Tel: +27 31 702-7291 • Fax: +27 31 702-7209
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Website: www.natalcaravans.co.za
Tested by Heinrich Kleyn
Length – 5.94m (19ft)
Beam – 2.35m
Weight — 755kg
Recommended hp — 1 x 150-225hp or 2 x 60-90hp
Power as tested — 2 x 70hp Yamaha 2-strokes
WHEN I visited Bill Harrison at Natal Caravans and Marine in March, he told me he wanted to show me the ideal multi-purpose boat for fresh- and saltwater. He took me to the back and showed me the Odyssey 19ft Offshore monohull, built by Angler Boats in Durban.
This was the first time I’d seen this craft and I have to say I was impressed. They had decided to fit this craft with twin outboards.
I had already heard via the grapevine that Angler Boats were busy with some new developments, but this was not what I had been expecting. Apparently this was not the development I’d heard about either, so watch out for some more surprises on the horizon.
As I mentioned above, I was already impressed with the boat Bill showed me in the workshop. Needless to say, when I saw her in the water at Natal Rod and Reel Club on the day of the test, the finished product look very different from the one I’d first seen. She was even more impressive.
It was immediately obvious that a lot of thought had gone into ensuring that this boat would be suitable for lots of different applications.
She comes standard on a braked, galvanised trailer with a space for a spare wheel. Instead of the standard trailer, you can also order her on a breakneck model, should you need to launch off the beach.
She is streamlined and very easy to tow through the traffic, and she doesn’t catch a lot of wind on the open road. Loading and offloading is very simple from the slipway, and I imagine that it would be easy from the beach as well.
MOTORS AND CONTROLS
This particular Odyssey 19ft Offshore was fitted with 2 x 70hp Yamaha 2-stroke motors. She can run comfortably with anything from 2 x 60hp up to 2 x 90hp two-strokes.
If you fit her with a single motor, it is recommended that you choose one between 150hp and 225hp. With the 70hp Yamaha 2-stroke motors she ran beautifully.
The test boat had sidemount cable controls with power-steering, making handling easy. Moving into and out of gear went very smoothly. It is very important that the installation of the steering and controls is done correctly, and in this case the crew at Natal Caravans and Marine have done a superb job.
CONDITIONS AND PERFORMANCE
It was a slightly overcast day off Durban, with a light southwesterly wind that picked up through the morning — not really ideal for testing a boat.
I took the steering from Bill and headed out of the harbour and to sea. Once we were on the open ocean I pushed her up to 4 000rpm and we cruised comfortably out to the deep. Being a monohull, she cut through the waves with ease and I was surprised that we could maintain our speed even in these rough conditions, without getting wet. Our photography boat battled to keep up with us, so I had to slow down every now and then.
I enjoyed putting her through her paces, and even with four of us on the boat she had no problem jumping onto the plane with only one engine. Into the swell she cut through the waves and we got no water over the bow.
With the swell and even without trimming the engines she did not cavitate or broach at all. Even from a stationary position into a turn, I could not get the engines to cavitate which is a good indication of a correct installation.
I must mention that even though this big craft was only fitted with 70hp Yamaha motors, she was very nippy out the hole and very quickly on the plane. It would be nice to try her with 2 x 90hp motors, which might be overkill for this boat, but it could be fun with that power on the back. The power you opt for, I suppose, depends on the application and the reason you bought her.
Even with four of us aboard, she remained very stable, and we had no problems requiring us to adjust weight-placement on the boat during the test. This is also an indication that she is a very well-balanced boat.
LAYOUT AND FINISH
People who know Angler Boats — particularly the waterskiing fraternity — will tell you that their quality is faultless. They have always built superb boats, and this 19ft Offshore is just further proof that they are maintaining their very high standard.
The Odyssey 19ft Offshore’s layout has been designed to suit both fresh- and saltwater applications. She’ll be equally at home on the dam, estuary and offshore. There’s enough room for friends and family to sit comfortably while enjoying a day at the dam, and for going out to sea to enjoy a morning’s fishing.
The boat has a carpet on the floor which is perfect for when you use it in the dams or rivers, and it could be removed when you decide to use it for deep sea fishing. She also has a removable sunbed in the bow for extra comfort for the family.
The craft comes standard with a 150 litre built-in fuel tank, and there’s plenty of storage space all over the boat, most of it hid away under the seats. There’s also a fold-up canopy that can be put up if the sun gets too hot.
The Odyssey 19ft Offshore comes with all the standard gauges, but you can always add other extras.
These days, with the effects of the recession hopefully receding, people are looking to get the best value for their money, especially when it comes to luxuries like boats — although some of us would see this as a necessity!
This great multi-purpose boat is just that — good value for money. She could be used for light offshore fishing, as well as skiing and wakeboarding on the dam. If you like to go tiger fishing on the odd occasion, she would be perfect for that too.
For those who might think she is not suitable for taking out to sea, and are perhaps wondering why we would review a boat like this, just go and speak to Bill Harrison and let him take you for a demo. I’m sure you will be amazed by this craft. She is, of course, fully seaworthy and complies with the flotation regulations. •