Boat Reviews

CLASH OF THE TITANS!

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CLASH OF THE TITANS!

In ancient Greek mythology, the Titans were a group of powerful gods eventually dethroned by Zeus and the Olympians. But in the offshore boat market, this colossal 4-ton dedicated sports fishing boat is set to reclaim the noble status the elder Titans once enjoyed.

It’s hard to imagine any serious angler that WON’T fall in love with the new Titan 300 Express Cruiser. Very few boats live up to their hype – but the Titan 300 EC does! With its strong, solid build, majestic lines and a regal appearance, I eventually ran out of superlatives to describe the Titan 300 EC when I first laid eyes on her. This aesthetically eye-popping 9 m (30-ft) mammoth of a craft was a real head-turner during our recent review in Langebaan.
The Titan 300 is no stranger to the pages of Leisure Boating. In the January 2009 issue, we ran a 10-page feature on the Titan 300 Walk Around, where we did an extensive test of the boat’s capabilities during a 133 nautical mile, long-haul fishing expedition into the Atlantic Ocean. The Titan proved her worth, and rose to the occasion. With some impressive economic credentials, her capabilities as a powerful offshore fishing boat gained the admiration of all the crew members that accompanied us that day.

However, with several new upgrades and subtle modifications, the Magson Marine design team drew up the new Titan 300 EC model by finding the proper balance for the family fisherman – a serious offshore sportsfisher that can accommodate the wife and kids without compromising anything in terms of fishability.

With the elimination of the Walk Around, the constructors of the Titan 300 EC utilised this space to extend the saloon area – which is now less cramped and more family-friendly. However, this doesn’t take anything away from the craft’s overall competency as a primary fishing boat as the now larger aft deck makes it possible for four anglers to roam around comfortably and fight fish till kingdom come!

The high-density foam filled catamaran hull was a proven characteristic on the previous model, and was again the basis of construction with the Titan 300 EC. I’m still of the opinion that a solidly built catamaran hull (as found on the Titan 300 EC) is more capable of withstanding and handling the notoriously rough Cape coastal waters. And it does – with aplomb!

Although weather and water conditions weren’t exactly the most “testing” on review day (overcast and wind-still weather, with glass-like surface), Langebaan Lagoon is still a sight for sore eyes. Owner Lionel van Rensburg is a man totally smitten by his new fully-kitted Titan 300 EC, and even named her Somnior (((ITALICS))), meaning dream or dreamer – a fitting description as this is the boat that dreams are made of.

DECK LAYOUT
If you manage to divert your eyes from the gleaming exterior of the Titan 300 EC, you’ll also notice her very ergonomically-designed deck layout. Starting aft, the boat’s open plan saloon area can be enclosed with tempered glass and sliding sides that’s easily folded away for protection against the harsh elements of Mother Nature. Just aft of the saloon features a self-draining deck with moulded non-skid surface, padded thigh-high gunnels (750 mm) and an optional outside bait station that doubles up as an extra seat, should you wish.

Moving into the big, spacious saloon that’s modernised with shiny stainless steel fittings and teak decking, you’ll find a very comfortable L-shaped seating arrangement with plush upholstery and storage underneath, shaping towards the port side. With a padded driver lean seat, a galley with sink and fridge, six cupholders, and a large recessed dashboard for sun protection, it felt I was onboard a Riviera or Fairline! Not only is the saloon roomy, but also very luxuriously custom-built.

The enhanced cabin is neatly constructed into the bow of the Titan 300 EC. There, you’ll find a bunk bed with storage underneath, cupboard, adequate lighting and a built-in electric flush toilet. It’s not exactly five-star accommodation, but it’s the perfect refuge for those long fishing trips, or when a friend or family member is overcome by sea sickness or fatigue and needs a couple hours of shut eye. Lionel even requested the fitting of a flat screen television in the cabin for the kids.

The helm station is a multitude of high-tech and all-encompassing instrumentation for all your fishing and navigational needs. This specific Titan 300 EC was fitted with a 21-way switch panel, Garmin GPSMap 4010 fishfinder, Yamaha speedometers, VHF radio, and Fusion CD/radio/MP3 player, hydraulic steering with stainless steel steering wheel and even a control switch for the floodlight.

FISHING
The Titan EC300 is clearly a fishing boat with family features, not the other way around. At the stern, you’ll find a big stainless steel transom gate for hauling big fish aboard. Most of the fishing fittings are optional extras, but well worth the additional money outlayed. With two beautifully constructed bait boards with rocket launchers, live bait tank plus plumbing, electric pumps in fish boxes, cutting boards, chumming trays, bait boxes, bait storage compartments and several rodholders, even die-hard saltwater anglers can find balance in their lives between family and fishing, often combining these two loves to fulfill the best of both worlds. That’s what the Titan EC300 is all about.

PERFORMANCE
The Titan 300 EC came with power steering, which made it handle like a Cadillac. Sharp turns port and starboard felt incredibly stable with very little leaning sensation. I sensed no slide, and the boat only slightly decelerated. Burying the throttles, with trim equalled out, I brought the boat to plane in 3.5 seconds with minimal bow rise.

At 6 000 rpm, I found a top end speed of 80 km/h, incredibly quick for a 4-ton, fully-loaded mammoth. I found a sweet spot at 3 600 rpm, where the Titan 300 EC ran comfortably at 38 km/h. This 30-footer can handle 450 horsepower with ease (fitted with 2 x 225 HP Yamaha 4-Stroke motors), she also proved extremely economical. A long, slow roll moment made the Titan 300 EC feel very stable drifting beam-to the seas. At slow trolling speeds, the alleys remain clear. Bumping it up only caused slight subsurface turbulence.

CONCLUSION
Let’s get straight to the point: Magson Marine’s new Titan EC300 is one of those boats that immediately feel’s right. Nothing to incorporate, or adapt to, simply an immediacy that speaks of boat builders looking pleased with themselves and a hell of a lot of boxes ticked. All features and the Titan 300 EC trademarked designs converge into a stable, beautiful fishing platform for today’s demanding anglers. But it’s also a boat that’s comfy and friendly towards the family man.

Apart from its powerful performance, agile handling for a boat in its weight class and nearly every fishing and boating amenity you can think of, this is a boat that’ll hook you on fishing for life. However, if you want the maximum out of this boat, you should forget about the cheap and cheerful, and rather go for the all-the-bells-and-whistles option, which currently stands at R1.3 million (as seen in the review). The team at Magson Marine does custom jobs, and will tailor fit this boat to your exact needs. Either contact Magson Marine on (021) 854 7500, Ernie Magson on 083 234 9735 or simply visit www.magson.co.za for more information.

AT A GLANCE LOA 9 m (29.3-ft)
Beam 3 m
Draft 500 mm
Dry weight 2 500 kg
Engines 2 x 225 HP Yamaha 4-Stroke
Max people 9
Fuel 600 Litres


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