Boat­ing on a bud­get

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - By IAN GRANT CARS­guide NT NEWS.

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.

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