The Seacruiser brand, while relatively new, has come about as a result of a long-time obsession with high quality aluminium marine fabrication.
Wayne Howell and Ed Richardson have combined all the best aspects of their years of experience and custom-building, and joined forces to create the Seacruiser brand. They have released a range of heavy duty plate-alloy boats, trailers, and anchor winches. These standard models are still able to be customised in their configuration, fit-out and optional extras. This is the first of the open Seacruiser models, with the 7000HT (hard top) and 7000HTD (inboard diesel model) preceding the Seacruiser 5600C.
Over the past few months I’ve been working with Ed to develop a tough open versatile boat suitable for fishing and diving in lakes, estuaries and the open ocean. While open console boats are not usually the first choice for people in the southern states due to seasonal weather the versatility this sort of vessel provides is second to none and I would comprise being at the mercy of the elements in an open boat any day if it means I can catch more fish! Whether you’re bream fishing on the estuary, diving for crayfish, stickbaiting for kings or trolling for tuna on the continental shelf then this vessel is an option for you!
When you first look at the hull it looks tough and you see that all of the welds are strong and neat. Both Wayne and Ed have developed reputations of meticulous, reliable, strong and uncompromising workmanship.
The hull is plate aluminium with a 5mm bottom plate and 4mm side plates with a beam of 2.3m, which makes this a tough vessel and really puts the comparative lighter factory pressed models to shame. The bow is solid and looks quite aggressive. The heavy build of this vessel makes it ride alot more comfortably on the ocean for its size and the vessel doesn’t tend to pop out of the top of the swell as much or bang in the chop, which makes for a much drier and more comfortable ride (and that’s much easier on the body after big day out at sea!). The hull boasts a pair of full length strakes and reverse chine on the shoulder.
Being an open vessel there is an endless amount of visibility available in a 360 degree arc around the boat which is perfect for spotting schools of busting tuna or sunbaking kingfish. I’ve also polaroided some nice trout in the western crater lakes from the casting deck before casting lures at them.
When you’re standing on the front deck you are standing up so high it really allows you to see what’s going on underneath the water. The vessel is well balanced and stable at rest and underway, but is also fitted with Volvo Penta trim tabs for a more comfortable and steady ride when on those long trips at sea.
At the rear of the transom there is storage room on the starboard side for the twin battery setup and on the port side there is a large live bait tank. The vessel does not have a kill tank, but has a large live bait tank of approximately 400mmL X 400mmW X 350mmH with a capacity of around 60L to store your catch or livebaits and I also usually carry an insulated kill bag on board (stored in the front hatch) should I wish to store larger catches and keep them cool on a big day out at sea. There is more than ample deck space in front of the console to store a full kill bag out of the way, however the installation of a kill tank is an available option on request.
On each side the vessel has two long side pockets (each 1900mmL X 170mmW) and two smaller pockets (600mmL X 170mmW) with the pocket trays covered in EVA foam to prevent noise from items bouncing and sliding around when underway.
A removable bait board is fitted to the rear centre of the transom at a height of 1100mm to enable easy bait preparation and prevent the need to lean to prepare bait. The bait board also has a set of 3 rod holders welded onto it which are ideal for trolling and a knife tray underneath the main bait tray.
The vessel is mounted on a Dunbier duel axle trailer (despite weighing in on the cut off for a single axle model) to ensure the trailer is not overwhelmed with additional weight associated with gear for those long fishing trips away and personally I think it tows better with a duel axel.
The deck is open and vast with plenty of room to move around. The decision was made to go with Sea Deck EVA foam instead of carpet for comfort and grip. We chose black colour which is easy to clean, doesn’t mark or stain as easily as the lighter colours. This is the first time I’ve used Seadeck and I don’t think I’ll be going back. EVA foam covers the floor, but is also positioned on the swim deck and on the top of the gunnels to prevent slipping when loading or alighting the vessel and for better comfort when sitting on the gunnels.
The casting deck is massive at 500mmH X 1800mmL at its longest point and is designed for fishing with plenty of room to fish up to 2 anglers at a time. A spigot hole is positioned near the bow and allows room for a seat or t-bar for support for passengers that can be used when spotting fish or when casting lures at sea. Under the front deck there is a large storage area with access via the front hatch suitable for storing safety gear, fishing tackle, kill bag, anchor floats and two large batteries for the electric motor and mounted battery charger. The large single hatch (1200mmL X 890mmW) assembly has a self draining gutter around it to ensure water doesn’t penetrate into the storage area.
At the rear of the transom floor there is a self draining sump and bilge pump which enables easy wash down to keep the deck clean and neat and there are 3 spigots if required for the use of t-bars or seats. The EVA foam floor has been laid to ensure simple access to the fuel tank inspection plate if required.
There is plenty of room to climb onto the swim deck for a break and rails to grab on to when climbing out of the water with a bag of crayfish. The swim deck on both sides is covered with EVA foam to prevent slipping and comfort.
The console is aluminium and measures 500mmL X 650mmW X 950mmH and is fully sealed with 3 PVC hatches. There is a hatch in the front for easy access to the electronic setup, and there is plenty of dry storage in the rear for tackle or other equipment.
The model comes with either a custom centre or rear side console depending on the customer’s requirements. I opted for the rear side console because of the extra space it gives on the main deck floor. This extra space is ideal when you have divers on board or wish to carry a hooker compressor setup. While rear side console does not offer full walk around capability there is so much space to fight a fish and one of the benefits of the side console is that it is so easy to drive, fight and land big fish by yourself in the back corner.
Fitted with a 14”Diameter x 19” Pitch aluminium propeller, the 140HP Suzuki 4 stroke gets the vessel up on to a plane quickly and reaches 20 knots at 4000rpm, 27 knots at 5000rpm and 33 knots at 6000rpm, with a top speed WOT of 35knots at 6300rpm. The ability to get on a plane quickly is great when dodging swell, bommies and reefs in close. Fitted with a generous 150L fuel tank there is little chance of running out of fuel on a big day out at sea.
I opted for the upgrade from analogue to digital engine gauges and these are conveniently displayed on the Garmin GPS Map 750S unit situated on top of the console.
The vessel comes as a standard package fitted with the 115HP Suzuki 4 stroke, analogue engine gauges, Dunbier dual axel trailer (with spare wheel), dive ladder, removable bait board, LED navigation lights, LED anchor light, switch panel, plumbed live bait tank, self draining anchor well, transducer bracket, self draining deck, Seadeck EVA foam floor, all safety gear, 4 x welded aluminium rod holders, 4 x spigots, bow and transom rails, console grab rail, bow sprit and roller, bilge pump, twin batteries (including isolator switch) and hydraulic steering for around $64,000, however the team are happy to work to the customer’s needs to deliver to the customer’s requirements.
The extras on this vessel as tested includes a motor upgrade to 140HP Suzuki 4 stroke, PVC wrap, Boatcatch, LED deck lighting, deckwash kit, Humminbird 898C unit with i-Pilot link and 80lb i-Pilot Minn Kota electric motor, Minn Kota 12V battery charger (2 output), Volvo Penta trim tabs, Garmin 750S GPS Map unit (digital gauges), Fusion stereo system, Rapala griplock rod holders, Canon downriggers and rod holder gimbal mounts, seats and aluminium passenger t-bars.
The new Seacruiser 5600C is a fishing weapon designed for anglers that that spend plenty of time on the water! Check out more about Richardson Marine Seacruiser products at:
Review as published in Australian Fishing (& Boating) World Magazine December Issue 2013
Seacruiser 5600C Specifications
Deadrise: 16 degrees
Hull Length: 5.6m
Overall Boat length: 5.75m
Maximum Power rating: 175HP (or 275kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 150L
Max people: 6 (or 540kg)
Max people + luggage + motor: 850kg
Length on trailer: 7.5m