Conraad 1051 Sports Fisher

By: Gary Lovell

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Made for leisure, but capable of battling rough seas, the hardy Conraad 1051 Sport Fisher successfully combines style and functionality

Conraad 1051 Sports Fisher
Conraad 1051 Sports Fisher

At an overall length of 10.75m, the Conraad 1051 Sport Fisher is an impressive sight on the launching trailer. Named after the native bird, the oystercatcher, by her new owner, Torea will be used for fishing and leisure in the Marlborough Sounds and surrounding environs.

Transported from Tauranga to Wellington by road, Torea was put through her first serious test on a voyage across Cook Strait to her new home at Waikawa Bay, Picton.

"It was pretty rough," owner, Ken Small says of the crossing. "The weather was supposed to be from the nor’west all day but it turned southerly earlier than expected and we hit the rough weather about halfway across. It was so rough that at times we couldn’t see the South Island, and the seas were quite steep. The boat handled it really well though and the slowest speed we got down to was about 13 knots."

Her maiden voyage follows in the wake of a Conraad 1020 that is based in Wellington and frequently crosses the strait to the syndicated owners’ holiday baches in the Marlborough Sounds. They find it quicker, cheaper and more convenient than catching the ferry and then taking their boat from Picton.

The 1051 Sport Fisher is the flagship of Metal Works Innovation Ltd’s stable of boats, which includes the Conraad 875 and 925 Sportsfisher, although over the seven years that the company has been producing boats its reputation for quality has seen it fielding orders for catamarans, rescue boats, commercial fishing boats and charter boats as well.

Designed by Scott Robson, the fine entry, 20 degree deadrise at the transom and wide reverse chine gives the Conraad 1051 good sea handling characteristics and sets it apart as a blue water boat capable of handling rough water.

Metal Works Innovation Ltd retains tight control over quality by doing nearly everything in-house; cabinetry, fairing, painting, lining, etc.

Metal Works owner Les Coenraads says, "The high standard that we achieve is only possible because of the pride and passion that our staff have for their job. Without that, maintaining a consistent level of quality would not be possible."

And the finish on the boat is impressive – it needs a bang on the hull to be able to pick this boat for aluminium – no sign of welds anywhere without opening hatches or lockers.
The hull is constructed from 6mm 5083 marine alloy; the topsides 5mm and the top 4mm plate – all faired and coved to a high standard.

The boat is powered by a 370hp Iveco N60 370 SD diesel featuring, according to Paul McGovern of Lees Delta Marine Ltd, "the latest advances in diesel marine technology – a common rail injection system. This system measures and delivers the exact amount of diesel required to run the engine at any given rpm, producing an extremely powerful yet efficient package".

The engine drives a heavy duty Konrad 520HD (US Navy spec) stern leg fitted with a  25" pitch four blade stainless steel prop through a ZF88C 1:1 gearbox.

Sea trials show a fuel consumption of 38.7l/h (or 1.7 l/Nm) and a speed of 22.6kns at 2600rpm, giving Torea a range of about 295Nm from the 500-litre fuel tank.

All of the equipment installed on the boat is of high quality and specified to be able to do the job with ease.

A bowthruster fitted to Torea gives the Conraad 1051 pinpoint accuracy for manoeuvring around the marina, however for most uses the stern leg proves adequate, particularly when reversing.

Instrumentation is all Simrad, with a CX44 GPS, chartplotter, and fish finder, Simrad 36 Nm radar unit and AP26 Autopilot, along with the very impressive Iveco engine management system LCD display. This is all set out on a stylish, well laid out and finished dash.

Lowering and raising the anchor is via a Maxwell RC800 winch with RC 560 automatic chain and rope controller over a double track bowsprit.

The winch is operated from the helm with a working light built into the front of the cabin to view chain coming in at night, as well as a deck light attached to the pilothouse top. The winch motor and drive can be easily accessed through a hatch in the cabin bulkhead.

Vision is excellent through the toughened glass windscreen of the saloon/helm, which, although not equipped with wipers, has washers fitted above to clear the windscreen of salt, grime or early morning dew.

Sliding windows port and starboard open wide to keep the saloon cool and fresh on a warm summers day – for the cooler nights in the South Island, Torea is fitted with a diesel cabin heater.

The forward cabin sleeps three; one on an athwartships high bunk and either two singles or a double below if the insert is put in place. There is space for another two on the saloon settee when the table top is removed.

The upholstery on Torea is macrosuede, which is used for high quality furnishings because of its hard wearing and easy cleaning attributes. It also looks very stylish and is extremely comfortable to sit on.

The galley has plenty of bench space and the finish to the cabinetry is excellent.

The built-in 130-litre 12-volt fridge is complemented by a 110-litre freezer situated under the settee. It provides excellent freezer space, with easy access by opening the hinged end of the settee and pulling out the chest freezer on castors before lifting the full size top to access the frozen goods.

The oven, stove top and hidden hot water califont are supplied with gas from the gas bottles stored in a seat/locker, which also holds a rubbish bin in the cockpit just behind the saloon.

Metal Works Innovation has used LED lights wherever possible, including navigation lights, cabin lights, and deck and cockpit lights. A master stroke is the hidden strip lighting in the ceiling of the saloon, which gives a warm overall illumination.

This boat has a tonne of storage, but if you are going away for a few days, as the Conraad 1051 is capable of doing, it will never be too much.

Inside there is storage under the rear end of the bunks, under the cockpit floor accessed from inside the saloon, under the settee and also under the step up to the seating. Then of course, there is the storage in the galley.

The cockpit also has plenty of storage, with shelves along either side, lockable lockers above, a locker in the transom, battery and water tank in a hatch just forward of the motor, a wet storage locker under a hatch forward of that, smaller wet storage at the rear of motor bay, and bait tanks in the floor on either side of the cockpit.

The engine box has been built up to allow enough height for it to be used as a seat or table top to spread out the lunch. The extra height is used as a large storage box – about 200-300mm deep. The top of this has been upholstered for seating with a vinyl cover when not in use – or for alfresco dining after a successful day’s fishing.

There are two large scuppers in the rear of the cockpit providing quick discharge of water if the boat is hit from behind by a large breaking wave.

Anything else would be handled by the height of the cockpit floor, which is sufficiently high to keep the cockpit dry under almost all other circumstances.

Shower, handbasin, and electric maserating toilet are accessed from the port side of the cockpit, and are complemented by a maserator on the discharge side of the black water tank. This is fitted with an ultrasonic level monitor viewed on the dashboard.

Another unique feature is the removable davit, which can be positioned towards the front of the cockpit either side or at the rear. This is an ideal piece of equipment for lifting craypots or a scallop dredge and has an electric winch with a good quality clutch for protection of the equipment.

Says Les Coenraads, "We’ve used this same system four or five times and it works really well. We have one client who uses it for hapuka droppers and he finds it fantastic. It runs at a good speed but if it gets loaded up, the clutch will slip, protecting the winch."

Sound insulation in the engine bay quietens the motor so that normal conversation is easily achievable at cruising speed either in the cockpit or in the saloon – even with the door open.

Power steering on the helm was firm but responsive and holds the boat in a straight line in flat water without trouble. Similarly, the throttle is smooth, firm and sensitive, requiring little movement to achieve the desired result.

The last word is left to Les: "We put in a lot of effort to make sure that the boat is quiet and comfortable to operate and is a pleasure for our owners to use".

I’d say mission accomplished!



Base price $310,000 incl gst

Overall length  10.75m
Hull                   6mm 5083 marine   alloy, topsides 5mm and top 4mm plate
Engine             370hp Iveco N60 370 SD diesel
Fuel capacity   500-litre fuel tank
Deadrise          20 degrees

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