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Boat Test: Sea Jay 6.8 Pursuit
  |  First Published: June 2014



Bundaberg based Sea Jay boats have long had the reputation of being bulletproof, but when Jason and Simon from All 4 Adventure decided to do the entire top end of Australia by both vehicle and boat, even these boys were impressed with the durability of the Sea Jay 6.8 Pursuit.

There is no better way to test the Pursuit than to send it over the top of Oz from Cooktown to Broome. The top of Oz isn’t renowned for huge seas, but that’s not what this hull is all about anyway. Their goal is to get to where no one else has been and get back safely and trouble free. Having spent some time in Torres Strait and the Top End myself, the ocean currents collide and the ground swell can see beautiful clear, calm days produce seas that resemble a washing machine. They were conditions that were perfect for putting the 6.8 Sea Jay Pursuit to the ultimate test.

Sea Jay also built the trailer that was used to haul the hull over some of the most inhospitable terrain in the country, another testament to the engineering expertise of the manufacturer.

I’m not allowed to say too much about the upcoming fifth season of All 4 Adventure but you won’t want to miss it. It will be broadcast on 7 TWO, or you check out the series which will be available on DVD.

CONSTRUCTION AND LAYOUT

Not a lot has been changed from the standard 6.8 Pursuit, which proves that every customer who buys the Pursuit is getting one very tough and reliable hull. The main change was replacing the standard 360L tank with a massive 500L one. This was at the expense of some freshwater storage but when you’re in the middle of nowhere, fuel and water are both vital. Also added to the Sea Jay were two big Waeco fridge/freezers and solar panels on the roof. All this is sitting on a beefed up trailer but the rest of it is all standard Pursuit.

The build is 5mm plate bottom and transom with 4mm sides. It’s a very sexy looking half cabin setup that can certainly be used for overnight trips but is more suited to day trips for both family and fishing. Its flared hull, sporty looks and eye-catching graphics give this hull plenty of appeal, and when I first spotted it sitting on that over-engineered trailer, it was one hell of a good looking machine. If I didn’t have a wife and bank manager to answer to, I would have taken this one home with me.

While the Pursuit is designed to get you there, once you arrive, it’s nice to know that it doubles nicely as a very versatile fishing boat. There is plenty of open deck space, full length storage under the gunwales, one of the best bait boards in the business which has its own live bait tank and a neat little hard top that houses everything from deck lighting to speakers. With the rocket launcher, gunwales and bait board, I counted 20 rod holders so rod storage won’t be an issue. The gunwales were also that nice height to allow some stability when bottom bashing or landing a fish, with added stability from the side pockets that allow you to get your feet underneath. While not a true walk-around, getting around the cabin to the bow is a relatively simple affair.

The anchor well is big enough to allow for a good sized anchor as well as the option to fit a winch and tube for a reef pick. Little luxuries such as a toilet and freshwater wash-down are all available but overall, the fishability of the Pursuit is excellent for everything from trolling to bottom bashing.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The 225 Honda proved more than adequate at launching the hull out of the hole and pushing the Pursuit through some moderate chop. This is the upper end of the power range for the hull but big savings can be had by optioning for a 175hp outboard. Yes, a 175 will come at the expense of being a little sluggish out of the hole at full loads, but it will still plane and perform very well.

This is a big, heavy hull that has a very sharp entry point to the bow and finished with a 19º deadrise. Midship, the hull is still running over 30º of deadrise which, when combined with design and weight, makes the Pursuit a dream to operate in a swell.

We had a nice swell rolling in on the morning of the review and were able to set a good cruise speed and see how well the Pursuit handled the swell. I didn’t go home disappointed. It’s like comparing a La-Z-Boy recliner to a park bench. I missed out on getting accurate speeds due to too much playing around in the swell, but it’s hard to concentrate on numbers when you’re having that much fun. In smooth water, top speed is an impressive 70kph and cruising on around 400 revs still achieves just under 50kph. However, ploughing through chop dramatically slows a boat down so sorry about just a couple of ball-park figures here.

As mentioned, the only changes made to the All 4 Adventure Sea Jay are the long-range tanks, two fridges and the solar panels. The rest of the hull is standard, including hydraulic steering, bucket seats, transom door and boarding platform, scuppers as well as all standard electronics such as lights and bilges. The only extras that I think are a must for anglers include the bait board with live bait tank and rocket launcher. A kill tank is another option. The standard tank is 360L and the kill tank will reduce that slightly so it’s a case of weighing up your priorities.

The dry weight of the hull is almost 1300kg so loaded with outboard you will be well in excess of two tonnes. This is no problem on the water, giving the Pursuit its stability and lovely soft ride, but add a trailer and towing weights can be as high as 2500kg. This rules out the family sedan but all the large 4x4s and utilities will do the job easily.

All in all, the Sea Jay Pursuit is a very neat, extremely well built half cab that doubles nicely as a serious fishing boat or a weekend escape with the family. And just in case you were wondering, it is very capable of taking a couple of mad anglers across the top of Oz and back. Prices start from under $90,000, with the test boat coming in at $110,000.

Check out this season’s All 4 Adventure as well as a short clip of the Pursuit in action on the Fishing Monthly website.

Facts

SPECIFICATIONS

Length7.1m overall
Beam2.49
Deadrise19 degrees
WeightDry weight hull only 1290kg
Towing weightBoat, motor and trailer fuelled can be up to 2500kg
Sides4mm
Bottom5mm
Transom5mm
Max. power230hp
Power as tested225hp

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