The 502 Seascape Seacruiser is a five person alloy craft that embodies a lot of features and characteristics buyers want in a boat for use in bay, estuary or offshore waters. It’s a non-frills and relatively inexpensive rig, but offers quite a lot for the money.
The review was undertaken at Scarborough, handy to Brisbane Yamaha at Burpengary who have the craft on their books. At the Scarborough boat harbour the Dunbier skid and roller trailer made launching a one person job and from there we headed out into Moreton Bay to trial the rig. My initial opinion of the craft was that it would suit a family or dedicated anglers equally.
The 502 Seascape Seacruiser is a cuddy cabin styled craft that can sleep two, or provide a few crew with shelter from weather within the lined cuddy. Mind you, an infill would see Mum, Dad and a youngster sleeping aboard her in good weather without too much drama.
Floor depth and head room within the open and window equipped cuddy was sufficient to offer plenty of room for those having time out and I noted that the bunk’s thick cushions were easily removed to allow access to the storage areas below them. It was an interesting design feature that saw the bed ends for the bunks doubling as foot rests for skipper and first mate.
With the Seascape’s three piece windscreen set into the rear of the cuddy, a fairly wide lip behind it offered a place for personal items within easy reach. Helm area seating consisted of slide adjustable pedestal bucket seats mounted on storage boxes. A handy storage shelf beside each seat and a large grab rail for the passenger’s use finished off the helm area.
The craft featured a dedicated dash layout; somewhat of a pleasant surprise in a boat at this price point. It was nicely done too, with the moulded dash set up with a Garmin 400C Fishfinder t, gauges to monitor the Yamaha 70 four stroke on the transom a little lower, the wheel central, engine controls set into the side nearby and ample room for additional navigational aids if required.
The five rod holders, which are within easy reach, were set up on a heavy duty frame extending up over the helm area.
Driving the craft was a pleasant experience thanks to the light non-feedback steering, and the slide adjustable seat allowed me to get comfortable at the wheel and I found visibility over the three piece windscreen ideal.
The Seacruiser 502’s design sees around half of the craft devoted to the cuddy cabin, the cockpit then being large enough for up to four adult anglers to work in comfort. The cockpit (655mm deep) had carpeted floor and 250mm wide decks. There is a full height transom astern and the cockpit also featured 1250mm long side pockets and four rod holders per side. A live well to port would suit anglers while the boarding gate and associated ladder and grab rails to starboard would make boarding easy after a swim or dive. A three quarter width fold down/removable bench seat allowed up to three adults to enjoy the ride from the stern. For anglers the padded back rest would also serve as an excellent brace point if playing a large fish.
For the craft’s owner, the ease of access to the fuel filter and battery isolator switch tucked under the transom would be an important consideration.
The Seacruiser’s 3mm alloy hull had a 15 degree Vee, sported five well formed pressings each side of the keel, a small reversed chine where sides joined to the bottom section, ample flare up front to keep water away from occupants, and with a dry weight of around 550kg did an excellent job of ironing out the Bay chop. I found it quite steady at rest and not inclined to lean if two of us were on the one side, nor was it excessively noisy when contacting waves. Like all aluminium hulls you could feel some impact, but there was no inclination for the hull to bang or thump. Over all the ride was very good with handling to match given the ease of negotiating turns and quick recovery to a level attitude.
The hull, with its modest Vee section ,was actually very slippery and came onto the plane at a surprising 16.4kph.
The Yamaha 70hp 4-stroke was mounted on a lip on the Seascape’s non-skid rear platform, and being down below sight line it also seemed to be well down below sound level as well. The engine started with a slight hum, purred the craft onto a plane at 3000rpm and cruised easily at 4000rpm for 27kph. 5,000rpm saw 40.1kph on the GPS with 6,000rpm turning up a speed of 46.3kph.
These are interesting figures, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. The 70hp 4-stroke exhibited remarkable low down power and under hard throttle application pushed the craft onto the plane in around its own length.
A remarkable achievement that, given the engine was at the bottom of engine ratings, but it does indicate that these F70As are geared to provide plenty of grunt out of the hole.
The Seascape 502 Seacruiser with it’s 70hp Yamaha could fulfil a wide range of fishing requirements from inshore to offshore applications. It’s a very sea worthy craft with its 870mm high sides and transom and, with the cuddy up front as a bulwark against wave and spray, the rig should treat those aboard very kindly. There are certainly sufficient standard fishing features to suit keen anglers and I’d see four anglers working in comfort from this craft.
This value for money rig will suit family anglers as much as the very dedicated among us. Overnight stays would be feasible with the addition of an ice box and spirit stove. The Seacruiser does not have every fishing feature but has sufficient to make things comfortable. Ride, handling and general sea keeping ability are fine for many fishing pursuits up to and including offshore work. The standard of finish was also very good: Welds smoothed, upholstery quite well done. In all, a craft to make time on the water a pleasure.
As reviewed from Brisbane Yamaha the rig would come home for $39,990. Contact Brisbane Yamaha on (07) 3888 1727 or on the net at www.brisbaneyamaha.com.au.
|Weight of hull||550kg|
|Fuel capacity||110 litres|
|Construction||3 mm pressed alloy|
|Engine fitted||Yamaha 70 four stroke|
|Towing||Family six sedan or wagon|