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There’s nothing like a day out on the open water and it was time well overdue. We got in touch with Ben from B.A. Boat Hire and booked a boat rental for a full day for the following week.
Booking your B.A. Boat Hire
B.A. Boat Hire gives that personalised touch when it comes to booking one of their flashy looking red boats. Booking isn’t done through an impersonal online automated system. It’s more charming and old-school by dropping an email or picking up the phone. It’s about getting to know you a little. Ensuring you feel comfortable and safe going out for the day. Just making sure you have the best experience. A service which is often hard to come by these days.
A quick reply back and we were booked in. A quick transfer of the deposit to their company account and it was all confirmed. As we’ve hired from B.A. Boat Hire before, the process was a little quicker and Ben knew we had some previous boating experience. The impressive bit is, we hired over a year ago and he still remembered! (Let’s not talk about forgetting to take the fenders in when we left – what boating experience?!).
B.A. stands for Ben and Anne who, in our opinion, offer not only the best boat rental service in Adelaide, but in South Australia. The whole process is seamless, hassle free, convenient and just easy. Having owned a boat before, and no longer owning it for these reasons, boating can be a bit of a headache. The maintenance. The cleaning. The storage or mooring. The worry of it. We could go on but sure you get the picture. B.A. Boat Hire removes this burden so you can just walk on and walk off a ready moored, perfectly cleaned, maritime standard safe and exceptional maintained vessel.
We’d arranged to hire the bigger of the 2 boat rentals available. The 6.5m Amara Centre Cabin which has been available to hire for about a year and only departs from North Haven boat ramp. Ben was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. And this is one of the best bits of the day. Seeing your boat with the sunrise glowing behind you, sitting in the water at the end of the ramp, eagerly waiting to take you out on your adventure. It’s inviting. It’s one of those moments where adults and children get equally as excited (just the kids show it more!).
Thankfully Ben helped us take all our gear down to the boat. You can imagine how much stuff 4 women had crammed into the car, just for one day. Poor Ben, he properly thought we were hijacking his boat for a week! A few minutes later and we’re all done. Rods check. Bait check. Kitchen sink check. Car parked in the carpark and it’s down to the boat for an induction and safety briefing.
We were taken through all aspects of the boat – safety and non-safety equipment onboard. Not a single inch was missed as to what we might need for our day out. Essential equipment is all easily accessible, everything else conveniently stored. Just what you would expect from a hire boat which meets the strict maritime safety regulations. And this is quite an unusual find in Australia for a boat to meet these standards and also be available for tow away hire. There was plenty of time for questions and double checking anything we weren’t sure of. This induction gave us the peace of mind we would be safe, including how to use the Honda 8hp back up motor in the unlikely event we would need it.
As we’d not taken the Amara Centre Cabin out before, Ben came with us for a quick run on the water. Not only so we can get used to the feel and handling of the boat, but also because we had not used an electric anchor winch before. With Ben still onboard, it gave us just that little more confidence in taking this larger vessel out. Aspects such as the handling being slightly delayed so you didn’t need to overly turn to compensate, and the tilt on the Honda 150hp only needing slight adjustments to get it into a comfortable position meant we now knew what we were doing!
If you are interested in finding out more about the ins and outs of the Amara Centre Cabin, check out this informative review from Fishing Monthly.
On the water
As we headed out, the drone went straight up to follow us out of the marina. This was also the windiest part of the day! Trying to land that little chopper on moving water proved to bit a little challenging but the main thing was we did manage to get some footage! And then we got lucky! The 25km/h winds we were expecting, never happened. It was a perfect day to be out there on the Gulf St. Vincent.
First, we headed to the end of Sempahore Jetty. The tides had already turned a while ago and were against time to catch the crabs running. We were too late. One under sized crab. That was it! What we did notice straight away though was the stability of the boat. You wouldn’t even notice 4 adults moving around all at the same time. This is the ideal fishing boat to hire.
After a disappointing start, we headed up to Norma Wreck and it was a great opportunity to really try the boat out. It comfortably sat around 18 knots and it wasn’t until a bit later that we really opened her up!!
Norma wreck = no fish! But boy does that electric winch make life incredibly easy.
We stayed here for a while as the drone went back up for a play but frustration from lack of bites kicked in. We liked the positioning of some of the blue markers on the Hummingbird fish finder and found the one that Ben mentioned where whiting had been caught the previous day.
New position = no fish! Apart from one undersized blue weedy whiting!
Time to head over to St. Kilda direction. The ocean was flat calm. Perfect. The decision was also made to all be in the front cabin as we headed over, as 2 front and 2 back felt a little bumpy on the way to Norma Wreck. Taking her up to about 24 knots, we think it was safe to say everyone enjoyed the sea breeze and the endless sun glistening over the deep blue ocean. The one notable difference with the Amara compared to other smaller vessels is the welcomed wind protection offered from the centre cabin. It also prevented some serious sunburn that day!
Another feature we loved about the Amara was the decent sound coming from the FM/AM radio onboard. Usually, you find these radios don’t go loud enough over the sound of the boat in full motion, waves crashing and wind blasting. But this radio was ideal, when moving or anchored and added to the fun atmosphere of the day.
The tides were turning back at this point and a few crabs started to make an appearance. But the fish were just nowhere to be seen. Not even on the fish finder. We stayed for a while, grabbed a drink and bite to eat from the picnic hamper, then headed back to Semaphore. Then we figured we would give it one last shot with the tide in full swing. It wasn’t really the plan to go back empty handed.
And then we were in luck. Garfish were hungry and the nibbles kept coming at the end of the lines. And the crabs were going wild too! With it being the beginning of the season, we did expect a fair few undersized. And there was one in every lift of the net.
This late afternoon, about 3pm, afternoon bite is not unusual in waters around Adelaide. And we’re glad it’s not. All up, we headed back to the marina with 6 Garfish and 12 crabs. Not back considering that was all in the last hour!
We let Ben know we were on our way back through text message and there he was ready and waiting for us. All we had to worry about was getting our catch and gear off the boat. Absolutely nothing else!
Thankfully it wasn’t just us that had a bad day with the fish. The fishing charter that had left just before us that morning only came back with a minimal catch. We were pretty happy it wasn’t just us!
A summary of our boat hire day
This really was a great day out on the water. Just what the doctor ordered for all onboard. This boat is worth within the region of $100K and to be able to take her out as if she was your own for the day, at a tiny fraction of that price, is worth some serious value in itself. The stability is phenomenal and perfect for any reason to take her out in the open water. Having the safety induction and knowing Ben was only a phone call away (as long as we didn’t lose reception too far from the coastline) gave us peace of mind. There are also the onboard radios available if ever needed.
If the larger boat isn’t quite for you, don’t forget B.A. Boat Hire have a smaller 4.8m Bluefin Weekender also available. We took this boat out for a half-day fishing trip last year and it’s a fun boat to experience. It’s great to handle with its Mercury 60hp engine, licenced for 4 passengers and offers a good value for money experience.
Whether you are looking for fishing boat hire in Adelaide or just boat hire to cruise around the stunning South Australian waters, we highly recommend B.A. Boat Hire as your first call. As soon as you know the date you are looking at, get in touch with them as availability can go quickly, especially in summer months.
Get to know Ben and the team more with this reel-insight into their business and how they are helping more and more people get out onto the water.
Interested in other boat rentals in Adelaide? Check out this post of the Best Boat Hires in Adelaide. Looking for Jet Ski’s to hire? Find out more at Where to find Jet Ski Hire in Adelaide.
Have you used B.A. Boat Hire in Adelaide before? Or another boat rental company in South Australia? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below…
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!