Jump to content

Old aussie runabouts


Mark77
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

    I am in the market for an affordable used fibreglass boat around 14-15ft. Something to knock around the rivers and estuaries with the family and not have to worry too much about it. I can leave it in the water in front of my house for periods of time which will of course lead to it degrading over time.

What i would really like though is something that I can also occasionally go offshore with weather permitting. 

Old Haines hulls are quite sort after even if they need a lot of work and not as easy to find as some of the other well known aussie boats such as Cruise craft, Savage and Steber. I was told that Steber have no timber in their hull which gives them a big advantage over the others. 

Alot of these manufacturers had models that seemed to be marketed as "all-rounders" in the 70's and 80's. Runabout style front drives that had layout similar to ski boats but the pictures of them give the impression of quite deep V for a ski boat - boats such as CC Rogue 14 and Savage Envoy.

Even some full on ski boats like Haines 1600SO look like they have a reasonably deep V compared to hulls like Pride that look like they would be struggling to handle even small shop. I know the much larger Haines 2100 was marketed as a ski boat with offshore capabilities.

All of these boats mentioned are rated to carry fairly high hp ratings for their size which would indicate decent built quality and good for quick trips out to the reef. One obvious disadvantage is the limited deck space they have for their size due to a fairly long enclosed front and limited beam but are still big enough for 2 to fish from. 

Steber seem to be a bit of an exception in this era as they had models in this size range marketed as proper fishing boats similar to Haines.

My questions are:

How well do these runabouts handle larger seas (safety if caught out) ?  

Is it true that a Steber boat should never require transom and floor replacement due to age?

If anyone can suggest a particular model that would suit my needs please do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In regards to Steber, they have been around for a very long time, and used to have a reputation for being helpful with information.

They also still have a good reputation for building quality boats.

Pretty sure they did not use timber stringers, but not sure about transoms.

They are located in Taree and might be able to give you definite information, which is always better than the "I knew a bloke who had a mate who had one..." anecdotal information.

Give them a call, let us know what you find out.

Good luck 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Steber 475DF cuddy cab for many years. I kept it down at Bermagui and would go down about 5 times a year, My mate who lives there used it all year round . We fished the 4 mile and 6 mile reefs as well as all other reefs in the area and frequented Montigue Island often.

Very capable boat for offshore fishing and never felt there was any danger being in a small boat out in the ocean. Of coarse IF the sea was too wild we would not go out.

I only had a 55 hp motor on it and although it wasn't a speed boat it done what was expected of it, most had 70hp engines and some up to 90hp.

I often wish I still had it, and I would fully recommend one of these boats IF you could find a nice one.

Frank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys that is great info on the Steber. I just rang and spoke to them. They seem very friendly and helpful as stated. The fellow I spoke to was Alan and he knew the boats very well. He said that the 475 was a much dryer and more seaworthy boat than the 425 if looking at taking it in open water. He said there was timber in the liner and an inspection should involve making sure that there are nothing that has compromised the liner that would allow water through. Also timber in the transom. They sound like a great little boat but harder to find the 475 than the 425 it seems. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a Carribean Crestcutter. Great boat outside. There are a few around for sale. Safe boat Also had a 5.2m Hinton half cabin. Another safe boat.

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a pride Playmate 4.45mtrs in the late 70's. At the time I thought it was reasonable, probably because I couldn't afford anything else at the time.....but I would suggest they are not fantastic boats. Quite shallow hulls and even though I took it outside regularly, wouldn't say it was great in a chop.ūüėē

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Mullatt said:

I had a pride Playmate 4.45mtrs in the late 70's. At the time I thought it was reasonable, probably because I couldn't afford anything else at the time.....but I would suggest they are not fantastic boats. Quite shallow hulls and even though I took it outside regularly, wouldn't say it was great in a chop.ūüėē

Good to know thanks. This reinforces what I thought. I know they made some larger deep v hulls but the smaller ones all seem very much like very light ski boats. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Mullatt said:

I had a pride Playmate 4.45mtrs in the late 70's. At the time I thought it was reasonable, probably because I couldn't afford anything else at the time.....but I would suggest they are not fantastic boats. Quite shallow hulls and even though I took it outside regularly, wouldn't say it was great in a chop.ūüėē

Bloke I know had a pride as well, great boats BUT NOT for any chop, smooth water boats for sure.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My old pongrass surfmaster seems to really do well in semi rough conditions. And I've ploughed that through 50km head winds and big chop . Hardly a drop in the boat.

I was taking it regularly through the harbour until recently....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can admit that I owned a Pride 4.45 as well, only took it outside once (the seas flat off Botany Bay) and I never would do it again, the sides are too low, water came over the back into the well and it bounced around like a top. Mine was a 80s hull with a 1998 Evinrude 60 on the back, it also need the SE300 Hydrofoil to lift the heavy thing out of the water. I got rid of it in 2016

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably the best of the "old boats" would be the Seafarer VC, simple and a pretty good all round boat, don't be fooled by the hype surrounding these old boats, most will be rotted out, or already repaired, but they are reasonably light to tow, require modest HP, OK messing around in a lake, but more than capable offshore as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, noelm said:

Probably the best of the "old boats" would be the Seafarer VC, simple and a pretty good all round boat, don't be fooled by the hype surrounding these old boats, most will be rotted out, or already repaired, but they are reasonably light to tow, require modest HP, OK messing around in a lake, but more than capable offshore as well.

Thanks Noelm. I have heard they are very capable boats for their size but at least around here they seem to command a real premium. Seems 10-12k is the going rate for one with an old 2 stroke and in fair condition overall. I'm yet to see one that has already had floor/transom done in that price range. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, motiondave said:

My old pongrass surfmaster seems to really do well in semi rough conditions.

I wouldn't have thought these little boats would be that seaworthy but I just watched a youtube video of them being used in the surf. They look surprisingly dry. Even when ploughing straight into 6ft surf the just went over the top. I'll keep an eye out for one of these. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mark77 said:

I wouldn't have thought these little boats would be that seaworthy but I just watched a youtube video of them being used in the surf. They look surprisingly dry. Even when ploughing straight into 6ft surf the just went over the top. I'll keep an eye out for one of these. 

Yep, I was really surprised as well. I saw that video.  They are old so , if you find one, expect to do some repairs. I rebuild the transom in mine a few months back, and the floor is ok. But by golly they can take a whipping. Mines only got a 50hp on it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The haines 445 is a great little boat and capable of hitting the backs of quite river systems to out beyond the shelf in the right conditions. Have a search on Facebook marketplace as I saw a very good deal pop up last week with one (might be gone now). Also the "Old school Haines" has a wealth of knowledge on these little boats. I recently sold my bigger boat to drop down to another Formula 15cc (445 haines), knowing just how capable my first one was. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/2/2021 at 12:54 PM, noelm said:

Probably the best of the "old boats" would be the Seafarer VC, simple and a pretty good all round boat, don't be fooled by the hype surrounding these old boats, most will be rotted out, or already repaired, but they are reasonably light to tow, require modest HP, OK messing around in a lake, but more than capable offshore as well.

I second Noel’s comments, having owned a 4.75 V-Sea and now a 5 metre V-Sea.  Excellent boat for what you want, and an outstanding sea boat for its size. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   2 Members, 0 Anonymous, 9 Guests (See full list)

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      68.5k
    • Total Posts
      558.9k
√ó
√ó
  • Create New...