New Dinghy but which one

Hi Guys


i am looking at upgrading to a new dinghy but need some advice, pros/cons or any feedback if you have one of these.

looking at these all tiller steer with probably a 40hp on the back


i have heard good things about the build of the seajays, the stacer is a very well known brand, the horizon I don't know much about, they have this hydrolift hull, but done know any thing about it.

Seajay 428 Avenger 

Horizon 438 Stryker

Stacer 428 Outlaw


Any info/ advice would be great

quadfisher's picture

Posts: 945

Date Joined: 28/09/10

Plastic fantastic?

Mon, 2018-01-01 08:19

I quite like the idea of the polycrafts , and are maybe leaning that way in the future, some pros and cons , but there always is.

I think its the bit about floating when holed thats getting me in.




scano's picture

Posts: 1067

Date Joined: 31/05/07

The polycrafts are really good

Mon, 2018-01-01 09:00

 But you need maximum horsepower to get them up and going. Plus they a shaped a bit like a wok inside, whereby the point of the sides meeting the floor is very rounded. This makes it difficult to stand and lean against the side. They are bloody bulletproof though! And do ride a lot better than an Ali hull.


i myself have owned a horizon boat. I had a 465 easyfisher pro side console. It was a good boat for the cost, however they aren’t finished off qite as nice as what the quintrex and Stacer and savage boats are. The quinnies and stacers ect have a lot nicer internal trimmings, good trailers, and just a good layout in general. They aren’t the biggest selling Ali small boats for no reason!

i recently bought a basic 4.2m tiller steer tinnie second hand. I found a 3 year old quintrex 420 busta that presented almost as new, and paid a fair price for it. It does everything I need, and at the end of the day, all Ali boats ride the same. Doesn’t matter if you are in a quintrex, savage, stacer ect. You need to pick the right conditions and distances offshore, according to your size of boat, and level of skipper experience.




Posts: 86

Date Joined: 23/04/09

Good info

Mon, 2018-01-01 09:10

thanks for the info there scano.

i have looked at the Quintrex busta. I just seem to find they are a little narrow compared to the ones I am looking at. The Avenger and outlaw are just so beamy. 

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 08/10/13

 If your buying new pay a bit

Mon, 2018-01-01 11:39

 If your buying new pay a bit extra and get wide side rails  a  back step, a sounder bracket  and at least a low floor .  It costs heaps more to get it done later. Wide side rails is a must have.

backlash's picture

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 12/10/10

Quintrex Millenium or Blade hull

Mon, 2018-01-01 11:40

I think in that size bracket, the quintrex with it's millenium or newer blade hull may be the pick; especially in the 4.3m size
I've only owned a quintrex explorer (simiar to the hornet), but over the years I have owned 7 different tinnies until I got to the one now in my profile pic - a 5m Cairns Custom Craft (plate alloy boats designed by Marcel Maujean in Cairns, Qld)

Australia Boat Mags have some great articles on the 4.3m sized tinny market
Here's a sample download to have a look at

you can buy the articles - they're only about $5 each and once you have them you have them forever as they're in PDF format

The first (big) question is: what's your budget?

Given limitless budget I'd be looking at a Stabicraft 459 frontier...but I am biased as I love Stabicraft boats but they are hideously expensive

Back to reality I'd be trying to see if a Trailcraft utility comes up - they're a plate tiller steer boat and used ones always sell quickly.

here is an option I'd look at if I was in the market:

and here are some others

Half the fun is doing the research, I reckon
If you're buying new you need to allow for electronics; the Lowrance or Garmin 5", 7" and 9" combos are great value for money - they have something to suit your budget.
and if youre heading out past 3Mi or Garden Island, I'd grab a handheld VHF Radio.


Posts: 86

Date Joined: 23/04/09


Mon, 2018-01-01 12:30

 I already have a 3.5 seajay nomad that I will be selling. So am a bit partial to the brand the Avenger is a great looking boat, deal and beamy. The Quintrex busta with the millennium hull is nice but is quite narrow when next to a seajay or Quintrex renegade. Seajay also has pedistal seats rather than bench seats. 

Busta with a 4 stroke you are about $15k, seajay is dearer at about $19k. 

Belly Fish's picture

Posts: 317

Date Joined: 09/03/12

Quintrex Renegade 420

Tue, 2018-01-02 20:43

I had one of these....awesome boat with a 40hp. It was tiller steer. These are really wide.

I upgraded to a Renegade 440 with side console and 60hp 4 stroke. Also awesome boat.

timboon's picture

Posts: 1672

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Scano has summed it up

Tue, 2018-01-02 21:49

 Scano has summed it up pretty well for you mate,


I've owned my Quinny Dory widebody 4.2 for 18 years and she's a beauty....


For me i dont think i'd get a better 4.2mtr boat that the one i've got....


I've got a 25HP Yami 4 stroke on it with power trim n tilt and it'll do about 22 knots on flat water but realistically its rare to open it up on the west coast.....


The trim helps you with the ride/planing and is a great thing but the only negative aspect is when you are beach launching its a hassle, its nice to hit a beach at speed and get the leg up quick with momentum before the water drains from under you instead of slowly doing it with trim and having that potential for a fuck up...


For me i'd be looking for a widebody Dory 4.2 with wide gunwales and a 30hp two stroke donk on it.....


By the way when i bought mine we did a lap from SA to Darwin west, up to Kalumuburu and back down the west coast then back home to SA....


I had the Dory and another couple of mates had the Bermuda 4.45 Viper i think it was, his tinny cracked all over it, i mean ALL OVER it by the time we got back ( 20,000 kms later bouncing around on all sorts of wild country usually at speed )....


The dory to this day has never cracked anywhere!! Not once has it been welded and she's had a tough life...


Posts: 68

Date Joined: 28/06/17

Horizon / Polycraft

Wed, 2018-01-03 19:48

 Gday roganjosh, Ive had both Polycraft / Horizon from new and can testify to them both being great boats. The polycraft was a 4.55 cc with a F60 yamaha, and what the guys are saying is true - it felt like it needed all of that hp but what a great indestructable boat.


I bought the Horizon 420 Allrounder pro in 2014 and love it as well. The reason I went for it was price and inclusions and the build quality has been great - on some tough trips too (Carrarang , Steep Point and Darwin etc). It came with everything as standard - rear step, wide rails to sit on, thicker sheet ally and other little things like a welded ali anchor well not plastic like some others. The removeable seats, casting deck at the back which holds 2 x tanks and a battery is awesome, casting platform up front just as good.


My only complaint is its only rated to 95kg weight on the transom - which means the 40hp four strokes are just out of reach, but it goes well enough with the 30hp 2 stroke yammi, would just prefer 4stroke and max horses. One of the best things ive done is get travel covers made in Darwin, just pvc ones for the enigine and hull, and it keeps all the crap out on trips or at home in the pilbara. Still looks like new under because of them, and also can load up the boat on trips without getting stuff wet or keep theiving eyes at bay. They were about a grand all up. Happy to post photos and stuff if i can find some If you need more info.





timboon's picture

Posts: 1672

Date Joined: 14/11/10

 Yep well worth factoring in

Wed, 2018-01-03 21:26

 Yep well worth factoring in some good canvas as the disco man has stated above!!


That is one advantage of a smaller hull, you can keep everything dry and virtually dust proofed with a well made lid.....

Posts: 23

Date Joined: 14/11/16

Mako Craft 440 Truck Series

Fri, 2018-01-12 00:40


I recently picked up a Makocraft 440 Truck Series ( Built by Stessel ) Open water Tinny.

It came with the following - Honda 50 EFI power trim / tilt  Tiller ( approx 200 hrs ), fully foam filled hull, Extra 200m built into the hieght of the gunnels, 70ltr inboard tank, Instrument console / pod. Heaps of deck room - its actualy really quite big on the inside. The truck series apprarently has twice the amout of stringers than standard adding to the strength. Its not a light tinny thats for sure and can be a bit of handful when trying to retrive off the beach on a trailer. Fully painted inside and out all on a 1550kg rated braked extra HD trailer.

So far I have been super impressed with the Hull - nice deep and sharp entry - being out of 3mm plate ( i think ) and foam filled - big spray chines added along with floodable rear chines for stabilty and surprising I think they work. - there is next to no noise went smashing chop. Its my first Honda and got to say - bloody quiet - plenty of torque - has a perm-a-trim fin fitted. Bloody good on fuel burn aswell. Wide open throttle with full fuel and gear with two adults - managed to crack 28kn/h - plenty fast enough - good cruise speed for fuel burn is about 16 -17kn/h. Its not a "dry" boat by any means but hell of alot better than others I trialed over the years.

I have had it in some preety shity conditions out of cervanties when we got caught out by a strong SWester and swell was nudging 2.5m - just lifted the nose up and steady she goes. Never once felt the Holy shit feeling even though what looked like blocks of flats where rolling past. 

The trailer needs some TLC - not too much - just the general stuff.

Few mates that own much bigger boats upto 7m all commented on how good she handles in the chop - and fish-a-bitly of an open deck is just awsome. I hoping to tak it too Gnarloo this year in June for 2 weeks - so see how she goes.


Cheers all.

morgs's picture

Posts: 107

Date Joined: 25/10/11


Fri, 2018-01-12 20:01

 Thought about stessco?, would have been my second choice after my quinnie renegade


xtont's picture

Posts: 29

Date Joined: 30/10/12

Coastal 460

Fri, 2018-01-12 20:23

I got a 2002 coastal glassie. Been repowered with Suzuki 60 and new trailer. But has seen service in the Torres Straits and eastern Gulf of Carp, Darwin harbour and western Gulf of Carp. Had a look around Busso and the bottom corner. Handled all the different seas very well. Had since new in tiller steer, think is better than the Haines Signature that it replaced and the Cruisecraft before that. I'm definitely a glassie lover, Ali just beats the shit out of you 


 Christo's one man army

Real fishermen do not feel sorry for their bait

Posts: 6

Date Joined: 04/12/17

Stabi craft 1410 frontier

Sat, 2018-01-13 21:42

 Hey mate I own a Stabi craft 1410 frontier with a 40hp yami on the back.

It is absolutely bulletproof, so stable and tough. 

 Pulls close to 30knots on flat water. 

I have taken it to some gnarley spots around wa instead of my 6.5 barcrusher!

For a 4.3m boat you can’t go past it.

Good luck with your choice.

backlash's picture

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 12/10/10

They're Great Boats

Mon, 2018-01-15 08:42

Here's a pic of my old one


Posts: 4939

Date Joined: 17/06/10

When you make your choice and put your dollars down

Sun, 2018-01-14 16:08

If you want to get the best out of your choice of dinghy, don't look back at what you have seen before you brought your pride and joy.

Get to know your boat well on flat water how it handles at speed, where should your passengers sit to trim the boat to it's best for stability etc.

Then when you have got some confidence about what your boat will and won't do in certain states of loading and speed take a run out in the ocean on a calm day. It is going to be an altogether different experience than on the river.

What with waves, tide wind effect all will have an effect on how your boat handles, if you can get an experienced tinnie driver to go with you on your first outing in the ocean so much the better

Take notice of what you boat is telling you about stability speed into waves and running with a sea even if it is very small see if your boat runs true when you come down the face of a small wave, do you need to be aware of where to place fish boxes fuel tanks etc to get it to run true.

Sorry to rant on a bit but so many people buy a boat of any size and fail to get to know the pride and joy and it's various quirks, and they all have them

Finally I hope you have a great many good safe times on the water and collect a great many fishing tails.

backlash's picture

Posts: 225

Date Joined: 12/10/10

Great Advice

Tue, 2018-01-16 12:02

That is very very good advice, Meglodon
Too often people are in a rush to head out in their new toy, even getting to know your electronics takes a while to make sure you can adjust things on the fly and still watch the water for those freak waves.


The_Wanderer's picture

Posts: 731

Date Joined: 24/09/08

 Check out stessco too- we

Mon, 2018-01-15 20:30

 Check out stessco too- we had the 4.29 catcher releaser- the have a 2.2/2.3m beam 3mm bottom and sides plenty of ribbs. We used to have one and i would quite happily take it out past 3mile for trolling. It was stable at rest and a just a great little boat. When the time comes I'll happily buy another one.



Dhulicious's picture

Posts: 13

Date Joined: 26/11/17


Mon, 2018-01-15 21:42

The old man had a 4.2m Stessco with a 25hp Yammy and fished out of Kalbarri for several years. Good solid tinny. I'd probably up the power to 30+ though.