Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
At 4.50 Metres and thus the “450” model designation, or almost fifteen feet length overall, Walker Bay calls this model “The Perfect Mid-Size Yacht Tender.” That it may well be, but as we shall see, this Rigid Bottom Inflatable boat can be much, much more.
Walker Bay offers six series and multiple models of both inflatable and rigid inflatable dinghies and boats. This Generation 450 DLX is the second largest of five models from eleven to seventeen feet in its Deluxe Console Series.
Its deep-vee composite fibreglass hull is augmented with Walker Bay’s proprietary Polyurethane Composite Micro Stringer system to make the hull lighter and stronger. An inner hull liner adds to the integrity and provides finished surfaces within the multiple storage compartments. The hull and deck are joined using a unidirectional fibreglass and polyurethane bonding system that eliminates the air cavity resulting in a stronger and lighter hull according to Walker Bay.
The fuel tank has been integrated into the bow section of the keel and the battery has also been moved forward all to improve weight distribution for a smoother ride and faster planing. The concave chine design helps deflect water down while running to help reduce spray and aid in predictable handling characteristics. The twenty-inch diameter inflatable tubes with five separate chambers are constructed of ORCA CSM® fabric of which the CSM compound is said to offer the best UV resistance and ageing properties.
The Generation 450 DLX is rated to carry up to eight passengers or a total weight of almost 2,000 pounds, and that in a boat that only weighs 633 pounds without motor! It is rated for a maximum horsepower of 75 of the brand of your choice and Walker Bay recommends 60 horsepower as the optimum power. Walker Bay also recommends maximum speed to be in the mid-thirties miles per hour.
The driver’s console is positioned almost precisely midship and tight to the starboard side inner liner. A full-width and well padded and upholstered stern bench seat with a high full-width backrest provides seating for the driver and one comfortably, and possibly two other passengers. The entire seat bottom and backrest together fold up to reveal a large storage compartment beneath.
The console itself has an upper flat surface plus a lower surface to the right of the sporty steering wheel on which to mount your choice of engine or navigation instrumentation or any other accessories such as a stereo, VHF radio, etc. To the left of the wheel are the few required DC rocker switches for the integrated LED navigation lighting, electric bilge pump, etc. A short tinted windscreen is protected and surrounded by a handy stainless steel grab rail.
The forward face of the console features a sizeable backrest to facilitate forward-facing lounging on the L-shaped bow bench seat which will comfortably seat three persons. Storage is found beneath the starboard and bow seat cushions. Aft of the stern bench seat, a large hatch opens electrically to reveal port and starboard storage compartments on each side of the motor well.
A stern boarding ladder is standard equipment and two stern boarding steps with teak inlay are molded into the stern storage compartment hatch cover. Similar boarding steps are found right at the bow and on the port side next to the stern bench seat. A standard pull-up retractable waterski pylon is centered just forward of the motor well.
Pop-up cleats, towing eyes, hauling handles, and three davit lifting points are also provided. Three tube colour accent choices are available; Classic Grey, Carbon Black, and Ocean Blue. The only available factory option is a highly recommended Sunbrella boat cover.
Walker Bay’s Generation 450 DLX may indeed be the perfect mid-size yacht tender but it is outfitted and most capable on its own to also be a fun watersports boat, a fair-weather cruising and exploring boat, a fishing and trolling boat, or general cottage multi-purpose utility boat.
Walker Bay inflatables in Naples FL