Hooker gives steadier ride
NORTH Queensland leisure craft builder John Margetts has reshaped his popular Hooker 6m commercial fishing boat into what promises to be another design success.
The original no-frills design (commonly referred to as the Commodore of Cape York and Torres Strait because of its ability to iron out the bump and bash that is part of the monsoon season) became popular with indigenous fishing families in this weather-challenged region.
Besides being their only means of transport, the special low-styled Hooker has proved to be the perfect fishing platform for hunting dugong and shallow-water diving for spangled tropical crayfish.
‘‘The sea-handling capability of the 6m has been well proven in a very demanding environment but the design needed some profile changes, particularly to the height of a safer free-board,’’ Margetts said.
He said since September he had sold five of the reshaped Hooker 6m boats to north Queensland owners.
‘‘ I have always maintained the confidence that the modifications would work and I’m happy with the result,’’ he said.
The higher sides of the hull have not compromised performance or functionality but have contributed to a much safer openstyle fishing boat.
In fact, the new-style Hooker 6m (pictured), coupled with a 140hp four-stroke engine, breezed through a rigorous test on the open ocean off Trinity Inlet to present a performance which impressed the test skipper.
The seaway, disturbed into choppy, short, white-crested waves by the prevailing 20-knot trade wind, proved to be a searching test which the boat came through with flying colours.