Kris Sweres takes a ride in two new models from Savage – the Piranha 435SC and 455 SC.
The new design Piranha is what I’d describe as the “best of all worlds”. Its hull shape incorporates the best parts of a traditional V-nose punt with a touch more vee. This is particularly useful anglers who fish slightly choppier waters and require the sharper vee for a smoother, drier ride. The flat bottom design provides stability, particularly at rest. I found these boat to be extremely stable platforms. On the test day conditions were far from ideal with blustery winds and drizzle being fairly constant throughout the morning. Typical Queensland weather!
The 3mm bottom and 2.5mm give the hulls a rock solid feel. Both the 435 and the 455 models are available in side and centre console configuration or as tiller steer, in order to cater for different requirements and budgets.
At the bow of both boats is a dedicated anchor well which is basically a moulded plastic insert. I’d like to see the addition of a small lid to keep the anchor from jumping loose in rough seas or choppy travel. Each model comes fitted with fully carpeted fore and aft casting decks together with storage compartments hidden neatly under hinged latches. I found the Savages to be neat and tidy boats with well thought out internal layouts resulting in a clutter free environment.
To my way of thinking, these boats would suit a first time boater who wants to increase his/her fishing capabilities and perhaps have a crack at the tournament circuit – but available at a fraction of the average tournament boat price.
An enclosed rod locker is located port side on both models. A roomy area for a mid-sized boat and a great standard feature not often found in boats of this price range.
There are three seating positions which can be changed very easily to distribute weight evenly when under way. The seats were comfortable and padded and absorbed a lot of bumps from surrounding waves.
Additions such as a rear live bait tank and chopping board back up this boat’s fishing credentials.
The side console designs were great with dials positioned at a suitable height and switches for navigation lights and throttle, all in close proximity. The console includes a dedicated storage area for your keys, wallet and phone. It’s a great idea and I wish every boat maker would do this!
On the test day our boats were powered by two different engines. The 435 featured a Telwater owned 40hp twostroke Vortex outboard while the 455 featured a 60hp Evinrude direct injection two-stroke E-TEC. Each motor performed well with the E-TEC punching well above its weight. I was really surprised with the little Chinese-made two-stroke Vortex. Telwater has purposefully offered a lower priced motor on this boat to allow consumers to get on the water at a more affordable price. The Vortex was quick, quiet(ish) and well matched to the 435, in my opinion. On each rig, flat out turns experienced zero cavitation and hole-shots were very quick.
The Piranha range also come with rod holders, full marine carpet throughout and ready to go transducer bracket as standard. Small hand rails and cleats are also included, along with a three-year warranty covering the hull. Optional extras include Bimini cover, electric motor plate, full length rails and painted hulls to really increase the “eye-candy” factor.
Whether you like to admit it or not, most of us are on a fairly tight “fishing and boating” budget. Savage has really thought about giving you the most bang for your buck with these boats. Check them out and make up your own mind.