Tinnies moving ahead in leaps and bounds

Rarely does life – cruel mother beach that it is – allow us to enjoy the best of all worlds.

The biggest fish gets away. Hit a sweet golf drive and you’ll duff the approach shot. Hit a half-century at cricket and you’re sure to drop the match-winning catch. Meet someone with an attractive personality and they’ll be lacking in looks … and vice versa.

Occasionally with boats, however, the ducks align, the Gods of the Sea smile, and the impossible becomes achievable.

I’m thinking specifically of the new-generation aluminium runabouts hitting the market, which are so user-friendly that even women and children are enticed aboard.

So harsh was the ride in an old centre-console I had years ago that my wife complained of sore breasts – seriously – if we had a long run over choppy waters.

Underwater shapes have improved in leaps and bounds – except you no longer shake out your fillings when you leap and bound.

New Savage range looks great in plate, showing how far tinnie design has come.
Savage Marine

Deadrise has been sharpened while larger reverse chines generate the all-important lift for heavier four-stroke outboards. Lower horsepower demands mean cheaper purchase price and greater fuel cost savings.

Manufacturers like Savage are fading out the pressed clinker sides in favour of straight plate, so they’re far easier on the eye too. Quintrex has the new Blade hull shape with fine entry and more bow rake.

Sailfish is doing good things in the catamaran world, offering an optional enclosed hardtop on its 6.34-metre Shelf Runner. It gives the driver a commanding feel at the helm, which you wouldn’t normally expect in a boat this length.
Sailfish's new Shelf Runner has an optional enclosed helm
Sailfish Marine

Many small tinnies come with front and rear casting platforms, full-length rod storage, bait tanks and more. Fishing is their obvious forte but these boats really have myriad uses.

I’d be packing in the camping gear, a tow toy and a few rods … then see ya Sunday.