Published On: Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015

McLay 460 Softie Trailer Boat

A sheltered bay at Lake Coleridge

A sheltered bay at Lake Coleridge.

McLay 460 Softie Trailer Boat

The McLay Softie range extends from 2.4 metres to an impressive 6 metre model.

Although Steve McLay has been build­ing alloy boats at his Milton factory in Otago since the early 1980s. Southern anglers will no doubt be familiar with the hugely popular McLay Fisherman in par­ticular.

The Softie models are a relatively new development. The most notable feature of which is the closed cell EVAfendering running around both sides. This stuff is the same material that is used in your lifejacket. So one immediately obvious advantage is that the Softie must surely be one of the most “unsinkable” of all water craft. This buoyancy is further enhanced by the addition of a fully welded 4mm tread plate floor creating a water tight compartment.

Note how the chines have turned back the spray despite the south-wester on Lake Coleridge.

Note how the chines have turned back the spray despite the south-wester on Lake Coleridge.

Another advantage of the foam is that it provides a ready-made fender the length of the boat. This has obvious advantages when coming along side a launch or yacht. Indeed there will be some launch opera­tors who will recognise the advantage pro­vided by the Softie range when consider­ing a new tender.

A further advantage to the foam, apart from its buoyancy, is that it also improves the ride capabilities. The chines moulded into the EVA foam turn the bow wash away from the hull giving a smooth, dry ride in rough conditions.

The EVA foam is extremely tough and resilient. This is further enhanced by be­ing coated in a polyurethane similar to that used inside utility vehicle decks. This is turn is coated with a UV protectant about 2mm thick. This UV coating also enhances the appearance, and can also be painted a different colour.

The McLay 460 gave an excellent ride in the rough conditions during mid-afternoon.

The McLay 460 gave an excellent ride in the rough conditions during mid-afternoon.

It may be called a Softie, but the foam is actually quite tough. It takes a reasonable amount of pressure with the hand to make any impression on the surface.

The marine grade aluminium hull, deck, sides, and transom have all been given a special surface enhancing treat­ment. This consists firstly of being buffed and acid washed, which creates an attrac­tive silver finish. The surface of the alu­minium is then fully coated with Nyalic to provide protection and prevent oxidization. Nyalic was developed for Rockwell Aviation and was used to protect Apollo spacecraft from the harsh environments of outerspace, the heat of re-entry, as well as the corrosive effects of saltwater splash­downs.

It drys crystal clear and is incred­ibly durable. It is guaranteed never to chalk, chip, crack, peel or yellow!

A good view of the McLay 460 showing the Portofino style transom and tough polyurethane coated sides.

A good view of the McLay 460 showing the Portofino style transom and tough polyurethane coated sides.

The McLay 460 Softie is after all a fish­ing boat, so what better place to put her to the test than on the often choppy water of Lake Coleridge , in the Canterbury high country.

John Butler, from Butler Marine in Christchurch had decided to bring the 460 up to the lake for Opening Weekend. I couldn’t wait to see how it would handle. By mid-afternoon the south-wester was blowing and Coleridge was covered in white tops. Well at least it would be a good test, and the chance to shake lunch all the way down!

The 460 Softie handled the lake far bet­ter than I expected. Most notably the high sides, and cabin height, together with the fenders, gave a very dry ride and feeling of security.

A forward hatch is a bonus alleviating the need to scramble over a slippery deck.

A forward hatch is a bonus alleviating the need to scramble over a slippery deck.

The cockpit is huge! Plenty of room to walk around, fish – and to fit a downrigger!

Specifications: Length: 4.6 metres Beam: 1980mm Internal beam: 1480mm Transom Deadrise: Variable 16 degrees Approximate weight: 340kg

Horse power recommended: 40-85 Price Includes:

Marine grade 4mrn chines (bottom). 3mm sides and top

4mm transom Portofino style transom Dive ladder Dash handrail.

This is a safe boat for lake fishing, as well as use in saltwater, I strongly recommend you get John to give you a ride. The McLay 460 Bow spit with rope guides

There is plenty of room in the cockpit for four anglers to fish comfortably.

There is plenty of room in the cockpit for four anglers to fish comfortably.

Battery Storage with hatch cover Cabin shelves

Wrap around perspex screen Steering

Swivel helm seats Self draining scuffers Ski tow

Self draining anchor locker hatch

Fully welded 4mm tread plate floor giving underfloor buoyancy.

D shaped closed cell foam fitted measur­ing 400 x 250mm

Tough 2mm polyurethane coating with W protectant over foam

Softie is a lot of fishing boat for the money. I particularly like the extra safety and ride comfort the soft fenders provide.

The helm features wrap around perspex screen, handrail and sufficient height to afford good protection from the wind.

The helm features wrap around perspex screen, handrail and sufficient height to afford good protection from the wind.

Optional Extras available:

Rods holders.

Rocket Launcher – six rods.

Painted top:

Centre mounted padded top fish bin.

Live bait tank.

Auxiliary outboard bracket

Full length keel wear strip.

Economy trailer:

About the Author

Profile photo of Allan Burgess

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.

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