After driving by Wynnum Marine several times and noticing a new catamaran-style boat painted in aqua – my daughter’s favourite colour – I was pleased to receive a call from Johnny Milton asking if I wanted to test said boat.
The answer was a resounding yes, so plans were made to meet Brent at the Manly Harbour boat ramp and put the Kingfisher 510 Powercat through its paces.
Kingfisher Boats and Powercats are a New Zealand-based boat-building company that has been in operation for over 19 years, producing all types of boats – from small dinghies and punts through to large commercial vessels.
Recently, the focus has been on developing the range of Powercats, which vary in length from 3.9m to 5.7m.
As I checked out the build quality – which was easily seen with the precise and neat welding – my first impressions of the Powercat were positive.
And on boarding the Kingfisher Powercat, I experienced one of its key features – it’s incredible stability.
As the name suggests, the Powercat is technically a catamaran, however a unique feature of this boat, and in particular its hull, is that all models – from the 3.9m to the 5.7m – are powered by a single engine.
So, you get all the benefits of a cat but you only need to buy one engine, which means you have only one engine service too – an additional over-time cost savings.
Also, the hull of the Kingfisher has been designed to be more efficient through the water, so less horsepower is required on the back to give you optimal performance.
The test boat was fitted with an ever-reliable 90hp Yamaha outboard that had plenty of punch out of the hole with two people and about half a tank of fuel and safety gear onboard.
It was noticeable that the Kingfisher jumped easily onto the plane with minimal bow lift – I’m guessing this can be attributed to the hull design, as it draws very little, so there would be limited drag from the water.
Aside from better fuel economy – and as mentioned the need for less horsepower – this means the Powercat can be used to fish a variety of situations, including fishing shallow banks too.
With the option to fit an electric motor and a decent-sized raised casting platform, you have a great vantage point for flicking lures at several species.
At 1200RPM, we were travelling at 3.6 knots, which is what you want when chasing fish such as flathead and even snapper.
Due to its design – including the high sides, wave breaking hull and large fuel tank of 150-litres – it would easily be at home bait fishing offshore or trolling for marlin, which makes this a very versatile boat.
In terms of storage, there was plenty – the bow section had two very big hatches and an anchor well that I was told could fit an electric winch.
Two side pockets also offer a place to store a combination of items and the two bench seats at the back are great places to put tackle bags or a small Esky.
You can also utilise the area under the helm seats.
This boat was set up with two reversible seats, which I think are the best option, as they allow for the best use of space and versatility.
Brent also mentioned they were looking to have the option of the rear bench seats made as folding or removable – this would make offshore fishing a little easier and would be an option I would take up.
The best part about this possibility is that the boat can be customised a little for your needs, with the team at Kingfisher keen to provide customer-specific vessels.
Overall, the Kingfisher 510 was a well-designed and thoroughly considered boat that will impress plenty of keen fishos and boaties.
The attention to detail – which is evident though the fully welded rod holders, stylish and functional bait board, solid targa and rocket launcher – means this vessel is not your average plate boat.
It’s also worth noting that the Kingfisher 510 can safely carry six people, which is great if you want to have a day over at Peel Island or cruising southern Moreton Bay.
Though there is plenty of room to be able to fish all six, if you were heading offshore, I think four would be a more comfortable number.
I’d also look at putting a large Esky in front of the massive helm, this could double as additional seating.
In terms of performance, the 90hp Yamaha pushed the boat along nicely, with a good cruising speed of about 20-25 knots, which saw the engine revving at 4200RPM and 5000RPM respectively.
Punching the throttle a little more, we were quickly at the top speed of 31 knots.
While rated to 150hp, Brent mentioned that even with a 130hp Yammie on the back, it was extremely quick when unladen.
I guess picking the right donk to put on the back will come down to how you’re going to use the boat and your budget, however a 115hp may be worth considering if you’re after a little more top end.
While I didn’t get a chance to punch through the traditional Moreton Bay chop, Brent assured me the Kingfisher handles it well, with two hulls to split the waves and provide a safe and dry ride.
I’ll simply have to try teeing up another outing on a windy day!
If you’re after a boat that’s suited to a host of applications, the Kingfisher may be what you’re looking for.
Even if traditionally you’re a mono-hull person – which I am – I’d still consider the Kingfisher because the quality, ride and performance were awesome.
You can find out more details online, but I’d also highly recommend dropping into Wynnum Marine to properly check these boats out, or give them a call on 07 3396 9777.