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Tested by Heinrich Kleyn
Length – 4.9m
Beam – 2.13m
Min hp — 2 x 40hp
Max hp — 2 x 60hp
Buoyancy — foam-filled
Power as tested — 2 x 50hp 2-strokes
THE Seacat 510 Centre Console is the sister of the Seacat 510 Forward Console and was introduced to the market at more or less at the same time. Like the FC, the CC is something to look at for the entry-level ski-boat fisherman.
I saw the CC and the FC at the same time and wondered what the differences would be between the two. I think the decision between buying either the FC or CC would come down to a matter of personal choice, because the hulls are identical. It is just the deck and the motors that differ. The FC was fitted with twin 60hp four-strokes and the CC with twin 50hp Yamaha two-strokes.
With the swell all over the place, the test was going to be very challenging. Luckily there was no wind, so we were able to to work on our suntans as we took a slow run northwards, from Durban towards Blue Lagoon and the open sea, enjoying the thrill of testing these new boats for the first time.
TRAILERING AND LAUNCHING
The Seacat 510 CC arrived on a galvanised breakneck single-axle trailer. These boats are so light that you don’t need a double axle. Getting her onto the beach was simple and without any hassle, then I just pulled her down the beach on her trailer to the water’s edge. All the checks were done and I was pushed very softly and smoothly into the surf off the trailer.
If your timing is correct this can easily be done by two people. You just need one to handle the car and the other the boat. When the boat is dropped off, one person can turn her around while number two parks the car. This kind of boat certainly does simplify things.
The same applies when you load her back onto the trailer. This is such an easy task that it could easily be done by one person, but two sets of hands make it that much easier.
MOTORS AND CONTROLS
I firstly tested the Seacat FC with two Yamaha 60hp four-strokes. At the time I thought I would feel the difference dropping to 50hp motors on the CC. To my surprise it wasn’t the case at all.
The Seacat was fitted with two 50hp Yamaha two-stroke motors with side-mount controls. The cable operation from the controls to the engine was very smooth — a clear indication that the setup was done correctly.
In my opinion, the CC with two 50hp Yamaha motors on the back is ideal for a surf launch. In the lumpy sea we were stuck with, the Seacat 510 CC jumped out the hole very quickly. She also hopped on the plane very quickly and accelerated to the top end in a flash, giving more than enough time to get through the surf.
She has plenty of power in reserve too, so that if a wave should suddenly rise up in front of you, you would be able to turn around in time. The CC’s ride is similar to that of the FC into the swell, and with a following sea I did not experience any broaching, pounding or rolling. On the sharp turns the boat handled well without cavitation and got back on the plane with ease.
Because of the high gunnels the Seacat 510 CC is very dry and stable for a centre console craft. I experienced a softer ride on the CC than on the FC, because the controls are further back, closer to the engines.
With the CC being such a light boat, an added bonus would be excellent fuel economy, even with the two-strokes.
The first thing you see when you look at the Seacat CC is space. The centre console makes the Seacat look much bigger than she really is.
With the high gunnels, moving all around the boat is safe and easy, and with the new look these boats are sporting — including splash wells at the back and a higher false transom — it is nearly impossible to get water on the deck from the stern. She also has a big livewell built into the false transom.
Behind the centre console there is a nice storage hatch to pack away tackle and other equipment, and on either side of the centre console there’s a fish hatch flush with the deck. The gunnels incorporate recessed holders for storing your rods while travelling.
Besides this, there’s a spacious compartment on top of the console where you can mount your fishfinder and radio, so overall this boat boasts ample storage space.
I thought that the 510 FC had a lot of space, but the 510 CC’s spacious design makes her even roomier than her sister. Five people would be able to fish comfortably on this boat, and any species from gamefish to bottomfish could be targeted with ease. Her clever design makes it very easy to move around on this boat, and it also gives anglers space to control their fish without falling over each other.
The 510 CC is very stable, even when you move around a lot, and she doesn’t tilt to one side. This boat would be ideal for people who want to do vertical jigging or flyfishing, particularly because of her nice high gunnels.
As with all the previous Seacats, it’s hard to find fault with the 510 Centre Console model. Her finish looks superb and the workmanship is in a class of its own.
This is a great boat for the person who wants a small, easy-to-handle craft, and is the ideal boat for the entry-level fisherman. Considering the price and what you get, I certainly think it’s worth it.
When it come to choosing the size of the motors, a lot will depend on your budget. I think she will run well with either 40hp or 50hp four-stroke motors, and if you prefer two-strokes you might even fit a pair of 60hp motors.
Yamaha have done well to add yet another classy boat to their already stunning range. •