Review: Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford


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Aluminium boats manufacturer Anglapro brings ever more new boats to its range. The Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro fishing boat is right on target.

Aluminium boats around the 4.5m mark are among the most popular craft on the water for good reason. They are easy to tow and launch, fit in most garages and can accommodate three mates on a fishing trip or an average family for a day’s exploring and fun. Aluminium tinnies are also the ideal size for getting into narrow creeks but versatile enough for open water in the right conditions. And while fishing is their primary purpose they can be used to take the family cruising on our waterways or towing around watertoys for a fun day out.

Unlike the simple tinnie of old that had few creature comforts, modern aluminium boats of this size are expected to make as much practical use of space as possible and that’s where the Anglapro range shines with features anglers should appreciate.

 


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ANGLAPRO ALUMINIUM BOATS

Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro

Anglapro Boats' Sniper 444 Pro is the first release in a series of Anglapro side-console fishing boats and will be joined soon by a smaller 424, a higher gunwale 454 and a larger 484. The Pro name refers to its painted sides and inclusion of navigation lights and an automatic bilge pump. It will also be available as a CLX version devoid of paint and lights.

Construction on the Anglapro Sniper for bottom and sides is from 3mm pressed aluminium. Ribs set at 300mm combine with coamings welded to the sidedecks to add strength to the plate-look sides and give the boat a solid feel underway. While the deck is tack (not fully) welded I am assured it is plenty strong enough to last a lifetime.

The hull has a moderate vee at the bow running to a fairly flat deadrise at the transom. Four strakes run each side of the keel line and new-style reverse chines are pressed in for improved stability at rest and better cornering. A narrow spray rail has been welded along the forward chine line, helping us stay dry during the test.

 

FISHING LAYOUT

Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro layout

While there are no rodholders along the sides of the Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro, they haven’t been forgotten. Rather than install rodholders at the builder’s discretion, buyers can stipulate where they want them positioned, and there is ample room along the sides or forward of the console.

Casting decks either end of the boat are separated by a lower plywood floor covered in marine carpet. The Anglapro Sniper 444 has 550mm of freeboard, which is relatively low to reduce windage and as a result, there isn’t a great deal of support when standing. Luckily the boat is very stable, even with three of us on board, but its main use will be restricted to bays and estuaries.

A low bowrail to starboard and an electric motor mount to port flank a large anchor well and there is a central cleat and an alloy bowsprit with roller for mooring.

Under the forward casting deck is a rotomoulded plastic killtank with a lid that is carpet lined inside and out for a neat finish. It drains into the bilge and could be used as an icebox for family outings.

At the helm are two more seating positions for a pair of attractive black-and-white pedestal mounted non-folding buckets. The driver’s one gets a slide but no height adjustment, and while they look basic they have good support and are quite comfortable.

The rear casting deck on the Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro

provides additional height for casting and also tidies up the transom area by covering the battery, bilge pump and 20lt removable fuel tank. All these are accessed by hinged lids and there is also an inbuilt plastic livebait tank. A cutout for the engine well meets a low transom that cements the boat’s calm-water suitability, while out the back are steps either side of the engine but no ladder.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Ride for Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro

For our review we headed to Sydney Harbour to see how this 4.5m aluminium boat would cope with the nasty chop from the ferries and cruise liners. 

After fishing around Shark Island and some of the markers in the harbour with no luck, we headed wider to North Head where reported schools of salmon gave us an excuse to head out into open waters. We couldn’t find them but we were able to confirm good stability at rest in the swell and enough room for three to move around unhindered. 

Conditions beyond the heads were fairly ordinary and with three aboard it was difficult to keep the boat on plane without going too fast and making the ride uncomfortable. Combined with a fairly doughy holeshot it felt like the 15in stainless steel Trophy four-blade prop was a bit oversized.

The ride through the less choppy conditions back in the harbour was soft and dry and once we got into calmer water there was plenty of speed with a top end of just over 34kts, but we couldn’t get out of the hole till around 18kts.

Clearly the boat needed a different prop to show it at its best, so we arranged to have another ride after the boat was tested with something more suitable. When we hit the water again a week later it was a completely different boat to drive. With a 13in version fitted the holeshot was much more lively and we were on the plane at just over 12kts.

Fishing from -Aglapro Sniper 444 Pro

There was also better power out of turns and the boat can be thrown around safely at speed, turning in big arcs while leaning in only marginally. Even at full lock under power it stays flat and predictable and as long as it’s trimmed down there is no cavitation. While the steering is precise it can be a little heavy, so hydraulic steering might be something to think about with the relatively powerful 60hp engine.

Surprisingly, the top speed was only reduced by a couple of knots returning an average of 32kts over two directions with a runout tide. When driving the boat one-up I noticed a tendency for the hull to porpoise a little when trimmed out for speed, probably the result of having most of the weight at the back of the boat.

 

THE VERDICT

Anglapro Sniper layout

The Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro is a welcome addition to the Anglapro fleet of aluminium boats. Side consoles maximise the space available in the boat without resorting to tiller steering. The versatile seating layout is great for long casting sessions and the boat is set-up well for fishing.

Pricing starts at $21,490 with a 50hp two-stroke outboard motor and a Lowrance Elite 4-X sounder, and while the 50hp would be a viable option I think most people would opt for the better sounder with GPS. As tested the price is $24,400 drive-away on a Dunbier trailer, which is very competitive even against some long established brands.

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #457, September / October 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

HIGHS

• Well-constructed

• Good stability at rest

• Handling and ride

• Equipped for fishing

• Looks great

 

LOWS

• Steering a little stiff

 

ANGLAPRO SNIPER 444 PRO SEA TRIALS

Single 60hp Mercury EFI with 13in prop

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

1000

3

1500

4

2000

5

2500

6

3000

7

3200 (on the plane)

1.5

3500

16

4000

20

4500

22

5000

25

5500

30

6000 (WOT)

32

*Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

ANGLAPRO SNIPER 444 PRO SPECIFICATIONS

 

PRICE AS TESTED

Anglapro Sniper 444 Pro price: $24,400

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Engine upgrade, sounder upgrade, and electric motor mount

 

PRICED FROM

$21,490

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Aluminium

TYPE Planing monohull

LENGTH 4.5m

BEAM 2.09m

WEIGHT 360kg (hull)

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 5

REC. HP RANGE 50 to 60hp

FUEL 20lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 60 EFI outboard motor

TYPE Inline four-cylinder, fuel injected four-stroke petrol outboard motor

RATED HP 60hp

WEIGHT 112kg

DISPLACEMENT 995cc

GEAR RATIO 1.83:1

PROPELLER 13in

 

SUPPLIED BY

GOOD TIMES MARINE

2 Toorak Avenue,

Taren Point, NSW, 2299

PHONE (02) 9524 6999

EMAIL info@goodtimesmarine.com.au

 

 


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