The versatility of the walk-around layout makes it by far my favorite design. The flexibility afforded by 360-degrees of access make a great boat for kite fishing, for drifting a piece of bottom and jigging and deep dropping, or for trolling; especially for catching multiples of sailfish and tuna.
Traditionally walk-around boats are seldom over 35 feet and consequently drawbacks to the design have been the lack of interior space and seating on the helm deck. Release Boatworks has addressed this and put a great deal of effort into the design, layout, materials and construction of the 46.
The Release 46 has the look of a classic custom boat. With ample tumblehome at the transom, an unbroken shear, the blend of teak, paint and brightwork denote a custom build. This is a composite boat with vinylester resin-infused hull with a blend of multi-directional fabrics including a 1 ½-inch Corecell core in the bottom and, 1 inch in the sides, Kevlar below the waterline, and carbon fiber in the stringer system for additional stiffness.
A pair of Cummins QSM-11 715HP diesels with Zeus drives provides the agility to tackle any of the line class records. With the right crew and angler, the Release 46 could re-write the record book. Conventional drives are an option, but the pod drives offer a bit of an advantage in speed and maneuverability. Make no mistake: Pods make a poor boat handler better in close quarters, but they also give a good driver an incredible tool to fight fish.
The forward positioned helm on the 46 offers excellent visibility when accelerating, which can’t be said for all express boats. I did not mind the forward helm for fishing either, although I would probably run the boat from the tower where I could see my corners and crew.
We had a great day for our test, with less than 10 knots of easterly breeze and the 46 hull performed as asked. She slips along comfortably and with little effort at 2000 rpm offering 29 knots and burning a bit over 42 gph. Push her up to 2300 rpm and she’ll give you 34 ½ knots, burning a bit over 66 gph. At wide open she’s rips along at 37 1/2 knots burning 76.9 gph. I locked in at the 1800- to 1900-rpm range so I could keep her under 40 gph and make between 25 to 28 knots, as I would on day trips.
The Release 46 offers an excellent cockpit to work. The molded-in 48-gallon transom livewell also holds three, 8-inch tuna tubes for live baiting. The Zeus drives are under two large hatches in the aft cockpit that open on rams for service. A first-rate livewell sump in the lazarette has four pumps feeding the transom livewell and the portable on-deck wells.
Beneath the cockpit deck lie a pair of 7-foot insulated fish boxes, something few pod boats have because the drives eat up so much room. Gunwale height is just right for fishing and dealing with fish next to the boat.
Wide walkways offer plenty of room to move forward around the helm deck to the bow. Pull-up spring cleats, two pull-up bow cleats and 30 rod holders graced the perimeter of our test boat. The bow held a huge anchor, windlass, and two pressurized 10-gallon feeder wells.
Mezzanine seating features good storage and can also be refrigerated. Ice feeds into the bin under the single seat to starboard from an Eskimo icemaker. Behind the mezzanine seating to port is a deep chest freezer, outboard, with a similarly deep refrigerator inboard. A sink with foldaway faucet is to starboard.
The helm deck has a spacious L-shaped settee with storage to port. The helm station with teak helm pod with single lever controls sits forward to starboard. An electronics cabinet over the helm accommodates three 12-inch screens or two 15-inch screens within arms reach of the operator. Behind the single helm chair to starboard is a bench seat with storage, which optionally can be set up as with storage and a grill.
The interior is clean and day-boat functional, and considering the restraints of space with the walk-around layout, the guys at Release made the most of it.
Three steps down into the cabin lead to a V-berth forward with storage under. On the port side you can have a sofa settee with storage under, though our test boat had a nice raised bunk with rod locker storage under and three huge pull out storage drawers under that. The galley counter top to starboard has a two-burner cooktop, overhead microwave and storage. There’s more storage under the counter next to the refrigerator and freezer. Aft of the galley is a full head with shower, sink and vanity. On the aft bulkhead is a full sized rod locker. There is plenty of room for a crew to stay aboard while delivering the boat to a fishing spot for the season or for a couple of people to live aboard on a trip.
The Release 46 is a well thought out boat, filling a niche for the dedicated fishhead. If you are serious about your fishing and looking for a boat you can make your own, you need to look at this one.
Release 46 Specifications:
- Deadrise……12.7 degrees at the transom
- Fuel……600 gallons
- Water……100 gallons
- Displacement……33,000 lbs.
- Power……Twin Cummins OSM-11 715HP Zeus Pods
- Base Price…… $1,015,000 w/ twin Cummins 600 Hpm w/ Zeus Pods
Release Boatworks: 866-846-9121
- RPM KNOTS GPH
- 1600 20.8 28.4
- 1800 25.1 34.6
- 2000 29.1 42.7
- 2200 32.6 54.3
- 2500 37.7 76.9
With twin Cummins QSM-11 715HP diesels w/Zeus drives
- Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Wind: SE 10 knots
- Sea State: Calm
- Test Load: ¾ fuel, four adults