BIG RIG: Formosa’s Tomahawk 740… up plate boat with loads of fishing features and impressive performance. Read more by Scott Thomas, Fishing World, Nov18
Sea-Rod 520 Side Console review – powered by Yamaha
FORMOSA Marine is certainly one of the more innovative boat-building brands operating today.
In the 20 years since its inception, the business has gone from strength to strength and the Formosa range has continually expanded, including adding the Sea-Rod sub-brand to its portfolio in 2011, with a plethora of innovations along the way.
I recently found myself on the Tweed River checking out several Formosa Sea-Rod models. One of the boats that really piqued my interest was the Sea-Rod Classic 520 Side Console powered by a 90hp Yamaha four-stroke and sporting the brand’s unique ‘Active Transom’.
I’ve discussed the Active Transom in more detail in another post, but it essentially utilises self-supporting folding transom doors for unparalleled access between the deck and water. Formosa boats have always appeared ‘big’ for their size, and this V2 Plate Hull example was no exception.
Measuring 5.4m from bow roller to stern, possessing a substantial beam of 2.4m as well as serious depth in its 4mm-thick side sheets, the Sea-Rod 520 Side Console certainly makes its presence felt. This becomes immediately apparent on the water too, with the sheer interior volume of what many would deem a ‘bay’ boat making it feel impervious to waves and ready to hit the high seas at the drop of a hat.
However, it’s here I should reiterate I was testing the ‘Classic’ version of the model. Sea-Rods are offered in two versions in most sizes, either Classic or Offshore, and as the name depicts, it’s the Offshore models that are better suited to heading through coastal bars and tackling the deep blue thanks to features including a self-draining aluminium deck.
The Classic version as tested and photographed here makes do with a marine-grade ply floor covered in typically hard-wearing marine carpet. Something that quickly became clear while using the 520 Side Console as a photo boat was its exceptional stability both under way and at rest.
Sea-Rod’s unique four-chamber counterbalance water ballast system is to thank for the level playing field at rest, while under way the chambers rapidly empty and pass the baton to a properly sorted hull design that nails the smooth and dry brief. In fact, I can happily report that in my time spent aboard the Sea-Rod 520 Side Console, barely a drop of spray made it over the gunwales, despite some ‘enthusiastic’ driving and playing up for photographs.
Seated behind the 660mm-wide side console, I certainly didn’t cop any salt water to the face or hands, even when cracking along at wide-open throttle into and across a sharp Tweed River chop. Speaking of throttle, when wound right out with two people on board and powered by an extremely fresh 90hp Yammie (just one hour on the clock!), the 520 Side Console nudged 57km/h at 5700rpm, which I found impressive considering this rig is rated to a whopping 140hp.
Yes you read that correctly, 140hp on a relatively lithe (650kg dry) open boat. Wow, I would absolutely love to take one of these for a spin with Yamaha’s awesome 130hp four-stroke on the back. It would certainly make for a power-packed combo.
As it was, both Jeff (Boatsales) and I were really impressed with the rolling punch this setup displayed and were actually surprised the top speed wasn’t higher – it felt quick. The way it launched from a happy cruise at 4000rpm and 38km/h out towards that top speed was genuinely impressive and I don’t think many owners will find a 90hp outboard lacking on their 520, unless really loaded with gear and people.
We know from previous testing that Yamaha’s 90hp four-stroke also delivers incredible fuel economy, so the savings at the bowser will definitely be appreciated by those who opt for the smaller motor. Range anxiety isn’t something likely to be encountered too often, however, with the 520 Side Console fitted standard with a capacious 115-litre underfloor fuel tank.
Equally accommodating on this boat is storage, and on the test day I was pleased by the number of options available around the deck, with rear side pockets, a kill tank and two massive storage hatches in the casting deck. Of note was the flat floor under the casting deck, which enabled the larger bow hatch to swallow an 80-litre Esky and allowed it to sit level and out of the way, freeing up maximum deck space for fishing endeavours and moving around the boat.
In summary, with safe and predictable handling, a soft and dry ride, excellent stability at rest and a uniquely versatile transom area, it’s easy to recommend the Sea-Rod 520 Side Console. It makes perfect sense as an affordable and bulletproof (4mm alloy all round) bay and estuary boat, yet won’t disappoint those who like to duck offshore either.
Fit and finish throughout is exemplary, and if you’d like to get up close and personal with the Formosa build process, swing by the factory located on Brisbane’s bayside at 188 New Cleveland Rd, Tingalpa. For any more information on Yamaha’s world-class outboard range, visit yamaha-motor.com.au and to see the full Formosa range, head to formosamarineboats.com.au
The test rig was supplied by Gold Coast Boating Centre, so jump on goldcoastboatingcentre.com.au or call 07 5576 7388 to organise a test drive of a Yamaha-powered Formosa today.
#Fishing #Boating #FormosaMarine #DiscoverMoreWithaFormosa
“Formosa’s Offshore edition boats have a fully sealed, aluminium checkerplate, self-draining deck. This 5.8m rig is in the centre console format with a single door active transom. Powered by a 150HP Yamaha 4-stroke outboard, it delivers great range and plenty of fishing options. Tested by Steve Morgan, Fishing Monthly Magazines with Duncan Blakley from Formosa and William Lee from Yamaha Australia.” Fishing Monthly Magazines, 5th November, 2018. VIEW VIDEO HERE>
#FormosaMarine #Fishing #Boating #DiscoverMoreWithaFormosa
“Formosa Marine is a true-blue Australian boat manufacturer, with their new Tomahawk Offshore 740 Enclosed (Half Cabin) expanding on their range of bluewater fishing weapons, as well as boasting sparkling performance and handling.” …discover more from John Ford, BlueWater Boats & Sportsfishing magazine, issue 129, 2018. www.bluewatermag.com.au
DOWNLOAD REVIEW HERE: Formosa Tomahawk 740 Enclosed BOAT TEST from BlueWater issue 129
A big thank you to Aussie Boat Sales ACT/NSW for supplying the boat www.aussieboatsales.com.au.
Formosa Marine is leading the way in Aluminium Plate Boat design and manufacturing with the release of the X Bowrider.
FISH » WAKE » SKI – do it all with the X Bowrider model by Formosa Marine available in both the Tomahawk and SEA-ROD range. Take the family out skiing or wake boarding one day » transform the X for offshore fishing the next day.
Built for Offshore
The X Bowrider has a raised dash and new Formosa branded bolster seats for a higher seating position for offshore adventures. The X Branded cushioned bow and carpeted seating area encompasses a large accessible storage area underneath. Cushions are removable and a centre board provided to create the perfect forward fishing platform. The centre board is supplied as standard and is easily stored under the passenger’s dash when not required.
The X Bowrider has two Folding Side Seats as standard and an optional third folding back seat giving you a transom area to seat up to six people, sitting low for safety. The seating fold away flush to enhance the generous freeboard and foot room Formosa Marine is known for. So popular has the Folding Side Seat been, that Formosa has added this design to their long list of Optional Extras now available on all boats.
Solid Rocket Launcher
Designed by Formosa Marine the X Bowrider Rocket Launcher is unique on an aluminium plate boat. Welded for strength and stability with Hardtop Visor and folding design for storing the boat undercover. Fully welded onto the launcher are four (4) rod holders, a ski/wake pole, light and three (3) grab rails. The unique ‘knuckle’ design features exposed perforated Aluminium plate on the outside, inside is perfect for housing speakers. The Launcher is available without the visor and is recommended on the 520 size for folding and storing in smaller garages.
About Formosa Marine
They are an Australian owned manufacturer in Tingalpa, Brisbane building fully welded quality plate boats for safety and performance since 1998. It has been their mission to advance their boats to handle the Australian environment, yet keeping them affordable without skimping on quality and strength and the X Bowrider is no exception. Formosa provide a huge amount of features, large range of Optional Extras to choose from, are great value for money and offer customisation so you get the boat you want.
V2 Plate Hull
In 2016, Formosa Marine rolled out the new V2 Hull design, offering enhanced performance and strength with a sharper deadrise to 18.5 degrees giving a softer ride, an improved trim range particularly in turns, and extra floor structure for a solid under-footing. Yet the sharper deadrise doesn’t compromise the great stability of the Formosa Marine foam filled hulls.
Other value added features of the V2 Hull includes the new Formosa Marine designed Alumininum Bowroller with dual rollers for quick release and designed to suit manual and drum winch applications. A Tow-Catch design is included on all boats for quick boat releasing and snaring on suitable trailers; ideal for solo launching and retrieving. Extra carpeted side pockets have been added for additional storage and strength.
An Offshore gives you the Self-draining, aluminium carpeted decks with scuppers for offshore safety, high tensile 5083 grade hull with 4mm sheeting (sizes 620+ have 5mm as standard) and hydraulic steering.
The Classic models have Hardwood Plywood flooring carpeted for comfort underfoot and 4mm 5052 high strength marine grade hull.
Water Ballast Counterbalance Hull
The SEA-ROD range was developed in 2011 in response to the demand for a water ballast hull giving extra stability at rest. A unique four (4) chamber, counterballance water ballast system expands across the width of the hull. The water ballast is available in sizes 520 and over and available in the Offshore or the Classic. The SEA-ROD transom includes a step design allowing for the innovative ‘Active Transom’. Choose the access you need with the Active Transom for fishing, casting, diving or simply enjoying the waters.
SEA-ROD Active Transom
Design your own ‘Active Transom’, using self-supporting folding transom doors, for the ultimate water access. Choose between 4 access options; Full, Dual, Single or Closed Access depending on what you need for either fishing, casting, diving or simply taking full advantage of the Australian waters.
- The Full Access option has the unique folding transom door and folding platform for the ultimate water and motor access, fishing platform or lounge deck on the back.
- Dual Access has the ultimate folding transom door on either side giving double the access for the family and ideal for diving.
- Have it all with the Single Access option that includes a single folding transom door and storage, allowing room for accessories such as the folding back seat and the Formosa designed bait board and bait tank.
- Lastly, select the Closed Access for a greater storage option and popular with offshore fishing.
READ MORE INFO>
Discover the 7.4m
The X Bowrider model, Half Cabin, Centre Cabin and Centre Console are available as 7.4m – the largest boat built yet by Formosa. The 740 has a sharper deadrise of 20 degrees without compromising the optimum stability a Formosa boat is known for. The 740 features the V2 Plate Hull, larger deck space, higher sides, 300L Fuel Tank and more room for underfloor auxiliary fuel/water tanks.
Formosa Marine is leading the way in aluminium plate boat design. They have the largest range with the most inclusions and a huge range of optional extras.
#DiscoverMoreWithaFormosa #FormosaMarine #Fishing #Boat
Check out the gallery…