Review: Polycraft – By Wayne Baldry

What are you laughing at? Yes, I know it’s purple. Yes, I know it’s plastic. Yes, I know it’s full of nearly enough women to form a netball team. That’s the whole reason I have a purple plastic boat. Fellow fishermen and so called mates, can be so cruel.

They call my prized possession Cadbury or Tupperware, or a lunch box and yes, perhaps a more neutral colour would make it more manly but I live in a house full of testosterone draining feminists. So when I mentioned I would like to buy a boat we could all use, a compromise had to be reached.

It had to be able to tow a skier and multiple tubes, also venture up isolated creeks loaded with gear and be seaworthy enough to head offshore.

But more importantly, it had to be fashionably acceptable to the majority of the house.

Now, I am blessed in the boat department as I am also the proud owner of a 5.2m Kevlacat but the purple poly named “Priscilla” gets every bit as many hours on the water as the Kevlacat does.

Having three daughters and a beautiful wife, the Brumby’s capacity of six is perfect for our family, with the bow lounge the spot where my girls always gravitate to sit.

We have upholstered cushions on the bow lounge which gives the Brumby a Sydney harbour look, and the bow rails to hang onto make it nice and safe when at speed.

The bow can also be turned into a casting deck with a timber carpeted insert which has a hinged flap with a latch that provides extra storage.

We tend to use the under seat storage in the bow for life jackets and store the bow cushions under the casting deck when fishing (so no fishy bits get on the pretty cushions).

There is also storage under the floor in the bow with two compartments where we keep ski ropes etc.

All these storage areas have drainage hoses to allow water to escape to the back of the boat, where it can be bilged out or released via the bungs after the end of day’s washout. You can get optional side pockets in the Brumby, but we decided that more floor space was our priority.

There are two bait boxes at the back which could be plumbed for live bait tanks, but we also use ours for storage.

Another fantastic feature of the Brumby is the wide gunwales with handrails around the bow and back corners.

Four rod holders come standard in the gunwales at the rear and centre sides of the Brumby.

We chose the centre console option in the Brumby, but there are four other configurations to choose from.

The centre console allows you to drive standing or utilise the bench seat at the back as a sit down position to steer.

This carpeted bench seat has fold up legs and can be placed back flush into the hull to allow more floorspace. Battery, fuel filter and more storage are all accessed from under this seat.

The ride of the Brumby is exceptional! I’ve been in some real ring stretchers in my time but this dual wall hull boat pushes through a sea beautifully without the thud that you get with some other hulls, no bad manners in a following sea either.

With a side on swell and a bit of breeze, it can be quite a wet boat and I often get complaints from the bow gallery when their makeup starts to run. Of which the standard reply is … “If all the weight is in the nose it’s hard to trim the bow up, so harden up princesses!” Weight distribution is very important, as it is in any small hulled boat.

The Brumby is very stable and really quiet with the dual hull air pockets keeping boat slap noise to a minimum.

Our Brumby is powered by a 75 HP Evinrude E-Tec which gets the boat quickly out of the hole and up on the plane.

At 540Kg boat weight plus a 70L fuel tank in the hull, the Brumby is no Kate Moss and we do have a few red faced moments pushing Priscilla over shallow sand bars. However, the weight issue is overtaken by the strength and toughness of the hull.

Just as important as the boat, is the boat trailer. The Brumby’s trailer is a single axle five leaf spring galvanized box made by Hydrolaunch.

Retrieval and launching of the Brumby is effortless due to the design of the trailer perfectly matching the keel of the hull. No matter what angle your approach, the keel glides into the centre skids making it one of the best trailers I’ve used.

The superlatives are numerous; low maintenance, corrosion free, strong, exceptional ride and stability. I’ve set the bar, now the question is; who is game enough to order a pink one?

Here’s to keeping your berley in your belly, Wayne Baldry