SeaVee is synonymous with top-notch, fishing-focused center-consoles, and the 450Z, the builder’s latest addition—based on its proven stepped hull—is destined to be another winner. We got the chance to test the ride, performance and numerous features while pre-fishing for a sailfish tournament in South Florida, and the boat did not disappoint.
Our survey began in front, where the forward deck features an in-floor storage bin that serves as an optional livewell and a large insulated fish box on the centerline, bookended by full-length rod lockers, a great feature for traveling and overnighting away from home. An anchor-locker hatch affords access to the through-hull anchor shoot and windlass. A plush, two-person lounge rests at the front of the console, with seven vertical rod holders on each side. But rod storage is considerably more extensive. In fact, our test boat sported 34 flush-mounted holders spread along the outboard deck, and two rows of vertical holders for 15 rods on the transom.
The one-piece, resin-infused console has no visible fasteners for a clean, stylish look. The center-aligned helm is protected by a safety-glass windshield integrated into the hardtop frame and has only corner posts, offering an unobstructed line of sight. Ergonomically designed, with every switch and control interface at arm’s length of the skipper, the test boat’s helm featured two 24-inch Furuno multifunction displays, a 12-inch display in the center, Mercury engine control, JL Audio control, generator control, autopilot interface, and VHF radio with remote mics, plus a Vetus bow-thruster control and an Optimus steering joystick.
Dual-row seating features three plush helm-style chairs in each row, with flip-up armrests and seat bolsters. The aft row is slightly elevated to provide unimpeded visibility forward, and both ends of the forward row house tackle storage.
Access to the console interior is on the starboard side, and entrance is gained by pushing a button to operate the computer-controlled, helical drive system that opens and closes the fiberglass door. Inside, the console has an air-conditioned private head and shower with integral shelving and a mirrored vanity with sink and storage, as well as a galley complete with countertop, sink, Vitrifrigo refrigerator, microwave oven and storage.
The U-shaped lounge with a high-low, expanding teak table converts into a queen berth. The interior is lit by near-full-length acrylic windows on the console sides. Soft wall coverings offer yachtlike refinement while dampening noise. The main electric distribution panel is on the aft bulkhead, just inside the door for easy access, even without entering the cabin. A hanging locker rounds out the ample weekend-living quarters.
The SeaVee’s cockpit is also set up for easy access, with three in-deck hatches at the transom to reach the bilge, an optional in-deck livewell or storage boxes, a 200-gallon fish box on each side, and a centerline compartment for the 9 kW Onan generator and Seakeeper gyrostabilizer. Side doors to both port and starboard add convenience when boarding, snorkeling and diving, and boating large fish.
Suspending surface baits from kites is a key sailfish tactic that requires a substantial amount of live bait such as goggle-eyes, threadfin herring, sardines or pilchards, all of which demand ample livewell capacity, as well as the proper water flow to remain healthy and frisky. The 450Z has five livewells totaling 200 gallons, including a 40-gallon well—with clear lid and window to monitor the baits— in both cockpit corners, all fed by two Best Marine sump boxes with three pumps each.
We tested the boat in normal offshore fishing conditions, with a considerable load: 12 people and their gear, full livewells, 450 gallons of fuel and 100 gallons of water. Powered by quad Mercury 450Rs, the boat ran -smoothly, comfortably and remarkably quiet.
The 450Z’s cross-ventilated, twin-stepped hull utilizes a four-port air-induction system with a central air reservoir to provide the airstream to minimize speed-robbing drag. The proof was certainly in the pudding as we cruised easily and efficiently at 3,500 rpm, making 34 mph while burning just 47.8 gph, and taking no spray despite the 15- to 20-knot winds encountered throughout the day. At day’s end, we hit 70 mph at wide-open throttle, burning 183 gph.
All weighed and measured, the stunning looks and superb ride, coupled with a host of standard amenities, comfortable overnighting accommodations and built-in fishing features all integrated into a tight, well-executed package, are bound to make the SeaVee 450Z a highly coveted fishing machine.
- Weather: Partly cloudy
- Location: Palm Beach, Florida
- Wind: Northwest 15 to 20 knots Sea State: 4 to 6 feet Test Load: 12 adults, 450 gallons of fuel, 100 gallons of water
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