Available in five models from 5.2m to 7.5m in length, the 6.0m Jay Cat sits right in the centre of the range. Offshore describe the craft (referred to as the 6000) 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 surface to provide sure footing. There's also a front-of-cabin seat large enough for a couple of folk 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 hand holds being provided courtesy of a rail on the cabin top.
Also featured on the cabin top are front and rear extensions plus a bimini, aft, with a zip opening section, allowing access to the 8 rod holders aloft. The bimini is high enough to be out of the way of anglers but will still provide some shade to folk seated on the fold down seats each side of the 2m high lockable cabin door.
Stepping from the carpeted cockpit into the full sized – biggest I've seen on a 6m centre cab craft – and fully lined cabin reveals a very smart design that incorporates plenty of features without any clutter.
Tucked right forward is a double bed, with the space below utilized fully, housing the craft's 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 on the port bench sits over a very big ice box. A pair of house batteries (with chargers) are tucked just forward of the icebox.
The craft's Huminbird 987 C sounder/GPS and a compass is set up directly ahead of the skipper on this flat area. Below, an upright section was set up with instruments to monitor the paired Johnson 140's on the stern, switches, marine radio, and forward controls. In all, a neat instrument layout.
I found the skipper's seat was very comfortable and at a perfect height for easy visibility through the 6mm windscreen with it's wiper. Ventilation for the cabin, which can be fully closed off in bad weather, is via large sliding side windows which allow ample air circulation. Those windows are sure to be appreciated once summer's heat comes again.
The Jay Cat has full live aboard capability thanks to a list of features as long as my arm. The craft features include, 45L electric fridge/freezer, below the skipper and a galley set up with a 2 burner gas stove, a sink with flick/mix tap with hot or cold water all located under one of the padded seats. Aft of the galley there is a full sized bathroom compartment complete with chemical toilet, hot shower, and hand basin. Frosted glass is a neat feature of the showerhead, which is the best I've seen on a craft of this size. Full marks to Offshore for this one!
The cockpit, like all of the flooring, is carpeted. Just stepping out into the cockpit sees a pair of handy seats tucked each side of the doorway under cover of the bimini.
Main cockpit features include twin overhead LED lights, 4 rod holders, handy side pockets, twin plumbed under floor kill tanks, padding around the near waist high gunwale tops and transom area, a live well to starboard (with handy deck wash) plus 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, a couple more up front. The craft is rated for seven, incidentally.
Entry from astern is via two non-skid steps, one of which is set up with a berly distribution system below it, leading to a lockable central boarding gate. Handrails and a boarding ladder are there for the swimmers. The same boarding area would be very handy when it is time to haul aboard an extra large fish, too.
The area each side of the boarding gate was given over to flat platforms on which the paired Johnson 140 four strokes were mounted. Also the generous non skid sections plus side rails on the transom are sure to be appreciated by swimmers or divers, such was the amount of space available.
The big aluminium cat is rated for twin engines from 75 to 140 h.p. From the performance figures achieved – 26.4km/h at 3,000rpm (planing), 45km/h at 4,000rpm, 58km/h at 5,000rpm and 66.2km/h at 5,500rpm – I saw the twin Johnson 140's as more than enough power. Easy cruising saw the rig humming along at 45.5km/h at 4,000rpm with noise levels within the cabin quite good, 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 3,000rpm and stayed there with ease. Chop and wash encountered on Moreton Bay was merely a slight sensation as we crossed it; the lack of noise from the foam filled alloy hulls being an impressive feature of the Jay Cat's ride. Hydraulic steering made control of the craft a fingertip exercise 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, too, and the craft was quite responsive to throttle.
The Jay Cat 6000 is a well set out craft that lives up to it's designation as a family cruiser in every sense of the term. Yet it will also double as a superb off shore fishing rig given the level of appointments for the keen angler. Overall build quality is superb. A fully welded construction means there is a total lack of vibration and the overall 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 while on the water.
It does come at a price but a reasonable one at that, as the 6000 will come home from around the $93,265 mark. Offshore Marine Master can be contacted on (07) 5493 5111 or visit www.offshoremarinemaster.com.au.
The rig tows with a large four wheel drive.
|Power:||Twin 75's to 140hp outboards.|
|Power as fitted:||Twin Johnson 140 four strokes.|
|Towing:||F250, Landcruiser, Patrol or similar.|
The between hull tunnel does a good job of trapping air to soften the ride at speed.Reads: 2124