For a runabout, the Sea Jay 435 is in a class of its own. Most of all I love the size of this boat, it is easy to tow, manoeuvre on the water and best of all, has a large amount of fishing room. Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater angler, or just want a boat for the family, the Sea Jay 435 Classic is a neat little package.
I am quite familiar with the 435, since my father-in-law purchased one for snapper fishing in Port Phillip Bay. When New World Honda asked me to take one for a test drive, there was no way I could say no.
Out of the box, the 435 Classic is a real gem. Sea Jay have implemented a reverse chine hull design into their boats, which allows for better stability while at rest. I was surprised at just how stable this model was. Along with the reverse chine, the deep V is very prominent creating a much smoother ride and making the craft far more comfortable on the water in rougher conditions.
A few classic features of the 435 can immediately be spotted upon boarding the boat, most noticeably the ample fishing room. There is space for up to four anglers without being overcrowded – a result of the 1.97m beam.
Two very comfortable fully upholstered pedestal seats are at the helm, along with a fully carpeted plywood floor lining the inside of the boat – a huge bonus if you’re taking the family out for a cruise.
When sitting in the driver’s seat there is an amazing amount of leg room because the floor steps down a few inches.
A very comfortable lounge is installed at the transom and can be shifted forward to create a bench style seat while fishing. The seat can aslo be folded own and put out of the way to make even more room for fishing.
Forward of the cockpit, the bow area is quite compact. The anchor well is small but can accommodate enough rope with a substantial sized anchor. Unlike other boats in its class, the anchor wells are full welded aluminium. Anchoring is easy, with access via the walk through windscreen allowing you to reach to the bow sprit and roller.
On the inside of the windscreen is a hand rail, which is now standard on these boats, along with two grab rails running along each side of the bow.
The well-designed helm has plenty of room. The cut away dash makes it easier to access stored items in the storage pit. The dash itself is quite spacious and has ample room for additional electronic components should they be required. Standard electronics included in the package are a VHF Radio and either a Lowrance or Navman depth sounder.
It is good to see this model has quite wide gunwales, along with two grab rails at the rear. Although the package comes fitted with two rod holders, additional rod holders can be installed given the width of the side decks.
Aft of the transom is a small boarding platform complete with a ladder, which provides easy access into the boat. There is sufficient storage space with two neat trays inside the gunwales, which are ideal for storing smaller items such as a tackle box, sinker box or even leader spools. Larger items will need to be stored in the storage pit under the dash.
If you are a keen angler and fish in all sorts of weather, then you will certainly be pleased the 435 classic comes fitted with a canopy allowing you to escape the wind, sun or rain.
With an under the floor 60L fuel tank and a 4-stroke Honda 40hp you have complete confidence if searching for fish.
On the trailer the Sea Jay 435 looked magnificent and behind my trusty Ford the package was complete. Reversing her was no problem and neither was the launching. The grab rails on the bow made it far easier to guide it on and off the trailer, which makes a huge difference for a solo angler.
After exiting the Patterson River mouth into a slight chop I got the 435 on the plane at 3500rpm and cruised quite comfortably on 32km/h (20mph), which for a boat of this size was quite good. Putting the power down, continuing up the Bay nothing seemed to worry the 435. Not even flying along at 72km/h (45mph) at 6000rpm.
The deep V just dug in and ripped apart what little chop we had.
After putting the 4-stroke Honda to the test, darting in all directions, into and away from the wind, the motor did very well pushing the boat along. Best of all when attempting to do a 90 degree turn there was no ventilation from the prop, it just dug in and took off, continuing on course.
The reverse chines, a hull feature the Sea Jay is known for, made the boat very stable. On the test day, it was great to see what choppy conditions can do to a small boat of this size. Even though the boat liked the conditions and handled well, remember the 435 is still only a relatively small craft and weather conditions should be checked before going out.
One real added bonus of this boat is the fact it can be taken almost anywhere, from a leisurely cruise on the Bay, to trolling for trout on a lake, up the river for cod or playing around in an estuary. Regardless of what you want to do, the Sea Jay 435 can do it all.
The Sea Jay 435 Classic is a well-finished rig that is sure to impress any family wanting to get into a runabout. With all the inclusions, this boat did everything I asked it to even when under pressure. With an on the water price of $22,900 drive away, no more to pay, this little pocket rocket is extremely affordable and a lot of fun.
Length overall – 4.35m
Beam – 1.97m
Bottom – 2.0mm (alloy)
Sides – 1.6mm (alloy)
Hull Weight – 310kg
Depth Inc w/screen rail – 1.53m
Fuel cap – 60L
Max Hp – 40hp
Price – $22,900