Bassco Tornado CC with 115hp Mercury Pro XS

The Bassco Tornado is a locally designed and built centre-console that is a rare combination – it holds a stack of tackle efficiently and you can seriously tackle oceanic species.

by Steve Morgan •

It’s hard not to get enthusiastic when talking to Michael Boag from Bassco boats. The Gippsland Lakes boat builder has a solid history in building big, diesel-powered fibreglass boats and only recently turned his hand to making smaller boats designed for fishing.

Cleverly, though, when doing his R&D, Michael enlisted the help of anglers.

“I know it’s a strange concept – actually talking to the guys who will use the boat,” he quipped sarcastically during the video interview (scan the QR code hereby for details), “but for me, layout and the ability for a boat to securely hold all of your gear and to keep it dry is a benchmark that I judge a fishing boat by.”

Wayne Mauger is equally at home on an estuary of Port Phillip Bay in his Tornado. You’ll notice that Wayne has accessorised his Tornado to the hilt.
Mercury’s 2.1L 115 Pro XS 4-stroke is a class-leading power plant that adds excitement to any performance craft. It matches the red hull nicely, just quietly. It delivered maximum economy of 2.4km/L, giving a theoretical range of around 350km with the 140L fuel tank.
You know that the Tornado will turn heads at the ramp and on the water. The boat drives on and off the trailer with ease.
The transom is clean with access points contained behind access hatches.
You can store more rods in the side pockets if 8 isn’t enough in the central locker. Too many rods isn’t enough.
I dare any angler to be unimpressed by the cavernous central rod and tackle storage. This one holds 8 rods and 14 tackle trays, while being dry and secure.
Plenty of anglers nowadays appreciate a carpet-free interior. You do your cleaning with a brush and hose rather than a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner.
A single-axled trailer with mechanical override brakes is all that’s needed and this rig is towable behind most family cars.

After all, locally built craft have to compete with imported fishing boats that have had decades to evolve to a point where they are a pleasure to use.

I’m happy to report that not only are the Bassco boats seemingly well built, but they will hold the gear of the biggest tackle junkie for a social or tournament angler.

Bassco customer Wayne Mauger brought his Tornado along to the test day. He came out of an American built Triton bass boat into the Bassco and couldn’t be happier.

“This boat does everything that my bass boat used to do, but I can still get out and fish offshore,” Wayne said.

“I like to sit down when I drive a centre console – which is unusual – but to me, this handles like a 7m boat,” he continued.

Unfortunately, the test day was glamour , with not a ripple on the water, so we couldn’t independently test the tide in nasty conditions, but we did see how much tackle this thing gobbles up.

With eight rods under the deck and another six around the console, the Tornado boasts 14-rod storage along with 20 tackle trays that are actually accessible.

Whether you are needing a livewell or a kill box, there’s a great, plumbed box under the console seat that serves both purposes.

Powered by a 115hp Pro XS Mercury, this sure is a fun boat to drive. The 2.1L 4-stroke powerplant delivered great economy at 4,000rpm cruising speed (2.4km/L at 46km/h) but stretched out to a mid-70km/h maximum at 6,200rpm.

The Tornado jumps onto the plane easily with the 115 Pro XS Mercury. Wayne likes driving his centre console while sitting down.
It’s impractical to flush mount a sounder into the console, yet the Humminbird fills the console top nicely.
Step up to the front deck for your lure casting. From the console forwards, it looks and fishes like a bass boat (but without any carpet).
Moderate transom deadrise offers a balance between wave cutting ability and shallow water draft.
There’s plenty of room to move up front – and the grab rail is a handy place to grab while you are doing so.
Single-axled trailers allow for easier manoeuvrability in confined spaces – like a standard garage.

There’s also a cavernous fuel tank underfloor, boasting 140L capacity and a theoretical range of around 350km, and that’s plenty for a weekend away!

With a package price of $50,999 for the boat/motor and trailer, it’s up to you after that to accessorise with electronics and electric motors of your choosing. Wayne certainly hasn’t skimped in any of these areas, with top of the line Humminbird and MinnKota gear finishing his rig exactly as he likes it.

For more information, give Michael Boag a call on 0417 545 593 or visit their Facebook page (Bassco Boats). They don’t have a website yet, so don’t look for them there. But if you’re considering a local alternative to an imported fishing boat, you do need to throw a Bassco into the mix!

Length – 5.0m
Beam – 2.07m
Transom Deadrise – 20í
Capacity – 4 persons
Max hp – 115hp (special build 150hp available)
Hull Weight – 690kg

RPM – Speed (km/h)
Idle – 4
1000 – 8
2000 – 12
3000 – 29
4000 – 46
5000 – 61
6000 – 74
6200 – 76