Boating on a budget
IF recreational fishing is your game and you have a limited budget then the baby Savage 3.45m Jabiru aluminium dinghy may be the boat to quench your thirst for adventure.
The no-frills craft, fitted with two bench seats, is a cheap entry-level boat suitable for a family of three.
This model has a well-proven pedigree as the prototype design selected by several high-profile anglers who fish the professional circuit with the fully optimised and more expensive 435 Jabiru Pro model.
Apart from the stylish side console and raised casting platform, both hulls are almost identical in shape and performance.
The relatively wide vee bow— while being a bit wet when steered into a head sea — compensates with a superior stability compared to other open 4.35m dinghies.
They present a positive grip with the water allowing the crew to confidently move about to either retrieve a crab pot or safely stand to catch large fish.
As expected, this entry-level model fit- ted with a small engine and a tow-away price of $5500 to $6000 is no sprint machine but offers the opportunity for the lowerincome family to enjoy the aquatic lifestyle. Like all small boats, the 3.45m Savage Jabiru is a sheltered-water boat.
However, the design and safe seaworthy nature allows this small open boat to measure up favourably with other brands.
The hull weight of 79kg fails to hide the strong construction of the dinghy which gives the impression of being rigid and safe thanks to strength engineered into the bench seats and the solid frame work.
The practical open-style design of the Jabiru gives the impression it is built to last. This model is priced at the entry-level family boating market and all new buyers are advised to take a test drive first.
If I were buying a Jabiru, I would upgrade to the maximum recommended 15hp 4-stroke engine to ensure enough grunt at the propeller to power the vessel with a crew of three and the added weight associated with a full fuel tank, bait buckets, tackle boxes, rods, food and drinks safely stowed on board.