The fearsome fish fighter
Nowadays, sport fishing is a sport fuelled by flybridges, diesel inboards and a galley to relax in when there’s no action. The cute Atlantic 520 centre console gives you the same thrill of fighting a smaller game fish, without the frills, and without having to spend that inheritance from Richard Branson! We check out this package from Atlantic Suzuki in Hout Bay.
Measuring in at 5.2 metres, this Atlantic makes it possible to hitch up and head to the water for a little get-away time. She’s light, weighing just 900 kilograms (dry, on the water), so expect her to be no problem when towed on her galvanized break-neck trailer – a must-have for those who want to beach-launch.
This 520 is dressed in a super-cool Dorado wrap by Vega Graphics that is sure to get her plenty of attention, as she did on our review day – which was mild in temperature and had a cool breeze which was increasing in strength as a two-metre swell rolled into the bay.
The Atlantic 520 is built to be fishing-friendly by maximizing space from which to do your angling. For this, it of course needs to be a centre console as it allows the angler the ability to move around the craft if the fish is giving it horns below the boat.
The deck is kept neat with hidden storage for your tackle, rods, bait, the day’s catch and more At the bow of the craft, you’ll find an anchor and storage lockers, a moderately comfortable seat, further compartments for your accessories, and a forward facing seat built onto the front of the console provides you with a backrest – which I would personally recommend some upholstery for in order to maximize on “in-ride” comfort. On the port-side of the console you will find a neat tackle drawer for all your fishing bits and bobs, as well as your cellphone, paperwork, and everything else, albeit slim, which needs to be kept dry. A fish box either side, approximately your Yellowtail quotas worth, is located in the walkway section, slightly aft of mid ship to ensure the boat isn’t nose heavy on the way back from a decent day out. The skipper gets to feel like a president at the podium, standing at the helm with so much power in his grasp – which for this review were twin Suzuki 60 HP 4-Strokes. The angled dash gives you a good view of the gauges while reducing glare, and affords you the option to fit a fish finder anything up to the size of a top quality Lowrance HDS-8. Suzuki throttle boxes are of course present too, and besides looking quite chic, move freely with just enough friction for consistency in rough water. They have got the option to trim/tilt the engines together or separately by the flick of a switch. Further storage is found in lockable compartments on the driver’s side of the console and is ideal for towels, gloves and more and allows easy access to the binnacle controls. The skipper’s lower backrest (on top of the portable fuel tanks, 4 x 25-litres) is built onto the front of the rear-facing seat – which is the ideal place to keep an eye on the rods at the stern, which can be mounted inside the four locking Scotty rod holders while trawling the high seas. A walk-through section to the transom allows you maximum manoeuvrability to prevent touching the engines, as well as facilitate loading if the catch is too good to be released. In this walkway you’ll also find the cover for the live bait with a clear insert to see how well they’re getting acquainted in there. Cushioning along the length of the gunnels allow your legs to be rested against the side of the boat for maximum stability, and therefore strength when winching in your monster, plus the floor is completely non-slip – two must-have’s for this type of boat, if you ask me!
This Atlantic 520 cc was fitted with twin Suzuki 60 HP, Direct Injection 4-Strokes – which pumps out a maximum of 44.1 kW @ 5 800 rpm. With twin engines, a fitted VHF radio and the correct equipment, this craft can be licensed to go up to 15 nautical miles away from land – which in the Cape, is about where you’re in good standing for some Yellow fin tuna! This foam filled and wood-free construction ensures years of easy maintenance and thus maintains the structural integrity of the craft. These DF60T outboards are rumoured by Suzuki to be the lightest in their class, so they do have a good power-to-weight ratio. What’s more, they have Suzuki’s Lean Burn Fuel Control system which means they allow for environment friendly operation as the fuel inside the engine is minimized to burn every last drop – making you go further for less spend. These compact engines are also mechanically efficient in design as they have self-adjusting timing chains and a multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection. At the back of an Atlantic 520, these Suzuki 60’s get you on the plane and going quickly – which is vital on the sea in certain circumstances, but especially when playing in the surf. If you’re going to be trawling, expect the engines to gently tick away at around 1600 rpm as you cruise at around 5 knots. With the outboard’s heart beating with little noise for those on board, the engines just sip the fuel without hesitation from the moment you turn the key. The 520 rides very nicely and I really enjoyed her smooth, comfortable ride. I had a slow chug at around 12 km/h as I headed out to sea, watching the nose gently lift and drop as the water rolled below me. The corners can be nice and tight when you need them, and a soft, inward lean makes the boat turn a bit more like a monohull. Travelling back towards the beach and with the swell, she showed no signs of wanting to dig in or plough when the motors were trimmed a little down from neutral.
I quite like the little Atlantic 520. She’s very cute and capable of providing you with a really good time. She’s lively when you need her to be and can crack on if it is pace you desire. I have no worries that this great boat will provide you with more than enough to take the fishing frenzy head on! The base price of the 520 CC with twin 60 HP’s starts at R299 000, but with twin 40’s, which is more than adequte power (top speed of around 28 knots), the choice of the 40 HP outboards makes the package more affordable for the price-conscious buyer. Also keep your eyes open for the newly launched forward console version which has just been launched!
For more information, contact Atlantic Suzuki on (021) 555 1977.