Is this the dream boat that you can actually afford?
December 19, 2019
Fledgling boat brand, Prodigy Boats, claim to offer a high performance aluminium boat range that deliver performance, safety and most of all unbeatable value. How much value? Up to 30 – 50% cheaper than competitive brands.
How is this possible considering the other boat brands you might know well that are already in the market?
Quite simply, the boats are built to New Zealand specifications, imported fully constructed from a factory based in China.
The only thing added once the boats are landed are the customer’s choice of outboard and electronics, and perhaps a custom decal wrap.
Thomas Pfenniger, Director of Prodigy boats, a carpenter by trade, with a lifetime of experience owning some twenty or so trailer boats, conceived of the concept to bring in boats when he was struggling to find exactly what he wanted out of a boat at a price he was prepared to pay.
Researching the overseas market Tom found a factory that offered a solution that he felt worked for him, and might well work for others.
What is different about the Prodigy boat range?
Primarily, the boats feature a unique deep V hull with twin chines, that Pfenniger claims offers a smoother, softer ride than shallow draft alloy boats that tend to bang and slap in even a mild sea.
The deep V is certainly quite obvious when the boat is viewed on its standard twin axle trailer.
Prodigy have specified 5mm alloy used throughout the boat, hull, sides and top, with fully welded girders at 300mm, so the boat is not compromised at all for strength, rigidity and hull integrity.
The hulls carry a 3 year factory warranty.
The other key features include huge self-draining scuppers and sealed float chambers for safety.
Specification wise, Prodigy boats are available in a range of layouts including walkaround or cabin models, in sizes from 5.8metre to 7.5metre and larger on request.
There’s a fair amount of personal customisation available at build time, so you have the opportunity to create the boat fit specifically to suit your intended purpose.
NZ Fishing World spent a day at sea with the flagship 685 Offshore demo model, fitted with twin 115 Honda outboards.
We loved the boat.
Without doubt the boat’s ride was certainly comparable or better than many of the other big brand boats as claimed by Pfenniger. It was stable at rest and provided a superb fishing platform with the walkaround a welcome facility when flinging soft baits and lures with a couple of fishos on board.
What’s not to like?
We are really keen to see the best out of the hull’s ride delivered with the help of trim tabs, which fitment of the twin Hondas did not allow room for on the demo model. A big single would likely offer a better dynamic and additional element of control on the boat we tested.
Buyers can specify single or twin engines in any brand they like, so it might pay to bear this in mind.
To have such a massive cost saving there is also a cosmetic compromise when closely inspecting some of the finish detail around some welds and other fittings. To be expected, you can’t have everything at a cheap price, so you make a call as to what is important to you.
Overall the boat was very impressive, and it’s plain to see that it should find a good number of fans in New Zealand that are keen to get the performance offered at the extremely competitive price point.
If you’re interested in more detail check out the Prodigy website https://www.prodigyboats.co.nz/