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April 23, 2009

SeaVee 430 Express

You'll find hard-core fishing aft, complete comfort, the three C's (command, control, communication) on the bridge deck and unsurpassed luxury below - all in a high-performance outboard package. Wow!

Gallery: A look at the SeaVee 430

With its 430, SeaVee graduates from building center-console fishing boats to building true luxury yachts.

It appeared a pretty calm day offshore, but the wind against tide at the mouth of Haulover Inlet in Miami generated an impressive three- to four-foot roiling chop. Jorge Alfonso, SeaVee's director of sales and marketing, purposely picked the roughest path through it all and advanced the throttles.

After displaying no bow rise whatsoever, the passage proved a non-event; the 430 never even noticed. At no time did it even need the Volvo QL tabs except to adjust lateral trim, running slightly bow-higher-than-flat right out of the box. Quad Mercury 300 Verados black out much of the broad transom, but fear not; this boat can handle as much as quad 350s!

Offshore, the 430 topped out at 55.4 at 6,100 rpm, burning 119.2 gph. But get this: The best cruise proved to be 34.1 mph at 4,000 rpm, using only 40 gph. That gives a whopping 522-mile range!

This boat did everything I asked of it perfectly. It had not a single detectable performance idiosyncrasy. That alone is extraordinary.

SeaVee has never built a boat that wasn't all about fishing. Yes, this express "cruiser" offers infinitely more than a  hard-core center console. But don't let   the sybaritic refinement fool you. From the helm aft, it's still all about fishing.

The helm is located far enough aft on the bridge deck so that the helmsman is able to look up and see the kites  or deployed outriggers. The transom holds the standard 65-gallon livewell, and you can request an optional 50-gallon second well in-deck. When fighting a fish, this boat backs down very controllably at almost 8 mph. If you happen to take water over the transom in the process, rest assured the big scuppers in corner troughs will drain the cockpit in an instant.

SeaVee provides three different-sized insulated fish boxes under deck, the largest box sporting a split hatch; all  the deck hatches simply make a "whoosh" when you drop them closed.

The cockpit modules come closer to a big-boat mezzanine than any outboard vessel yet. The tackle center stores removable Plano boxes, half-pound leader dispensers, and assorted other gear and lures, as well as switches for all systems used in the cockpit.

Our vessel bore four rod holders in each gunwale, eight across the back of the hardtop and two in the transom. Soon, SeaVee will offer optional storage for 11 more in a rocket launcher in the center of the cockpit.

Design and Construction
You can't even imagine the amount of storage available under the bridge deck. Think of a 43-foot convertible engine room - then remove the engines. That's how much space you have. The center aisle on the bridge deck allows easy transit without ever disturbing the helmsman.