Sea Jay walks on water
Like so many other products these days such as cars, 4WDs and caravans, marine dealers and we boating anglers just have to be patient. COVID lockdowns and shutdowns around the globe have caused so many delays in getting new stock, especially imported goods. Boat yards and showrooms across the nation are low on stock as people realise it’s going to be a long time before they can head overseas again. Although not welcome, the COVID pandemic has resulted in a resurgence in the boating, caravan and automobile industries as people spend their holiday dollars at home. Boat dealerships, manufacturers and engine producers are working around the clock to meet the demand. Waiting up to three or four months is normal these days for new boats and engines and the trend looks like continuing during the southern winter months.
With the absence of boat shows around Australia during 2020, there's been a keen interest in the latest products to come onto the market, both local and from overseas. Demand for Australian-made boats is strong as the 2021 models steadily leave the factories. However, just as things were looking good, the eastern states floods caused further delays due to road closures. Delays in boat arrivals have also been intensified by a big slowdown in marine engines coming in from overseas. But as they say, all good things come to those who wait.
I had been keenly waiting to see the latest Sea Jay 590 Titan Centre Cab Walkaround for some time and when one finally arrived in WA I arranged to meet Bunbury dealer principal Greg Collett from Sportsmarine Boat Centre at the ramp in Koombana Bay. The Sea Jay 590 was powered by a Yamaha F150XB on the transom.
Sea Jay Aluminium Boats is based at Bundaberg in Queensland and has been building pressed and plate fishing boats of all sizes and configurations for more than 25 years. It boasts a product squarely aimed at the angler, no matter whether inshore or out deep chasing the big stuff. However, its style and quality of finish also puts its vessels in the family boating zone, with the review boat providing a double berth in the centre cabin and a clever sleeping extension to suit the tallest person.
The cabin is large enough for the ankle biters to play in if they get tired of fishing or need a kip during the day, or can take two adults for an overnight stay. The bulkhead is left open to allow for ventilation and if you are on the tall side the company has provided an upholstered extension to the left and right bunks that clips to the end of the bunk and rests on brackets welded to the front of the plate aluminium seat boxes. Not only do they extend the length of the sleeping accommodation but also double as a false floor for the skipper or toddlers to rest their feet on when seated in the luxury chairs. Normally the extension is stored in the vast cavity under the bunks.
This attention to detail, however small it may appear, such as the bunk extensions, is an example of the thought and reasoning behind the research and development that Sea Jay's Troy Glass (son of owners Col and Jenelle) has carried out on this brand new Titan model. Troy joined the company in 1999 after completing his apprenticeship and worked in all areas of the business. In recent years he took on the role of manager of R&D. In 2010 he became a partner in the family business with his parents.
Listening to customer feedback, the research team has come up with a cabin boat offering excellent room and protection, plus 360-degree walkaround fishing space. This new deck configuration is mounted on Sea Jay's proven Samurai hull, having 4mm bottom high tensile plates and 3mm sides. The high sides provide a good safety environment inside the vessel, again very important when the youngsters are on board, and there is plenty of height under the stylish aluminium hard top protecting the helm position and screen area. The top is supported by heavy duty tubular bar work which also carries a bank of rod holders and this whole structure is designed to fold back into the cockpit for easy storage under the carport or in a garage. It is also a very handy feature for long distance towing to reduce drag. Over the years, soft biminis and canopies suffer from wear and tear and just being out in the elements. This plate aluminium bimini will last the distance.
There’s a toughened glass hatch in the roof of the cab to allow full ventilation on those very hot days and the curved windscreen provides excellent aerodynamics.
During what had been one of our hottest summers on record with endless days of strong easterly winds, the day I arranged to meet Greg at the ramp had the weather bureau issuing a strong wind warning from the south, gusting to 30 kilometres an hour. A good day to put a boat through its paces!
The wind did whip up the water off Bunbury Harbour and we did take on some spray between the cabin and the hardtop roof when making turns. However, heading straight into the wind the Samurai bow did its job and we were kept dry. Of course running with the wind and sea behind us was a breeze, with heaps of power from the Yamaha F150hp motor. The review boat was fitted with the 2.6-litre four-cylinder motor with mechanical remote control, although for a budget upgrade you could fit the digital fly-by-wire control and gauges; a nice option and worth the dollars.
Ocean conditions dictated our activities on the water this day and there was no way we were going to achieve wide open throttle (WOT), however the Yamaha combination made this an agile rig with heaps of power to spare. With the vessel barely off the back of the truck and no instrumentation fitted to the Sea Jay 590 Titan, we were not able to register performance details during our crisscrossing of Koombana Bay. Certainly the reverse chines and spray rails fitted to the underside of the Samurai hull did their job in the choppy conditions. Despite the strong wind, there was good stability as I climbed about this vessel taking my photographs and the ample room between the cab and side decks would please all anglers.
Sea trials of the exact same combo conducted by Sea Jay and Yamaha in the Eastern States did provide some impressive figures.
The Sea Jay 590 Titan comes in with an overall length of 6.12m and has a 2.45m beam. Its dry weight is 895kg and the fuel tank holds 200 litres. The Yamaha F150hp weighs 228kg, bringing the overall weight as tested to 1373kg. With a crew of three, in calm waters and a wind speed of 15 knots, plus 50 litres of fuel on board, Yamaha's certified technicians recorded the performance data.
SEA JAY 590 PERFORMANCE DATA
|RPM||Ave Km/h||Ave L/h||Ave Km/L|
TEST PERFORMANCE SUMMARY
- Max Ave Speed: 76.30 km/h or 41.13 knots
- Best Cruising Km/l: 2.14km/L at 3500rpm
- Range, based on 95% fuel capacity at best km/L: 407 kilometres
- 0-40 km/h: 5.46 seconds
- Displacement: 2.7L
- Engine type: 16-Valve DOHC, In-Line 4
- Weight: 228kg
- Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
- Mounting Height: No. 2 Hole
The Sea Jay/Yamaha water trials showed the combination delivered economic cruising at 3500 revs, consuming 2.14 litres of fuel per hour at a speed of 41 kilometres an hour. The vessel's range with a full 200-litre tank in such conditions was a smidge over 400 kilometres, making it ideal for those week-long excursions off the north coast.
The rig comes complete with a drive-on Dunbier dual-axle trailer constructed using I-beam aluminium for durability, reducing the overall weight for those long-distance trips. With the targa and aluminium bimini folded back into the cockpit, wind resistance is reduced considerably.
The dash on the 590 Titan is large and capable of taking twin GPS and sounder units or the large combo. This area on the review vessel was left bare, awaiting the decision of the eventual owner to make their choice of electronics. To the left of the helm on this boat was a GME VHF marine radio, plus the digital Yamaha engine management gauge with the remote control at a good height on the starboard cabin wall.
The interior sides of the centre cab are lined with carpet, adding that warmth to the alloy plate and the colour matched the carpeted floor.
The two deluxe helm seats are mounted on aluminium boxes, each with storage underneath and in this case tackle trays for hooks, lures, jigs and tools. The seats are on slides to adjust forward or backwards and could swivel 360 degrees to face the rear when fishing. Side pockets run the full length of the vessel, manufactured as heavy duty to also act as steps.
Cockpit space out the back is roomy and the three-person upholstered rear lounge that runs across the transom can fold down, allowing fishers to stand hard against the rear of the vessel and work at the large tackle station. The coaming along the transom is padded and very comfortable to lean against as it extends around the port rear quarter where the live bait tank is located.
A transom door on the starboard side leads to the marlin board and a substantial two-rung dive ladder capable of taking bathers wearing fins or scuba enthusiasts. There's a similar marlin platform on the port side and whilst not large, these provide room to stand and towel off after a dip.
The fish station/bait board is an excellent one, carrying four rod holders across the back plus two sinker wells. There's a substantial shelf underneath for tackle and tools, plus space to keep the fresh bait out of the sun. This whole work area can double as a mini-galley when picnicking with the family or a platform for mounting the portable barbeque during camping excursions.
Dual batteries are stored on the deck along the transom, with the master switch on the port side. In their wisdom, Sea Jay’s technicians have located the fuel filter at the rear of the starboard side pocket near the transom door and it is clearly visible for easy inspection to check for possible water contamination. As mentioned, this is a 360-degree fully walkaround boat for anglers working those spirited beauties from the deep. Heading up front there's a raised casting deck with low profile safety rails so as not to interfere with rod action. Anglers working the bow section can use the cabin roof as a seat.
A mounting bracket for an electric trolling motor is already in place on the port bow and the 590 Titan comes with a very large anchor well, a welcome trait on all Sea Jay boats. There is easy room to fit a power anchor winch and the rear wall of the well has been reinforced during the build stage to accommodate such an accessory, which is becoming more popular these days. The bowsprit is not only welded to the deck, but also the safety rails for extra strength. It is designed to stow the popular brand of plough anchors.
The gunwales are wide enough to sit on while dangling a line and there are four rod holders each side of the vessel plus those on the baitboard at the rear and the bank of six on the targa.
The Sea Jay 590 is an impressive fishing boat and is available from Bunbury’s Sportsmarine, which is now the largest marine dealer in the South-West of Western Australia and can supply details of the entire Sea Jay range of vessels.
NUTS & BOLTS
- MODEL: Sea Jay 590 Titan
- LENGTH: 6.12m
- BEAM: 2.45m
- DRY WEIGHT: 895kg
- POWER: Yamaha F150XB
- MAX HP: 150hp
- FUEL: 200 litres
- WEIGHT AS TESTED: 1373kg
- MANUFACTURER: Sea Jay Aluminium Boats; Maddison Court, Bundaberg, Queensland, 4670.
- AGENT: Sportsmarine; 57 Strickland St, Bunbury E, WA, 6230; Phone: 0418 932 127 or (08) 9721 4390. Email: email@example.com; www.sportsmarine.com.au .
- PRICE: $85,775.00 as tested, including the offshore safety gear package.
PROS & CONS
- Good stability when underway and during a strong drift pattern.
- Ample 360-degree walkaround space, especially between the cabin and sides.
- Full 2m sleeping in the cab thanks to bunk extensions.
- Heaps of head room under the solid aluminium bimini.
- Beefy folding canopy for storage or towing long distance.
- Quality welding clearly visible.
- Large anchor well on the bow and substantial bait station on the transom.
- Dunbier tandem-axle aluminium trailer.
- The only disappointment was the weather and the fact we did not have the opportunity to push this rig to its full potential. We were the only pleasure craft on the water that day and although I had my trusty Stormy PFD jacket zipped up and skipper Damien Griffiths wore his collar PFD, it would have been irresponsible of us to challenge the conditions head on. The Sea Jay 590 Titan did a great job.
- The 590 Titan Centre Cab Walkaround is a brand new model for Sea Jay Aluminium Boats, offering anglers 360-degree action.
- Deluxe seats can swivel to the rear and are mounted on a box fitted with tackle drawers.
- A close-up look at the temporary bunk extensions.
- The rear lounge folds down or is fully removable.
- A beefed-up anchor well plus deck bracket for an electric motor.
- Good access to the raised foredeck.
- The transom of the Titan 590 holds a substantial bait station, live bait tank plus access to the dive ladder.
- Checking for fuel contamination is easy.
- Cruising at 3500 rpm, the Yamaha 150hp motor pushed the Sea Jay 590 Titan 2.14 kilometres per litre of four-stroke fuel, using an average 19.15 litres per hour.
- The sharp entry and spray chines resulted in a dry ride during very choppy conditions.