by Dom Wiseman

Everyone has to have noticed an Arvor boat floating on their local waterway. The look is that iconic. They’re the ones that look a little like a cartoon tug boat and we’ve tested plenty of them. Both the Sportsfish and Weekender range have impressed, but for me, a keen angler, the Sportsfish concept is my favourite. Mostly they’ve been on the larger side. Until now we’ve never tested a genuine trailer boat version. Sure the other models, all the way up to 9 metres, can be towed, but the new one weighs under 2 tonne on trailer. It is below most maximum standard towing criteria in most states and able to be towed with a medium family SUV. Compared to its brothers, it may look diminutive, but this is no small boat. It’s a 5.5 metre platform capable of anything complete with the iconic lockable pilot house cabin.

Like all the other Arvor Sportsfish boats we have looked at the company has done well to maximise the space onboard. The classic European pilothouse design keeps you dry at all times making long offshore runs much more comfortable. There’s plenty of space in the cockpit too for fishing obviously and the design lends itself well to trolling, anchoring up and even jigging.

The boat we tested was powered by a 115 horsepower Mercury outboard engine which provided solid performance that compliments the boat and hull well. It gets you there, not fast but purposefully.


The Sportsfish range are built to appeal to the angler in us and serious fishermen will appreciate the fishing slant with easy to wash fiberglass floors in our test boat and ample room around the cockpit. The floor hides kill tank and storage courtesy of the space saved by not having an inboard taking up space under there. The gunwales are also nice and high offering an excellent place to brace yourself against with the height coming up to my mid thigh. The deep cockpit also offers a safety level for anyone with smaller children too.


One constant issue with boats set up for fishing is that they don’t come with rod holders. Can anyone explain please? Arvor have ensured that there is plenty of rod storage in the 555 Sportsfish, either in one of the four standard gunwale rod holders or below decks under the coaming. You can also choose to add the optional rooftop rod holders we had fitted to the test boat.

There are two seats, one in either side of the cockpit with removable cushions. The seat in the port corner hides a live well which isn’t large, so anyone looking to use larger live baits may consider adding tuna tubes.

The cabin is pushed to the port side allowing a large walkway up the starboard side while maintaining as much cabin space as allowable. It’s a design element that many European boats use and it is very effective.

2018_Arvor_555_Sportfish-34There is a stainless rail along the cabin roof. This provides an excellent hand hold as you make your way along the starboard side to access to the large anchor well. A seat set against the front window with removable upholstery allows you to sit down and brace with your feet as you pull up the anchor rope. If it was my boat I would go with an optional anchor winch operated from inside the cabin.

As per all of the Arvor boats, pilothouse is well appointed. A large windscreen provides excellent, dry vision and on this model I didn’t find the ‘A’ pillars reduced vision in the corners like I have on some of the larger models.  Again the simple but effective side windows feature sliding centres that combine with the rooftop  hatch to ensure ample air flow.

2018_Arvor_555_Sportfish-24The pilothouse is pushed well forward  on the hull and has room for three. It’s larger and features upright sides and windscreen to maximise that space. The window is not swept back at all in the typical Arvor pilothouse design. There are two comfortable seats with durable upholstery either side of the cabin with a neat infill that creates another seat for a third person. It is a clever design and adds to the cabins usability.


The driving position is high and includes a fold up timber platform allowing for a higher standing position or a handy place to rest your feet while seated. I found the most comfortable way to drive was standing with the bolster pushed up and out of the way.

The dashboard is quite basic in its design which ensures all the controls fall close to hand. Interestingly the ignition is located on the starboard side bulkhead but doesn’t get in the way. The throttle and steering wheel are easy to grab a hold of and all the switches and gauges are easy to reach and see on the fly. The test boat was fitted with a small combo sounder/plotter unit although on my own boat I would go for a larger size or two medium sized screens. The small unit looked a little lonely up there.


For all those little bits and pieces that seem to fly around the cabin underway, there is a recess in the top of the dash for your wallets and keys. We put ours there and despite the bumpy conditions, they stayed where they should.

Down below the cabin also features a large flat bed with space for two comfortably should the fishing get too slow. All in all it’s a well execute design with enough space onboard for three keen anglers.





The test boat was fitted with a Mercury 115hp Four Stroke on the back which provided adequate performance. This is a boat that you purchase for comfort rather than speed so I could live with the 115hp if I had too. Once loaded up with camera gear, fishing equipment and three people I did feel at times it could was a little lethargic in certain situations. It still gets it on the plane, albeit slowly.


The 115 is a 2.1 litre in-line four cylinder platform that propels the boat to approximately 34 knots. It comes in at 165kgs. The maximum outboard weight for this hull is 181kgs

As with most modern engines it is quiet, particularly from the pilothouse, so I did have to check at times it was running. It will run on 87 Octane fuel.


The Arvor 555 Sportsfish is quite a flat hull which gives it brilliant stability at rest. Underway it gets on the plane slowly but once there, will happily stay there for the journey. The helm position and driving is easy, even for a new owner. The cabin itself though can catch the wind and cause the boat to get taken by the wind quickly for the unwary.

Like the slightly larger 675 Sportsfish, this is a fun little package to drive with the driving position pushed well forward in the cabin. It is a bit like driving a van. For some this will take some getting used to. Having everyone up in the cabin can also affect the ride as you are bringing a lot of weight forward and the snub nosed hull will start to push water which tends to go out and come back straight onto the bow with the wind on the nose. In any case you’re dry in the pilothouse so who cares.


For those down the back though, the spray can also come back across the leading corner to the wind which means anyone here will endure a wet ride. Cornering though is quite comfortable with a nice angle as it beds into the turn.

Given the snub nose, wide beam and running angle, coming with the sea the 555 Sportsfish isn’t as accomplished as some other hull designs but this is a boat designed for comfort not racing back in to catch the five ‘o clock news so casual driving will be the most comfortable approach.

At rest, essential for dropping baits, stability is excellent and with several onboard there’s still plenty of room for everyone to drop a line. Manoeuvrability is also easy with berthing back at the marina after our test a breeze.


We towed the boat down the coast and back with both a Nissan Navara and a Mitsubishi Triton. The boat on trailer tows exceptionally well despite its relatively large size. The high sides design can occasionally catch the wind but in a 3 hour drive south and the same coming back we could count the amount of times that happened on one hand.


Weighing in at 1860 kilograms on trailer, the Arvor 555 can be towed with a medium sized family SUV and falls below the requirement for cabin controlled electric brakes in NSW.


It’s a fun boat that is versatile, trailerable and offers a range of fishing styles from the one platform. If you are sick of getting soaked every time you head out to sea and want a boat that keeps you dry, it would be hard to go past the 555 Sportsfish. While others will be pulling on the full dry suit just to get to the fish, you can be sipping hot coffee and letting the boat do all the work and wiping away the water and spray with the simple press of a button.


  • Space aplenty
  • Practical design
  • Fishing focus


  • Appearance
  • Driving position


Price: starts at $58,950 (no trailer, 100hp Mercury)

Price: as tested $77,000 (with Smart pack, Electronics pack, Dunbier Trailer, Extendable bimni and 115 four stroke)

Construction: Fibreglass
Length Overall: 5.55m
Beam: 2.40m

Draft: 0.83m
Dry Weight: 1351kgs
Engines: Mercury 115hp Four Stroke
Fuel Capacity: 90 litres
Persons: 5