McLay 530 Fisherman As the name suggests the McLay 530 Fisherman has been designed and built with the serious angler…
As the name suggests the McLay 530 Fisherman has been designed and built with the serious angler and diver in mind.
This is a no-nonsense serious fishing boat ideal for the angler who wants a spacious fishing platform, together with a boat that can handle rough offshore sea conditions, or venture out on our big southern lakes with a good margin of safety.
McLay Boats are built in the small South Otago town of Milton. But there is nothing small about this manufacturer, with McLay being one of the most respected and largest aluminium boat builders in New Zealand. Steve McLay believes that the measure of a great boat is one that can cope with an adventure. So it is with the McLay 530.
The 530 Fisherman incorporates all the innovation and built-in features that you would expect from a manufacturer with over a decade of experience building aluminium trailer boats. The alloy construction is both light-weight, strong and functional. The underside is 5mm marine grade alloy, and the sides and top are 3mm. The fully welded 4mm tread plate alloy floor is divided into a separate watertight compartment designed to keep the boat afloat even if capsized. All the alloy surfaces are coated with Nyalic for both protection and to keep your new asset looking great for years to come. The clear Nyalic coating, incidentally, prevents mud and fish guts from sticking! A quick blast with the hose and it washes away without a trace!
I was very impressed with the 530 from the outset. The layout though simple makes good use of the alloy construction material and the overall feel is one of ruggedness and solid design. The cockpit space is enormous! It measures 2.530m x 1.730m. Great for stand-up light game fishing. You really do get a sense of being able to walk around.
Seating is limited to a pair of swivel plastic bucket seats with removable seat and back cushions mounted on alloy pedestals, with storage space accessed from the front. There are other seating options available such as back to back seats at a small additional cost. However, the wide coamings can easily be coated with stick-on rubber mats to provide heaps of additional seating space once you get to your fishing spot. Heaps more space is provided for storage. The battery is housed in the transom behind a pair of drop-down doors. There is plenty of extra room inside for lifejackets and so on as well.
The sides have long spaces available to store rods, though rod holders stick down from above getting in the way to some extent. The huge area under the Portofino transom is big enough to store five 20 litre tote tanks or in my case two, and a big tackle box.
here is a large locker in the floor with a tread plate hatch cover that hinges upwards to allow access for cleaning. If you wanted you could easily convert this space to a large 80-litre underfloor fuel tank – which is an optional extra. If you filled it with ice it could also serve to store your catch. The cabin, though providing plenty of storage away from the rain, isn’t long enough to lie down and sleep in – unless you are only 1.2m tall!
Two simple plywood covers hide storage space underneath in the cuddy cabin. Side lockers with well-positioned fronts also provide backrests should you wish to sit down inside to get out of the rain for a while. The 90hp Merc provided plenty of power to make the 530 get “out of the hole” and away very quickly. It certainly wouldn’t take long to get from Kaikoura’s South Bay down to Goose Bay!
We used our 6hp Johnson for trolling at Lake Coleridge on Opening Day and found that it pushed the 530 along very nicely, and was even capable of getting the big McLay up on the plane. We trolled for hours on the six using only a few litres.
If you’re after albacore tuna off Kaikoura, snapper in the Marlborough Sounds, cray diving and blue cod fishing out of Motunau, boating around Banks Peninsula, cod, salmon and shark off Otago Peninsula, blue cod around Stewart Island, and comfortable lake fishing, then this is the trailer boat you need. Towing is a breeze.
In many ways, this is a lot of boat for the money – total package around $28,500 with trailer and 90hp Mercury Outboard.
Approx. Hull Weight: 480kg
HP Required: 60-100
McLay Boats Limited
85 Union Street
P.O. Box 47
Ph 03 417 8135Fax 03 417 4135
This post was last modified on 16/02/2018 2:20 pm
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