REVIEW: PROCRAFT 5.3 CUDDY CABIN

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


PROCRAFT 5 3 PROCRAFT 5 3
PROCRAFT 5 3 80hp SUZUKI PROCRAFT 5 3 80hp SUZUKI
PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY ANCHOR PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY ANCHOR
PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN CABIN PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN CABIN
PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN HELM PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN HELM
PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN PLANING PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY CABIN PLANING
PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY SUZUKI OUTBOARD PROCRAFT 5 3 CUDDY SUZUKI OUTBOARD
PROCRAFT 5 3 DECAL PROCRAFT 5 3 DECAL
PROCRAFT 5 3 PLANING PROCRAFT 5 3 PLANING
PROCRAFT 5 3 SEATING PROCRAFT 5 3 SEATING

The attractive new Procraft 5.3 Cuddy Cabin gives entry-level buyers a superb Aussie-made starting point.

Queensland's Coastal Powerboats is at it again, adding another classic range of boats to its arsenal — the Procraft fibreglass range. The Gold Coast dealership introduced its Procraft aluminium range to the market a few months back and I was really impressed at how the business had managed to transform a simple tinnie into something with a bit more ‘wow’ factor, and for an affordable price. That approach must have worked, as I’ve seen quite a few on the water already.

For this latest fibreglass range, it’s done the same — rebranding the original Haines Travellers into its own Procraft range. The objective? Cut back on a few of the extra luxury fittings and accessories to make the boats a bit more accessible to the entry-level buyer or just those on a tight budget but looking for a quality upgrade.

The bonus, though, is that the construction remains top class, as you’d expect of anything manufactured by the Haines Group.

 

PROCRAFT BOATS

PROCRAFT 5.3 CUDDY CABIN

Two of these new Procrafts were up for test: the 6.2 Weekender (which we will cover in a future issue of TrailerBoat) and the 5.3 Cuddy Cabin featured here.

At first glance, the Procraft 5.3 Cuddy Cabin had an attractive appearance with a touch of blue, matching trimmings and soft, rounded and nicely proportioned lines. Sitting stationary on the water, it looked very appealing — it struck me as an ideal mid-range boat that’s easy enough to handle both on and off the trailer. Once onboard, the layout automatically suits both family and fishing applications, which is always a good thing.

Included in this set-up are four separate deck seats, with two up forward and two recessed slightly into the transom alongside the engine well. The rear seating comprises a simple bolstered backrest with quick-release base. This is handy for fishing, as it allows you to lock right into the transom in either corner.

Instead of a standard enginewell protruding into the deck, the 5.3 has a small livewell /icebox incorporated, and a few drink holders along the sides. This storage compartment is not huge, but it could easily be used for a number of applications.

 

LAYOUT AND DESIGN

PROCRAFT-5.3-CUDDY-CABIN-COCKPIT

Moving forward, the gunwales sit at a comfortable height with full length sidepockets and a spot to lock the toes in underneath. The bottom panel is bolstered and colour coded to the boat, making it comfortable to lean against, although I did feel that they could do with a little bit of strengthening, just in case some clown decides to use them as a step — which does happen.

Internally the side panels have a standard fleck finish rather than being fully moulded. As it is, I like it — simple and easy to clean.

Up front, the console area is protected by a bimini and screen and the bimini even has zips attached for optional clears. Up front, the screen and bimini give good protection when stationary and driving; over time you could add the clears and rocket launchers.

At the helm I quite liked the dash set-up — nice and compact but at a good angle for electronics and with enough space to mount sounder, radio and gauges, with even a bit of space left over. The cab has an open-plan format with further seating, bolstered back pads, sidepockets and storage available, and access through a forward hatch to the anchor well.

I wouldn’t say it’s large enough for an adult to have a comfortable snooze in, but it’s perfect for the kids and a good spot to load up extra gear. Overall, it’s a spacious simple and clean layout.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

PROCRAFT-5.3-TURNING

On the water the 5.3 is fairly zippy out of the hole and tops out at around 30kts (55.6kmh). I was surprised at these figures, considering the relatively low horsepower for a boat of this size.

If it was my boat I probably would have chucked on a 115hp, but after a bit of time driving the 80hp Suzuki I was impressed enough to probably leave it at that. Besides saving money I found the torque curve ample, from low down right through to the top end.

Up and running, the hull is nice and responsive to trim and at cruising speeds it’s comfortable and dry. During our test the Gold Coast’s Broadwater was a typical school holiday fiasco, with every Tom, Dick and Harry on the water in every boat from 3m to 20m. I reckon a rough day on the ocean would have been calmer, thanks to the wakes from all the luxury powerboats!

The little 5.3 bashed its way through the chop with no problems at all but at speeds within reason, considering the conditions.

Considering the boat’s size its stability was good both at rest and underway, although I did feel a bit of prop torque causing the boat to list slightly. This isn’t a huge issue — you’d generally weight the boat accordingly to suit the conditions and load, or alternatively you’d knock on a set of trims tabs to really sweeten the ride.

As a personal preference I would maybe add hydraulic steering but the non-feedback set-up as standard is sufficient and helps keep the price down.

 

THE VERDICT

PROCRAFT 5.3 CUDDY REAR QUARTER

This Procraft is definitely a good little all-rounder and it’s available at a more-than-fair price. Even as standard, the 5.3 has more than enough to get you comfortably boating.

It doesn’t have all the fittings and fancy trimmings but that’s exactly the way it’s meant to be — it’s affordable to get into, giving you the chance to trick it up with fishing gear and additional accessories down the line, as budgetary constraints allow.

When it comes to fishing you can still climb in, take an Esky from the house, add what gear you have, and head out. Alternatively, you could option it up from the get go and still have change from $50,000.

All in all this is one nice family boat; it’s great for bays, estuaries, dams and even light offshore work, and it will also prove easy to tow.

 

PERFORMANCE

3.3kts (6.1kmh) @ 1500rpm

4.4kts (8.1kmh) @ 2000rpm 

5.6kts (10.4kmh) @ 2500rpm 

8.0kts (14.8kmh) @ 3000rpm 

12.1kts (22.4kmh) @ 3150rpm — on the plane

16kts (29.6kmh) @ 3500rpm

18.9kts (35.0kmh) @ 4000rpm 

25.9kts (48.0kmh) @ 5000rpm

29.3kts (54.3kmh) @ 5500rpm — wide open throttle (and against the tide)

31kts (57.4kmh) @ 5800rpm — wide open throttle (and with the tide)

 

ON THE PLANE...

  • Value for money
  • Nice simple family and fishing boat
  • Runs well with Suzuki 80hp four-stroke

 

DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

  • A few extra grab handles as standard would be good
  • Sidepockets could be strengthened

 

PROCRAFT 5.3 CUDDY CABIN SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $41,540

Options fitted: Suzuki 80hp four-stroke upgrade, sounder upgrade, colour stripe

Priced from: $38,990 (BMT) including Suzuki 70hp four-stroke

 

GENERAL

Type: Family / fishing

Material: GRP

Length: 5.6m (LOA)

Beam: 2.28m

Hull weight: 620kg dry

Deadrise: 22.5°

 

CAPACITIES

People: 5 @ 75kg

Rec. HP: 80hp

Max. HP: 115hp

Fuel: 100L

 

ENGINE

Make/model: Suzuki DF80A

Type: DOHC, 16-valve four-stroke

Weight: 155kg

Displacement: 1502cc

Gear ratio: 2.59:1

Propeller: 17in

 

SUPPLIED BY

Procraft Boats

2 Junction Road (cnr Bermuda Street and Reedy Creek Road)

Burleigh, Qld, 4223

Tel: (07) 5568 0904

Web: www.procraftboats.com.au

PROCRAFT-5.3-CUDDY-CABIN-STABILITY

Originally published in TrailerBoat 301, November / December 2013

Find Procraft boats for sale.

 


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