“Big Wave Tinny” Grant Budd 2017

When I saw the weather report of 25-30 knots and 2m swells, I contacted Pat at Waverider Boats and said let’s postpone until another day. He replied, “The only thing that can stop us is fear. Fear not!” With a comment like that, what could I do but make my way to Mooloolaba to try it out?

Waverider Boats are a Nambour based company, headed by Pat Jones, who is in joint-partnership with AusShipsPty Ltd in Brisbane, for all the Waverider fabrication and fit out.

AusShips build boats for Qld Police & the LNG catamaran ferries in Gladstone to name a couple from a very long list of customers and they truly know a thing or two about welding aluminium.

When I turned up at the boat ramp, the first thing I noticed was the quality of the welding on the boat and trailer.

Made from heavy duty aluminium, the 450 Bowrider is braced and welded to withstand even the toughest of condition. With 4mm plate bottom and sides, it is also fitted with level flotation as standard, to make this an incredibly safe off-shore fishing boat.

It certainly looked the part and is sure to appeal to buyers who want a quality constructed fishing boat with high level safety.

With a total weight of 665KG, the boat sat proudly on the trailer, easily towed by a family six-cylinder wagon, making it a viable option for those without a 4WD.

After effortlessly sliding off the trailer skids and into the water, it was time to fire up the 60HP 4-stroke Suzuki.

Once underway, she moved with ease and predictability, even in the strong 25 knot side winds, it was no problem bringing her alongside the jetty.

With Pat and a potential buyer on board the WR450, I hopped into my own 5m fibrelgass boat and followed alongside.

Once outside the river mouth, we were greeted with a solid 2m swell rolling through. Once out near the headland, I GPS spot-locked my electric motor, and jumped on board the Waverider to see what she could do. With 3 people on board, we roared off to see just how well she handled.

The boat is well fitted with 2 captain seats that lock you into place, but I chose to sit up front on the upholstered bow seating.

I was expecting to feel that familiar slap of the bow or the big bangs and thuds usually associated with riding in rough conditions in an aluminium boat. I was bracing and clenching but it was all totally unnecessary.

This boat has the largest full length reverse chines I’ve seen, and boy do they work to give a very quiet and noticeable soft ride.

With the flotation foam encased behind more aluminium sheeting, the double skinned hull made this tinnie incredibly quiet and eliminated the tinnie ‘ring’.

This is about as close to owning a fiberglass hull as you can get in terms of comfort and ride. I should know, I had just jumped out of mine!

The deep reverse chines ensure maximum low speed planning by channelling the water under the boat and compressing it to act like shock absorbers in the rough chop.

Another thing I noticed was that the spray was deflected away no matter what the speed, and did an amazing job keeping us dry.

The hull kept us travelling in the correct direction so we didn’t broach or have that out of control skating feel when riding big waves in a following sea. We charged through, over, along and down waves that any normal tinnie would leave you a few inches shorter and in need of spinal surgery.

Pat drove us through solid swells with ease, in what most of you would consider horrible conditions.

The test boat had a Suzuki 60HP fitted and it did extremely well under the conditions on the day with plenty of power at hand. With a 90HP max transom rating, she would certainly leave many other boats in her size and weight class far behind in her wake.

After getting our feel of the 450BR, the potential buyer and myself jumped back into my fibreglass boat to get some photos of Pat cutting loose in the solid swells by himself.

My grin was as wide as a Cheshire cat, as I watched a man who stands behind his product 110% take on the 2m breaking swells with ease and confidence. Even the nearby surfers gave him an applause.

Pat is the type of guy you want working with you, as his genuine enthusiasm and knowledge clearly shines through.

Coming back to the safety of Mooloolaba harbour to test the stability of the boat, Pat demonstrated how 2 men could stand on the gunwale and barely make it tip. He asked if I’d feel comfortable taking it out across the Noosa bar in a big sea. How could I not say yes?

Seeing how stable the boat is, and how it had just proved its manoeuvring abilities on the waves, the Waverider 450 is a very capable bar-crossing boat, even for novice boat owners.

With level flotation installed, this boat can take 3 people standing on one side when full of water and it will still not go under. The Waverider 450BR can be built to any survey specification as well.

If you are looking for a safe off-shore boat that will take all you can throw at it, then give Pat a call on 0467506131 and be sure to check out their bar-crossing videos at www.waveriderboats.com.au.