The design brief for the SpearFish 450 (15ft) was simple: we wanted a highly portable boat that could achieve planing speeds with small, genuinely portable, outboard motors. “Genuinely portable” means 6hp (around 25kg) or less, so an efficient, easily-driven hull was required.
As almost any naval architect will tell you, the best way to make a hull more efficient is to make it longer. This is discussed in more detail on our DESIGN page, but that's the main reason SpearFish boats have their distinctive long and lean shape.
There are other benefits besides speed. The ride in waves is remarkably comfortable because she slices through the tops of waves, rather than bouncing over them. And the stability is also very good, because as soon as she heels a few degrees there is an immense amount of “push back” from those long (4.5m long) side tubes.
The SpearFish 450 can carry three adults (or two and two children), and rolls up to fit in the back of your car. This is a highly practical boat you can launch almost anywhere there's water, whatever type of boating you want to do: family days out on the river, exploring the coastline, fishing around that headland you could never reach by kayak... and we even have professional customers using their SpearFish for diving and survey work.
See our ACCESSORIES page to read about cushions and seat bags for extra comfort and clever storage.
3 adults (2 & 2 kids)
Red with light grey canopy
Mid grey with light grey canopy
Green with green canopy
The results speak for themselves. With a 6hp motor - and two adults on board - the SpearFish 450 will do about 15 knots. A typical 9ft inflatable (with roughly the same carrying capacity) might plane with 6hp and one person on board, but not with two... they'll be languishing at 6 or 7 knots.
As David Parker, in PRACTICAL BOAT OWNER Magazine (August 2016) summarised: “It is certainly both very quick, and a lot of fun.”
The benefits of longer, narrower hulls don't just apply at high speed either. At lower speeds they're still more efficient – need less power – so they combine very effectively with electric drive.
Batteries are still the limiting factor with electric outboards, and with a SpearFish you'll need less battery to cover the same distance at the same speed.
Portability was a key design consideration for the SpearFish 450. If it's easy to fold up, transport and store, you're more likely to use it more often. At 80x50x40cm, a folded SpearFish fits, easily, in the boot of most cars... also motorhome “garages”, yacht lockers, sheds and yes even some cupboards at home.
With the right technique – see ASSEMBLY – and a bit of practice, you should be able to inflate it in less than 15 minutes. An electric pump will shave a further 5 minutes off that. Deflating a SpearFish 450, folding it and putting it back in the storage bag takes even less time.
The hull – with seats, oars and outboard removed – only weighs about 28kg (61-lb). That's a reasonable one-person lift, and a very easy lift between two. And because you only need a fairly small outboard to make a SpearFish go fast, that will probably weigh a similar amount, or less. A three person planing boat with a total package weight (including engine) of less than 60kg!
For even easier portability in and out of the water we recommend the C-Tug boat trolley - see our ACCESSORIES page for more information.
Outboard motors up to 6hp are a comfortable one-person lift (13-27kg); anything larger than that is a struggle (8 & 10hp motors are about 40kg). Your choice of motor will depend largely on what you want to do with your SpearFish, but here are some of our favourites:
SpearFish 450 with Tohatsu 3.5hp
Engine weight 18kg
This combination will plane, and cruise very economically at around 10 knots, with one person on board. With two people it should still reach 10 knots but working flat out. It seems to be a very robust and reliable little engine too.
SpearFish 450 with Suzuki 6
Engine weight 23kg
We think this is probably the best petrol engine combination for the SpearFish, fast with one on board, not much slower with two, and very adequate for three.
SpearFish 450 with Epropulsion Spirit 1.0
Engine weight 18kg
An electric option, reaches speeds up to 5.5 knots (more than most river/harbour limits) and at 4 knots should have a range of at least 10 nautical miles (probably 12 or even 15nm, depending on conditions/load). Beautifully smooth and easy to use, and astonishingly quiet (quite possibly quieter than paddling, at paddling speeds!). The Torqeedo 1003 has similar characteristics, and is better known than the Epropulsion, but a little noisier.