BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER - BY ANTHONY GOMES - FISH AND BOAT MAGAZINE
For close to 20 years, I've had the pleasure of water testing, and fishing in a number of boats, and they all have their 'good' and 'bad'. As they say, "every boat is a compromise", but, to this day, I've been hard pressed to find anything that fits my criteria of performance, safety, efficiency, fishability, and price, apart from my current boat - a 5.2 centre console branded under the Southern Star name.
For those of you in the know, these are the hulls that were originally known as the 'Yamaha Longboat' with a partnership between Yamaha and Southwind. I actually used to own a 5.2m Southwind which I reluctantly sold. Long story short, I found my current boat, about 5 years ago, while searching for a replacement and purchased it from a guy in Hervey Bay 'as is'. This included an outboard that just wasn't up to the job, a set of basic electronics, and a carpeted floor that was getting pretty tired. I fished with this combination for many years, and put up with these few issues until recently, when I decided to bite the bullet and give my girl a birthday. Looking back at the invoices, I reckon this birthday carries the price tag that would be akin to a rockstar's birthday party, or a royal wedding. With that being said, I now have a boat that is 'like new' for a fraction of the price of a new boat.
My list of upgrades included a new Suzuki DF90A, Humminbird Solix 12", and 80lb Minn Kota, which were all purchased from, and installed by my local dealer, Quailty Marine, based in Darwin, NT. As part of the discussions with Mark Bailey at Quality Marine, I also enquired about boat flooring options, and one of them took my interest. A quick phone call was made to Kevin, at AutoCare NT, and after a series of questions from me, I gave Kevin the 'go ahead'. Now, this was all done over the phone whilst I was still based in QLD and my boat was in the NT. To say I was a little nervous would be an understatement.
I opted for a brand new type of protective floor covering, which is now available at AutoCare NT, called "polyaspartic". This is a type of Rhino lining that is offered by the team at Rhino Linings Australia and has been used extensively as a quality floor covering, among other things.
With my boat now in the hands of Kevin and the team at AutoCare NT, it was a nervous wait till I could actually get my hands, and eyes on the new flooring, which was at the recent Darwin Boat, Travel and Leisure Show. To say I was excited (and a little nervous) would be an understatement. As I walked across the lawn, completely surrounded by a stack of real nice boats, mine stood out, proudly on display at the AutoCare NT stand. I spent a good amount of time looking over the boat and talking with Kevin and the staff, and during that time, there was constant interest from the general public on my boat and the flooring. A lot of people actually thought it was a brand new boat, and honestly, with the new Suzuki DF90A sitting proudly on the transom, 80lb Minn Kota attached to the bow, and 12" Humminbird Solix sitting proudly on the centre console, and the new flooring, it certainly looked brand new.
To say that I am totally wrapped in the 'new' boat is an understatement, and the flooring has completely lifted the whole boat. There is a wide variety of colour options available with the Polyaspartic flooring, as there is with the Rhino linings, and I opted for a lighter colour, with flecks of teal/green. My main reason for this was that I wanted something lighter in colour, to keep things a little cooler, and this was proven to be a good choice as Kevin had a number of colour samples on display, in direct sunlight, at the Darwin Boat, Travel and Leisure show, and the lighter colour samples were notable cooler to touch. While this may not be as much of an issue further south, it will play a huge part up here in the Northern Territory heat, particularly as I chose to fish barefoot, like most activities in my life. The new floor lining is also 'textured' so that it will provide ample grip underfoot for those times when the deck gets water, or fish slime on it.
For anyone who is looking at flooring options, I would seriously suggest looking into the Rhino linings. This stuff is amazing as it not only looks great, but I reckon you'd be hard pressed to find any other type of covering that is going to come close to it, and the applications are endless, not just for boat or ute linings, but house flooring, bench tops, carports, basically, if you can think of anything you want covered or sealed, then I reckon it can be done, and it carries a lifetime warranty. Rest assured that I'll be putting the boat through its' paces up here in Arnhemland over the next few years and if it can stand up to the environment out here, then it's got the tick of approval from me. I'm actually seriously considering the Rhino floorings for future renovations on my house too.