Workmate to fishing mate
THE new Surtees range of alloy-plate boats was on display at last month’s Darwin Boat Show.
One of the boats at the Byron Hazell Marine stand was the 6.1 Workmate. Surtees boats are the real thing and have the backing of almost 30 years of top-quality workmanship in a factory Whakatene in New Zealand.
They build a range of plate alloy boats from 4.7m to 6.1m.
Stand next to the 6.1 Workmate, which is on an Oceanic tandem axle trailer, and it is easy to see it is a tough, no-frills boat.
Built with 5mm plate sheet bottoms, 4mm plate sheet sides and 3mm fully welded floor, this boat is built to last and in the real world, built to fish.
Walk around towards the transom and this is where the good bits start.
A large duckboard is welded into the hull, and sitting on the transom is the latest Honda BF 115AK1 four-stroke engine.
On this duckboard is the folding boarding ladder and berley bucket.
The main feature of all Surtees Boats is their secret weapon, the selfflooding ballast tank.
This is a simple yet effective design.
When a Surtees boat comes to rest, this ballast tank floods with water and with this extra weight it settles the boat deeper into the water giving greater stability when at rest, even in rough conditions.
Should the weather turn sour out at sea, coming home can be a very daunting experience.
So before moving, a simple release of a cord at the stern will release a sealing flap and will keep this water ballast in the tank, and will give a softer, sure-footed trip home.
Once back into smoother water, pull the flap up and the ballast drains.
There is an amazing amount of room to fish in this boat.
At the transom end there is a kill tank under the floor, great for bleeding fish and then get them on ice.
I also love the seating arrangement.
Up front are two seats which can be folded down giving a lot more room when it comes time to go fishing.
We put this boat in at East Arm and there was more than enough room for the three of us.
The instant response from the Honda 115hp