ONE boat to do it all. One boat to capably fish the bays, rivers, creeks and offshore. I didn’t have my ‘one’ picked until I recently tested the Australian Master Marine 5700 Sea Class centre console off the Gold Coast.
As far as plate aluminium boat builders go, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than AMM.
Customisation and attention to detail are two things Matt and Barton from AMM pride themselves on, and each boat that comes out of the Brendale factory is hand-built to exacting specifications, incorporating any custom features the client could want.
Our test 5700 Sea Class, as with the vast majority of boats AMM builds, was kitted out with myriad extras designed specifically for the customer, who is actually onto his fifth AMM. That kind of repeat business demonstrates the quality product on offer.
Fitted with a 175hp Yamaha four-stroke, the highest horsepower available for the 5700 size, I expected performance to be spritely and I wasn’t disappointed. For once we were greeted with good ‘boat-testing conditions’ upon heading out of the Gold Coast Seaway, with a stiff northerly breeze stirring up a reasonable chop.
Trimming the motor down and dropping the hammer resulted in rapid acceleration onto the plane, with the motor and Sea Class hull combo holding steady on the plane at just 31km/h and 3000rpm! This low planing speed returned a super-economical number of 2.1km per litre, which is bloody impressive for a high-horsepower motor and roughly 6m plate boat.
I found the boat handled the conditions best at a casual 4000rpm cruise, netting awesome 1.9km per litre fuel economy while nipping along at bang-on 50km/h, perfect for shooting across the bay or wide offshore to the deep grounds.
Flat chat, we managed 73km/h at 5600rpm, travelling 1.1km per litre of fuel used. All very impressive numbers for a bluff-fronted centre console built from solid 5mm bottom and 4mm side sheets of high-tensile plate aluminium.
AMM’s Sea Class hull is a proven design and ably treads the fine line between the offshore boating essentials of good ride comfort, stability at rest (with a 2.25m beam) and a dry ride under way. Rolling along at that comfortable 50km/h, I found the 5700 Sea Class to tack straight and true regardless where I pointed the bow offshore.
Whether travelling with the swell and chop, straight into it or across it, the substantial reverse chines made short work of the Gold Coast slop, driving water well out the sides of the plate hull. Only once did any spray find its way over the high sides, thanks to yours truly decelerating while working the wheel and dropping the front left corner into a trough.
Even then, the centre console’s windscreen copped the spray and I remained dry. Pulling up to take some interior shots, I moved around the deck and took in what this beautifully finished boat had to offer. Interestingly, for this customer’s boat, AMM did away with both traditional raised bow rails and rear grab rails, meaning viewed side-on the boat cuts an ultra-clean profile and looks ‘fast’ standing still.
Relocating the bow rails to the interior of the boat (see casting deck picture) affords easier entry and egress over the bow of the boat, with nothing to get in the way of your bum when sliding in and out after nosing into the beach. This kind of thoughtful design touch, as requested by the customer, is absolutely the norm for AMM and simply part of the process when creating custom plate boats.
Under foot was an awesome soft and grippy EVA foam flooring material that is laser-cut and can be finished in almost any design imaginable. The boat’s camo print looked awesome and would no doubt prove very effective at hiding dirt and sand.
While every AMM is totally customisable and changes and additions to the already very good standard design are up to the customer, an interesting feature on the test boat was the central electric motor battery mounting location. Under the centre console’s storage tray was an exposed piece of plate ready to be loaded with a couple of batteries to power an electric bow motor.
While the AMM hull does a fantastic job of disguising it, weight distribution is still a factor that needs to be carefully managed in console boats. Moving the heavy batteries to a central location avoids the nose-heaviness that can be prevalent with an electric motor/battery setup mounted right up the front of the boat.
Under the lovely bolstered and sliding seats (soon to be replaced on the test boat with suspension seats of the same design) was a large box designed to house two smaller Eskies for food and bait, which could be slid out and in by removing an aluminium keeper plate.
Of course, a fully welded self-draining deck is standard on every AMM boat, which befits their offshore-ready design ethos. The large centre console with solid aluminium hard top easily facilitated two large Garmin and Furuno electronics screens and a left-hand drive steering layout meant a centrally located throttle lever, which is the preference for many fishos.
So, back to the ‘one boat to suit all fishing options’ idea: could you comfortably take the AMM 5700 Sea Class fishing almost anywhere in Australia? Barring some shallower creeks and impoundments, yes, you absolutely could and it would do it all with aplomb.
Whether offshore from Moreton Island, in Hervey Bay, the Hinchinbrook Channel or up the Brisbane River, the 5700 Sea Class would see you fishing in fine style. It really is the one boat to do it all. To see this epic rig in action, keep an eye out for the video review on our YouTube channel BNBFTV.
For more information on the awesome AMM range and to design your ‘forever boat’, get in touch with Matt or Barton on 07 3889 7380, visit australianmastermarine.com.au or stop by the factory at 234 Leitchs Rd, Brendale.