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 watercraft. This buoyancy is further enhanced by the addition of a fully welded 4mm tread plate floor creating a watertight compartment.
Another advantage of the foam is that it provides a ready-made fender running the length of the boat. This has obvious advantages when coming alongside 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, in 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.
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 an 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 outer space, 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!
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-western 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.
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
Horsepower 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
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.
Optional Extras available:
Rocket Launcher – six rods.
Centre mounted padded top fish bin.
Live bait tank.
Auxiliary outboard bracket
Full-length keel wear strip.