This tinnie takes the fibreglass bowriders head on.
The effects of the ongoing drought are inescapable, but it does have an upside ? many impoundment boaties have discovered the delights of sheltered water boating in places like southern Moreton Bay.
Fishing remains the reason most people get into boating, but a boat is no longer the all-male preserve it once was. With the influence of family life, boating today manifests itself in stylish, well-upholstered and attractively painted boats, whatever material they’re built from.
The Horizon 540 Seabreeze is a good example of the viability of using aluminium to build functional and stylish family boats at a good price. While basic aluminium hull designs offer limited comfort on open water, the 540 Seabreeze proved itself capable of dealing with a stiff breeze across open sections of the Gold Coast Broadwater obviously helped by a 12-degree deadrise, which noticeably smoothed out the ride.
We had six onboard during this test and everyone was comfortably seated. But add a bow infill (to convert the bow lounge to a casting deck) and leave the aft lounge at home and the Seabreeze becomes a well set-up fishing boat within seconds.
Family boating normally involves heaps of gear and one of the Seabreeze’s more impressive features is the sheer volume of her under lounge and below decks storage areas. Plus, between the helm and passenger seats is a large under-floor compartment.
Similarly adaptable, the ski pole on the test boat converted into a bait board by dropping the optional board into place. The 540 Seabreeze doesn’t pretend to be a serious ski machine, but the ease with which it got onto the plane with a heavy load, clearly illustrated the 540 is capable of towing a family wake toy. Also, fitted with a 115hp Yamaha four-stroke the Horizon 540 delivered excellent fuel consumption figures.
Because despite the boat’s 5.4m length and 700-plus kilo displacement, she can be easily swung stern to a beach where boarding over the transom would be easy even for non-boating passengers. Back at the ramp the team agreed, this was definitely a “nice boat!” “Yeah, not bad for a tinnie.”