RIVER TO REEF 450 WILDMAN


The new River to Reef range of small-to-medium trailer boats was developed by Darwin’s Territory Marine to meet an ongoing demand for tough, functional, seaworthy sportfishers with true versatility and at a price that will suit a larger pool of potential boat buyers.Darwin’s Territory Marine is best known for its top-of-the-range Ocean Master boats — fully customised rigs with all the bells and whistles. These are top boats but they’re not for everyone. To cater to demands for a 
well-priced off-the-rack package, Territory Marine has now introduced the River to Reef range of tough plate boats.There are four models available — 4, 4.5, 5.0 and 5.5m — with the larger two coming with a pod for the engine. There are a couple of choices available for the final configuration, so you can select tiller steer, side or 
centre-console, and add basic modifications such as a larger or higher casting deck. They are sold ready to go on a Sealink trailer (braked for the larger models), complete with electronics and a host of standard features. Ben McDonald, Territory Marine Sales Manager, had a River to Reef 450 Wildman side-console powered by a 75hp E-TEC ready to go, so I met him at Darwin Harbour to take it for a run.First impressions were of a tidy little rig. The plate hull has a pronounced ledge that functions the same way as a reverse chine to help keep the occupants dry, something that can sometimes be an issue with plate boats. The hull is extremely solidly built, with more internal bracing than you would normally get in a boat of this size. The deck is self-draining, another nice standard feature.Inside it’s set up in classic Top End style, with mostly open floor space, small side-console, 
and a raised casting deck at the front. Underneath the deck is a waterproof storage locker with a hatch held up by a gas strut. There are carpeted pouches down each side.As is typical of all the Territory Marine consoles I’ve seen, a large door on the back gives easy access to what’s inside. The test boat had a classic gauge layout showing all the basic info such as fuel, revs and trim. I understand the bigger E-TECs all run digital gauges that provide another level of information again; although the classic gauges look great and really tell you all you need to know for a boat of this size.Fitted to the test boat was a Humminbird 788d sonar/GPS unit, but you could obviously fit whatever you wanted. The 788 certainly does the job and has the advantage of fitting in the console, but some anglers will want to run something a bit bigger.The 75hp E-TEC is the biggest you can put on the River to Reef 450 and provided plenty of poke. A 60hp will also work well on this hull if you wanted to save a bit of money.Trimmed properly (thanks Ben) the 75hp E-TEC revved to 5000rpm, by which point we were doing a respectable 63km/h as measured on the GPS.Of more interest to anglers, cruising at 3500rpm, we were still doing 42km/h and 47km/h at 4000rpm. It’s a reliable and economical outboard and, combined with the 100L fuel tank, you can cover a lot of distance.The hull performed well on the (flat calm of course) testing day. I threw it into some tight turns at speed and there was no sign of any cavitation or slipping. It dealt with what chop we could find — in the form of boat wakes — with ease. At rest it’s a stable casting platform, with enough depth to get your knees under the gunwales.The 450 Wildman is an ideal all-rounder for fishos looking for a solidly-built plate boat that looks good, performs well and won’t break the bank.www.territorymarine.com.au

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