Ultimate 16 Side Console

The new Ultimate 16SC is my type of boat, with no roof and a layout that is suited for the serious lure fisherman to take advantage of for casting softbaits or stick baits to fish.  Powered by the economical and reliable Honda 90hp, then fitted with a Minn Kota electric motor and you have one serious fishing platform.

Owner and founder of Ultimate Boats, Mark Presnall wanted a ‘no compromise’ approach when they launched the new boat company in 2015 with their initial design phase through to development and construction. With a boat design that has been developed by one of Godzone’s top naval architects, using advanced CAD and techniques with rigorous testing to ensure a high quality.

Ultimate boats are built with incredible strength in mind with a 6mm hull bottom thickness as standard, compared to the industry standard of 4-5mm.  They first launched with the 21 model (21 foot) which is built with a “hull in a hull” design, this has fibreglass inside with alloy outside and a full liner, a unique design for an alloy boat in Godzone.

They then followed up with an 18 alloy model (18 foot) and I liked both boats, I discussed with Mark about the possibility of a 16-foot console that was set up for lure fishing in mind.  Mark went away and came back with plans for an exciting side by side design, this meant the entrance to the bow was in the middle with the driver seated on the right and passenger on the left.  You still got the maximum platform up the front to utilise, but also having seats for two people and better protection from the sea spray when moving.

FIRST TRIP

The boat was fun to drive as we left Sand Spit and headed to Kawau Island.  The plan was to cast softbaits and stick baits in the shallows.  It started out calm and the Honda 90hp gunned us along at 25 knots, then an easterly wind picked up and made sea conditions messy.  This was a good test to see how dry the boat was, and it was very good, the boat landed softly off each swell and the little sea spray that came in to the boat was shielded by the two large screens.  The thicker 6mm hull obviously made a difference to the boats weight and how softly it landed off a wave.

CASTING PLATFORM

The boat’s casting platform up front is outstanding, one of the best I’ve seen in a smaller boat.  Ultimate have ensured the high sides with a top rail provides the ideal support for anglers to lean into for balance in sloppy conditions or when fighting fish.  On our first trip out in the boat and we found two people can easily fish side by side up front.

SeaDek is also on the floor and tops of the boat providing traction that is perfect in wet conditions and better safety from slipping.  SeaDek is very comfortable and great on the knees instead of the harsh tread plate flooring when kneeling and removing hooks from struggling fish.

We spent the day circumnavigating the island and never turning off the Honda, it only used 23 litres for the whole trip!  A cheap day on the water and although the fishing around Kawau that day wasn’t great, on this first trip you could see the huge potential this boat offers so I was keen to take it out again soon.

BOP SECOND TRIP

The second trip out was organised with Sam Wilkinson from Top Catch at The Mount and we planned to hit Motiti Island.  We shot over early in cold conditions and started fishing the shallows behind the island where the kelp beds provide cover and plenty of food.

Sam was impressed with the amount of room for casting from the front as we drifted in and started catching nice snapper on Zman softbaits.  With a few nice fish in the bin for dinner, I looked at the shoreline where a gentle swell was breaking over some rocks and said to Sam as I cast that it looked a good spot for a bigger fish.  When bang! as the Red Bone PaddlerZ just hit the water, and I was hooked up to a good fish as it screamed line from my little Daiwa Nero 2500.  The fish powered into the shallows and I could feel the line rubbing on the kelp, so I asked Sam to quickly jump onto the wheel and follow the fish in.  We were directly above it in only 4m as I managed to get it out and we drifted into deeper water bringing the fish with us.  Sam netted it and a fat 7kg fish was quickly photographed and then released.  We were both buzzing from that and it was cool to let it go, a great fish for only the second trip out in the new Ultimate 16SC.

ELECTRONICS

The Ultimate 16SC is fitted with the Humminbird Helix 10 which is linked to the Minn Kota Rip Tide electric motor with 80lbs of thrust.  The Helix provides great features such Down Imaging and Side Imaging for locating the fish and the Minn Kota enables you to quietly stalk the shallows and hold position with Spot Lock while casting.  The Minn Kota is also deadly when fishing in deeper water and holding over a reef or mark for jigging or dropping baits.

This boat is also fitted with the new Clarion Marine Audio and CM Speakers which sound great and look cool with their carbon fibre-style interior grill.  Connecting with Bluetooth and we had our sounds playing for the day on the water.

Overall, the new Ultimate 16SC is an impressive boat that is would appeal to the serious fisherman who wants to maximise space for their fishing.  Without a roof you would probably want to only head out in fair weather, but then again with the room it provides for casting you would soon forget about it.  The 90hp Honda is a great match for the boat, plenty of power and so economical with a top speed of 40mph.  While the Minn Kota/Humminbird package also gives you an unbeatable advantage.

The starting base package with a 70hp four-stroke and galvanised steel trailer from Enduro Trailers, without electronics is $48,995.  Other options available; Bimini Roof, Bait Station, Ladder, Live Bait Tank.  Visit ultimateboats.co.nz or phone Mark 021 138 0870