The Snubby Boat Files: Part 2

In this second installment of the Snubby Boat Files, we finally get our new Beastmaster Snubby 500 boat wet. You can watch our short video of the event here, or by simply clicking the play button below:

Even a grey, overcast and cool day couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for giving “Mad Keen” (yes, she’s been officially named!) her first on-water run. Launching was a breeze and everything worked exactly as it should. We puttered slowly up through the 8-knot zone, then gradually increased the power…

Into the water she goes... We've waited a long while for this moment!

Into the water she goes… We’ve waited a long while for this moment!

The locals are excited!

The locals are excited!

With the brand-spanking new F70A Yamaha still very much in run-in mode, we needed to frequently vary the revs and only touch full noise very briefly, but we were extremely impressed by the rig’s initial performance. It seems the motor height and prop choice (a Yamaha SS [stainless steel] Talon SDS 14K 13 1/8) were spot on… which is always a huge relief! (Find out more about those amazing Talon SDS props here.)

The rear passenger's seat and that superlative Yamaha F70A.

The rear passenger’s seat and that superlative Yamaha F70A.

Please note that the preliminary performance figures shown below are with a motor that’s still very new and therefore a tad tight. Also, there was very little additional gear in the boat, apart from basic safety equipment, 10 litres of fuel and two people. Here are the initial speeds we observed (via the GPS) at various revs:


3500 RPM = 15 knots (28 km/h)

4000 RPM = 20 knots (37 km/h)

5000 RPM = 25 knots (46 km/h)

6000RPM = 29 knots (54 km/h)

6100 RPM = 30 knots (55.5 km/h)*

* Wide open throttle

I’m particularly impressed by being able to sit on 20 knots or a whisker over (around 40 km/h) at 4000 to 4200 RPM, as this is an extremely economical mode of operation. I’d expect to be covering close to 3 km per litre of fuel at this speed. We’ll bring you full fuel flow figures in a future blog.

Nice lines... and everyone comments on that SeaDek. The colour is called Desert Camouflage.

Nice lines… and everyone comments on that SeaDek. The colour is called Desert Camouflage.

The rig’s “hole shot” performance was impressive, even with both of us (combined weight of close to 200 kg) sitting at the very rear of the vessel. Moving the passenger to the central console seat improved this hole-shot performance even further.

Happy as...! The helm position works well, and check out the expanse of functional cockpit space!

Happy as…! The helm position works well, and check out the expanse of functional cockpit space!

There was a slight tendency for the hull to “porpoise” at certain speeds and trim settings, especially with both occupants in the rear seating positions, but this was easily overcome with a touch of down/in trim and/or a slight increase in revs. Porpoising disappeared with the second occupant on the central seat. Again, it should be noted that the large forward storage areas were virtually empty for this test run. I’d imagine that close to 80 kg of gear will eventually end up going in there, which will obviously alter the vessel’s trim.

Tiller steering was relatively easy, not too heavy (even for Jo) and there was no vibration or noticeable torque feedback through the tiller. In the standing position, with the tiller cocked upwards for easy gripping, steering was heavier, but still not unacceptable.

As I said, overall we were extremely impressed. It seems that 70 horsepower is plenty for this hull, and she’d probably get by with a 60. (It helps that the Yamaha F70A is the lightest and most powerful 4-stroke in its class). I think 90 horsepower would be verging on scary, as the boat is extremely responsive, especially with tiller steering.

The Snubby 500 has a great hull shape.

The Snubby 500 has a great hull shape.

Stability at rest was great, especially for a vessel with a comparatively narrow beam-to-length ratio. That SeaDek feels great underfoot and there are definitely going to be fights about who gets to fish from the poling platform! Vision and cast-ability from up there are outstanding.

We spent less than an hour on the water for this first shake-down cruise, but both came away grinning madly. The boat also drove onto the PJM Industries trailer very easily, despite a wicked cross-current and some breeze. All-in-all, a huge thumbs up!

Stay tuned for more blogs in this series, and be sure to subscribe to this StarloFishing site so you don’t miss any! You can read Part 1 right here.


"Oh, what a feeling!"

“Oh, what a feeling!”