May 052014

Pending Divorce from Cats
Chris catches a marlin
It’s now six months since the maiden voyage of my 6.8 hardtop Vindicator. My journey started in August 2012 when I went to the Brisbane Boat Show looking to replace my old 6.2 Kevlacat with a new hull, I didn’t want new motors as I had only just purchased two new 4 strokes the year before. I made approaches to a couple of cat builders and was told “Ours don’t go out without motors” and the other response was “You remove the motors and looms, forward to us and we will complete the fit up“, due to the remote area I live in, it increased the price by approximately $8k and an additional $10k to freight it back. So I started the search for custom alloy builders, twelve queries later to builders around Australia, I received two replies, one from Victoria and one from Watson’s Marine. Frank Watson followed up the email reply with a phone call and he convinced me to take a leap of faith, I have owned 4 Cats over the past 30 years and was in love with them, from early Markham Whalers, Webster Twin Fisher, and Kevlacat, the love affair was soon to end. I understand the position of the cat builders trying to protect their reputations in wanting to set their boats up, and I thought they would have sold that many, mounting of steering and motors would be a standard process as they would use standard templates to drill holes, however they would not budge on their decision, even the offer of cash wouldn’t sway their decision.
My decision to commission Frank Watson to build my new boat was based on 3 things:

  1. He replied to an online query
  2. He followed up with a phone call
  3. I had the wife’s approval to buy a new hull

I had some ideas which I raised with Frank, like side access, unpainted hull, very defined delivery date and the deal was done, Frank was always positive during the building process, sending photos at every stage. On the agreed delivery date, I turned up at Watson’s Marine in Gympie with a Fridge that I was going to fit under the port side seat box, Frank wanted to ensure that the fridge was going to fit and had to make modifications over night to ensure it fitted, including making sure that it worked and was able to be used for the 4 day journey back to the Territory. While we were going through the fixtures and fittings, Frank said to me “If you’re not happy, I will write you out a cheque right now“, I liked the man, He offered phone numbers to speak to other owners, here is a company that has no worries about their product, and he made a big claim, He believed it to be as good as my old cat.

6 Months on

Rolex on board
I’ve clocked up approximately 100 hrs in 6 months, due to my love of boating and fishing, the only thing I can say is these hulls are awesome. I will admit I was a little uncertain on handling having spent so many years in cats, but the Vindicator hull soon built confidence in all seas. I had to learn to drive a monohull to get the best from it, and I am thrilled with the handling, the build quality, and the ride is superb. The hull looks good, when I first arrived back in town with the boat, the first four weeks was spent fishing in the front yard, with mates, beer in the fridge and dreaming of fishing. I commenced fit out, clear coated the hull and mounted the motors. My wife loves the fact that I can load and unload the boat without her help, due to the heavy duty Vindicator custom built aluminium trailer it sits on, a new love affair has commenced.

Chris & Shelley Andrews – 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin – NHULUNBUY, NT, 881

6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin and Trailer 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin Marlin coming aboard
Apr 302014
Catamaran Trailer Catamaran Trailer Catamaran Trailer Catamaran Trailer Catamaran Trailer Under Gear Catamaran Trailer Spare Wheel Carrier Brake System

We recently ordered a fully customised trailer from Watson’s Marine for our catamaran. Frank and his team went above and beyond in every aspect of making sure we were completely satisfied with our purchase. His professionalism, quality of workmanship, welcoming approach and ease of business were all exceptional. Our new trailer makes boating and towing even more pleasurable for our family and we would highly recommend Watson’s Marine for their friendly service and quality products.

The Hatchett Family

Mar 202014
6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" & Aluminium Trailer 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" & Aluminium Trailer 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin  "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin - "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" Richard with Catch on "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" & Aluminium Trailer 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" & Aluminium Trailer Richard's Birthday on "Big Vinnie" 6.8m Vindicator Half Cabin "Big Vinnie" & Aluminium Trailer with Catch

We recently took delivery of our new 6.8M Vindicator after involving ourselves in fit-out decisions and being welcomed at the Gympie factory regularly during construction.

The build experience was great from start to finish. These are superbly built boats by craftsman fabricators, overseen by Frank Watson personally, every step of the way. Don’t be fooled by price/length comparisons with other brands. Vindicators are measured how boats should be. You get every centimetre you pay for and more.

The attention to detail is superb. Every item in the boat is double tested to ensure that when it is handed over, everything works as it should. The sea-keeping and on-water performance is outstanding, and well suited to the open and rough water environment in which we use it.

We were sceptical about ordering the custom alloy trailer built by Vindicator to match the boat, as we had problems with other brands’ alloy trailers previously. No problems here. Over-engineered, no flex, no sway, hundreds of kg saved. Decision vindicated.

You do feel part of the Watson family of boat-owners with a Vindicator, and you are treated as such by Frank, Denise, Glenn and the team. Unlike a lot of other plate builders who are no longer around, when you order a Vindicator and stump up your hard earned dollars, you know you are going to receive a superb Australian made product, from a proud family business.

Richard Bernay & John Hamilton-Smith – Bardon, Brisbane
Vindicator Quality Aluminium Boat & Trailer “Big Vinnie”

Mar 202014

Jason & Ngaire's Roller on Trailer

I had been on the search for a trailer for my new roller, looking from Darwin to Sydney. We could not find something that would do the job, so we decided to go down the path of building one.

I needed something to suit the specifications due to the load it was going to carry, the durability and tare weights. So we decided to go with alloy and that in itself was a real challenge.

For one we had to find a trailer that would stand up to the task, due to long trips over bad roads. The products out there are somewhat flimsy and the costs go through the roof for what you get.
I was down in my shed where I normally go for a bit of time out, polishing my other love, my Vindicator Boat – “Sonar”. This boat is a product of great design, finish and quality for anything I have ever bought.

Our Vindicator Boat & Trailer – What great products!

So for a while I thought of having a trailer like what is under my boat. Maybe I could have a trailer like that under the combo roller – How good would that be! The call was made to Watson’s Marine and like always, spoke to Frank, and the question was asked.

Frank, can you build me a trailer, which will do what I need and will carry what I need to carry?

Frank replied, “We will do that for you Jason, no worries”.

So once a few design and engineering requirements were spoken about, it was on the drawing board. As always behind a good man there is a good woman. Denise works really hard to achieve the best for you, find the best possible products for your Boat & Trailer. Always keeping in touch with us, throughout the building of our Boat & Trailers with photos & phone calls which was very much appreciated.

Our Boat & Trailers are very well made and also well executed throughout the construction. Once again Frank Denise & Team at Watsons Marine – Thanks very much for great products.

Curtis Coast Driveways – Jason & Ngaire Benvenuti – Tannum Sands, 4680
Vindicator Quality Aluminium Boat & Trailer – “Sonar”

Vindicator Boat "Sonar" and Trailer Vindicator Boat "Sonar" Vindicator Boat "Sonar" Vindicator Boat "Sonar" Vindicator Boat "Sonar" Vindicator Boat "Sonar" Vindicator Alloy Machinery Trailer Vindicator Alloy Machinery Trailer Vindicator Boat "Sonar"
Mar 202014

6.2m Vindicator - Greg & Jen Little

We started looking for a “largish” plate aluminium boat about 4 years ago something to give us a bit of freedom for a growing family. It started when we saw a nice looking boat at the Townsville Boat Show. After that it was a matter of going through all our options and investigating exactly what we wanted.

I personally have dreamt of having a large boat for many years but when we finally spoke to Frank and Denise we knew that they would be the people to help our dream come true. For whatever reason we were aiming at the Vindicator 5.80 and after checking out weights, heights etc we ended up with the 620!! – It is awesome to say the least.

Since we took delivery in early 2012 we have had numerous day trips and overnight trips out from Townsville and Lucinda. The 620 Vindicator handles superbly and is extremely comfortable – we couldn’t ask for a much safer vessel.

We am very happy we have gone this way and we look forward to many more years of enjoyable fishing and boating time on our pride and joy.

GJCM Surveys – Greg & Jenny Little – Bushland Beach, Townsville. 4810
Vindicator Quality Aluminium Boat – “Shuckle’s Cruz”

6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz” 6.2m Vindicator in the Townsville Waters 6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz” 6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz” 6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz” 6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz” Chris minkota electric engine pate alloy boats 6.2m Vindicator Half Cabin “Shuckle’s Cruz”
Mar 202014

Gary & Adells Boat LADY ROSE

We spent 12 months researching 5.5m boats both fibreglass and aluminium. My wife was very impressed with the style of the Vindicator aluminium boats. After a phone call to Watson’s Marine, we were advised they were delivering a 5.5m Centre Console to Bowen and staying overnight in Gladstone.

On board the Gypsy RoseFrank and Denise advised us a 5.8m Vindicator was in Tannum Sands, a meeting was arranged to view the boat just looking at the boat the words, WOW and very impressive, sprang to mind. We spoke for over 2 hours with the owners you could see they were very impressed with their boat showing us the many special features. The workmanship and attention to detail was incredible.

We rang and arranged with Frank to test drive a 5.5m vessel, I found Frank to be a very knowledgeable about his product. Any question that I put forward, his answer was precise. After an hour on the water, we were very impressed with the stability especially when we were all on one side, the comfort and just the way it sat on the water was amazing.
On board the Gypsy Rose
We decided that a 5.8m Vindicator Half Cabin Boat was the one. We made arrangements to visit for the start of the process; this was the first of many visits. In doing this you get a better appreciation of just how much work and passion goes into these boats. It was never a bother to take us for a viewing at any time. Receiving emails and photos of the boats progression was great, excitement built with each photo we received.

Frank had decided to build their own Aluminium Trailers and the next time we went to view the boat after seeing their trailers, straight away we decided to purchase one – GREAT TRAILER. We have had many comments from observers regarding our boat and trailer. The workmanship that had gone into the boat and the trailer was incredible and the painting was faultless. We left that afternoon with a load of confidence that we had made to right decision.
Gypsy Rose
Our experience working with Frank, Denise and the team from Watson’s Marine was very professional and more than friendly, nothing was a bother. At times you will forget that Frank and Denise are running a business, such is their enthusiasm for their boats and trailers, and we have found them to be genuine people. On many occasions they contacted us to see how the boat and trailer was going, whether we had any problems and how were we going with loading and handling the boat Normally you pay your money for your boat, hook your boat up and never hear from the dealer again, this does not apply to Watson’s Marine. Not only did we get what we wanted in a boat for our needs, we also made new friends. We wish Frank and Denise and the team of Watson’s Marine all the very best of luck for the future.

Gary and Adell Pengelly, proud owners of “LADY ROSE” – Gladstone

5.5m Vindicator Boat on Trailer 5.5m Vindicator Boat on Trailer 5.5m Vindicator Boat on Trailer 5.5m Vindicator Boat 5.5m Vindicator Boat on Trailer 5.5m Vindicator Boat 5.5m Vindicator Boat
Mar 202014

My wife and I now sit at home, some 3700 kms from Watsons Marine in Gympie, outside the house sits our new 6.8 Vindicator on a Vindicator alloy trailer.

Not that remarkable except for the fact that we towed the boat 3700 kilometres to our home town of Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, with 600kms of corrugated dirt road thrown in. We managed to cover the last 600 kilometres of dirt in 13 hours with requisite stops for checks, attending to other travellers who had rolled their car and an hour and a half breakfast on the side of the road with friends.

When I first ordered the boat and trailer, I got the feeling Watsons’ tradesmen were a bit concerned that I intended to tow the boat across a dirt road with numerous river and creek crossings. On the other hand Frank was not concerned and was confident with his trailers’ design and build quality. As I drove out of Watsons Marine in Gympie with the boat in tow, I commented to my wife, “If this tows this well all the way we will have a dream trip“. My wife, who has not driven and towed a trailer that much, took her turn and although nervous, made the comment, “you hardly know the boat is there“. By the time we got a third of the way home, she had no hesitation in taking over and driving her share of the way.

Beside the expected minor stone damage, the trailer performed without fault and it has not suffered in any way from the journey, a testament to the design and build quality, I can’t wait to get the boat in the water, if it performs as well as the trailer, we will be happy people. Would I tow the boat across the road again? Of course I would! Would I recommend the Vindicator alloy trailer? My oath I would!

Chris & Shelley Andrews
Nhulunbuy NT

Leaving Watsons Marine Gympie QLD Sunrise Central QLD Newcastle Waters NT The start of the dirt Central Arnhem Road, NT 1 am Goyder River Crossing NT Breakfast NT The end of the dirt Nhulunbuy NT 1pm
Mar 182014

After many years away from our favourite pastime of fishing my son Brett and I decided that the only way we could spend some quality time together with family and friends was to buy ourselves a good boat. We like offshore fishing as well as being able to put the grandchildren on board for a day on the water in comfort and safety.

The choice of boats on the market is mind boggling, so we set ourselves a few must have features for the boat we would purchase. We wanted a boat that we could go offshore safely set up by someone who understands fishing. We also wanted the option of towing and launching the boat off the beach at Fraser Island.

After a lot of useless research we found ourselves at Watson’s Marine in Gympie. I have known Frank, Denise and Glenn for a long time and knew from experience that Frank understands what fishing offshore is all about. We walked into Watson’s to have a look at the 5.5 metre Vindicator only to find that there was a 7.2 metre Vindicator on the yard as well. When we considered our options the 7.2 Vindicator was the boat we’d been looking for.

After having several trips offshore from the Sunshine Coast, Fraser Island and 1770 we are very pleased with the overall performance of all aspects of our Vindicator. The most surprising thing is the low noise level for an alloy boat. Fuel efficiency and fuel capacity allows us to do overnight trips with plenty of fuel in reserve. We also completed a bar crossing one day course with Bill Corten on the Stradbroke bar. This is something I could highly recommend to any new boaties, not only did we hone our own skills but we were able to fully test the Vindicator under some pretty severe conditions.

Owning our Vindicator is an enjoyable experience because we have the full package, a trouble free boat, excellent back up service and friendly advice.

Ken & Brett Mills Ken Mills Toyota
Ken Mills Toyota
Maroochydore, Nambour
Kingaroy & Mundubbera

Vindicator 7.2m Half Cabin

Mar 182014

Having come to Noosa in 2002, we purchased a new boat to work the river and venture offshore. It soon became apparent that our 4.55mtr run-a-bout was not ideal for the Noosa Bar and the changing off-shore conditions.

We spent from 2004 to 2006 researching seaworthy boats in the 5.5 to 6.0mtr range – cuddy or half cabin.

We were frustrated with a lot of the major suppliers because we had to deal with sales personnel who really did not know a great deal about the product they were selling, nor instilled any confidence about the actual product that would be delivered at the end of the day. There was little scope for customizing to our own requirements or any assurance that requirements would be incorporated.

Therefore we set out trying to find a reputable boat builder, who had an operation the size of which would allow us to have input during the building process.

By pure chance, on a trip back from Hervey Bay, my wife sighted a boat from the Highway in a yard at Gympie that she thought was pretty good. I returned to Gympie some 3 weeks later and had a good look over the 6.2mtr and having had a lengthy talk with Frank and viewed his welding shop, I decided there and then that Frank was the man to build me a boat.

We decided on the 5.8mtr (really 6.3mtrs as everyone else measures theirs) with twin engine set up. The building process was a greatly satisfying experience as our own requirements were happily accommodated during the building process. Frank actually encouraged frequent visits during the building process.

The end product was superb; looks, finish, handling and ride and above all its seaworthiness. The seaworthiness has been put to the test on numerous occasions in some very ordinary conditions way out to sea and the boat came shining through.

Frank and his team stand behind their product and their after sales support and service is second to none. We have now owned the boat for two years and my decision to buy the Vindicator product has been greatly rewarded. I could not think of a better boat to buy. It will be the best we will ever own!

Well done Frank & Team

Fred & Elizabeth Van Vugt – “Jagger” – Noosaville

Vindicator 5.8m Half Cabin

Mar 182014

After finding the need to upgrade our boat, we weren’t sure whether we wanted to go to aluminium or fibreglass. So we set off one weekend to do some research, returning home Sunday afternoon, we still didn’t know what we were after.

I walked into Watson’s Marine on the Monday afternoon where Frank spent a good couple of hours showing me over a 6.2m Vindicator Plate Boat.

I immediately knew this was what we were looking for. Sandra & I went in to order a 5.8m Vindicator.

Having owned it now for over six months we have clocked in excess of 90 hours. Why so many hours? WE LUV IT.

The look, finish, attention to detail, the ride & the stability is absolutely superb. Throughout the whole contract Frank, Denise, Glenn & Co. could not do enough for us, answering all our questions & modifying the boat to suit our specifications.

On delivery day a water test was organised and at the end of the day we walked away extremely happy but also more as family rather than a customer.

Congratulations Frank, Denise, Glenn & Co.

Tony & Sandra Schmidt – “Sandra J” – Gympie

Vindicator 5.8m Half Cabin