The words ‘affordability’ and ‘sportsfishing’ are rarely used in the same sentence – especially when whatever you’re trying to buy is even half-decent; but that’s where the Ocean Pro 240 steps in, providing you with all the thrills and only small bills.
Based in Vereeniging, to the south of Gauteng, Fairide Marine presents the all-new Ocean Pro 240. This builder first came to the party with an impressive line-up of bowriders, then flipped the tricks and brought out a decidedly customisable pontoon boat. Now they’ve done it again by ensuring they’re ready to cater for you no matter your style of boating; by unveiling this forward-consoled mono-hull for the offshore market. We meet up with Honda Marine Somerset West to see what this ski boat has to offer.
This Ocean Pro was the very first one made and was rushed to meet the strict deadline of the recent JHB Boat Show. As a result, the finishing in the fibreglass work wasn’t quite up to scratch and Fairide Marine’s usual attention to detail isn’t quite as evident – but this was just the prototype, per se, and I believe that the very next one produced will be back to the high standard I hold their craft to. Even so, it’s not hard to look past the ‘rough’ edges to see the diamond below the surface as this craft is actually pretty well designed.
Aimed at the offshore angler, the stern is a spacious, open-air area which is ideal when you have a couple of mates all trying their luck on the reel at once – good fishermen would easily be able to fight two up at the same time. Built into the deck is storage for up to 10 portable fuel tanks in two lockers as well as a generous-sized fish hatch on either side of the craft.
The cockpit is simplistic yet functional in layout. At the helm you’ll find the usual things an angler would want, such as the tackle-drawer in the port-side gunwale, a neat dash in which you could place your choice of equipment, and rocket launchers on the sturdy T-top to hold your rods. The helm is open and gives you a breeze of fresh air; but if you, like me, are wary of ominous Cape Town weather, clear plastics can be fitted as an optional extra to close off the cockpit.
What’s nice about the Ocean Pro 240 is that it has a cabin on board which is accessed from the helm. Although it will mostly be used for its heaps of storage space, it is a nice getaway for the wife and kids if it’s been a long day on the water.
Every boat has to have at least one trick up its sleeve – and for the 240, it’s found in the skipper’s chair. Folding out from below, there’s additional seating which face rearwards; meaning there’s seats for two when you want it, or just slide it away and you’ve got all the space you want back in the stern area. Nice! It also has a handy storage compartment for all the things you’d want close at hand while the fish are on. Also welcomed by anglers, look forward to a live-bait well at the transom.
The 240 we were on was pretty much the base model; there are plenty of extras you can fit, depending on what fishing you’re planning on doing, so make sure you check out the options when placing your order.