The open design of the 18ft Levant 560 makes it an ideal vessel for anglers who want to tow their own boat
The 18ft Levant 560 is an ideal vessel for towing.
During a trip to Portugal to visit a Facebook friend, I stumbled upon a rather sexy little bass boat, the Levant 560 Open. Measuring in at just a tad over 18ft long, the Levant 560 is just about perfect for UK waters, in terms of average size of towing vessels found here.
What caught my eye was the fact that it’s a completely open design, with a full walk-around deck area. There’s a sensibly-sized centre console, with enough dash space for fitting flush-mounted electronics and gauges, and on our boat we had a fold-down radio antenna – a great addition.
This vessel has the traditional seating arrangement of two behind the console and a pair in front. The helm seat is a ‘sport bench’ design, allowing both seated and semi-seated steering options. There is also a rather nifty little seat on the bow; perfect for when you’re motoring up for another drift, and you don’t want to put your rod down or sit on the bench seat – it’s almost there to just rest your backside while you’re still standing.
The addition of a dive ladder on the port side stern is something that you rarely see on boats as standard, but if you’ve ever been thrown overboard you’ll appreciate how hard it is to climb back into a boat, so hats off for yet another safety plus-point to Levant.
So why do I reckon this beauty is perfect for UK bass fishing? Well, apart from it being an open design, which helps with drift speed (no cuddy to catch the wind), and the obvious point of plenty of casting room for flinging lures, the big advantage is this boat only draws 10½in. Of course, you have to factor the leg of your outboard into the equation, but any boat that draws less than a foot has to be a serious contender for creeping into shallow water or drifting over shallow reefs.
Everywhere you look on this boat it has neat little storage lockers, and space has been used effectively to keep unwanted items off the deck. Up the bow there are two lockers and a handy cubbyhole for bits and pieces. There is more storage inside the centre console, both sides, and a further two lockers at the stern – either side of the engine well.
To be honest, the conditions outside the safety of the river were pretty horrendous, but the 560 coped with ease, and that’s testament to the hull design. Having spent some time on three different Levant boats, I’ve come to expect nothing else.
The boat’s builder, Francisco Alexandre loves his boys’ toys and is a true enthusiast. He pumped up the power on the 560 and was throwing it about all over the place, doing
doughnuts, tight turns, and such like, to demonstrate the stability of this little boat. I was very impressed.
Then it was my turn to take the helm and, boy, what a fun machine I found it to be. Turns are instant, the throttle control is easy to use and the boat reacts as quickly as any other that I’ve ever thrown about.
Because she’s lightweight, and with the help of the hull design, she’s up on the plan very quickly, and there’s no real drag before you’re on your way. Even at speed, when you throw the wheel round she responds and simply glides into the turn. There’s no digging in at all – it’s like thrashing about on a speedboat, but one that’s build for fishing.
I was mightily impressed with this boat. I’m really hoping that we start seeing a few of the Levant 560 boats in UK waters. Bass beware! For a little over £13,000, you’re getting a whole lot of boat and engine, with superb handling and sea-keeping qualities.
Ready to pile on the
A finished boat, ready to leave the factory
She literally glides across the water in a turn
The centre console is really well laid out
Lots of space, and note the fold-down aerial