This is a great looking, impressive, solid boat which draws attention to herself even when she’s standing on the trailer.
We decided to launch from the beach to assess her launchability into the surf from the trailer. Answer? Easy! With her breakneck, double-axle galvanised trailer the Yamaha guys pushed her into the shore dump and she slipped off easily. The motors were trimmed down, started, put into reverse and there she was, floating like a duck on a pond. This is easily one of the smoothest offloads I have witnessed.
The same was true when we returned after the test. The 115hp Yamaha 4-strokes had been fitted with beach kits, so Grant opened the engines just a little bit and we slid smoothly up the sand. Shaun used his Navara to push the trailer under the Seacat and then his winch finished off the job.
She got back on the trailer just as easily as she’d slid off. Indeed, it was much easier to launch and load this nearly 21ft Seacat than I would have imagined.
With the amount of rain we’d had just before the test, the most important thing we wanted was a bit of sun so that we could take photos, but on my way to the ski-boat club it was pouring again. By the time everything was prepared and we were ready to launch, the rain had stopped, leaving overcast skies with the sun popping out every now and then. The sea was fairly smooth with no wind to talk about.
Out at sea we met up with Erwin Bursik so that he could help with some photography, and after the photo session Erwin couldn’t resist jumping aboard and taking the Seacat for a ride too.
PERFORMANCE, MOTORS AND CONTROLS
The test model was fitted with twin 115hp Yamaha 4-stroke engines with sidemount cable controls. There’s always a lot of discussion about what size engines to put on a boat, but I think Yamaha got it right with this Seacat. The twin 115s gave us more than enough power to get out of the hole fast, even with such a big boat.
The controls were very smooth both into and out of gear, and I really liked the combination Yamaha had put together on this boat. Everything from the engine size and the controls to the fishfinder was ideal.
Out of the hole onto the plane I could not fault her and I could not pick up any cavitation on pull-away or in the turns. Her stability is also remarkable. This really is one of the smoothest boats I have tested. Indeed, I could not get her to pound at all. Into the swell the ride was still very comfortable and dry. Even with two of us in the front of the boat Erwin could not get us wet – he twisted and turned in all directions, but we stayed dry.
Running with the swell and along a swell she did not once give any indication that she would broach. The ride was comfortable and very stable, even at speeds up to 30 knots. As I mentioned, Grant has made quite a few changes to the hull which he reckons will produce a much smoother ride. I guess he was right, because her ride was very smooth indeed throughout the test.