Review: TABS 5000 Territory Pro

By: John Willis, Photography by: Alison Kuiter


Mercfury 75 on TABS boat The new Mercury FourStroke 75hp was adequate but this boat could happily take a lot more. Mercfury 75 on TABS boat
Swivelling helm seats on TABS 5000 Pro 08 Its swivelling helm seats are thickly upholstered and most comfortable. Swivelling helm seats on TABS 5000 Pro 08
TABS 5000 on the plane Getting on the plane. TABS 5000 on the plane
TABS Boats side console The side console is simple but effective. TABS Boats side console
TABS Territory Pro 5000 fishing boat Nice lines! TABS Territory Pro 5000 fishing boat
Turning TABS 5000 Territory Pro Plenty of rodholders for everyone. Turning TABS 5000 Territory Pro
TABS 5000 Territory casting deck You don't have to live in the Northern territory to enjoy the TABS 5000 Territory Pro. TABS 5000 Territory casting deck

To appreciate the TABS 5000 Territory Pro fishing boat one doesn’t have to move to the Northern Territory.

I was recently invited to beautiful Lake Eildon in Victoria’s Central Highlands to review a new TABS 5000 Territory Pro fishing boat. The event was held at a local TABS Angling Club’s freshwater outing organised by Regal Marine. The storm clouds cleared to produce a beautiful, flat, calm lake where all we could see were TABS boats, mainly black-hulled ones at that, as far as the eye could see.

I took one look at the Territory Pro’s horny blue and black wrap, big wide sides, full-width transom, side console and internal fitout and the juices started flowing. The TABS Pro is ideal size for a dedicated sweetwater sportsfisho that likes to do some limited coastal or estuary fishing; or maybe the bigwater specialist who travels many miles on choppy open bays and lakes to find his quarry’s lair. Either way, this is a strong, capable vee-bottom plate aluminium fishing boat that has massive versatility.

 


CMLOGO

This boat was rated as one of the best of the year. It has been nominated to participate at Australia’s Greatest Boats 2016.


 

TABS BOATS

TABS Territory Pro 5000

The TABS 5000 Territory Pro’s configuration is mainly directed toward lure casting with the big platform in the bow and the side console astern. Personally I like to bait fish at anchor as well as cast lures, so I would have the console moved farther forward allowing more movement at the rear – but that’s only because I’m a Victorian and most of the country does it differently. The weight of two anglers at the rear and very little in the bow does make her stick her nose up on take-off and at slow speeds, but that’s the nature of the beast. Give her a little throttle and she levels out at around 3800rpm and 17.3kts.

Our review boat was fitted with the now superseded 75hp Mercury four-stroke outboard motor which, to be honest, was minimal given the size and ability of the boat. I would have loved to see it with the new-generation 2.1lt 90hp outboard or even the 115hp engine, where you could easily get it to punch up quickly. In fact, I believe the new Command Thrust gearcase would do wonders for this hull.

That said the older 75hp Mercury still did the job adequately with two passengers and achieved a pleasing top speed of nearly 31kts at 5800rpm. Once up and running she felt fine. There was a bit of cavitation in tight turns but that’s just tinnies! At low trolling speeds she’s just a treat. She’s comfortable, stable and manoeuvrable and there’s no sense of instability when casting off the bow.

 

TERRITORY FISHING BOAT

TABS 5000 Territory Pro layout

TABS Boats combines a myriad of premium elements to make this a great multi-use sportsfisher. She’s got welded sidedecks all-round for mounting rodholders, downriggers and in this case, Regal Marine had added a rear-mounted bimini/alloy rocket launcher combination to the rear siderails. There’s a deep anchorwell up front and a good sprit with minimal bow fitting and welded cleat. If you were anchoring a lot, you would upgrade the bowroller and perhaps add a split bollard with chain lock, but again that’s a personal choice. The bow is completed with a pair of short rails and an electric motor mount where Regal had fitted a Minn Kota Riptide 55 with remote.

I like the security of a small return around a casting platform and this one is just right at about calf height. Under the carpeted platform we find two deep storage compartments at the front, one housing the deep-cycle battery for the electric outboard. Behind that is a full-width locker with a large plastic icebox that doubles as a killtank to keep the catch fresh. Up top Regal has mounted a secondary Garmin Echo depthsounder to manoeuvre into those fishy haunts undeterred on the electric. There is also a plug-in base for the swivel pedestal seats, one of four alternatives around the boat.

TABS has gone to the trouble of mounting the navigation lights sensibly inside a further pair of short siderails atop the hull’s shoulder sections. You step down from the casting platform at around the same line to a flat, carpeted floor right through to the transom. There is a long sidepocket to the port side, along with a filler and breather for the 110lt underfloor tank.

 

LAYOUT

Casting deck on TABS Pro

At the transom Regal Marine has fitted the battery in its box under the plumbed livebait tank in the portside coaming. The isolator switch is conveniently located in the middle, and open access with shrouded cabling to starboard. On top is an optional stainless steel baitboard-rodholder storage combination that works really well and gives the transom a nice finish. Out back is a full-width transom platform where you could mount a berley bucket or folding ladder as required. The curved end plates are a nice touch as are a pair of grabhandles at the stern.

The side console is a fairly simple affair but it works fine. There is a short windscreen in a tubular support frame with grabrails on top. The main structure has an angled dashboard face with a flush-mounted colour Lowrance Elite 7HDi depthsounder-GPS which is more than adequate and very simple to use. Twin Mercury SmartCraft gauges sit next to the sounder and below is a Fusion marine radio with two speakers in the step down, twin four-gang waterproof switch panels and a rather neat looking sports steering wheel.

 

THE VERDICT

TABS boat on Lake Eildon

I find myself very comfortable at the helm with its thick upholstery on the swivel seats and plenty of foot room under the console. There’s even a flip-out drink holder on the side but I reckon I’d knock that off pretty quickly. They’re only cheap anyhow!

I must say I was as impressed with the TABS 5000 Territory Pro on the water as I was on first inspection. There are always a few personal things that you would change but none in the overall aspect of the package. She’s certainly a serious contender for any half-serious fisho but can double-up for some family fun to boot. Melbourne’s Regal Marine packages it with a Dunbier Glider series galvanised trailer (with brakes and a spare wheel) which I drove onto easily even on the very shallow Bonnie Doon boat ramp.

 

  • See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #455, July / August 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

 

TABS 5000 TERRITORY PRO SEA TRIALS

Single 75hp Mercury and two passengers

RPM

SPEED (kts)

3800

17

4000

18

4500

21.6

5000

25.4

5500

29.2

5800 (WOT)

31

*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

• Great layout

• Spunky looks

• Console comfortable

• Good choice of standard accessories

• Stable

• Casting platform

• Storage

 

LOWS

• Nose in the air on take off

• Cavitates

• I’d like more power

 

TABS 5000 TERRITORY PRO SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$39,998

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Mercury 75 EFI four-stroke, livebait tank, inland safety gear, Humminbird sounder-GPS, bimini with rod rack, hull and trailer rego, bowmount electric motor, and wrap

 

PRICE

$20,937 (hull only inc. electronics pack)

 

GENERAL

TYPE Aluminium fishing boats

MATERIAL Plate aluminium        

LENGTH 5.15m 

BEAM 2.25m

WEIGHT 1100kg (BMT)

DEADRISE 15°                    

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 5            

REC. HP 70          

REC. MAX HP 90               

FUEL 110lt

               

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 75 EFI

TYPE Four-stroke outboard

RATED HP 75

DISPLACEMENT 1732cc

WEIGHT 181 kg

GEAR RATIO 2.33:1

PROPELLER Stainless steel

 

MANUFACTURED BY

TABS BOATS

9 Hovey Road,

Yatala, QLD, 4207

PHONE + 61 7 5594 6333

EMAIL sales@tabsboats.com.au

WEB tabsboats.com.au

 

SUPPLIED BY

REGAL MARINE

514 Canterbury Rd,

Vermont, Victoria, 3133

PHONE + 61 3 9874 4624

EMAIL sales@regalmarine.com.au

WEB regalmarine.com.au

 

 

 


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