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School principal interview delivers an excellent lesson in buying boats

by John Daffy 2 May 12:04 UTC
Jeff with wife Sue showing some Canadian friends around Moreton Bay in his AMM Sea Class 4900 Centre Console. © Australian Master Marine

Interviews can be daunting for many people, but according to former school principal and assistant regional education director Jeff Munce, the one he underwent recently was an excellent lesson in how to decide which boat to buy.

The Brisbane-based retiree has owned a small flotilla of boats over the years including those under the brand names of SeaJay, Quintrex, Abalone and Hooker so this time, and with some boating education already successfully completed, a custom alloy plate boat was likely to figure highly on the final report card.

According to Jeff, the process of first being 'interviewed' about his boating needs by a boat builder, rather than having a salesperson attempting to 'sell' him a vessel already existing in a boatyard, was an entirely new experience.

"I needed someone to guide me through the right set of questions and to give me the 'fors' and 'againsts," Jeff said.

"I was after one of around five metres. I wanted to be able to cruise around the reefs near Cardwell and I wanted a wide console."

"Some years earlier, around 1999, I was looking to build a plate boat and Australian Master Marine was recommended as one of the companies that made a quality boat."

"However, they were more expensive than mass produced hulls, so at that time, I bought other boats. But when someone offered to buy my current boat, I thought, well this time I might build my plate boat."

"I needed someone to guide me and Matt (Thomas) at AMM interviewed me about my needs. I really liked the interview process where you say to them what you are looking for and Matthew asks questions around that and then gives you the for and against arguments."

Ultimately Jeff decided on an AMM Sea Class 4900 centre console primarily because he wanted to be able to easily launch and retrieve the boat single-handed at times.

At other times, he wanted to be able to fish with two, three or four mates.

"I wasn't really sure whether to fit trim tabs in that sized boat," Jeff said. "Matt and his brother Barton took different viewpoints. But there was no pressure either way - just the for's and against. My son said trim tabs were a waste of time, but I did go with them and now that he has borrowed the boat a couple of times, he now says gee, these trim tabs are good."

"There's no such thing as a dry open boat, but this one is as close as you're going to get."
"Down at Jumpinpin with that side breeze, I just lift that side a little bit and you're as dry as anything."
"It's not big there, but it's choppy and it has been windy this year."
"I've been over to Moreton Island a few times coming back it is not broaching or pulling to the side or anything. There's none of those bad habits."

"The bow doesn't sink in and go under, or dig in or anything like that even 'tho it's sharp."
"One of my previous boats had a big vee - the thing used to broach down a wave and you couldn't control it."

"Matthew said the AMM might rock a little at rest because it's a deep vee and a smaller boat."
"I have to say it probably moves a little, but not as much as I thought Matt meant. I think it's more than reasonable."
"When you're getting a boat built, you never actually get to try it so you're really relying on the reputation. Anyone can make a boat look good."

Jeff's customised AMM has 5mm plate allow bottom sheets, a wider console fitted to accommodate the electronics, a Suzuki DF90 and a 140 litre underfloor tank to extend the range, hydraulic steering, deck wash, live bait tank, dual batteries, a 140 litre Evakool mounted to the deck and a host of customised items for comfort, convenience and practicality.

It sits on a custom-built AMM alloy trailer. According to Matt Thomas: "Jeff's personalised plate alloy boat has come up a real treat... and it was a welcome change to be interviewing the principal in my office rather than what sometimes happened many, many years ago."

Further details on Jeff's boat and AMM's customisation capabilities are available on the company's website:

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