As I have mentioned in previous articles, the sport of lure fishing has taken off in leaps and bounds in recent times and hence boat layouts have followed suit.
This doesn’t mean you have to get a solely sportsfishing boat, but if it caters for that side of things all the better.
Recently I had a quick play in a Clark 485 Dominator fitted with a 75hp Optimax.
Designed as a side console the 485 Dominator ticks the boxes of a multiuse vessel, with a massive forward casting deck for flicking lures and deep sides that you can lean against when fishing in rougher conditions or offshore.
Another factor that I’m sure is very important these days is the cost.
Or to put it another way, how much boat you get for your buck.
Well in this case the ratio is pretty good.
At present, Karee Marine has the Clark 485
Dominator, 75hp Mercury Optimax, Oceanic DLX trailer and a heap of other features (which I will cover shortly) for under $28,000.
With an overall length of 4.92m and a beam of 2.25m you end up with a boat that is big enough to tackle the offshore reefs on a good day, while still being manoeuvrable enough to flick lures around under electric motor power in a canal.
And it should easily fit down the side of your house or even in the garage.
If these are some of the features you are looking for, this boat could be worth a look.
It’s not just functionality you need to have on your list, build quality and finish should be near the top.
Constructed with 3mm sides and 3mm bottom sheets, the 485 Dominator has a good solid foundation and although I don’t have the exact number of ribs, there appeared to be ample for a boat this size.
With boat-only weight of just under 400kg, you get a good solid feel when running across the water.
Although no nasty chop was present on the test day, the waves we did encounter from wash of other boats was easily eaten up.
Another feature I liked about the boat was that the gunwales were fully welded.
I think this is a better way to go rather than just tacking them on as it gives a more solid joint and eliminates any water seeping under the sheets.
An electric motor bracket is included on this model and there is ample room at the stern to stow the battery out of the way next to the cranking battery.
And while this might seem like a simple concept, the storage for the batteries is on the port side which balances the boat when driving onto the trailer.
Other storage compartments can be found under the casting deck, with two large hatches providing access to the massive underfloor storage.
A plumbed 100 litre live well is also positioned under the casting platform, which is the ideal place.
In addition, two larger pockets are provided, one on each side of the boat with a drink holder built in.
Plus there is plenty of room behind the seats to place an Esky.
A plumbed bait tank has also been fitted, again showing the versatility of this model.
In relation to performance, with two people on board and a bit of gear the 75hp Optimax should see you nudge just over 70km/h.
This is fast enough for that size engine and it will also give you reasonable fuel economy.
Rated to a maximum of 80hp, the current setup with the 75hp has plenty of poke.
And with the right prop you could easily tow a tube or wakeboard with the 75hp Optimax.
For water sports or simply boarding the boat, a ladder has been fitted to the stern to make getting in and out much easier.
The layout of the side console has a very neat finish with room for plenty of gauges and switches, as well as space to mount both a sounder and GPS.
The throttle lever is also at a comfortable height, making driving a breeze.
This boat had an anchor well fitted which would be fine for most applications, however if you were heading offshore you might need to store additional rope under the front casting platform where there is a huge amount of room.
A couple of other minor things I would look at adding to finish off this boat if it was mine would be a removable bait board with rod holders.
Although there are ample rod holders around the boat (six in total), I prefer to keep my bait fishing and heavy plastic rods at the back of the boat when travelling.
Another option could be to mount them vertically on the side of the console.
This is where I would stow my more finesse lure rods so they are within easy reach of the casting platform but also out of the way.
These are only very small additions for the activities I undertake.
Other inclusions for this package are two-tone paint, navigation lights, Queensland registration and smooth water safety gear.
So literally you are completely ready to hit the water with nothing extra to spend.
If you would like more information on this boat give Karee Marine a call on 07 3875 1600, or better still, drop in to the showroom at 1776 Ipswich Motorway (Ipswich Rd service road) and check it out.
This way you will get a real appreciation of the functionality and quality of the Clark 485 Dominator.