A suspension upgrade can benefit many offroad vehicles

Whether it be due to the demands of towing a large caravan or a boat, or even just to improve overall handling, a suspension upgrade can be of great benefit to many offroad vehicles.

While modern four-wheel-drives have quality suspensions designed to cope with most scenarios thrown at them, the unique demands of West Australian drivers exploring our vast great outdoors often puts these systems fully to the test, and in locations where failure is not an option.

For the new four-wheel-drive owner, extra clearance may be wanted for tricky offroad work, while heavy loads can have a negative effect on ride comfort, traction, steering, braking and handling of the tow vehicle, which can also then effect the most important factor of all – safety.

These factors become even more significant if you throw offroad work into the equation, which is why suspension upgrades are one of the most popular aftermarket alterations to four-wheel-drives in WA.

In considering what sort of upgrade you need for your offroader, you have to consider the reasons it is needed for your vehicle.

Turned into a fishing craft

If you are looking for an offshore fishing vessel with a difference that won’t break the budget, then a jet ski could be the surprising solution.

Jet skis, or personal watercraft, have been a common sight on WA waters for many years, but have not generally been viewed as a fishing platform, despite their popularity with anglers in South Africa and New Zealand.

However, there is a dedicated group of local anglers who have devoted themselves to this style of fishing and who have customised their jet skis to enable them to do so.

Global debut of several new outboards for Honda Marine

Last weekend’s 2017 Melbourne International Boat Show marked the global debut of several new outboards for Honda Marine.

The leading marine power manufacturer debuted four exciting new motors packed with the latest four-stroke technology, as well as giving Australian boaters their first new look at another two new models which were recently unveiled in the United States.

Life Cells are an ingenious way to store your safety gear

The simplest ideas are often the best, and so it is with the Australian-designed Life Cell safety pods.

Inspired by a lucky escape at sea for the company director’s, Life Cells are something that every ocean going small boat should carry, because they are a real life saver.

In December 2011 Scott Smiles, Rick Matthews and their two young sons were stranded at sea after their boat sank suddenly and without warning 10km off the coast of Sydney.

The first man to circumnavigate Australia solo in a trailerboat

Melbourne fisherman Mark Ratchford has become the first man to circumnavigate Australia solo in a trailerboat.

It took Ratchford four months to complete the trip in his 6.5m Evolution hard top, powered by a two 150hp Mercury four-strokes.

At times he faced up to 8m seas, but never wavered in his bid to complete the voyage and raise money to fight cancer through Fish for Life.

“It was tough,” Ratchford recalled.

Dinghy World has expanded its range to include Mercury motors

COMO’S Dinghy World has expanded its range to include Mercury motors.

The well-known dealership on Canning Highway has been run by the colourful De Luca brothers, David and Vince, for 12 years and not only does a roaring trade in dinghies, but in trailerboats, inflatables and engines.

The move into Mercury further expands the duo’s ability to service metro customers.

Aimed at anglers, but is a great all-rounder

Timing can be everything in boating and so it was when I joined West Coast Suzuki’s Kevin Horsley for an onwater test of one of his boats.

We met at Woodman Point to put a Haines Signature 575RF through its paces and just minutes earlier, as I drove down South Street towards Fremantle, I had looked out across a glass calm ocean and thought to myself how pleasant it was going to be.

However, in the few minutes it took to get to the boat ramp from there the sea breeze rolled in and by the time Kevin and I were on the water, Cockburn Sound was awash in white caps.