If throwing soft baits, saltwater flies, or stick baits is your bag, then take a second look at this. NZ Fishing World recently spent a bit of time with fledgeling boat manufacturer Innovision, based in Whangarei, filming and enjoying a day on board a couple of their smaller model offerings, including the very handy 515 centre console.
You may recognise their distinctive designs and unusual lines from recent boat shows, where Innovision has been showing boats for the last few years. The plumb bow and almost classic displacement trawler hull shape above the waterline, immediately signify a boat that is quite unlike most others in its class.
There’s a lot to choose from in the alloy boat market in New Zealand, so we asked Simon Minoprio, Innovision’s founder and co – designer, why would somebody choose an Innovision and what makes them different?
Minoprio is pragmatic about his position in the market. A boutique manufacturer that produces a limited number of boats, essentially to customer order.
His defining point of difference? A genuine soft ride and stability offering in the alloy trailer boat category, a unique deep V hull with fine water entry, exemplary build quality, and interior layout tailored to accommodate customer requirements.
Calling upon his heritage on the water as an avid fisherman and competitive sailor, an arena where he enjoyed notable success on the international circuit, Minoprio was frustrated by the other alloy boat offerings available. He reckoned, with some ideas he had, and inspiration taken from international designs, he could do better.
So, he did that thing that Kiwi’s love to do, set out to put his money where his mouth was and find a better way. He didn’t do this alone, commissioning acclaimed boat creators Bakewell-White Yacht Design to ensure his ideas achieved the necessary hydro dynamics.
Boats and trailers being manufactured in Whangarei, NZ
Like many breakaway designs, the Innovision hull bucks the trend of most tinnies on the New Zealand market due to the immediately apparent plumb bowline, and rather beamy footprint.
The 515 we look at here with an LOA of 5.25 metres has a beam of 2.35 metres, compare that to a Stabi 5.6 metre beam of 2.24m and a Surtees 5.5 at 2.1m, and you can see this is a boat that offers a wide and stable fishing platform out back.
Without being able to explain the nuances of chine design and it’s resulting effect on performance, Innovision hulls feature what they are calling hydrodynamic stability chines (HDSC) to target lift in the right areas once under power and counter the downsides of a vertical bow when water pushes in from the rear.
We had pretty flat conditions, so it was difficult to really get a hands on feel of what this boat has to offer in a big sea, but rolling over some good bow wakes the hull certainly feels more than capable.
Construction is solid, and you can feel it.
Alloy throughout is certified 5083 marine grade. The underfloor construction is engineered with 4 full length longitudinal girders, keel bar and doubler plate down its length. Stringers provide bottom plate support, all tied together in interconnecting frames to keep hull flex to a minimum.
In the case that you have any reservations about the build quality, there’s a ten year (that’s a decade folks) structural warranty.
The Innovision 515 centre console
At first glance the 515 looks like a sharp wee boat on the water. It’s the smallest in the Innovision range, and is also available as a sports top and a hard top.
Walkaround platforms are really designed for the fisherman, and this rig offers some really good space for two anglers to fully enjoy the benefits of having their own space.
Notably, up front, the steep angles and plumb bow design offer advantages when it comes to the dancefloor area. Where a normal raked bow design would enter into the foot space leaving a smaller triangle to play with, the 515 instead offers a comfortable space to easily stand and brace for casting soft baits or heavier stick baits and the like.
There’s really no compromise on room up front, and anglers can easily walk back to the stern to land bigger fish with a generous corridor to move in.
There’s also a comfortable bench seat there in case the standing becomes a chore.
The console itself is quite wide, with enough room for two to sit side by side and stay as dry as can be expected with the protection of just a windscreen.
There’s still room in the fore deck to stow gear up and out of the way that is completely covered from salt spray and weather.
The seat cushion hinges from the front, opening up into a tackle storage area that will take plenty of terminal gear and smaller items.
Directly underneath the seat a 90 litre chilly bin straps in conveniently, which again, maximises the available area in the stern for moving about freely.
For storage of larger items such as the usual gaffs, nets, fenders, boat hooks etc, good sized side pockets provide the resource.
The all-important rod storage duties are fulfilled with no less than 15 options around the boat.
Up front there are 5 x vertical, integrated rod holders located right behind a powered anchor winch. Bear in mind your reels are going to get a salt water hiding in this position if you travel with them here in any sort of sea, but generally common sense would prevail as to when you choose to utilise this option.
Four more rear mounted in the built in bait board out back, and another six in strategically considered positions in the rear quarters.
The Yamaha 90 horse four stroke outboard felt about right, producing more than adequate performance and economy figures, but if you are looking for more, it's rated to take up to a 130.
Finish on the boat at first glance appears to be white, however the alloy is not painted, rather it’s finished with a Naylac treatment, which is more a form of anodising. This offers advantages in that corrosion won’t be able to build under a paint layer, and it looks a lot better than raw alloy. Perhaps the only downside of this finish is staining by certain other chemicals that can react with the anodising, but that’s life with alloy, and the Naylac finish certainly looks crisp and smart.
Internal finish on the model we were testing was quite utilitarian underfoot, without soft rubber decking or carpet (always an optional extra though). Instead the boat harked back to alloy standards of old, favouring a plain alloy tread plate with rubber limited to the top deck surrounds.
Seats however, favoured comfort with generous cushioning and vinyl trim.
Whilst on the hull
By nature of its very concept, a walkaround boat naturally has a far greater risk of taking on large amounts of water quickly, specifically, over the bow. The Innovision boats build in an additional safety measure to mitigate risk as much as possible here.
Integrated into the hull structure right around the top, is a compartmentalised buoyancy ring to help prevent the boat from rolling, and worse, sinking, in the unfortunate case that circumstances ever arise swamping the boat.
What did we think of the 515?
As an inshore fishing weapon, using the boat on those better days, weather-wise, this is what you would call a big little boat.
It feels, rides, and fishes like a boat considerably bigger than its badge indicates, and provides two or three anglers all that would be needed for some epic fishing trips.
If casting lures is big on your priority list, this boat offers genuine unique advantages over most others its size, given the room available up front.
Innovision don’t have a dealer network at time of writing, so for more information try https://www.innovisionboats.com/