Home' Afloat : AFLOAT August 2017 Contents 62 AFLOAT.com.au August 2017
ON THE WATER
with David Lockwood
PH: 9898 9688
FAX: 9648 5529
Unit 5/28 VORE STREET, SILVERWATER 2128
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According to a tweet from respected
fisheries-status expert and academic
Trevor A. Branch, who I follow on the
dreaded Twitter, the use of the word
“fishing” is increasing in popularity in
Based on Google’s Ngrams website,
an online search engine that charts
frequencies of words in print from 1500-
2008, fishing is gaining traction. But the
most popular fish species are, er, goldfish,
rainbow trout, swordfish then guppy.
Notwithstanding the fact that more
fish are kept as pets than cats, dogs, birds
and reptiles in the US, fishing is growing
in popularity ... not only according to the
online (no pun intended) algorithms or
search engines, but according to our own
reel-life, reel-time experience.
I am premising this column with that
news as we head into the 50th Sydney
International Boat Show, a special
celebration from August 3-7. The biggest
boat show in the Southern Hemisphere
just got a heck of a lot bigger this year and
fishing will be big.
The boat show returns to Darling
Harbour at the one big harbour-side hub.
The marina in Cockle Bay will be heaving
with close to 200 boats, while the new
purpose-built Conference Centre will
boast almost double the floor space of
The big driver of new boats, boat
design, engines, accessories and the
expert talks at the show is, yup, fishing. The
favourite pastime of Australians attracts
up to five million chuck ’n’ hopers each
year or roughly one-fifth of the population.
Surveys reveal that 70-80 per cent of all
boaters regard fishing as their motivation
to get afloat. While land-based anglers
catch plenty, with a boat you have more
flexibility to chase the fish.
Trailerboating is huge in Australia right
now, in fact, relative to boat ownership
overall, it accounts for 90 per cent of all
new sales and existing registered craft.
While our ageing population grew up
with fishing from tinnies and is returning
to that pastime, fishing now bridges
generations and inspires the youth of
This is hardly surprising given the
synergies with technology and social
media. Oh, and the healthy state of the
fisheries. This means trailerboat fishing is
rewarding, satisfying and money well spent
(fish ain’t cheap to buy, either).
Walk the Sydney boat show and
you can ogle the amazing multi-million
dollar motor and sail yachts, the latest
catamarans, cool runabouts and RIBS.
But you will also find a serious flotilla of
Today’s fishing rigs range from multi-
engine outboard centre consoles for high-
speed offshore pursuits right down to the
Quintrex Busta 420 with 25hp outboard for
CAST THE LINES
about $10k or the price of a case of tinnies
per week if you finance it.
Between these two extremes lies a red
hot plate-aluminium fishing trailerboat
market in the 5-6m class. For less than
$100k, you can hitch up a seaworthy plate
boat with the latest four-stroke or direct-
injection two-stroke outboard engine and
The beauty about these plate-alloy
rigs is that they are easily towed up and
down the coast to where the forums tell
you the fish – marlin, tuna, big snapper
and mackerel – are snapping.
There have been some terrific
development in fishing boats in the
bottom end of the market, too. The bass,
barra and bream fishery with 4-5m boats
is booming. Quintrex has just released its
new Apex hull with more casting room,
greater stability, but also a smooth ride.
Just about every tinnie maker has a top
harbour, bay, river and estuary rig in the
For those with deep pockets, the high-
end sportfishers are where it’s happening.
American brands like Boston Whaler,
Grady-White, Cobia and Contender rule
the centre console market this year.
With racks of big outboard engines,
you can spend upwards of $500k without
much effort. Traditional game-fishing boat
owners are jumping aboard these fast
Grady-White will be among the
big fishing boat brands at the 50th
Sydney International Boat Show.
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