When the call came from Tournament Pleasure Boats to Fishing Monthly that they had introduced a centre console into their growing range, I was very excited about getting in this boat for a day on the water!
It feels like the final piece of the puzzle for Tournament Pleasure Boats (TPB), now they have every style of boat in their range to suit all anglers. TPB are building boats in Queensland for Australian waters, from hull design to cabin layouts everything just fits for Aussies!
I test drove the boat with my long-time mate, Chris Newland, who is a well-recognized boat salesman for Australian Marine Centre here in Queensland and has a lot of boat knowledge, so it was great to combine the days fishing with him.
The centre console is 5.8m long (19ft) and on the custom Sealink trailer it towed very well down the highway and around town. It is fully rolled so letting it go at the ramp was easy and once the boat was unhooked it just glided into the water and we were off.
The conditions off the Gold Coast were perfect. The seaway was flat and there was very little wind so we headed offshore with ease. There was a little swell and chop but the hull design easily cut through it and rode very solid into and down the swells.
The boat performed admirably when I threw it into a few corners and it even handled a 90 degree turn with no worries at all. This craft is stable and safe. I gave it a solid work out in order to test this boat to it’s limits and it performed 10 out of 10 in all aspects of driving.
The motor fitted to the back is an Evinrude E-Tec 150hp. The boat is rated for engines from 115-150hp and the maximum power seemed to be a perfect match for this craft.
Chris has spent time in the boat when it was powered by the 115hp E-Tec. He didn’t notice any difference to the hole shot of this boat with the smaller motor, so you could save a few thousand dollars with the 115hp and be happy with its performance. However, our tests did indicate the 150hp added 10-12km/h to the top speed.
The 150hp got this boat out and on the plane in just over a boat length. This is perfect for those instances where you may be crossing a bar and you need to go hard and fast; I would have no problem doing this because once I dropped the throttle it was out and gone!
The 150hp E-Tec is also very economical on fuel and planing at 20km/h it’s smooth and quiet. Combined with a 160L fuel tank, this boat is a prime marlin offshore trolling rig, as it’s matched with an economical motor, which uses hardly any fuel.
I was also impressed with the I-Command gauges that come with the Evinrude motors. The gauges are like two computers within two small gauges that sit perfectly in the dash and display all of the motor’s information including fuel levels, fuel used, battery levels, hours, and water pressure.
The gauges are your onboard mechanic, there is nothing you need to know that the gauges don’t tell you.
When we were driving along the alarm went off on one of the gauges. When I looked at the gauge it was telling me the oil was low, so we stopped, filled it up and away we went again. So keep an eye on these and do what they say.
The boat is laid out with a console placed in the middle of the boat so you can easily walk around it.
The console features the two above mentioned gauges plus the throttle for the outboard. The boat was fitted with a Humminbird GPS/Sounder combo unit (917C) but there is easily enough room to fit in two separate units of any size. The GME VHF radio (GX600) also was cut into the console for easy access and did not get in the way when driving or fishing.
The console is home to an optional hard top which keeps the sun off and also has rod storage on the top for four rods. The hard top is bolted to the floor and the console so it’s as solid as a rock and it’s also the perfect grab rail. After casting for some fish for a few hours, the hard top didn’t get in the way at all. The boat itself can carry six persons and can easily fish four guys even if they are all casting.
Underneath the console is a massive storage compartment for your tackle box and other gear. This storage area also houses a two-way underfloor storage box which can be accessed from inside the console or just outside of it too. This is perfect for more tackle storage, cameras or whatever else you need to take with you.
The driver’s seat also has storage under the cushion for all of your personal belongings like phone, wallet.
The seat has a cushioned, removable backrest, which makes for a comfy trip on long runs. The back of this seat also has two upright rod holders with the backrest in place and can hold four rods without it. There is space under the driver’s seat to secure the esky that comes with the boat too.
The rear deck of the boat features a live bait tank. It’s in the perfect location to grab a bait and throw it over the side.
The back of the boat also has easy access to the important stuff like fuel filters, the battery and oil gear, which are all placed behind a canvas wall.
Two side pockets run down either side at the rear under the gunnels, which are perfect for the gaff and easy to get to safety gear. The gunnels on this boat are wide and solid, most are thin but these are big, fat and wide. These gunnels also include pop up cleats for tie-off points, four rod holders and a grab rail either side in the rear.
There is a massive kill tank in the bow, it’s so big you could fill it up and jump in for a cool down. It’s perfect to hold your days catch!
While the kill tank is big and spacious, I feel it would be more functional in the rear on either side of the fuel tank. Taking a crazy fish to the front of the boat could be a little awkward. Placing two kill tanks in the rear floor also frees up the front locker for all your fishing and safety gear requirements.
The bow is set up well for anchoring. It comes fitted with a massive anchor well that could easily hold 100m of rope, 30m of chain and a large anchor.
The front of the boat features a tie off point and a good, solid bowsprit. There is also a reef anchor tube fitted to the bow rail for easy access. The bow rail runs from the front to about half way down the boat and it’s a big solid rail and makes for great safety.
If it were my boat I would shorten or remove the bow rail, leaving it only around the nose of the boat. While it is a great safety rail, it does make getting on and off the boat from anywhere near the front an issue, as you have to climb over the rail.
When dropping off and picking up passengers we had to use the back third of the boa, which is awkward at jetties and on the beach. But there is a rear door and ladder for easy entry at the rear from the beach or water.
TPB can customise all of their boats to suit each person, so removing these bow rails would not be an issue. I would also include an electric motor bracket for my lure fishing needs. With a small modification everyone gets what they want. You can also choose customising colours, so you can paint your boat whichever colour you choose.
All of TPB’s boats come with a 10-year hull warranty, and are all built with a unique fibreglass stringer system. Because the stringers are fibreglass and not wood there is no chance of rot.
The 1900 Centre Console as a boat is set up for anglers to troll for marlin or cast for barra and flathead. It really is a multi-purpose boat and is a fine addition to the boats TPB are producing.
The boat as tested sells for around $55,000 on water, which is a steal. The price starts at $48,900 with a 115hp motor.
All of the Tournament Pleasure Boats are on display right now at Australian Marine Centre at Springwood, so pop in and tell them Fishing Monthly sent you. The boats can also be viewed online at www.australianmarinecentre.com.au or call them today on (07) 3807 6999.
The following are the speeds recorded with when testing the Centre Console with the 150hp Evinrude E-Tec 150hp
|Speed (km/h)||RPM||Litres of fuel used at time of speed (L/h)|
|Cockpit depth:||0.78 m|
|Dry Weight:||900kg (approx)|
|Maximum rating:||6 persons|
|Transom weight:||239kg (max)|