I RECENTLY travelled to Bundaberg to water test the brand-new Sea Jay 550 Trojan.
The Trojan range represents a different approach for Sea Jay, positioned just below the company’s own Plate Xtreme range but bigger than anything in the regular Sea Jay model line-up.
Two Trojans are currently on offer, the 550 tested here and a 630 HT reviewed in the November edition. A big, beamy cabin boat, the 550 Trojan looks like a sizeable chunk of aluminium when sitting on the trailer. High, plate-look sides add to the impression of size and the stats back up what your eyes are telling you, with a 2.45m beam and 1.32m depth listed on the spec sheet.
Continuing to run through the spec sheet proves the 550 Trojan is one kitted-out family or fishing rig. Standard inclusions consist of an anchor well to suit a Stressfree Mini Me winch, plumbed bait tank, heavy-duty boarding ladder, dive door, underfloor flotation, carpeted floor and much more.
This is all on top of Sea Jay’s excellent and proven Samurai Hull. Large reverse chines form an integral part of the hull design and the whole package works to keep those on board dry and comfortable, even in seriously nasty slop. Indeed, the chosen test day greeted us with a stiff 20-knot easterly wind blowing straight into the Burnett River.
While this meant we had the river mouth entirely to ourselves, it also meant a very stern test for the two Trojans on hand. First heading upriver to smoother water for photos, the 550 Trojan tracked well in the solid metre of swell rolling in from the mouth. The 130hp Yamaha four-stroke seemed the perfect match for the hull, and with just two people on board, the boat managed to feel quite light on its feet, jumping out of the hole with vigour and planing quickly.
With a following sea the 550 Trojan was more than happy to cruise along at a steady 53km/h. Considering the atrocious conditions, that’s a comfortable cruise speed in my books. Stopping the boat in the middle of the river to get running shots of the 630 HT revealed very impressive stability. The 550 was unruffled by both the passing wake from the bigger boat and the rolling swell.
According to Garry Fitzgerald of Sea Jay, this exceptional stability is a key feature of the Samurai Hull design. While at rest I took a few minutes to appraise the interior and found nothing lacking in terms of quality of fit and finish. A definite sense of quality inherent in the build of this Sea Jay can sometimes be missing from other brands in the segment. As well as the flawless finish, I really appreciated the stunning seats.
They were quite simply the best boat seats I’ve ever had the pleasure of plumping my rump on. Both supportive and extremely comfortable, you’d have no trouble cruising across many miles of open ocean in these puppies. These extremely comfortable seats serve a dual purpose, with the driver’s seat box playing host to six Plano tackle trays and the passenger side housing a storage hatch and shelf: seriously handy features that you wouldn’t normally think of and definitely won’t take for granted.
Down the back of the boat, the rear lounge with padded backrest makes for comfy accommodation and when not in use it can be folded down to hide the battery tray and maximise fishing room. A rear door on the passenger side provides easy access to the transom, where you’ll find a non-slip floor covering and sturdy boarding ladder complete with grab rails to make getting in and out of the boat as easy as possible.
Up the front of the boat, you’ve got plenty of headroom thanks to a generous bimini and clears that also provide good protection from the elements. Access to the cabin is made easy by a large central opening and inside is enough room to comfortably lie down on the bunks; handy on overnight trips to the reef. At the helm, the 550 Trojan is a cinch to drive either standing or sitting thanks to those outstanding seats and a foot rest extending from the bunk.
A large area above the steering wheel provides all the space necessary to house today’s extra-large sounder and GPS screens as well as vital engine data displays. Something that will be appreciated by most fishos as well as families with kids is the wide side decks that continue around the cabin to the bow of the boat, all covered in non-slip material. This gives you a second option for gaining access to the bow area, in addition to popping up through the large cabin hatch.
Heading back to the ramp and punching into the nasty conditions, the 550 Trojan kept us totally dry thanks to a fairly aggressive deadrise combining with large reverse chines and that big bimini top and clears. The 550 Trojan was able to skip over the worst of the waves and felt safe and sound travelling at a pretty reasonable 45km/h. A key point of the Trojan range is value.
Here the 550 doesn’t muck around, with boat, motor and trailer packages starting from about $50,000 when paired with a 115hp Yamaha four-stroke. The boat component comprises only $29,020 of that. I’m all for fitting the highest horsepower possible (in this case 150hp), however I believe the 550 Trojan would be pushed along quite comfortably by the base 115hp if you wanted to save a few shekels on initial outlay and fuel costs.
If you think the 550 Trojan might be the right boat to fit your needs, see your nearest Sea Jay dealer or visit seajayboats.com.au
Water testing the brand-new Sea Jay Boats Trojan 550 and 630 HT!!!
Posted by Bush 'n Beach Fishing Magazine on Wednesday, September 7, 2016