout, the designers added a raised bulkhead with hatch-lids to create a covered area for fuel and battery. This could also serve as a mini cast platform and / or seating if necessary.

In another shrewd design move, instead of the standard narrow coamings with straight edges, the 430 features much wider coamings with rolled edges. This changes the look of the boat in a pleasant way and gives you more space to mount rodholders and other accessories. Standard pockets on either side also give you a bit of extra storage space.

When considering a console, especially on a relatively small boat such as this, you would ideally not want anything that takes up too much room on the centre deck, and the 430 has really nailed it. The console is quaint and low but has enough room for a steering wheel, some open storage below, and could even manage a fair-sized flush-mounted sounder to go on the flat dash. It’s also set at the correct height for driving when seated or standing.

The deck then runs to a small raised cast deck in front of the console. Other than acting as a good storage area, this setup also works well as a mini cast-deck, and its relatively low height means stability is not compromised.

There is a roller, bollard and small anchor hatch in the bowsprit, as well as ample grabrails. I particularly like the fact the 430 doesn’t have a full bowrail. Why? Because that is the first thing that gets in the way, and consequently taken to with an angle grinder, when fitting electric motors.



PERFORMANCE

The first thing I noted when out on the water was definitely the comfort derived from the centre-console design. As I mentioned, this particular setup is not a cumbersome one and well worth having in comparison to a standard tiller steer — I could clearly see over the bow at all times when seated or standing, and was not in need of a vertebrae realignment after the test.

Still, this is a small tinnie and it just can’t produce a cruise-liner-like ride, although you would have more chance of survival falling off this than a cruise liner.

Fitted with a 40hp Suzuki two-stroke, the little Procraft is a nippy performer out of the hole; it turns on a dime and gets up to a more than satisfactory 28kts (51.8kmh). Just be careful flying around at that speed on a bumpy day.

On average, the comfortable cruise speed is around 20kts (37kmh) in flat conditions and, depending on the chop, would drop back to anything between 10-14kts (18.5-25.9kmh) in the rough.

If anything, trim would be a great investment for the few extra bucks because it would allow you to get better lift into the bow to suit conditions.



THE WRAP

There is no denying the fact a tinnie’s ride does bump around a bit in the chop, can be wet and has average stability, but all of that could be a lot worse than it is in the Procraft 430 Centre Console.

Overall, this boat works well and it’s even better for having its centre console, which makes a huge difference to the comfort level.

If I had to choose between a tiller and this, I would go for the 430 Centre Console every day of the week.

The layout is simple and spacious, with plenty of storage and carpeting throughout, and the 430 looks really neat on and off the water. Add in a few accessories to suit and you will have an awesome little fishing unit that’s easy to tow with a standard car.



ON THE PLANE...

  • Small centre-console
  • Neat open space
  • Closed storage
  • Wider coamings



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • Motor trim and tilt would be nice, but would add to price
  • No non-slip on coamings
  • Touch up a few small rough edges



PROCRAFT 430 CENTRE CONSOLE SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $13,080

Options fitted: Suzuki 40hp two-stroke

Priced from: $12,120 (with Suzuki 30hp two-stroke and Dunbier trailer)



GENERAL

Type: Aluminium flat-side hull with low console unit

Material: Marine-grade aluminium

Length: 4.3m (4.7m from bowsprit to rear step)

Beam: 2.02m

Weight: 280kg (approx. — hull only)

Deadrise: 12°



CAPACITIES

People: 4

Rec. HP: 40hp

Max. HP: 50hp

Fuel: 25L (tote tank)



ENGINE

Make/model: Suzuki DT40WRL

Type: Two-cylinder two-stroke

Weight: 76kg

Displacement: 696cc

Gear ratio: 2.091:1

Propeller: 11.5x13in



MANUFACTURED BY

Procraft Aluminium Boats

2 Junction Road

Burleigh

Queensland 4223

Tel: (07) 5568 0904

Web: www.procraftboats.com.au



SUPPLIED BY

Coastal Powerboats

2 Junction Road

Burleigh

Queensland 4223

Tel: (07) 5568 0906

Web: www.coastalpowerboats.com.au

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #296, June/July 2013.

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