Following in the wake of the immensely successful transformation of “Beast” in the 2009 season of Hook, Line and Sinker, this year the show is embarking on an even more ambitious project boat undertaking.
The new F70
At the heart of it all is the brand new, ultra light Yamaha F70 four-stroke outboard, a quantum leap forward in the design philosophy of modern outboard engines. The engine is lighter than any competitive four-stroke or direct injected two-stroke motor in the 70 – 75 horsepower class. It’s a very nice piece of engineering – but – it’s still only a 70 horsepower engine and after spending 12 month, turning water to foam with the awesome F350 V8 four-stroke, Nick and Andrew took some convincing.
The blow up!
Ever the keen angler, Andrew quickly decided that the new F70 would be the perfect powerplant for a brand new, tournament style, aluminium fishing rig, a kind of custom, barra/bass/bream/trout boat suited to impoundment and estuary angling. As more of an offshore fan, the thought of this made Nick sick to his stomach and he floated the idea of purchasing and old, second-hand hull capable of taking twin F70s doing another refurbishment and heading out wide. Andrew described Nick as a sad old collector of other people’s junk and stormed out of the office.
Agreeing that the other was an incompetent, the boys decided to go their separate ways and each would develop their own vessel to showcase the benefits of the new Yamaha F70 four-stroke. Andrew made contact with Greg Lynd of Tasmania- based, custom plate alloy boat builders, Lyndcraft, and set about designing his tournament boat. His list of requirements was long and involved. The boat needed to have casting platforms, fore and aft, live bait well, rod lockers capable of storing fly rods, an electric motor mount, battery storage, bait prep station, a deeper V hull for occasional rough water work, a coffee machine, full length mirror, etc, etc… Greg called in his naval architect and with much head scratching the pair decided that most of what Andrew had requested could in fact be squeezed into a 4.85 metre boat, and decided to accept the challenge.
Nick meanwhile spent hour upon hour scouring the internet, newspaper classifieds and boat yards all over the country with an air of confidence that was quickly replaced by panic and an impending sense of doom. His world became one filled with faded gel coat, rusting trailers, unbelievable asking prices and the stench of rotting ply wood – until one day he travelled to the back blocks of Devonport to unearth an exquisite, sparkling, glittering gem.
Under untold amounts of custom fitted covers and tarps was an immaculate, mid nineties 5.0 metre Dominator Cat in as close to “as new” condition as its 15 years would allow. Even better it was powered by two unmarked Yamaha 70hp two-stroke outboards, the perfect engines with which to compare the new F70 Yamaha four-strokes. Nick haggled half heartedly then handed over a cheque for the asking price.
Over the next few weeks Andrew will spend much of his time getting in the way and annoying the tradesmen at Lyndcraft as his boat makes the transition from stacks of plate aluminium into what looks like being an inshore fishing boat of rare quality. Nick meanwhile will be catching up with Yamaha tech-head Glenn Gibson to perform some important testing on his little cat with the two-stroke engines in place. Glenn will collect fuel consumption, performance and noise data in 100rpm intervals across the entire rev range. The same tests will be carried out when the boat is fitted with its pair of brand new F70 four-strokes. Watch this space.