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Click to return to the home page , or use the 'back' button on your browser.BOATING Ocean Craft Hull review By Lynn Bain (with Steve Bain) Brisbane Well this was an interesting boat — or should I say hull. At the start it was like nothing I'd ever been in before. In the end I pondered the hull's opportunity to be made into a great boat. The idea behind the test was to review a water-taxi and consider its development as a fishing boat layout. The Ocean Craft has several unique features not found together on any other kind of boat. With the sponsons or tubes rest ing in the water it is a trimaran at rest with superlative stability and buoyancy — the moment the boat is making way the sponsons lift up out of the water. The upthrust from the wake generates recycled energy assisting in lifting the boat up out of the water — “a bit like a hovercraft it goes up and then it goes along,” quips Ocean Craft's Mike Jessop. This has implications for reducing friction on the hull and this translates into fuel economy; the boat used just 8 litres of fuel the whole afternoon during the test. This also has implications for stability when turning i.e. when turning left or right, like a double-outrigger canoe; one of the sponsons lifts out of the water completely while the other stabilises the boat in the water — this applies to going beam to the sea and of course running at an angle up or down a wave. All Ocean Craft pass survey by de fault, even recreational boats for sport fishing. This is possible because of the 'oil drum' buoyancy and stability from the all-aluminium inflatable style boat. As the boat builder Mike Jessop says, “It's an oil drum; you can't push it under!” The boat passes all buoyancy stability and floatation tests for survey in use as a charter work boat and for hire and of course is an operational water taxi. “Why would you set out in a boat that might sink on you — I'll never understand it,” said Mike, and it is true — the boat is also much less likely to capsize as was amply demonstrated on our test run round the Gneerings off Mooloolaba, Mudjimba Island and Point Cartwright on the Sunshine Coast in a moderate swell. When we set out one Thursday after noon around 12:30pm in a brisk 15 Knot wind with the waves breaking out to sea, we cruised at 3,000 revs and ran at troll speed across many conditions. We chased nine bait balls of fish and managed to get onto them without much ado. Coupled with the delayed lift bow (due to the hull being a good 1.5 metres aft of the bow) and the keel line being pretty much the waterline when underway — you're half way over the wave by the time the bow starts lifting which is excellent for bar work and handling a chop or swell. Down the sides, the tops of the cylinders make great side seats, with comfortable flat seating on the tubes using the gunnels as a seatback. Plans are afoot to experiment with some wide, game boat style coaming widths. The venting system in the cylinders proves the quality of the welds and construction because the sun heats up the air inside them and the air expands such that when you crack the sealing bungs then you can hear the whoosh as air rushes out. This confirms that they were fully sealed. When we left the boat it had Nikko pen marks for fittings, rod holders, side heights and a host of fishing- friendly niceties. I left with the confidence that Mike could easily work with the customer to conceive a craft that best fits the new owner's needs; true customisation. Most customers are spear fishing / dive boats and government/commercial work craft. And a new custom Ocean Craft rolls out the factory door every three weeks or so. I'd put four rod holders across the transom — two facing aft and two at 45 degrees. In both sides I'd face two rod holders out perpendicular to the centre-axis, and I'd look to have wide gunnels. This would give a total of 8 trolling/drifting rod holders. A live well over the stern and cutting bait board above the engine with 4 more rod holders would complete the built-in basics. Consider lowering the height of the gunnels and using the new wide coamings to sit on. The flat tops of the cylinders would make the basis for awesome capacity side pockets. Steve suggests a trick console could be developed — something that we are talking to Mike about — this will be a sportfishing dual-electric head (GPS & Sounder) command station and T-Top. The light starting weight of the hull means that you could add these extras without fear. The real benefit of this alloy boat is that it is extremely light in weight for its length. In turn this weight saving makes the boat very fuel efficient. Also this saves towing weight which makes for easier towing and a lower fuel bill in your car as well. I envisage the boat as a half cab lay out — if you look at the photos and place the sides of a cab roughly where the front bow rails are then you have a broad idea of the concept. Compared to a standard non-cylinder hull there is some space consumed by the cylinders and this is most significant at the nose of the hull. However, with a half-cab layout the bunks can sit atop the front tubes and no space is wasted. The boat featured two 270 litre airtight, watertight, in—tube storage with rectangular hatches for all safety gear The opportunity with building a boat out of aluminium is to produce/ modif˙ layouts that would cost a lot of money in mould modifications to create in fibreglass. With fibreglass moulded boats you get what you see in the brochure. Whereas with the non-production line, semi-custom aluminium boat builder you can talk direct to the owner, de signer, salesman, foreman and the customer ends up with a boat with a few more tweaks to suit themselves and their application. It is a lot better to get these things done when the boat is being built — much better than paying someone to do them as an afterthought. In fact if you have enough mods, it makes a brand new boat very logical over a second hand option that needs modifýing. The boat as tested weighs 750 kilos, engine and fuel all up - price of boat as tested was $39K. The Ocean Craft 6000 is made out of marine grade all aluminium plate alloy i.e. magnesium hardened 5083 on the hull — “just like your car engine block”. More malleable marine grade equivalent 5052 is used on the tubes and treadplate checker deck which also has a slight curve (hogging) in it to stiffen the underdeck which of course is also an airtight, water tight buoyancy section just like all of the tubes. The deck is also slightly curved athwartships to channel water runoff into the bilge well / sump. Overall the Ocean Craft impressed and I am sure that when you talk to the builder he will give you exactly what you want to turn this into an excellent fishing rig. In Summary, the cylinders are integral to the strength of the hull and therefore allow the weight to be reduced. The design is based around one cylinder down each side, each divided up into 7 airtight, watertight compartments, providing a virtually unsinkable structure. The two hulls are connected frame/truss style (this is the secret to the weight savings) with a constant deadrise deep vee hull. The deep vee provides a soft ride when on the plane and the edge cylinders act as reverse chines providing some lift and water deflection and at rest they increase the beam of the boat once they settle into the water, thereby creating unbelievable stability. For more information please contact Mike Jessop www.oceancraft.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org 07 5499 6937 / 0416 293 686 Ocean Craft 6000 - Ultra Deep Vee includes a host of extras including, but not limited to the following: Triple engine maxi pod Bilge sump with pump High bow rails Sea spray sheet spray dodgers Side railings Battery box battery retainer kill switch Cigarette lighter socket Esky . Hydraulic power steering . Tohatsu 115 TLDI / EFI Star Carb 2 stroke motor including electric start, extra long shaft, remote steer, oil gauge, fuel tub, tacho, trim, tilt metre indicator and more. . Ocean Craft custom easy launch and load braked trailer with 13” light truck wheels . 500 litre airtight, watertight in tube storage with rectangular hatch . Water taxi seating . Electric 1100GPH / 4030 LPH bilge pump 10 Micron fuel / filter water separator . Nay / running lights . Anchor light . Removeable folding captains chair Swim / dive ladder . Seating for 12 + 1 crew seats 7 x airtight watertight pressuriseable buoyancy sections 6 x boat fenders . Hummingbird 383C combo GPS chart plotter fishfinder with UNI map of Australia . Bimini top Specifications: Construction: maintenance free marine grade aluminium Length: 6 metre Beam: 2.4 metre Draught: 0.3 m Height 1.7 metres Weight (less engine(s), fuel and crew): 550Kg Fuel Capacity: external fuel tank Machinery: 70 HP recommend ed. 70 - 140 HP two stroke or four stroke outboard Shaft: Long shaft Capacity: 12 persons (max) 24 per sons (emergency) Manufacturer: Ocean Craft Aluminium Alloy 2.5mm tube hull 5mm hull and transom Tube 477mm diameter Coming on the trailer. Console and spacious internal layout.