Big plate alloy craft always tend to impress me. It’s not just the overall interior size leading to plenty of comfort, the ample work room for those aboard, the sea keeping ability, the plethora of features mated to performance and stability. But when you take the time to sit down and think of all the work involved in putting together a fabulous boat like Sea Jay’s 6.8 Pursuit from mere sheets of aluminium…well, that’s what I call impressive!
The Sea jay 6.8 Pursuit GS (glass screen) is a lot of boat in every respect. For anglers wanting a rig to take them far and wide offshore in search of game fish or quality bottom fishing it must represent a sound investment in a world of fishing pleasure.
The 6.8 Pursuit is one of several craft in the ‘dedicated-to-offshore-fishing’ Pursuit range, which are designed to maximise fishing and travel enjoyment as well as offering every feature any serious angler might need. Having been around for a couple of years, Sea Jay’s 6.8 Pursuit has undergone some progressive changes and the current model has several innovative features, including the one mentioned in the craft’s designation – a glass windscreen in lieu of a perspex one.
Stepping aboard the 6.8 Pursuit I was immediately taken by the high standard of finish all round. Given that Sea Jay have been building alloy craft for a quarter of a century this is, of course, not surprising. The neatly smoothed and rounded bowsprit was large, the anchor well also large. Access forward to ground tackle (note that provision for a winch is standard as most buyers would opt for one) is through the rear opening and quite wide cabin hatch. There’s also a walkaround area beside the tall cabin, and while there are good hand-holds topsides I’d opt for the cabin hatch access in all but the calmest weather.
Within the cabin itself bunks were deeply padded, room enough to stretch out for a snooze or seek shelter from bad weather with upholstery and general finish exhibiting the usual Sea Jay attention to detail all round. Ample storage area was located under the bunks, with provision for a marine toilet also on hand.
At the 6.8 Pursuit’s helm area had ample headroom, whether seated or standing, with plenty of shade provided from the strong roof overhead. The glass screen and sliding side windows offered full visibility in all directions. I liked the concept of the sliding side windows; not all navigation takes place in ideal conditions and with a craft of this size it’s vital to have easy side visibility around marinas, ramps, and the like and the sliding windows certainly assisted in this regard. Also, when teamed with the Sea Jay’s overhead roof vents there would be ample ventilation during those steamy summer days.
Both pleasure and marine radios, the latter a Fusion stereo, were tucked up under the forward section of the cabin’s roof which was, in a nice touch, lined as well.
Forward seating for skipper and first mate was exceptional with the seats being wide and with strong arm rests as well. Both reach adjustable swivel seats were mounted on strong frames set up with 110L Eva Kool ice boxes below, the ice boxes having padding as well. Both skipper and mate had storage compartments and shelves beside their seats, as well as footrests for best comfort underway.
The Pursuit’s helm and dash layout was as simple as it was effective. Upper most on the vast dash area was a Furuno TZ 14 Touch sounder plotter, below it the Yamaha multi-function screen with its link to the 225 4-stroke astern, QL trim tab controls were to starboard, twin banks of switches lower and to starboard of the sports style wheel, the ignition key to port, and forward controls within easy reach to the side. All controls and functions were easily monitored.
With so much thought gone into the forward layout of the big Sea Jay Pursuit I was not surprised to note that the metre deep cockpit’s work area was just as well set up.
All floor areas were carpeted ensuring that anglers could be sure of their footing while moving about. Toeholds under the full cockpit length side pockets were handy assets for busy anglers, as was the freshwater wash down hose in the starboard pocket.
Two rod holders per side were standard within the gunwales, complementing the eight set up at the rear of the cabin roof. A large bait station sat amidship against the transom and featured the craft’s big recirculating live well, a cutting board, knife holders plus another pair of rod holders. Triple batteries were located within the base of the bait station, off floor naturally.
With such a large and well set up work area I would see four, perhaps five anglers working there in harmony with everything at their disposal.
Aft of the transom twin boarding platforms were check plated for ease of entry with a folding ladder set to port.
Recommended power for the 6.8 Pursuit ranges from 225-250hp, which saw the V6 225 Yamaha 4-stroke towards top ratings in the power stakes. The 225 seemed to be doing things pretty easy at any rate, even with five aboard and 360L of fuel under the floor, and I gave it full marks for both smoothness and easy, seamless, power. The craft planed at 10 knots (19.5km/h), at 2400rpm with the big Yamaha hardly murmuring astern. At 3000rpm I saw 12 knots (22.6km/h) recorded on the Furuno unit, 4000rpm saw 25 knots (46.6km/h), 5000rpm a speed of 32 knots (59.6km/h), 5,500rpm (full throttle) a speed of 38 knots (70.79km/h). Impressive performance, certainly, but the sheer power of the engine was what impressed me most. Instant response was the norm, which is so important in an offshore orientated craft, that could well be crossing river bars or other less favourable areas on a regular basis.
The ride was exceptionally good. With a bare hull weight of 1290kg, the big Pursuit was a solid plate craft and the ride showed it would take a lot to upset its clean and smooth running capability even in an offshore situation.
Running hard in the Burnett River I purposely drove the rig over wash from trawlers and a couple of big Rivieras proudly up on the plane to see if the hull might slam or bang. Not a chance! Sea Jay have put a lot of work into their hull’s design with its 19.5º vee aft and there was hardly even a perceived bump. Handling was clean and very manageable for such a solid plate alloy rig. You cannot throw the rig around like a 4m centre console but for a big solid craft it was very easy to drive, as hydraulic steering and a feeling of easy balance made helming the rig a pleasure.
As expected stability was quite exceptional thanks to the hull’s considerable overall mass and the rig just would not lean, which will make fishing or family boating even more enjoyable.
Given the on board features and impressive layout it’s obvious that a rig of this magnitude is going to be an exceptional fishing craft. Even the briefest of looks aboard her indicate that Sea Jay have gone to some trouble to ensure that everything is in its correct place.
There’s no doubt the 6.8 Pursuit is primarily an offshore rig; with 350L litres of fuel under floor you could go a long way! Yet the craft was also very suited to bay or even weekend cruising should a family group wish to enjoy its ample features.
Finish throughout is exemplary, workmanship top shelf, pride of ownership assured without doubt. As reviewed, and with a Redco tandem trailer the rig would come home for around $102,000 depending upon what extras were chosen from the extensive list. Sea Jay can be contacted on (07) 41522111 or on the net at --e-mail address hidden-- for the location of a dealer.
|Hull length:||6.85 m|
|Length on trailer:||9m|
|Height on trailer:||3.4m|
|Hull construction:||5mm plate bottom, 4mm sides|
|Hull deadrise:||19.5º at transom|
|Engine fitted:||225 Yamaha V6 4-stroke|
|Towing:||large 4x4 wagon or similar|