Right in the centre of a range of five models from 5.2m to 7.5m, the 6000 Jay Cat is described by builders Offshore Marine Master as a family cruiser that's also great for fishing.
It also has many comfortable appointments aboard, including a hot water system and easy fishing positions.
There is also a strong bow rail, twin anchor wells and a lot of flat non-skid surfaces to provide sure footing. There's also a front-of-cabin seat large enough for a couple of folks to be comfy on, too.
Access forward is via cockpit steps leading to a 33cm wide non-skid walk-around area either side of the cabin, ample handholds provided courtesy of a rail on the cabin top.
Also featured on the cabin top are front and rear extensions plus an aft bimini with a zip-opening section allowing access to the eight rod holders in the rocket launcher aloft. The bimini is high enough to be out of the way of anglers but will still provide some shade to those on the fold-down seats either side of the lockable cabin door.
Stepping from the carpeted cockpit into the full-sized – biggest I've seen on a 6m centre cab – and lined cabin reveals a very smart design that incorporates plenty of features without clutter.
Tucked right forward is a double bed, with the space below utilised fully to house the hot water system and other equipment to port and other storage to starboard. This area is well ventilated via a wide central hatch while elliptical side windows provide further light.
Seating is generous: Four will be comfortable in the cabin. The padded bench seat to port sits over a very big ice box. A pair of house batteries (with chargers) are just forward of the icebox.
The craft's Humminbird 987C sounder/GPS combo and a compass are directly ahead of the skipper on a wide, flat dash. Below, an upright section was set up with instruments to monitor the twin Johnson 140s, switches, marine radio and engine controls. In all, it’s a neat instrument layout.
I found the skipper's seat very comfortable and at perfect height for easy visibility through the 6mm windscreen with electric wiper. Ventilation for the cabin, which can be fully enclosed in bad weather, is via large sliding side windows which allow ample air circulation. Those windows are sure to be appreciated in Summer.
The Jay Cat has full live-aboard capability thanks to a list of features as long as my arm. They include a 45L electric fridge/freezer, a galley with two-burner gas stove and a sink with a hot/cold mixer tap.
Aft of the galley there is a full-sized bathroom compartment complete with chemical toilet, hot shower and hand basin. Full marks for this one!
The cockpit, like all of the flooring, is carpeted. Just stepping out into the cockpit, there is a pair of handy seats tucked either side of the companionway under cover of the bimini.
Main cockpit features include twin overhead LED lights, four rod holders, handy side pockets, twin plumbed underfloor kill tanks, upholstered cockpit coamings around to the transom, a livewell to starboard (with handy deck wash) and a cutting board and storage box to port.
Twin-engine batteries, plus the storage spaces in each stern quarter, are easily accessed and are handy for extra ropes, fenders and such. Three or four anglers could fish here in comfort with a couple more up forward. The craft is rated for seven adults.
Entry from astern is via two non-skid steps, one of which is set up with a berley distribution system below it. There is a lockable central boarding gate.
Handrails and a boarding ladder are there and this is the place to haul aboard an extra large fish.
The generous non-skid sections plus side rails on the transom are sure to be appreciated by swimmers and divers.
The big aluminium cat is rated for twin engines from 75hp to 140hp. The twin Johnson 140s provided ample power and produced the following figures: 14 knots (26.2kmh) at 3000rpm (planing), 24.2 knots (45kmh) at 4000rpm, 31.3 knots (58kmh) at 5000rpm and 35.7 knots (66.2kmh) at 5500rpm. The rig was humming along at 24 knots at 4000rpm with cabin noise levels allowing normal conversation.
Ride and handling were as one might expect from a craft of this size and configuration – exemplary.
The deep vee cat hulls with their planing planks simply rose gently onto the plane at 3000rpm and stayed there with ease. Chop and wash were merely a slight sensation as we crossed them.
The lack of noise from the foam-filled alloy hulls were an impressive feature of the Jay Cat's ride.
Hydraulic steering produced fingertip control and I was impressed with the ease that the cat turned, the steadiness of the ride and feeling of sure-footedness throughout all manoeuvres. The twin 140 Johnson four-strokes had plenty of reserve power and the craft was quite responsive to throttle.
The Jay Cat 6000 is a well set-out craft that lives up to its designation as a family cruiser in every sense of the term. Yet it will also double as a superb offshore fishing rig with appointments for the keen angler. This rig needs to be towed with a large 4WD.
Overall build quality is superb. A fully welded construction means there is a total lack of vibration and the finish is of the absolute highest standard that Offshore Marine Master are renowned for. The paint job, fittings, trim, and easy, practical layout make the big Jay Cat a boat to be very proud of for the discerning angler who wants high levels of comfort.
It does come at a price but a reasonable one at that; the 6000 will come home from around $93,265. Offshore Marine Master can be contacted on (07) 5493 5111 or visit www.offshoremarinemaster.com.au.
|Power:||2 x 75hp to 2x140hp|
|Power as tested:||2 x Johnson 140hp|
The hull tunnel does a good job of trapping air to soften the ride at speed.Reads: 12981