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The solidly-built Formosa Tomahawk side-console, with an array of optional extras fitted for Darwin’s Quality Marine, the NT distributor, is a beamy, high-sided boat which keeps the water out and the ride smooth.

The first things you will notice about the new Formosa 580 Tomahawk side-console are the smooth lines and open-floor design. This is an extremely good looking boat on the water.

The Tomahawk series of boats from Formosa come with the following design improvements: •    a self-draining aluminium deck with two scuppers fitted at the transom end; •    a 100mm reverse chine which ensures excellent tracking performance in tight turns, great weight/balance distribution when fishing at rest and, more importantly, a smoother/drier ride through choppy conditions; and •    a raised sheer line which provides even greater protection from large swells as well as additional space and freeboard to the top deck area.

The Tomahawk series has noticeably deep sides and wide beams, which allow for generous onboard room and the comfort and freedom to move about anywhere inside. It also features the new stylish fast-back transom.

The Tomahawk series also come standard with high tensile 5083 aluminium 4mm side and bottom sheets. These boats are built extremely tough and will not let you down in rough conditions. We tested the Formosa 580 Tomahawk from Quality Marine in Darwin Harbour with a stiff 15 knot sea breeze blowing in from the north. Even though the conditions were still relatively calm in the sheltered waters, there was still a half metre chop, which the hull handled with ease. We were most impressed with the dryness of the hull in these choppy conditions. We travelled at right angles to the prevailing wind and the reverse-chine hull design reduced the spray markedly, keeping us dry at all times.

The test boat was fitted with a Suzuki 140hp four-stroke motor. This particular hull is rated to 150hp, which would be the way to go for long-distance trips with heavy loads. However, the hull still performed well with the 140hp fitted and produced a top speed over 60km/hour at a maximum 6000 rpm. It also cruised at a very respectable speed of 50km/hour at around 4600 rpm when trimmed out.

The 580 has an incredible amount of room in its open-design layout. With storage lockers fitted in the front casting deck and transom areas, the open layout leaves plenty of room for fishing gear and eskies. Other standard features include welded, under-floor structure with longitudinal hull structure, pillar-style side ribs, aluminium anchor well, carpeted, enclosed battery shelf with storage, bow sprit and roller, fully-welded side decks, 600mm side-console, four seat positions, 32mm rail tubing front and rear, side pockets, sounder bracket, hydraulic steering, fuel tank with fuel gauge, transom door, folding ladder, 2 swivel seats and poles, painted hull, six-way switch panel, nav lights, anchor lights, bilge pump, rod holders (4) and battery box.

The standard fuel tank for this hull is 200 litres which is ample for this sized boat and allows a trip range of around 400km. The test boat was fitted with the largest tank size for this range of boats at 225 litres. It also came with a few other optional extras that included a 5mm hull bottom sheet, two extra chairs, deck wash, Humminbird sounder and custom-built bait board.

With all of these optional extras, a three-year structural warranty and a hull size of 6m overall, this is a large boat that is reasonably priced on the water at just under $60,000. A standard Formosa Tomahawk 580 side-console fitted with a Suzuki 140hp motor will come in at around $56,000.

For further information, phone (08) 8947 2066; email


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