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As with other River to Reef plate boats, the 400 Magela interior can be configured to meet your needs — you can select tiller steer, side or centre console, and also tinker with the size of the casting deck. Different sorts of decks and finishes are available too.

It’s not a custom boat but, it should fit most fishing applications as is. Except for the lack of rod storage — let’s just get that out of the way early. Luckily this is easy to add. The welded incline rod holders in the gunwales available as an option are a good start.

The 4m River to Reef Magela is the smallest in the River to Reef line-up. It fits the bill perfectly for Top End estuary, river and billabong fishing and is easy to store.

The test boat was set up with a tiller steer 40hp E-TEC. This was enough to push it along at a comfortable cruising speed of 25-30km/h, with a top speed at WOT closer to 40km/h.

This is plenty for most of the places you would take a 4m boat but you can fit up to a 60hp (if you stick with the lightweight E-TEC) on the back and this little beauty would really fly. As it was, the 40 was fine and had the Magela up on the plane like a shot. This is one of the areas where the lightweight and powerful E-TEC shines.

There is an 80L underfloor fuel tank, which should translate to an effective range of 250-300km at economical cruising speeds. At barra trolling speeds, the 40 sips away at only 4L/h.

For a 4m boat, the Magela has a fair amount of room inside. The beam is slightly more than half of the overall length. A small side console would be quite possible while still leaving enough floor space for a couple of anglers and gear.

There is a small casting deck at the front with a storage locker underneath it. Just in front of that is a deep moulded anchor well with plenty of room for a couple of picks inside. More storage is courtesy of large carpeted side pockets under the gunwales on both sides. The rest of the interior is open space.

We had three people and seats on board during the test but for normal use in the Top End you would ditch one of the seats and add an esky. Not only would this give you somewhere to keep your cold drinks, a bit of weight forward always helps handling and hole shots with smaller hulls.

The handling is positive and the ride dry thanks to a large reverse chine, as featured on all the River to Reef boats. Despite the small size of the Magela, the ride quality is good. With a well-designed deep V and the extra weight of plate, it conquers chop without problems.

Stability at rest is also surprisingly good for a small deep V like this. It’s a comfortable fishing platform and is crying out for an electric motor on the bow to stalk the flats.

Like all River to Reefs, its construction is extra tough, with a couple of extra ribs adding to the structural strength. The Magela is up to the battering a boat gets off and on the water.

The Magela is well worth a look if you are in the market for a well-made plate boat but haven’t yet won the lottery. SPECIFICATIONS LOA:                       4.0m Beam:                     2.1m Depth:                    1000mm Draft:                      300mm (approx) Bottom:                   3mm Sides:                      2.5mm Transom:                 4mm Fuel Tank:                80L Hull Weight:             215kg Max HP:                   60hp Recommended HP:    50hp Price:              From $27,000.00


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