3000 Express Power Boat - Artful Snodger
The Kevlacat 3000 Express is an adaptable dayboat and overnighter.
Just ask popular dodger on Snodger, Phippsy.
Business and/or pleasure! Either way, likeable television
compere Andrew Phipps Phippsy as he is know to Queenslanders
who religiously tune in to his outdoors, fishing and lifestyle
programs has an envious lifestyle.
Trade-A-Boat recently tested Phippsys pride and joy,
his brand-new 8.0m Kevlacat 3000 Express called Snodger. With
an LOA of 9.3m and a 2.8m beam, Snodger is impressive and
almost the perfect all-rounder for Queenslands coastal
Phippsys commission to Kevlacat was for more than just
a fishing and photography platform for television commitments.
The boat had to be suitable for taking his family and friends
to the secluded beaches and bays up the coast from Noosa.
It also had to serve as a platform to get away from it all
in the extensive and beautiful lakes and everglades of the
upper Noosa River and, of course, blast out to the offshore
reefs with mates for some serious fishing.
Importantly, the boat also had to be capable of safely crossing
the treacherously shallow Noosa River bar and Fraser Islands
Wide Bay bar, which present the most restrictive obstacles
to boating around this part of the world.
With a background as a fisherman, chef and television fishing
show host, Phippsy has seatrialled a variety of boats used
by charter operators and professional fishing guides.
It was during one of these offshore fishing trips several
years ago that Phippsy first became enamoured with Kevlacats.
Filming a fishing documentary around the reefs offshore from
Hamilton Island onboard a 8.2m Kevlacat, the crew were beset
by a week of strong wind warnings.
Although most craft were confined to port by the high winds
and rough seas, Phippsys crew were at sea with a cameraman,
producer and soundman producing footage for prime time TV.
This admiration evolved into Phippsys own boat, Snodger.
Phippsy selected the same basic Kevlacat hull for his boat
with the deck and interior customised for his specific requirements.
Such a course is typical of many of the craft emerging from
Kevlacats Sunshine Coast factory.
Kevlacat has earned a reputation from a network of satisfied
government and commerical users, as well as coastguard and
rescus organisations. Add to that many satisfied private owners
and its easy to understand why the companys order
books are maintained at a healthy level.
Phippsys power boat is not going to win any beauty contests
but the layout suits its multi-purpose role. The layout is
best described as an open dayboat set-up.
Comprising a sheltered helm deck below a substancial hardtop,
its been compared to an enormous open-space living room
thats adequately ventilated by large sliding side widows
and open to the cockpit at the aft end.
The starboard side features the steering station with helm
chair, wheel and throttle controls. Forward on the console
(in clear view) are mounted the compass, Lowrance sounder
and GPS. Aft of the steering station is a galley workbench
with integral basin and freshwater taps, while below is a
12V 110lt Waeco domestic refrigerator.
To port is a navigators seat. Aft of the navigators
seat is a dinette seating four adults comfortably. This converts
to a three quarter bunk for, say, two children.
The aft seat of the dinette houses a heavily insulated built-in
As with most powercat configurations the cockpit space is
A large, centrally-mounted icebox (capable of easily holding
around 15 large Spanish mackerel or cobia) also contains a
bait storage box and filleting workbench. Stainless pillars/grabrails
support stanchions to a soft awning.
The covering boards have low stainless rails, while below
are convenient lockers for gaffs, nets, tackle boxes, gloves,
The transom contains a huge livebait tank, with enough capacity
for any fishing situation. Battery storage and oil reservoirs
are concealed below.
A swim platform between the outboards neatly finishes off
the transom area.
Our test was conducted at Noosa in conditions that ranged
from slight sea and swell to a moderate to fresh 20-25kt northeast
sea breeze with the associated short steep choppy seas. Swell
on the Noosa bar was approximately 1.5m.
Snodger is powered by twin 200hp Mercury Optimax outboards
and there is no doubt that the engines are quiet, smooth and
Having fished on three different versions of this hull it
is interesting to draw comparisons on handling performance.
Fuel and water tanks were full and there were two onboard,
as well as an assortment of fishing gear.
Low-speed manoeuvrability is very good and, as with most cats,
tracking is straight and true. Even in a moderate crosswind,
the hardtop version presented no undue tendency to misbehave
when berthing. The response from the Optimax outboards was
As speed was increased the transition was effortless. A few
more revs translate into a few more knots, simple and smooth.
Snodger is fitted with Mercury Smart gauges, which give digital
readouts of motor performance as well as fuel consumption
figures at various revolutions.
Blasting across the Noosa bar was a non-event in this boat.
I made Phippsy complete the run another three times to prove
the first run was no fluke.
During each crossing the big Kevlacat would impressively eat
up the sea and chop as if there was nothing there.
Blasting across the Laguna Bay at 35kt, in 15-20kt of NE wind
chop, had us floating on a cushion of air.
Travelling at high speed offshore in conventional V-bottomed
boats is rarely possible but good cats make it effortless.
It is amazing how this type of boat can eat up the miles so
quickly and comfortably.
When I think of all those trips out to the offshore reefs
and islands off the Queensland coast where 50-70nm runs can
take a painfully long time, the added performance of this
type of hull is put into perspective.
Kevlacats Fred Temminck is well known in Mooloolaba,
and is the Pied Piper of the gamefishing fleet. When Temminck
starts fishing, the whole fleet aggregates around his boat
like a school of mahi mahi. So when the weather is less than
ideal and most other fishermen stay in port, Temminck and
wife/deckie/skipper Michelle head out in search of fish.
He has used his own boats as a test platform to refine and
improve the Kevlacat hulls, and fishing every weekend in all
kinds of weather gives him the justification and knowledge
that the hull refinements he makes are in fact an improvement.
It is reassuring that this boatbuilder and boat designer spend
the hours on the water in their craft, and not all of their
time in the office simply selling boats.
Indeed, the performance of this 8.0m Kevlacat hull is outstanding.
It has long been recognised this hull works well, and with
the recent refinements of the spray strakes, its even
Snodger, in outboard configuration, is ideal as a fast overnighter
or dayboat. Should gamefishing or commercial fishing take
priority, then the shaft diesel or sterndrive offer greater
manoeuvrability and economy.
The incredible separation of shafts in the powercats offer
unparalleled manoeuvrability when chasing sportsfish or gamefish.
After the boat test I had a number of visions of the suitability
of the Kevlacat 3000 Express.
While we often look towards larger craft and dream of owning
a bigger boat, sometimes the most ideal and functional are
those that are simple and reliable.
In bygone years, many considered the Bertram 25 flybridge
to be the ideal dayboat/overnighter. The Bertie (and similar
boats) are still great boats and although many manufacturers
have tried to copy the concept, none have replaced it.
But the Kevlacat 3000 Express has raised the bar.
It has that same dayboat layout with an optional lockup facility.
And its trailerable (just) a lot faster, and is capable
of negotiating shallow lagoons before drying out on a sandy
beach or in a sheltered bay.
With each outing I become more and more convinced about this
For more information please contact Kevlacat by phone on 07
5472 8470, fax 07 5472 8559 or email:
Article taken from Trade-A-Boat, June 2001
to customers specifications
reinforced with kevlar. Wheelhouse GRP reinforced with
composite sandwich panels.
Rated hp (ea):
twin installation (2 x 200hp)
Optimax 200 direct fuel-injection V-six @ 60?