WHEN arranging a boat test, one of the main weather concerns is rain, as digital SLR cameras don’t like getting wet.
However, when recently testing the Sea Jay 630 Vision we had no rain, but the wind from ex-tropical cyclone Linda made taking photos and getting good audio on videos extremely difficult.
On the up-side, conditions were nearing atrocious at the mouth of the Burnett River, perfect for putting the Sea Jay 630 Vision through its paces. Unfortunately, the photos don’t do justice to how wild the weather was. Before launching, I had a discussion with Garry Fitzgerald from Sea Jay and Will Lee from Yamaha about the engine they had matched to the 630 Vision.
Rated to a maximum horsepower of 200, I had some reservations about the 150hp four-stroke Yamaha fitted to the test boat, feeling it might struggle when loaded. However, both the guys assured me the 150hp was a great match for this rig in terms of performance and fuel economy.
Well, I was soon proved wrong. Hole shot with two people on board excelled, with the 630 Vision getting to 40km/h in about 4.5 seconds, which is awesome for a boat this size. Similarly, when wound out to wide open throttle (in a quick break from the wind), the speedo reached a tick above 71km/h while using fuel at a rate of about 1.2 litres per km.
At a more comfortable speed for the conditions the Sea Jay 630 Vison cruised at around 37km/h, which was achieved at 3500rpm and with fuel consumption close to 0.5 litres per km. Given the 210-litre underfloor fuel capacity, this dedicated fishing rig can easily venture to more remote or isolated fishing destinations.
As mentioned, this is a dedicated fishing boat. Sure, you could easily tow a tube or have a family day cruising around, but its primary function is fishing. With an overall length of 6.3m and a massive beam of 2.48m, which is just under the legal limit of 2.5m, you end up with ample room.
Combine this with a clean and practical layout and you have a boat that can be used for a variety of fishing applications.
The raised platform at the bow not only gives you a massive amount of storage but is also a great vantage point for throwing lures at a mix of fish species. It also makes getting to the anchor ultra-easy. The centre console configuration allows for easy movement around the whole boat, with plenty of rails to grab if needed, which again attests to the fishability of this rig.
Even with the easy access around the helm, the wide beam ensures your centre console is of significant size. The beauty of this is it gives extra protection from the elements, which can be handy in a centre console, though it was surprising how dry the ride was given the conditions.
Another advantage of a large helm is you have plenty of room to install electronics. This particular rig had a Garmin sounder/GPS unit, GME radio, Yamaha gauge, trim tab controls and switch panel, with heaps of room left over. In addition, a couple of handy shelves, one with a lip above the dash and another under the dash, are perfect for storing items like your phone and wallet.
Behind the helm is a massive area from which to fish. Even with a very large icebox you would still have plenty of room to move around and not feel cramped. Large side pockets that run from the stern to the front casting platform provide additional storage on each side of the boat.
A dedicated tackle tray has been built into the rear transom, which is also where you’ll find the twin batteries. They sit on a raised platform behind a panel to stay protected from the elements while remaining easy to access. As for rod storage, which you obviously need in a serious fishing rig, you can stow five on the bait board, which also has two drink holders and a compartment for pliers, sinkers and other odds and ends you want to keep handy.
An additional six rod holders can be found on the targa, which keeps them well out of the way, as well as a few more in each gunwale. As with all Sea Jay boats, the finishing and attention to detail is top-notch and I think the quality of Say Jays and the pride in workmanship is one reason why more and more fishos are keen to own this brand of boat.
Combined with the proven performance of the Samurai Hull comprising a 5mm bottom, 3mm sides and solid keel plate, the newest and largest Vision in the range will surely impress even the most fastidious of fishos. Overall, the Sea Jay Vision punched above its weight in testing conditions and came up a winner.
The only thing I would change is the checker plate floor.I know some people swear by it and love how it performs, but I would prefer something like SeaDek. One of the best things about dealing with Sea Jay is the team is happy to customise your rig to your liking, so if there is anything you want modified or done differently, it can easily be added to the build so you get your ultimate boat.
For more information on the Sea Jay 630 Vision or other models in the range, check out seajayboats.com.au
On the website you’ll also find a list of dealers, so you can visit the one nearest you. And to get the low-down on the bulletproof 150hp Yamaha, which performed better than expected on this big boat, head to yamaha-motor.com.au