AT the time of writing, I was packed and waiting to set off for the Ballina round of the ABT qualifier series.
We have finally had awesome stable winter weather and it has been great to get the new boat offshore and into a few fish off the Gold Coast. I have been targeting snapper on soft plastics and for the first time ever have been going offshore without taking bait. I have a lot to learn but I will talk about that next month.
Every now and then in the fishing industry I see something come up that makes me sit back and think: ‘Wow that’s a game changer.’ A recent example would be Cranka Crabs. Steve Steer’s design of these fantastic lures has increased the size of the average bag being weighed in at bream tournaments.
Another great innovation, and one I have recently had installed on my boat, is SeaDek. SeaDek is manufactured in America and is a great alternative to carpet as a floor covering in your boat. It’s a non-absorbent closed-cell EVA material specifically designed for marine applications. I now own a Sea Hunt centre console and found the fibreglass floor to be slippery underfoot when wet, and I would get sore knees and an aching back if I was standing all day fishing a comp. I wanted a floor that was soft underfoot for fatigue and had good grip. I thought about carpet with some sort of underlay but I have always found carpet to take a long time to dry properly and it smells if you put the boat away in the garage still wet. And with an underlay added I thought the smell would be even worse, so I steered away.
I started researching other options and came across a few options but when I looked into the materials used it was obvious SeaDek was a far superior product with the runs on the board. I located a certified distributor in Brisbane called Machine It, spoke with Nick Jessen and went through what was required. Nick was great and gave me the options of going DIY or a full custom job. Considering I have trouble putting a sticker on straight, I decided to go with the full custom job. I chose a colour out of an extensive range and a pattern to engrave on the material.
Nick then set to work on the computer system and before pressing go he sent me a computer-generated design to approve. The work Nick does is so neat and tidy and the full pattern is engraved with a computer-operated router. You can choose almost any design or logo and have it engraved on the floor of your boat. I went for the added feature of having a ruler engraved to make things easier when measuring fish.
Nick will keep the design and measurements for my boat saved on his system, so if I ever damage the flooring somehow, it will be as easy as ringing Nick up and telling him which part I damaged. He can then make a replacement piece in no time and send it out to me. I was very happy and excited with the design and look when I came to inspect the boat. I raised a few concerns with Nick about cleaning the floor and getting blood off if left on overnight. Nick assured me cleaning the floor is as simple as cleaning the outside of the boat.
On my first time out I thought I would put this to the test and ventured offshore to catch a few snapper and pearlies, deliberately leaving a few drops of blood on the deck to test it out. I got home late in the afternoon, cleaned the fish and left cleaning the boat until the next morning. By the time I got to the floor, the blood was definitely dried out.
To say I am happy with my SeaDek is an understatement. As I said, the product is a game changer. I am now starting to see new boats fitted with SeaDek as an alternative to carpet, and why not? I will never have to walk into a smelly shed because of wet carpet in the boat. Add the comfort factor and it’s a win-win.
If you want a quote on SeaDek or just to have a chat about the possibilities for your pride and joy, give Nick at Machine It a call on 0428 884 724. Next month I will write about how this traditional offshore bait fisho has been converted to a lure fisher on the reefs.