Seacat 520 FC Offshore Boats

Seacat 520 FC Offshore Boats

Model
OffShore Boats
Length
5.2m
Year
2017
Boat type
Seacat 520 FC
Location
Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Explorer Cast Multi Purpose Boat Your Day on the Water just got better!

FIRST IMPRESSION
Having tested the Seacat 520 FC Centre Console version at the end of last year, this was a reacquaintance of sorts, but this time with a forward console.

She is a typical ski-boat that I would recommend for experienced fisherman and entry-level angler alike, marlin angling aside, a craft that can be towed around with ease for light tackle fishing in the bay, estuary and offshore, as well as for freshwater operation.

My opinion is that she is neatly put together for both the serious angler and the occasional fisherman. She is small enough for only one person to handle, but ideal when at least two people venture out to sea aboard her.

CONDITIONS
The sea conditions were rough on the test day. The northeastern was pumping, turning the sea into a washing machine out there, which made the photographic shoot very difficult. However, testing a boat in those conditions is the ultimate trial of a craft’s capabilities. If she can beat those conditions, then she’s good for everything the sea can throw at her.

LAUNCHING AND TRAILERING
When it comes to beach launching, size does matter. It is just much easier to put a 16ft boat in the water than it is to launch a 22ft craft from the beach.

Launching the 520 Seacat was a cinch. Because of her size, she could be turned around by hand much easier than a bigger boat.

After the test, we ran her up the beach and pulled her up and onto the trailer with ease. Loading her is faster too, even with a winch which didn’t feel the Seacat 520 as opposed to the bigger 636 tested on the same day. She slid into her standard custom-built galvanised single axle breakneck trailer without a creak from the cable.

MOTORS, CONTROLS AND PERFORMANCE
This Seacat 520 was fitted with 2x50hp 4-stroke Yamaha engines with cable side-mount controls. Even though the controls were cable, she still went into and out of gear easily.

Should you ever experience difficulty with getting cable controls into and out of gear, alway check on the bend of the cables which might be too sharp, causing stiffness in the controls.

Pushing her into gear from a standing position she jumped out the hole in a flash. It’s always nice to feel the power of 4-stroke engines behind you as they propel you quickly and silently, as well as odourless without the customary 2-stroke smell. I could not push her too hard in the ugly sea we were negotiating, though, going very light on the throttle and aware of what was happening around me as I put her through her paces.

There were no signs of cavitation as I pushed open the throttle after a sharp turn. Even though she is light there was no indication of broaching in a following sea. Into the swell I proceeded cautiously, as I would with any boat in a sea like this, tapping down when necessary and speeding up when possible.

Overall her performance was very good, as was her stability at a slow troll speed in all directions.

Feature List
Forward console Cat 5.2m
Protective windscreen Perspex
Foam filled SAMSA standard
Anchor hatch Walk through access
Bar stools Yes
Centre hatch seating Yes
Fish hatches Yes
Step platform Yes
Wet deck Self-draining
Storage Yes
Keel strip Stainless Steel
Roll bars Stainless Steel
Bow rail Stainless steel
Grab handles Stainless steel
Anchor hatch Yes
Bow roller Yes
Fishing rod racks Yes
Galvanised trailer Included
Dimensions
LOA 5.2m
Beam 2.13m
Dry Weight 750kg
HP Rating  
2 x 50 70HP

LAYOUT
Like the other Seacats, a lot of thought has gone into the layout.

The anchor hatch is in the accustomed position up front, ahead of the forward console in which there is ample space available for storage of tackle and other equipment. In the steering’s dashboard, there’s more than enough space for fish finders and the radios.

Accessibility to the anchor hatch up front is via a step-up through a removable mid-console window. Swivel chairs for skipper and crew round off the console area.

This Seacat 520 boasts a stainless-steel T-top that can be folded down when the boat is being towed. Extra rod holders have been fitted on top of the T-top.

Flush fuel- and fish hatches have been built into the middle of the deck, and both sides of the boat boast space in the gunnels to store fishing rods. At the stern in the false transom is the live-bait well midships, with battery hatches on both sides.

Finally, there are stainless-steel roll bars with rod holders in the stern.

CONCLUSION
The Seacat 520 is an ideal boat for any type of fishing, excluding marlin, whether it be freshwater, bay and estuary or offshore. You would be able to rig her to your own preferences, and layout too is optional. Indeed, everyone has their own ideas on the best layout for their individual requirements.

Like all the other Seacat models on the market, Grant’s workmanship is of the highest standard. Though this might be classed as an “entry-level” craft, I would say that the Seacat 520 is much more than that. Indeed, many old salts have downsized to this smaller yet very capable boat.

It’s nice to know that Grant Reed is one of the few boat builders around who still does R&D on all his products, even during this enduring recession which has crippled a number of dealers over the last couple of years.

Contact Information

  • 1 Robberg Road, Plettenberg Bay WC 6600
  • (044) 533 1443
  • Monday – Friday: 8:00AM – 5:00PM Saturday: 5:00AM – 1:00PM Sunday: Closed

MESSAGE TO VENDOR