Issue: July/August 2005
Seafarer has the enviable reputation of delivering well thoughtout, top-performing boats that not only handle well, but are built to last. I’ve got a couple of mates that swear by their Seafarers, just like the people at Seafarer itself. This Queensland based manufacturer builds its boats as if each vessel was to remain in its owners possession forever.
The longevity of Seafarer boats probably explains why you don’t see many on the secondhand market. But when one does come along, you see ads like this one I spotted recently in the classifieds:
“Off shore easy with 225hp. 20ft Seafarer with 1998 225hp Johnson, serviced April 16, 2005, we will be going out April 21 for one final fish. I love this boat, but I am forced to sell as I need the money.”
So, with Seafarer’s well-earned reputation clear in our minds, the Modern Boating team was keen to see what the Seafarer 6m Victory, powered by the newly released Evinrude E-Tec 225hp two-stroke, had to offer. The 225hp E-Tec seemed like an ideal engine for this rig, delivering cruise speeds in the mid 30s and a top speed of 48 knots (54mph). Out on the water, this boat/motor combination proved to be a quiet rig considering that the helm is partly enclosed, an arrangement that can trap and amplify engine noise.
Putting the hammer down, the boat snapped onto the plane and held it easily, right across the rev range. Giving her a bit of trim, she scooted across light chop without fuss and without banging. The Seafarer ethos comes from a pride and passion for his boats and the attention to detail used during their construction is clearly evident.
One small touch that illustrates this attention to detail is the aluminium treads on top of the side pockets that make it easy to step out of the boat across the wide combings. Then there’s the balanced use of top-grade stainless steel trim and fitting, which are also an indication of Seafarer’s build quality.
The Victory was clearly designed with fishos in mind, because she comes standard with a set of rocket launchers topside. Spend a bit of time on the vessel and you quickly realise the two self-draining wells, one is a cooler and the other is a live-bait well, flat, wide combings and rod holders, indicate that this boat will keep the average fisho more than happy. There’s a stainless steel berley bucket mounted on the portside and a swim platform and ladder to starboard. This boat also has facilities for a bait preparation table above the outboard engine, but it wasn’t fitted for this review. The freshwater deck wash is also a handy feature for a boat of this size.
As a general runabout, the Victory has many of the features found in family cruisers. The easy access cuddy cabin has good headroom and stowage and there’s a portable toilet located in the centre of the vee-berth. But the aft cockpit is the primary focus on this craft and the soft /hardtop provides good protection from the tough Aussie sun.
The cockpit layout is practical and open, but quickly converts to a more social set-up with a round table, complete with drink holders, and a pop-up aft bench seat that expands the Victory’s load capacity to seven adults. But I still reckon the most popular spot for passengers while at rest will be seated on the wide combings, which are fitted. These are fitted with recessed stainless steel grab rails for added passenger security.
The upgraded Seafarer 6m E-TEC powered Victory is a well-built craft that will endure the test of time. With her easy access, good performance and open layout, the 300-hour E-TEC service interval will surely come due well within a year. With a base price of $58,000, and a price “as tested” of $78,000, the Victory is not cheap, but remember the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice”, which probably explains why so many Seafarer stay with their first owners for such a long time.
A Brief History
Seafarer Fibreglass Boats has been producing fibreglass boats on Queensland’s Gold Coast since 1957. Although best known these days for its highly successful range of family and offshore sports boats, the company has a remarkable depth of experience in producing fibreglass hulls of every kind.
Doug Fry, company founder and father of the current proprietor, Lindsay Fry, was the first person to produce an Australia designed deep-vee fibreglass hull, the Vixen 13 footer in 1960. Following Doug’s death in 1969, the company come under the care of professional management for a number of years, while, obsessed with boats, Lindsay continued to learn every aspect of the trade.
Lindsay Fry virtually grew up in the Seafarer factory, working on every part of the manufacturing process, while also fishing and boating in his spare time. It is this background that has made Lindsay Fry one of the most insightful fibreglass boat designers and builders this country has ever known
This 225hp E-Tec has a 300hr/three-year service interval, which is quite substantial considering the technology involved. E-Tec has improved on the FICHT direct-injection technology developed by OMC.
The Victory/E-Tec combination achieved the following rpm-to-speed readings.
Speed to RPM: 5.8 knots @ 1000 rpm, 17 knots @ 2700 rpm, 20 knots @ 3000 rpm, 25 knots @ 3200 rpm, 33.5 knots @ 4400, 38 knots @ 5000 rpm, 48.1 knots @ 6000.
HULL LENGTH: 6m
HULL WEIGHT: 1050kg
DEADRISE: 21 degrees
LOAD CAPACITY: Seven adults
MAX HP: 225hp
BASE PRICE: $58,000
+ Superb ride
300hr service interval
– Nothing to report
Story by Warren Steptoe.