Sea Jay has a strong reputation for producing no-nonsense fishing boats that offer a great combination of quality and value.I’ve tested a few different models over the last year or so, from the basic 455 Territory with tiller steer through to the awesome Quickstrike, a dedicated sportfishing design.Chatting to Phil Pomeroy from Darwin’s BH Marine, my local Sea Jay dealer, he mentioned that one of their best sellers lately has been the Sea Jay Haven Sports, available in a range of sizes between 4.55m and 5.40m.
I wanted to test the 4.85m Haven Sports as a good representative example of this range of Sea Jay console boats and BH Marine had just finished fitting one out for a customer, so it was perfect timing for a boat test.
Last time I tested a boat from BH Marine, we ran out of water at the ramp, so this time I checked my tides a bit more carefully before arranging to meet Phil!
The Haven Sports range are designed to make boating and fishing easy — there are plenty of attractive features that come standard, and they are sold as a package that includes everything you need to get out there.
They are set up with a side console, leaving plenty of useable fishing room. There is extra storage underneath the front casting deck, so even with a bit of gear on board the interior remains open and uncluttered. Most anglers will want an esky on board, and you can slot a good-sized one in just forward of the console.
The test boat was powered with a Honda BF75 (see fact box hereabouts) and has a big 85l underfloor fuel tank which is heaps, even up here in the Territory where long runs to fishing spots are common. You can power the 4.85m Haven Sports with a 60 if you like, but the 75 supplied as part of the package from BH Marine is a beauty and it is hard to go past that little bit of extra power. The Honda 4-strokes are very fuel-efficient at cruising speeds, so they’re not going to sting you in the hip-pocket either.Pushing the throttle forward results in an instant response, with no lag in getting up onto the plane. Like other Sea Jay models, the ride is smooth and dry thanks to the Sea Jay Sure Trac hull design. As well as smooth handling and ride, the deep V hull and reverse chine provide maximum performance with minimum fuel useage.Overall, it’s a beaut little boat that will appeal to anglers wanting a versatile tinnie with a bit of style for river, inshore and estuary work.
Tropic Another interesting part of the Sea Jay range is the Tropic, available in 4.55m, 4.85m and 5.35m. It’s similar to the Haven, but with a few less frills (such as a painted hull) to bring the price down a bit. It’s still got the same quality Sea Jay construction and handling, and is available as a centre or side console. Anglers wanting to save a bit of money but still get into a well-made, reliable boat that will give them years of happy boating would do well to have a close look at the Tropic.