With so many new developments in fishing tackle and techniques occurring, some of the latest boats are being set up to make the most of these cutting-edge advances. Grant Dixon checks out one of them – an Everyman 650 Profish Centre Cab called Fishy Business…
Over the last 10 years or so there has been a big swing towards lure fishing, whether it’s soft-baiting for snapper or casting poppers and stick-baits for kingfish.
This is being reflected in the style of boats our manufacturers are offering in their model ranges, from centreconsoles through to centre-cabs.
Everyman Boats has produced its first centre-cab, which offers a casting platform in the bow as well as fully walk-around decks, enabling anglers to follow their fish rather than have the skipper manoeuvre the boat.
Fishy Business is the flagship for Adam Clancey’s television programme of the same name – Daiwa Fishy Business– and its layout reflects both his and designer Russell Spiers’ fishing backgrounds.
Adam says they have gone for a ‘modular’ concept so he can set up the boat differently for each trip, depending on what the target species or the technique deployed is likely to be.
For example, having a fixed bait-board across the transom works well for bait fishing, but can get in the way when gamefishing, so Adam’s taken another approach.
“The Hi-Tech Plastics bait-board is placed in the forward rod holders, away from any action going on in the cockpit, and is easily stowed when not required, so the transom area remains uncluttered,” Adam says.
Another feature of the boat is the swim-step cage, a useful place to fish from that leaves the cockpit free for more anglers and keeps the bulk of the messy bait action outside the boat. The cage also provides a decent hand-hold so getting on and off the boat is easy for divers.
A set of Reel Rods removable outriggers are mounted in the forward rod-holders when game fishing, so the halyards are easily accessed. On hooking up, the telescopic riggers can be collapsed and placed out the way on the deck or in the rocket launcher so the angler can play the fish from anywhere around the boat. Similarly, the Scotty electric downrigger is rail mounted, and can be quickly detached and stowed away if necessary. Adam anticipates using the downrigger for slow-trolling live baits for marlin and kingfish, getting lures down into the strike zone for the same, as well as deploying the berley bag to the appropriate depth.
Even harnessed up, there is plenty of room to get around the cabin sides, while the bowrails are positioned to offer support but not inhibit the rod work. Access to the bow is via two low, easilynegotiated steps.
Like the rest of the boat, the helm station is well laid out, with all the controls within easy reach. At the heart of the console is a Simrad NSS16 multi-function display (MFD) which displays a number of functions, including the fish-finder – both conventional bottom and Structure Scan – chart-plotter, 4G radar (with birdfinding capabilities) and engine-anagement gauges. This is the latest and greatest from Navico, and offers the very best in navigation and fish detection.
A Garmin fuel and engine-management system ensures an already fuel-miserly Honda 150hp runs at its economic best, and there are dashboard controls for both the Quick electric capstan and Bennett trim tabs.
One of the first things you appreciate from the helm seat – in this case a hydraulic pedestal model from Hi-Tech Plastics – is the great vision offered, with a full wraparound and uncluttered polycarbonate Sandbrook windscreen giving excellent 180-degreeplus views. Better still, this windscreen allows anglers up in the bow walk-around position to easily see back past the helm station to monitor any action in the cockpit. Glass sliding side-screens provide airflow when trolling on those hot days, and steering is made easy with a HyDrive hydraulic system.
The small cuddy cabin has two seats either side, with dry storage underneath. The cuddy is a good place to keep camera gear handy but also protected. A small inspection light has been added to the rear access for the electronics, making checking connections, fuses and any trouble-shooting or maintenance easier.
A fold-down bench seat gives the passenger the option of sitting or standing when underway, depending on the sea conditions, and makes a good place to sit and watch the lures. A number of grab rails are well positioned throughout the boat.
In keeping with the modular concept, chilly bins with padded tops provide extra seating when and where required.
At the sharp end is a decent anchor locker with plenty of fall for the rope and chain, deployed via a Quick capstan. There is a double fairlead, with the second accommodating the folding grapnel, rope and chain when anchoring over foul ground. This has to be deployed and retrieved manually – but that’s what crew are for!
On the starboard bow is a Watersnake GPS Sport electric trolling motor. Offering 37kg/80lb of thrust run off a 24-volt battery system, it has plenty of grunt. One of the Watersnake's key features is its ability to 'hold station', so once fish are encountered while soft-baiting or jigging in particular, the motor can keep the boat positioned above them, keeping the lures or baits in the strike zone for longer.
The Scotty electric downrigger is another 'plug and play' feature that plays a variety of roles, including deploying the berley down deep in strong current to lowering live baits and lures when trolling for gamefish or trout. A flick of a switch sees the downrigger retrieving the weight automatically - one less thing to worry about after hooking up.
There is a good amount of storage around the Everyman, including a decent amount of space under the cuddy cabin seats, in the side pockets, and beneath the transom. The Century Yuasa batteries – four in all – are located in an underfloor storage area in the cabin. This helps keep the weight forward, the only concern being possible flooding should a substantial amount of water get into the cockpit.
The gunwales accommodate four alloy through-gunwale rod holders positioned for gamefishing, and are capped with SeaDek to provide comfortable seating as well as great grip when there is a need to stand on them. SeaDek is a durable EVA foam product that is finding favour with many Kiwi boat builders, especially as it is easily customised. Two further rod holders are placed on either corner of the live-bait tank, with another six rod spaces available up in the cabin-top rocket launcher.
The live-bait tank is wide and deep enough to keep plenty of jack mackerel fit and well, or even a few medium-sized kahawai. A viewing window in the front of the tank enables the crew to keep an eye on them.
Beneath the tank is a full-width tackle drawer to keep those necessary items handy but out of the way.
All the pumps – bilge, wash-down and live bait – are housed in the bilges, accessed via a removable surround to make servicing and cleaning easy.
Pop-up cleats around the boat maintain the uncluttered look, especially in the bow where the area needs to be kept ‘clean’ for fly casting.
At the business end is a 150hp Honda V-Tec outboard spinning a four-bladed propeller. Renowned for its quiet running and economy, this Honda also provided plenty of power ‘out of the hole’, bringing Fishy Business quickly onto the plane.
At the typical gamefish-trolling speed of eight knots, the motor was using less than 10 litres per hour at around 2200rpm. In favourable conditions we had it running at 7.5 litres per hour. At 4000rpm Fishy Business gave the optimal return of just under 20 knots while sipping just 20.9lph. So with 180 litres of fuel underfloor, there’s plenty of range for a day’s game fishing.
The rig rides on a Voyager Elite over-ride braked tandem trailer with a Balex self-loading system added, making for very easy launching and retrieving.
IN SHORT, Fishy Business is a good example of what can happen when people with good ideas and experience get their heads together to build a sport-fishing boat from the hull up!
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