Serious offshore operations, particularly in the southern ocean, require a serious boat. Strength, stability and reliability are a prerequisite not an afterthought and the Seacruiser 7000HT is such a boat. Built tough, yet aesthetically pleasing with all the essential requirements in its well planned design, it is a boat anyone looking for a 7m offshore trailer boat should consider.
Ed from Richardson Marine has over 10 years boat-building experience in commercial and recreational aluminium boats and trailers. So when he and Wayne Howell designed the Seacruiser boats there was plenty of experience and hands on input in the design. These boats were built by Wayne and then fitted out at Richardson Marine.
The first Seacruiser built was a twin outboard model of 7m. The model tested here is the same hull but with a few tweaks and improvements. The major difference with this model is that this hull is powered by an inboard diesel motor. This particular inboard is a Yanmar 260HP 6BY2-260Z diesel. The stern drive leg is a ZT 370 duo prop. Fuel economy of the diesel has proved to be exceptional, and why wouldn’t it be? Most of us who own large 4x4 vehicles choose diesel for fuel economy, so why shouldn’t the same apply on the water? The Seacruiser diesel model, when working at trolling speed, operates at under 3 litres an hour at 6 knots. When cruising it operates at around 1 litre per nautical mile. Ed tells me these figures are around half the usage of the twin outboard model which is virtually exactly the same boat. With a fuel tank that hold around 370 litres that amounts to a huge operational range for skippers looking to do long haul trips. The boat is built to survey and, particularly with the savings offered over long operational times by the diesel, would appeal to the buyer looking for a boat suitable for commercial charter operations.
If you have a boat capable of doing long haul oceanic jaunts it is essential that you can do so in relative comfort. The Seacruiser 7000HT offers plenty in this area as well. The cabin area is large and enclosed and deflects any spray not just from those in the forward most area, but for anyone in any of the cabin seating arrangements. The skipper and co-pilot pedestal seats are well padded and have shock absorption built in. Two large 70 litre eskies fit in behind each seat and are generously padded for extra seating. There is also tackle storage built into this compact, yet effective arrangement as well.
The Seacruiser is one of a number of plate aluminium boats that are now really making the offshore market their own. Once only the domain of the glass boat, offshore plate is now becoming more prevalent with some of these magnificent designs like the Seacruiser. The way the boat rides has to be felt to be believed and combined with the Hi-Drive hydraulic steering, the set up produces an amazing ride and fantastic control for a plate aluminium. On the test day the boat carved up an annoying south-east chop like it wasn’t even there and the boat turned like we were driving a car on a sealed road.
The boat has all the essential, up-to-date electronics that one would expect. The electronics all come easy to hand and view and include Garmin GPS/sounders (a 4008 and the touch screen 5008). These sounders operate off a 1 kilowatt, through hull transducer. The cockpit still includes a traditional compass to get you out of trouble should the electronic units fail. One area that won’t experience failure is the electronic digital throttle. With no wires to corrode it should give years of trouble free operation.
Behind the spacious cockpit is the equally spacious deck area. There is plenty of room for anglers to dance around each other in double or triple hook-up situations. Bottom bouncers would have room to fish on one side of the boat if the drift allowed for only one side of the boat to be fishable. Anglers have plenty of rod holders to allow for both trolling or bottom bashing. Dive enthusiasts would have more than enough clean open area for all their gear with no protrusions to catch on equipment and tanks. The rear steps, hand rails and safety rails around the stern drive leg are also great additions for dive enthusiasts. There is minimal intrusion from the inboard motor into the deck space. There is a 100 litre livewell at the rear of the boat below a solid custom aluminium bait board and 3 rod holder system. The large translucent window allows you to be able to easily asses the health of your live baits. On board wash down facilities are another essential on this type of boat that come standard on the Seacruiser. Another impressive feature is the heavy duty custom made Richardson Marine anchor winch. This 1700 watt winch has a solid stainless steel reel that can hold 150m of rope and 8m of chain.
There are two large underfloor storage areas that can be either wet or dry depending on your needs with sealed lids. These, combined with the live well and eskies, allow for a massive amount of flexible storage for whatever needs your particular pursuits require. This is without even mentioning the forward cabin area. This space has two bunk seats if you need to stretch out for a nap during an overnighter and carpet lined wall shelving to further assist with storage
Despite being such a large boat it tows well and is relatively easy to launch. With access through the forward screen and the addition of a Boat Catch launching system owners are able to launch the boat single handedly. The trailer is a custom built, dual axle trailer complete with Alco rubber independent suspension and looks the goods as well as being strong and practical.
If you’re looking for a serious offshore unit capable of getting you there and back safely, and it half the cost with the diesel, then the Seacruiser 7000HT is the boat for you. Make sure you get in touch with Ed at Richardson Marine in Warrnambool to discus all the options that can allow you to assemble the practical offshore fishing boat of your dreams. The Seacruiser as tested in this review will sell for $165,000, however the price for a standard Seacruiser starts at $115,000. Richardson Marine is found on Raglan Parade, Warrnambool in Victoria. You can call them on (03) 5562 6373 or email the team at --e-mail address hidden--
|Length on trailer||8.3m|
|Height on trailer||3.4m|