DALE’S DREAM BOAT
Last year a mate mentioned I should look up a guy by the name of Dale Hamilton when next in Broome. Of particular interest was a custom fishing boat Dale had designed over 12 months ago and he was soon to take delivery. I missed him last year, but then I was driving on a Broome beach a few weeks ago and he pulled up alongside, immediately recognising the truck and boat. Since then we have met and chatted a few times, his partner Amy has done her skipper’s ticket course with me and of course, I just had to see check out the new boat.
Let me say first up, Dale is very passionate about fishing and you could talk to him for days about it. For a relatively young bloke ( compared to me anyway ) he has a wealth of knowledge and is only too keen to share it. He knew exactly what he wanted for his purpose private fishing boat and the final product is testament to his primary aims, which were plenty of fishing space, a boat that could go anywhere and an electronics package to match. Dale is a member of both the Rapalla and Simrad pro teams and competes extensively with Amy in game fishing competitions, but is equally comfortable chasing barra on nearby cattle station pools. Being a bit of a mover and shaker, he organised various sponsorships for his vessel, with Simrad being the main player here. So when I went to check out the vessel last week, I was obviously full of questions. A centre console boat of 8.5 metres, with no enclosed cabin, might seem unusual, but remember Dale’s primary aim-fishing space! I seriously reckon you could fish up to eight people comfortably at anchor. Alternatively, if drifting near reef casting poppers for GTs, you need space so you don’t end up with a treble through your ear lobe, with most fish easily fought from the bow. A creative feature is the addition of a compact open flybridge, where the skipper has an excellent view of the surrounds. Perfect when retrieving the boat in tricky conditions, searching for baitfish schools or manoeuvring once a game fish is hooked. When doing remote Kimberley trips, stretcher beds are laid across the gunwales with ample room for swags down the side of the vessel. Other features include 700 litre fuel tank, 250 litres of water, toilet, boat catch for easy drive on retrieval, Simrad down imaging and side scanner sounders, AIS, radar, auto pilot, Zipwake trim tabs ( essential for achieving optimal planing speed and fuel economy in all conditions ), Mercury 350hp Verado, 100 litre fridge, 100 litre freezer, kill tank ( used as an ice chest to keep the refreshments cold on extended trips ), anchor winch and the list goes on.
Dale is very conscious of the potential issues when boating in remote locations and so we had a serious chat about the safety equipment. He ensures all crew are familiar with this equipment and know how to kill the motor immediately, especially in the unlikely event the skipper were to go overboard from the master control on the flybridge. It is refreshing that in spite of all the fish Dale catches, he is not a freezer filler and just loves the hunt. They usually keep just one fish a day, so no wasted fishing time, no bloody boat and no need to keep fish on ice for days on end. This is definitely fishing for the future and the fun.
To answer last week’s question, the opposite weather pattern to El Nino is La Nina. This week’s question is, “Which fish is widely regarded as the fastest in the ocean?”
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