This roller coaster of emotions often ends with a “comedown” drive home that leaves you feeling like Peter Dutton at #ScoMo’s Christmas drinks. But, the show must go on and this boat review is testament of my ability to put myself through emotional turmoil and present you with a review of what I reckon is one of the best boats on the market, the Offshore Marine Master (OMM)...
It had been nearly three years to the day since my last review of an OMM. That boat was a 575 Walk Around and it particularly struck me as an exceptional value for money proposition. It was solidly built, had plenty of beam, was loaded with neat features and to top it off, had a very neat price.
Following that review, I became hyper-aware of anything to do with the OMM brand, following their builds and even checking their various models out when crossing paths with owners at boat ramps.
In that time, I noted a few important things. They are repeatedly acknowledged as a serious proposition by the experienced end of the fisho scene and are often purchased for use in remote and treacherous waters. Also, they seldom appear for sale on second-hand listings - indicating to me that owners don’t like to part with them.
To labour that point, Fish and Boat Magazine’s very own Peter Ford is an OMM owner and a couple of years back, he gave his a bit of “spring clean”. This included banging on a wrap, upgrading his Suzuki, putting some Deck Armour down and doing a few cosmetic touch-ups. I asked Peter at the time if he had considered just selling up and buying a new boat. His answer was simple “Don’t need to, it’s perfect for what I do.” I did not take Fordy’s endorsement lightly. When a fisho of his calibre uses the word “perfect” to describe a boat, it speaks volumes…
So, obviously, some pretty big wraps in there for an operation that runs out of a small industrial shed in Caloundra. But why? What makes OMM boats so awesome? Having reflected on that question, I have nailed it down to a combination of a few things.
Firstly, owner Jason Norup is a hands-on boat builder. Not one to sit back in the air-con and delegate, Jason is heavily involved in every build right from the initial customer consultation through to delivery. Essentially, every build is a ‘custom’ experience where buyers really do end up with the boat that suits their needs.
Secondly, one of OMM’s trademark features is their Ultra-V Hull. Critical for any offshore fisho is having a boat that can cut through the swell but also sit steady at rest. The Ultra-V achieves this by combing a swell slicing deep-V and XL chines with a very rumpy beam. This feature really is a deal-maker.
Finally, the mention of ‘customisation’ has most punters wincing at the thought of dollar signs but I can assure you, a starting price of 80K for a 6m plus offshore boat is more than reasonable and very comparable to mass-production hulls.
All in all, OMM are very credible within their segment, and if you are in the market for an offshore boat, then please read on.
No secret, I am a massive fan of the Walk Around Cabin layout. In my opinion, you lose very little console and cabin space whilst gaining the ability to walk unhindered from bow to stern. Mind you, my lower back is a bit average, so I will always choose an option that saves me from popping through hatches.
I suppose that is the point though - the choice between a cuddy or centre cab really comes down to the user. Personally, I really like the 360 access and am not bothered by the fact that if it is choppy, a centre cab will probably mean things will be a little wetter on the deck.
The cabin itself is spacious with enough room for a quick kip. Storage is aplenty with removable hatches revealing a “porta-potty” and enough room to house all the safety gear.
Moving into the console area, the buyer of this boat opted for a Lowrance Elite 9Ti. Accompanied by Suzuki digital gauges, Volvo trim tabs and a Fusion stereo, this OMM appears to be looking the goods.
In terms of other comfort’s, a slide out bimini, portable stove recess and fresh and salt deck wash’s certainly add the finishing touches.
Out on the bow, I identified one of the cooler innovations I have seen in recent times. The bow mounted electric motor is becoming an absolute must, and better technology has meant that they can hold their own out in the deep blue. However, fitting them around bow rails and drum winches can be a bit of a problem. In order to have a trouble-free deploy, Jason has engineered and fitted a split-fold bow rail. This means the Minn Kota can function problem free and when not in use, safety is not compromised – a great feature.
The build is solid as always. The foam filled 6mm bottom with 4mm floor and 4mm sides combined with a 2.5m beam makes this a proper QLD offshore boat.
A powerful boat needs a powerful outboard, and a Suzuki 175 got this beast pumping. At 4500RPM, we pushed along at 24 knots. At 5500RPM, we hit 32 knots. Combine that with the sizeable 230L fuel tank and you have yourself a very capable boat.
Although we didn’t hit any major swell, the overall ride was excellent with the hydraulic steering icing this cake beautifully.
Unfortunately (again), I had to hand this boat back, but one day, it will be mine. Packages start from $80,000. There were a few extra inclusions on the model we tested but if you want all the specs, give Jason at Offshore Marine Master a ring – a top boat.