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.
This 43 sports both forward- and aft-facing guest seating to port and a starboard-side helm station with impeccable ergonomics. The step up to the helm means that while seated, even short people will never lose sight of the bow when coming onto plane. It's also worth noting that when seated, the guests can always see out of the polycarbonate enclosure for a full 360 degrees, so they'll never feel like they're sitting in a cave.
The massive helm console easily accommodates twin 15-inch displays, plus all the engine gauges, controls, autopilot, FLIR control, breaker switches, trim tabs, bow-thruster controls and lots more.
I loved the almost seven feet of headroom in the cabin. But that barely scratches the surface of what sets this boat apart from all others. For that, you must consider all the designer fittings by Kohler; the high-gloss, real-wood joinery; the trick dinette table that raises and lowers as well as fills the void for the forward berth; and the berth itself, which deploys and retracts at the press of a button - all without moving a single cushion or seat. Add to that the port lights in both cabin hull sides that add tremendous ambient light. You won't find one iota of exposed fiberglass below. SeaVee laminates the furniture into the hull, adding to the structural integrity.
Another innovation - the fascinating two-burner cooktop - hides in the galley bulkhead. When you turn it on, it locks into open position. You can't slide it back in until it cools off. Then there's the huge midship cabin with a full-size double berth. No crawling on your hands and knees to lie down in this space! Other living-quarter features include a drawer-style refrigerator/freezer, Corian counters and a truly gorgeous separate shower in the spacious head.
SeaVee uses only advanced construction techniques and ingredients such as Divinycell and PVC coring above the waterline and a poured urethane transom. Every two-piece molded hatch boasts the SeaVee logo on the underside, rises on pneumatic rams and features hefty gaskets and deep channels to keep out water. And the 430 boasts another big-ship feature: It has three transverse bulkheads, creating watertight compartments.
Suffice it to say that nothing aboard the new SeaVee 430 Express is an afterthought. More innovation, more attention to detail and more fishability: That's what SeaVee is about.
LOA...... 43 ft. BEAM...... 13 ft. 4 in. HULL DRAFT...... 2 ft. 3 in. DEADRISE...... 22 deg. WEIGHT...... 22,388 lb. (w/o power) FUEL...... 630 gal. MAX POWER...... Quad 350 hp OB MSRP...... $556,000 (w/ quad 300 hp