Stormcat - Sport Fish 5.35

Call for Price

[Review below from]

- Optioned up to tournament spec
The Storm Cat starts life as a base model with a price tag of $45,794 which includes Queensland boat and trailer registration.

The options available were a removable baitboard, Flo-Rite electronic timer for the live-bait tank, custom wrap and 48-lb thrust Minn Kota electric motor. Also an upgraded steering wheel, the 'dickie' or 'bum' seat for the forward casting deck and extra Fusion speakers as well as the Lowrance electronics package all went together to push the price as tested to $57,178. The reviewed boat was fitted with a Mercury 150hp four-stroke engine in that price and to trim the outlay back by $3,300 you may opt for a lesser horsepower in a four-stroke 115.

- Plenty of dedicated storage for all your fishing needs
There are many and varied style tournament fishing boats out on the waterways of this country for manufactures to glean ideas from. Blue Fin has picked the cream of those practical features and included them in the Storm Cat.

This boat is big on hatches with the majority of them in the forward casting platform. Hinges are relatively flat and hatches are lifted via nylon strap tabs. The decks are waterproof form ply as are the hatches with Allycore hatches being an option should you wish.

The two hatches that meet in the aft of the platform are held down by bungees onto stays on the vertical bulkhead and these will be a hassle for the fly angler so could be done away with to make the deck more 'fly line friendly'.

These two hatches open to access a very large Sant Marine moulded live fish tank that has a removable divider to separate the catch and also baffle water surge. Also the surrounding lip reaches into the well and this turns down water to reduce the sloshing that would otherwise work its way out onto the surrounding deck.

A venturi water jet refreshes and aerates the contents and this is connected to a timer on the helm console so that fish have a more comfortable time waiting to be weighed, measured and released.

An alloy pole base for the bum seat is installed on the deck forward of the live fish tank and separates another two hatches. The portside hatch is designed to hold half a dozen large lure trays on their sides which are the best way to store tackle as any water in the trays settles away from the majority of the gear.

The hatch opposite is a fully insulated ice box. It's not as big as one would expect on a fishing boat but is ideal for drinks and food for a day on the water. These boats are designed around catch and release rather than kill and fillet.

The next hatch forward is large and is where safety gear and dry clothes and the like will end up. It reaches almost to the bilge but with a false floor on which to mount a second battery for the electric motor.

The most forward hatch holds the ground tackle which is retrieved when necessary rather than left on the bow point. A pop up cleat is set here to tie off with and the Minn Kota electric motor base overhangs the port side of the bow point. We would have like to have seen the electric motor set aft of here so that it did not bear the brunt of any forward collision such as when hitting snags and jetties.

Down in the cockpit, the console is attached to the starboard coaming and is totally raised off the deck making an ideal place under which to stow tackle boxes. It is also handy as toes won’t be stubbed on any supporting protrusions.

The console has a bare forward face on which back up electronics could be mounted viewable from the casting deck and a Fusion radio is mounted in its free side.

The instrumentation is fitted into a plastic mould attached to the console and consisted of Lowrance’s HDS 9 combination unit and VHF radio as well as an accessory switch panel and the afore-mentioned fish tank aeration timer. The helm wheel was upgraded from the standard fit and was a neat six-spoke affair.

A full-length rod locker is located against the portside hull and extends between the two casting platforms. Its hatch top is fitted with springs that prop the lid open.

In keeping with the trend of having seating well aft, the two on the Storm Cat are back close to the bulkhead that supports the rear casting platform. In between those seats a sub-woofer is installed for those into 'doof-doof' and hell-raising music and no, we didn’t try it out.

A central hatch in the rear casting deck accessed a single crank battery and there is room for a second should you want to get some distance out of the Minn Kota on a big day out between recharges.

Over the back, the boarding platform had wide radial corners which we liked as this style though uncommon, is handy when working heavily timbered water and reduces the chances of the hull getting hung up when manoeuvring. A fold-down telescopic stainless steel ladder was fixed to the boarding platform portside.

A ski-pole was inserted into the transom and was at a height that will have the rope swinging above and clear of the engine cowl.

- Strong plate hull should give years of service
The 150hp four stroke Mercury was controlled by Teleflex hydraulic steering.

The hull build was with 4.0mm bottom and 3.00mm plate sides and decks were waterproof form ply covered with hook-less carpet. This hull shape differs from most constructions of boats in this calibre and especially so in aluminium in that it has an aggressive reverse chine measuring about 200mm in width running to the forequarters.

The 110-litre fuel tank is constructed of polyethylene and remaining voids around it under the deck are filled with closed cell buoyancy foam.

On the stern a double transducer mounting bracket is fitted standard.

- Very stable at speed or rest
As we found with other Blue Fin boats fitted with large reverse chines the performance is enhanced considerably. Hole-shot is effortless and undertaken with a predominantly bow down attitude and when at full throttle squeezing the very last of the horsepower out of the engine the hull remains flat with little or no rocking from chine to chine. In a nut shell, the stability has been given a real boost and this is also the case at rest when anglers are moving about. The stability all round is excellent.

We messed about trying to discern the exact point of hole-shot and it was difficult due to that smooth transition from dead in the water but it seemed to be around 2000rpm and 9.7 knots when the clean water started appearing behind the transom. At 3000rpm the Storm Cat was running at 16.19 knots and a comfortable cruise of 4000rpm had us running the Gold Coast Broadwater at 21.59 knots. A faster cruise speed of 27 knots was realised at 5000rpm and WOT of 5600rpm gave us the top speed of a tad over 44 knots.

Manoeuvrability of this boat is excellent and hard turns at speed saw a flat attitude of the hull on the surface thanks in part to those reverse chines. There was no side slip that we could notice and the hull dug in and did the job with no aeration at the propeller unless we failed to trim down for the manoeuvre.

The warranty available on these boats when sold on their original trailers is inviting with the manufacturer prepared to do a full hull replacement for structural faults during its first three years.

Specifications: Tomcat - Sport Fish 4.80
Length: 5.35m
Beam: 2 240.00mm
Weight: ~680.00kg
Max HP: 150.00hp
Fuel Tank: 110.00lt
Bottom Sheets: 4.00mm
Side Sheets: 3.00mm