There’s a rumour doing the rounds. It’s about an aluminium hull that has the big boys looking over their shoulder. They say it rides like a glass boat, looks like a glass boat, but can take punishment like a tinnie. It doesn’t have a name like Outlaw, Bandit or Renegade, which suggests you’re about to battle 1000 wart-faced Orcs with a wooden crossbow. It’s called Morningstar and it’s built in Taiwan. But don’t let the name or origin mislead you. This thing is a highly stealthy weapon.
Jack and I had heard the rumours. So we marched down to the local dealer and demanded a test run. Where would you take a 4.6m centre console tinnie powered with a 60HP outboard? To the continental shelf, naturally. So we packed the 30 and 50 wides, some waterproof gear, a whole cooked chicken, some deep diving lures, gaffs, and some more waterproof gear. And a mask, snorkel and steamer to stay dry – above the waterline. That’s the done thing when you go the shelf in a little console tinnie, isn’t it?
“The ride was special. Every bit the performance of a glass boat – a good glass boat.”
There were surprised looking faces at the shelf, peering over their wave-breakers. “What’s a tinnie doing out here?” They weren’t as surprised as Jack, who declared all the rumours true. The ride was special. Every bit the performance of a glass boat – a good glass boat. Soft as a duck feather pillow, clang-free and dry. I wore Ugg boots all day and they didn’t soak in a drop of salt-water. No mask and snorkel required…
The math was impressive. We used 15 litres of fuel to get to the shelf and a total of about 60 litres for the entire day. The hull leaves the water clean and green. It wants to plane at less than ten knots. That’s a seriously efficient hull. Below the waterline is where the magic happens. There’s no exposed keel (typically an H-section of alloy on a tinnie) creating drag. It’s sharp at the pointy end, with impressive features either side of the keel. The hull gets lift from reverse chines, planning strakes and a variable dead-rise that fits the description of a glass boat. If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was a Haines Hunter 445 hull (which we happen to own). It’s impressive innovation that might change a few opinions among the brand loyalists and blind fatalists.
Footnote: The Morningstar is not just a one-hit wonder. The Captain’s crew have taken the 460 Angler to the shelf on half-a-dozen occasions – in good seas and bad. On their most recent trip they landed a 150kg+ blue marlin to go with hauls of yellowfin and albacore. When it’s not being used for fishing adventures, the 460 is used as a camera boat, carrying more gear than an SAS reconnaissance patrol. Yep, the Captain’s crew have grown pretty fond of the little Morningstar.
Weight – 870kg (overall)
Price as tested – $32,990
Phone: 02 9999 5558