Boat Review Date: June 2017
Author: Mike Brown
At the small end of the Cyprus-built Karnic range of fibreglass boats, the Smart 1-48 is offered in no less than 20 claimed versions. You can have this 4.8 metre boat tiller steered, side console, centre console midships or aft. Then the subtleties kick in: wide or narrow console, layout of seating and how much of it. It is usually aluminium boats that offer this Lego kind of variation (Karnik calls it modular design), but none I can think of offers so many.
The review boat opted for the wide, midships mounted centre console, a platform cum seat forward, and nothing for the driver to sit on (which possibly made this a 21st version). There are a couple of seats alongside the motor incorporated into the standard moulding. They are definitely casual seats, being also the lids of locker boxes.
The absence of anything wanted – possibly a driver’s seat, although this is far from a universal want – can be rectified by the agents.
There is an unremarkable hatch in the deck ahead of the console that gives access to a Tardis-like volume of storage. The compartment is long enough to accept fishing rods, which is a boon for those who cherish their equipment because there are no side pockets to do that job. There were just two coaming mounted rod holders on our boat, which probably sounds a bit on the tight side. On the other hand this is a boat selling in a hotly contested market segment where an extra pair of holders adding over AUD $100 to the boat’s price is something needing thought. It is a simple handyman-type job to fit your own after market holders.
One invisible extra fitting that is well worth its price was given a place on board: low friction control cables. Rounding up on lobster pots, parking alongside jetties, lining up for driving onto the trailer and other busy manoeuvring tasks are all occasions to make you bless the man who fitted them.
Despite the wide console (really only wide compared with the small alternative) moving fore or aft past it is no squeeze if done sideways – which is the natural movement if you are working a fish. A positive advantage of the width, besides the extra storage volume, is the area available for mounting electronics. The Honda trio of gauges plus the radio leave room for a decent combo screen.
Many imported boats appear to come from countries where anchoring does not take place. Cyprus, it seems, is not one of those countries. The Karnic’s arrangements are not elaborate but there is a bow roller in place and an anchor well. What more do you really need in a boat of this size?
The 1-48 is rated for up to 70hp and I have no doubt it could cope with it easily. Equally, it did very well with the 50hp Honda fitted. There was no dramatic bow high transition from displacement to planing; we just went faster. The boat appreciated us getting the motor trim just so, but it required very little movement of the leg to achieve it. Driving was a pleasant experience. The slight sea helped, but all the sensations were good: the boat’s motion, the fingertip handling, the quietness (a combination of fibreglass hull and four-stroke motor).
Stationary, behaviour remained good. For its size, the Karnic is a very stable boat.
All the Hillarys anglers who were our incidental spectators at the photo session commented on the Karnic’s good looks, and how it looked a lot bigger than the official 4.8 metres. I agreed with both opinions. It has a lot of bulk, which is far from offensive, and that is possibly due to the reverse sheer styling.
A price of AUD $30,000 is one more attractive feature of a likeable boat.
Price as reviewed AUD $30,000
Length overall 4.90m
Hull length 4.80
Fuel capacity 50L, two tanks
Motor fitted 50hp Honda