They say that dynamite comes in small packages – and when it comes to the Elf 1350 Fisherman, the old adage certainly rings true. Never again will you have to be choosy about your secret fishing spots as this fun runabout will allow you to cruise the waterways all day on a little more than a whiff of fuel.
There are a number of reasons why smaller runabout boats could suit you, but topping the list has to be practicality. Measuring just 4.08 metres in length with a beam of 1.7 metres, the Elf 1350 Fisherman is just so easy to own. Light on its trailer, easy to launch and a pleasure to skipper, this craft is sure to be desired by those looking for something extra nimble and affordable. What’s more, it punches above its category too as it can handle both fresh and saltwater adventures, thanks to its wet deck which allows any water which may make its way onboard to be quickly drained out the back.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a 13- foot craft can offer little more than the bare essentials, but really, the Elf Fisherman is geared towards giving you all that you could need for a day’s angling at your local hotspots. While the centre console design for good stability on the craft, it also provides for a walk around layout with rod storage in both gunnels. There’s also padding along the sides to give you thigh support when you’ve up against the side and reeling in a decent catch.
When it comes to seating space, the Elf offers up a variety of options. The skippers chair is wide enough to seat two, albeit snuggly, or you can make use of the two separate seats at the stern. Of course, rearfacing cushioning up front on the bow will be the ideal space with plenty of legroom. Storage areas are located underneath all of the seat bases and should provide enough room to store the day’s goodies and all the tackle you’ll need.
The floor of the Elf has got a non-slip texture to it, so even though the wet deck drains the water away, you shouldn’t be slipping or sliding all over the show when under way. With the skippers chair turned sideways, instead of straight forward like a jetski, the helm is comfortable to sit at, or even stand at, if you’re trying to negotiate some tricky waters.
Almost unbelievably, our little review Elf 1350 Fisherman was kitted out with Mercury’s bullet-proof 30 HP. This outboard is uber frugal, meaning that you can really cruise the water all day long and hardly see a difference in the fuel tank! Remarkably, the powerhouse outboard pushed the Elf extremely well – even with three solid gents on board. It climbed onto the plane neatly in around 3.5 seconds and accelerated right up to top speed. Unfortunately, a speedometer wasn’t fitted, but a blistering pace isn’t what the Elf is all about anyway. With my estimate of around 50 km/h, it certainly felt more than quick enough for this boats purpose. I kept the throttle at around 60% which provided a good cruising speed across the slightly choppy waters of Knysna’s lagoon. At full flight, the hull feels light as it skips across the water’s surface, while at cruising speed, the shape of the trimaran cathedral hull provides a cushion of air to keep the ride soft and smooth. In tight corners to both the left and right, the boat leans inward, grips the water, and turns on a dime.
The Elf really is a powerhouse package, offering all you could need to get on the water at an attractive price tag. Sure, you may not get the size of bigger boats, but you save yourself the hassle of needing crew… And a fuel budget.