Bonito Boats originated in New Zealand in 1973. Designed by Frank Pellen, the original hull was 4.85 metres long. It proved perfect for the clam waters of the bays and more than capable of crossing the open water between the islands. Hundreds of these boats were made until the moulds came to the Gold Coast in the mid 90’s.
It didn’t take long for the commercial fisherman of Moreton bay to realise that this hull suited them perfectly. Very stable at rest and capable of handling anything Moreton Bay and surrounds can whip up.
In 2011, Roger Barnes acquired the moulds and continued supplying the commerical market. Constant demand for a larger version saw Roger cease production in September 2012 to develop the new 5.6 metre hull. With a new “work” deck to match, priority soon became the production of a “sports” version for the recreational market.
Mid 2013 saw Martin Slennett join Roger and together, they have now extended the range with a specific centre console deck. Other new mouldings include a fully insulated cast platform, boarding steps and a very slick electric motor mount. With plans to constantly develop and upgrade their moulds, there’s plenty ahead for us and in turn our customers.