Fibreglass centre consoles around 17ft?

 I'm still not sure which direction I am going to go down whether I decide to get a Plate Boat and use is for my offshore fishing as well as barra work or get a fibreglass centre console and a smaller barra tinny later down the track...

Anyhow, I quite like the look of the Haines Signature 543SF.

Any other fibreglass centre consoles around that size worth a look? Must have a decent casting deck and storage plus good size fuel capacity (150L+).



Posts: 1100

Date Joined: 19/06/14


Sun, 2017-12-17 09:18

 I’ve got a 5.4 m glass console and a dingy up for grabs if you’re interested. Fancy a drive to Carnarvon ! 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Posts: 823

Date Joined: 22/07/10

Galeforce boats in Hervey

Sun, 2017-12-17 09:42

Galeforce boats in Hervey Bay,(I'm biased I've got the 4.8) 

hooker boats in lots of smaller builders around oz.just need to google.



Yewiefish85's picture

Posts: 787

Date Joined: 02/01/11

 Another one to look at is

Sun, 2017-12-17 11:16

 Another one to look at is bonito, , they do a 5m and 5.6m in tiller, side console and center console


Posts: 102

Date Joined: 28/06/17

Key West

Sun, 2017-12-17 11:27

 In the yank boats the Key West are a great build and well fitted out in that size. You could get a Bay Reef style or just centre console. They are also positive floatation (level and upright) so will float even when flooded.

I was a bit in the same boat as you not sure what to get for barra/creeks and some offshore, so I ended up ordering a Bar Crusher 615 Side console. It's going to be a big change from the 23ft Key West walk around, but I'm looking forward to less maintenance and more time on the water with easy one man launching / operation. Everyone says it's a wet boat, honestly which boats of that style arent,  but the Gen 2 hulls are better at spray deflection and Im not super bothered getting a bit wet up north. The other thing about a side console is its super easy to take away down south or on holidays. I'm just getting Prestige Marine trimmers to do a travel cover and it should be an easy tow.

I do have a nice tinny as well (Horizon 420 Pro with flat floor / drop in seats etc) but normally use that for camping trips.



strike_zone's picture

Posts: 403

Date Joined: 09/09/10

Ocean whaler

Sun, 2017-12-17 16:27

 thats what id be looking at just do search on here plenty of info and locally made

backlash's picture

Posts: 335

Date Joined: 12/10/10

great question

Mon, 2017-12-18 12:27

If you want a combo to do both (the do-it-all swiss army knife of boats) I'd have thought you'd also need to consider dodgy launching (aka beach or river banklaunching on those big northern tides) in your criteria

If I were doing that I do not think I'd be looking at a Glass boat, and would then be looking at good quality plate boats

If it were me and budget not an option I'd be looking at a Stabicraft 1720 Matt Watson special like this
There is another review here:
Having had the small Stabicraft 389 dinghy I can attest to these boat handling tough conditions, and my little 389 actually rode like a much larger boat.
There is piece of mind as well with their unsinkable design, and the newer models are very well kitted out. 
You do pay for it though.

Video of an 1750 here

The Darwin guys who have these go for a rear console option which opens up the front of the boat massively; not much good if you're trolling for billfish from the rear though.
They use their boats exactly for what you're looking for - bluewater and estuary.

If beach launching is not a pre-requisite then glass is back on the list, I reckon
The manufacturers mentioned above are all good, and I also really like the one you're looking at : 543SF

Have fun doing the research!