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Adventure bound with the Whittley SL 26HT SD Adventure
  |  First Published: June 2015



The Whittley Sea Legend 26 HT SD Adventure is such a striking boat that it impressed me even before the hull hit the water at Pattersons Lake.

Everything about the Whittley Adventure is impressive. From the gleaming stainless bow rails, to the high gloss gel coat, and the massive hard top with rear cockpit area extension, the Whittley is a boat that demands attention. On water the Whittley’s renowned tradition of features, comfort, practicality, and attention to detail all blended smoothly and seamlessly together to delivers boaties a vessel that performs as well as it looks. The Whittley’s diesel Volvo Penta inboard engine further enhances the package delivering outstanding power and performance.

feature packed layout

At the front of the Whittley’s sleek cuddy cab is a massive anchor well, featuring a stainless steel drum winch, complete with rope, chain and Delta anchor. Within the lined, well lit, and fully lockable cabin is, full passenger headroom when seated, below berth storage, fridge, stove, fan, table, and toilet and shower.

Twin, high backed, bucket seats provide ultimate comfort and safety for the skipper and first mate, while a massive wiper equipped glass windscreen delivers outstanding visibility. Connected to a solid moulded hard top and featuring side windows the Whittley’s windscreen ensures optimum visibility and ventilation at any speed and in any conditions.

The cockpit features don’t end there, with a LED light bars overhead, LED cockpit lighting, rocket launcher rod racks, and marine radios tucked away out of the weather and elements. Grab rails for the skipper, side padding for added comfort and security, and handy storage pockets further complement the boats ample list of features.

The Sea Legend’s dash layout was impressive, yet not overblown or flashy. The dash features were numerous and generous, including trim tabs controls, speedo and tachometer, anchor winch controls, and engine start up system nestled either side of a massive Raymarine Hybrid Touch sounder. Alongside the Raymarine unit was a 12V power outlet, while lower their banks of switches to control the many functions within the craft including the Fusion sound system. Sitting front and centre and proud of the dash is the Whittley classy three spoke steering wheel linked to the vessel’s power steering system.

The Whittley’s side mounted engine controls featured Volvo Penta’s state of the art Electronic Vessel Control system with its interesting options of, cruise, tow, plus other modes, at the skipper’s disposal.

In typical Whittley tradition the SL 26’s main seats were located on the front of massive storage boxes. These boxes also featured a seat on the rear of the box that allows a couple of passengers to remain close to the cockpit while under way. I was impressed with the manner in which the moulded seat boxes could be lifted upwards to allow access to the ample storage beneath. One thing that’s never in short supply in a Whittley is storage.

Cockpit for four anglers to work.

Located rear of the forward seating, and sheltered under the hard top’s extended canopy is a well set up, self draining cockpit that provides working room for up to four anglers. The Whittley’s gunwales feature sunken grab rails, padded sides, and massive side pockets that can store anything from fenders through to dive tanks. The side pockets also feature rod storage racks, which include in-hull tip protection for ultimate rod protection and angler safety.

A large, plumbed live well ensures your livebaits are kept alive and kicking, while a pair of rod holders adorned the top of the gunwales. A large underfloor compartment provides a home for your catch, and when combined with a deck wash makes it easy to keep things tidy when fish are coming aboard in quick succession.

Additional rod holders were set up on the stylish bait station aft of the engine box, as well as on a stainless rack on the rear of the massive full-width marlin board located on the stern of the craft. The marlin boat provides a handy place to fish on a warm day, and easily accessed via the vessel’s transom gate. In total there are 13 rod holders on-board providing ample storage and facilitating a clear clutter free work area.

Diesel power wise choice.

The cockpit seating consisted of slide-in quarter seats (removed for our test runs), and a very handy seat located on top of the engine box. The seat located on the engine was comfortable and also provided a degree of sound proofing for the Volvo Penta 260 diesel engine tucked into the rear of the craft. The Volvo D4/260 diesel engine is in keeping with growing trend for diesel engines on large trailer craft. The reason for their growing popularity is simple. The reasons come down to, limited initial expense, frugality running costs, plus the extra stability imparted to a hull.

The Volvo Penta D4, incidentally, is a 260 hp, fresh water cooled diesel inboard purpose built as marine engine by a long standing marine engine manufacturer with decades of reliability and proven capability. The engine features a 3.7L capacity, common rail fuel injection, and turbo charging. The Volvo Penta engine also features an electronic engine management for optimum efficiency, and is linked wirelessly to the Electronic Vessel Control system located at the helm.

The Volvo Penta diesel proved to be quiet, very responsive, and with ample performance. The big rig (with three aboard) planed at 13.17 knots (24.4 km/h) at 2000 rpm, and 22.40 knots (41.5 km/h) at 2500 rpm. Fuel consumption at these speeds was an impressive 23L/h. When more throttle was applied 28.23 knots (52.3km/h) was achieved at 3000 rpm, while at wide-open throttle 36.71 knots (68km/h) was achieved at 3600 rpm.

While the Whittley’s speeds were impressive it’s perhaps the fuel consumption that is most noteworthy. At 22.40 knots (41.5 km/h), a very useful cruising speed for such a large craft, the frugal diesel was sipping just 23L/h of fuel. With 270L of diesel under the floor that’s impressive cruising range on hand.

I’ll often devote a whole paragraph to a boat’s stability and sea keeping attributes when writing a review, but with the Whittley that many words aren’t required. The Whittley is a large hull, with raft like stability; the result is a vessel that is unashamedly assured and stable both at rest and on the move.

The Wrap up

The Whittley SL26HT SD Adventure is a remarkable boat in many respects. It really is the boat that has the lot. Starting with an absolutely top shelf finish down to highest possible comfort levels, and outstanding performance it’s a package that ticks most, if not all, boxes. A fishing boat with few peers, it’s a boat that is destined to become a favourite with keen anglers. With impressive features and dimensions, excellent sea legs it’s a boat that fails not to impress. The SD Adventure is a true offshore boat or long-range coastal cruiser. With Whittley pedigree underpinning its design and construction it’s also a boat that will hold its value for years to come, ensuring optimum resale value.

As reviewed, the Whittley Sea Legend 26HT SD Adventurer – with all options as shown - will come home for $194.990 ex Melbourne.

Contacts: Whittley Marine Group on --e-mail address hidden-- or telephone (03) 83391800 or fax (03) 83391824 for further information or a dealer near you.

Technical Information.

Length7.74 m
Beam2.46m
Deadrise23º
Weight BMT with stern drive2975kg
Fuel270L
Engine ratings200-380hp
Engine fittedVolvo Penta 260 hp diesel
PersonsSix
TowingLarge 4 x 4
Reads: 1330

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