Anyone chasing a classy plate alloy craft for serious offshore fishing would be well advised to check out the 6.8m Pursuit from Sea Jay.
The Central Queensland city of Bundaberg might be best known for its rum but another local product is forging a reputation for itself on the national stage – Sea Jay Boats.
The team at Sea Jay have been building boats at their Bundaberg factory since 1989 and have developed an extensive range of aluminium craft, ranging from small car-toppers to serious offshore vessels.
Sea Jay have built a reputation for building some of the most solidly constructed and well finished plate aluminium boats in the country.
At 6.8m and a fraction under 1300kg, the Pursuit is one serious lump of a boat. Despite its impressive dimensions, it retains a very sporty appearance thanks to its raked bow, low-profile cuddy cabin and swept-back hardtop. Of course the smart paint job, neatly finished welds and high level of internal finish don’t hurt, either.
The test boat was fitted with one of the older, small-block 225hp Yamaha four-strokes but still had performance to match its looks. Throw the throttle forward and the boat leapt onto the plane and ran out to 38.8 knots (72kmh). If that’s not sporty enough for you in a boat of this size, I don’t know what is!
There simply weren’t enough waves or swell on the test run to try the true rough water capabilities of the Pursuit, but given the design of the bows and the 33.5° bottom deadrise at two thirds of the boat length, I’d be surprised if it is not at least as good as its sister ship the Preda King.
We did push the Pursuit hard over what little wave action there was and even this brief experience was enough to convince me that this is one sturdy craft. What we lacked in waves, we compensated for by applying the throttle. When we did manage to get the bows up in the air they landed surprisingly gently and without the usual pounding associated with larger aluminium boats.
There was none of the shuddering often associated with tin boats, either, and I feel the cuddy cabin/hard top configuration provided additional bracing around the front third of the boat, helping to stiffen the area which cops the worst of the impact.
The test boat had quite a few of the optional extras included. To keep things simple, I’ve reviewed the boat ‘as is’ and then included a list of what is considered as optional extras in the fact boxes.
The Pursuit’s cabin provides a basic level of comfort. It has twin berths spacious enough to accommodate a couple of tallish anglers and there was reasonable headroom while seated.
The cuddy also has a chemical toilet built in between the bunks, which would no doubt be appreciated by female crew members and parents with young children. The test boat even had a sink with freshwater on tap, but it’s not really the sort of living area you would want to be confined in for any more than a couple of nights.
If the sleeping facilities were a little modest the design and layout of the helm would more than compensate in most people’s eyes. The controls were positioned so they fell to hand nicely whether standing or seated and gave the skipper a wide field of view.
There were conveniently located footrests and grab bars for skipper and passenger and the steering wheel would not have looked out of place on a European sports car. As we have come to expect with modern four-stroke engines, there was a substantial array of dials and digital gauges providing continuous feedback from the engine.
The test boat also had a top-of-the-range Humminbird sounder and the large display would certainly be appreciated by any dedicated reef fisho.
Despite the Pursuit’s sleek lines and sporty performance, it has obviously been designed primarily as a fishing platform as it has all the things which anglers look for in a hard working boat.
The anchoring arrangements are in keeping with what’s required of a boat of this size. The anchor well was spacious enough to accommodate the sort of ground tackle needed to secure 7m of boat.
The test boat also came fitted with a Stress Free anchor winch, which would be well worth investing in, especially considering that the boat comes standard with a mounting plate to take the winch anyway. The electric option would be worth the extra cost to take the hassle out of anchoring.
If there’s one thing that every angler needs in a boat it’s open space and the Pursuit has that in spades. The cockpit has been left completely clear to allow maximum room and several anglers could fish without tripping over each other.
Likewise, there was also plenty of storage – a necessity for anglers. Substantial side pockets would be ideal to store longer items, such as gaffs or tag poles. There were also smaller pockets positioned above these (and under the hardtop) to take those items regularly needed during a day’s fishing.
There was plenty of toe room under the side pockets so anglers can brace themselves while fighting and landing their quarry. The test boat had a bait station mounted over the motor that seemed nice and workable.
There was also no shortage of rod holders, with several positioned along the back of the bait station, more along each side and a rocket launcher at the rear of the hardtop.
I guess if you have the budget to accommodate a boat of this size, you’d be more than likely have no trouble filling it with the fishing equipment to match.
Access to the boat was made easy by a folding ladder at the stern. Combined with walk-through transom, it made boarding simple, whether on the water or on the trailer. Divers would also appreciate the non-skid boarding platform either side of the motor.
The Pursuit is certainly a large and well-built craft. Sea Jay make no apologies for the fact that it is quite heavy in comparison to some other boats of a similar size, because the additional weight comes from the extra bracing. It simply means you are getting a boat which is built to last.
Despite its bulk, it retains a very sporty feel on the water and it has the good looks to fulfil the role of a family cruiser if required, while still satisfying the needs of more hard-core anglers.
The boat as reviewed, with all the optional extras will probably set you back around $110,000. By trimming back on the extras, it’s possible to get a base model for around $90,000. If that falls within your budget, then there would be no denying that you are getting one hell of a good boat for your money.
Deadrise (2/3 boat length):33.5°
|Weight (hull only):||1290kg|
|Weight (boat, motor, trailer):||2420kg|
Max. motor weight:390kg
Anchor winch; bait board (with rod holders); bait tank plumbing; boarding ladder (heavy duty); cabin bunk cushions; deck wash (75L tank); kill tank; coloured sides; rocket launcher; seat box DLX (with sink); seat box DLX with rear seat; tackle tray; toilet; trim tabs (electric)
Quoted performance figures have been supplied by the writer in good faith. Performance of individual boat/motor/trailer packages may differ due to variations in engine installations, propellers, hull configurations, options, hull loading and trailer specifications.