The entry-level segment of the boating market is a fiercely competitive sector dominated by big companies like Quintrex and Stacer. It also is a segment where tinnies rule – mainly because they are cheaper to produce, lighter and easier to handle and tougher, which means that the small mistakes that are likely to occur with inexperienced skippers at the helm are not going to be costly. Because of all these factors it is unusual to see small companies have a crack at competing at this end of the market, especially those that specialise in fibreglass construction. But that is exactly what has happened in WA and early indications are that the gamble has paid off. Experienced boat builder Kevin Pallot, who designed the popular Ocean Whaler, and industry stalwart Glen Chapman formed a partnership to design a small fibreglass boat to compete with tinnies. The result is the Oz Runner 450, a runabout that is ideal for estuary, river and inshore use. And they have been able to put together a BMT (boat, motor, trailer) package for less than $23,000. The Oz Runner 450 will be shown for the first time at the Mandurah Boat Show starting October 9 and BoatAdvice had an opportunity to take it ...