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.
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.