RIBbed for fishing pleasure

There’s not much Darryl Hitchen hasn’t tried in boat fishing, but an opportunity to test out a Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat was a real eye-opener for the old sea dog.

WHEN Scotty Coghlan rang me asking if I could get a boat review done and have the copy to him by the following weekend, I thought he was pulling my leg. I was further convinced he was joking when we went on to explain that the test boat would be a Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boat (or RIB). I politely reminded him that the Western Angler was in fact a fishing magazine and hence I should be reviewing a boat suitable for fishing and not something more at home as a tender to a luxury yacht or rescue vessel!

Getting your Sealegs

Darryl Hitchen tries out a boat you can simply drive into the water – the remarkable Stabicraft 2100 Supercab ST.

I distinctly remember seeing a boat literally ‘drive’ out of the water onto dry land for the first time some years ago. We were sitting on the grassy banks of the Swan River on Australia Day when a rigid hull inflatable (RIB) simply cruised into the shallows, lowered its hydraulic wheels, and continued to drive up the riverbank and across the road onto the owner's driveway. It was like something out of a James Bond movie!

Westerberg 7m Southerner

THE name says it all – Serious Ali.

The seven-metre Southerner Cabin boat built by award-winning manufacturer Westerberg Marine, of Albany, is a no-nonsense and rugged fishing rig. Strong enough to withstand the big swells and rough seas of the Southern Ocean off Western Australia’s south coast.

When I say rugged that in no way refers to the standard of build. In fact the roof of the hard-top cabin features the curves and smooth finish found on fibreglass vessels. Much of the welding around the vessel is visible so you can check out the quality of workmanship coming out of the Westerberg factory on the harbour front.

Archer Plate Boats 679 Cabin

Coming out of the darkness of the world economic tunnel, Telwater has emerged from the gloominess with exciting changes for its 2010 range including this edition’s review vessel, the Archer Plate Boats 679 Cabin, as BARRY WISEMAN reports.

SO new was this rig the guys at Yunderup Marine near Mandurah were still fitting the hydraulic fuel system to the steering mechanism for the Honda 150hp four-stroke outboard on the transom when I arrived for the review.