BeachComber 485. By Peter Kaye
Is your family contemplating getting into boating or upgrading from a small tinny? If you answered yes, then the Savage Beach Comber 485 might just be the boat for you.
If the family can’t decide between fishing, skiing, snorkelling or just cruising the bay, then this is definitely a boat to consider.
Savage Boats have been around for a long time, 120 years to be exact. Naturally, you learn a lot in that time, and their boats have cleverly evolved in that time. The team at savage definitely know a thing or two about making a family friendly boat. You just do not last 120 years in the boat industry by building bad boats!
The Savage 485 Beach Comber is a Bowrider style all-rounder that will not break the bank. Now, if you have ever taken kids on a boat, they are magically drawn to the bow. Sitting up the front moving along with the wind in their hair must surely be the drawcard. The padded bow seating is the perfect place for them while you’re travelling. It’s not a bad spot for mum to relax and read a book while the family partakes in their favourite activity. The front lounge also makes an excellent spot for those “wine and cheese” sunset cruises.
This is Savage’s newly redesigned family boat with heaps of versatility. Some of the improvements include:
– Extended dash for better driving position and creating more room for electronics.
– Anchor well that can now accommodate an electric drum winch for easy anchoring.
– Slightly larger gunwales to facilitate a more comfortable sitting and leaning position.
The gunwale height is ideally suited for small children. You can relax on the water knowing full well that they will not accidentally fall out while leaning over the side. The bimini also adds a little safety factor in the way of shade. Keeping the kids under cover not only stops them burning but also helps with fatigue that comes with a long day on the water. You will also find plenty of carpeted floor space in the shade when the little ones crash out when their batteries inevitably run flat.
The overall length of the boat is 5.1m and just a touch over 2m wide. Bottom, sides and transom are all constructed from 3mm aluminium. Basic weight is 636kg, meaning that even the small family SUV can tow this boat to the ramp or on the yearly holiday. The bimini can be removed for storage in the garage or carport. The lightweight of boat, motor and trailer will aid in maneuvering the boat by hand.
This combination of Savage’s “Ultra-Lift” and the Mercury’s 90hp Four stroke will have no trouble getting the family and all their gear up and moving. The base model comes with the Mercury 75hp Four stroke and would also suit the average family. If you were entertaining the idea of the optional ski pole, then I would probably suggest the 90hp motor as it would be better suited for skiing, wakeboarding and tubing activities.
The “Ultra-Lift” hull gives the boat better economy and all-around better performance. You will also notice the hull will provide you with a much more stable platform for all your on water activities even at rest. The Deep V design and reverse chines are the secrets to a smoother ride and better handling.
The options list for this boat is longer than the last fish that busted me off. The great thing about this is that you can customise your boat to meet your family’s specific needs. You may want to add a bimini, deluxe bow cushions, bow table and rear ladder for a bit of extra comfort. Alternatively, you may go for the specific fishing extras like bait fishing station, burley bucket, Lowrance sounder and rod holders.
Have a chat with your local dealer about the options available. Some of the extras must be fitted or modified in the factory when you order your boat. Other options can be added later as you and your family find out what activities you’re enjoying on the water.
Even the list of standard features included is quite impressive. The 70ltr underfloor fuel tank will see you through even the biggest days on the water. The rear folding lounge is quite comfortable and includes transom backrest. The 3 piece wraparound windscreen is hinged in the middle for easy access to the bow and includes an internal grab rail. Fully welded gunwales with smooth tops and large side pockets are also standard.
I was quite impressed with the rear landing platform and wraparound aft rails. The rails extend from over the gunwales down to the landing platform, enabling assistance for all members of the family to board the boat. The addition of the rear telescopic stainless steel folding ladder will help access in deeper waters.
Visibility and driving position were all quite comfortable. The boat handled a little bit of chop quite easily, and the ride was very comfortable. The front screen gave the added benefit of being able to carry out a conversation while underway. While not a huge problem, the bimini was, in my opinion, a little too low, and for those taller people, it may get a little uncomfortable standing under the shade for an extended period of time.
Generally, the boat presented very well. All the welds were neat, and the paint finish looked very professional. The 485 Beach Comber definitely displayed exceptional bang for your buck and is well suited, budget and feature wise, as a great family boat.
Performance Data 485 Beach Comber (to be placed in a text box)
1000rpm 3.8kts 2.0l/ph
1500rpm 4.5kts 4.0l/ph
2000rpm 6.0kts 6.0l/ph
2500rpm 9.5kts 8.0l/ph
3000rpm 15.0kts 10.0l/ph
3500rpm 20.0kts 13.0l/ph
4000rpm 25.0kt 17.0l/ph
4500rpm 29.8kt 23.0l/ph
5000rpm 32.8kts 28.0l/ph
5500rpm 35.0kts 32.0l/ph