Seatamer Ultimate 7.4M Cuddy (April 2009)

Words - John Willis








The trailerable charter fishing industry is on the rise, and on the move to the hottest locations in vessels like the Seatamer Ultimate 7.4m cuddy cab, writes John Willis

Reel tamer

Times are changing in the fishing charter business. Many anglers are no longer satisfied to be herded into large boats for a day on the water that usually resembled more of a buck's party than a fishing trip. Fishing has become more serious than that for many. The last 10 years has seen the birth of a tumultuous amount of media all promoting fishing and encouraging anglers to learn new methods and travel greater distances to explore the full angling experience. And all of that hype is working!

We have seen the rise of the mobile, trailerable charter fishing industry that moves from location to location in search of pelagic prey. These operators usually demand a premium for an instructive charter and hence, the boat, operator and equipment have to be the premium product.

A young Melbourne fishing guru, Matt Cini, has been plastering a name for himself in this style of business for quite a number of years. His media exploits have graced the pages of many magazines and his fishing expertise has seen him on both television and radio throughout the country.

Matt has just upgraded his outfit to a new Seatamer Ultimate 7.4m aluminium boat that has been the talk of the town; and deservedly so.

Built in Redhead (Newcastle), NSW, Seatamer Marine are custom boat specialists, producing a range of serious amateur and highly sought after commercial boats from five metres upwards.

COMMERCIAL EXPERTISE

They claim that 60 per cent of their production has been to the commercial sector and that they have never built exactly the same boat twice due to their custom manufacturing flexibility. Seatamer have a most impressive list of clients including maritime authorities, coast guard flotillas, search and rescue organisations, and importantly, produce a terrific range for the amateurs who really know what they want.

At a length of 7.4 metres overall and a beam of 2.65 metres, Matt's Seatamer Ultimate 7.4m Reel Time is a large trailerable package which is still easily towed by a common 4WD vehicle, albeit a wide load.

Mackay trailers have really come to the fore by recognising the need for large, strong, yet lightweight boat trailers. Hence, the inclusion of a new Mackay aluminium trailer in the Reel Time package helps keep the towing weight to a reasonable level for the long road miles that Matt incurs with his personal fishing exploits, as well as charters from Portland in Victoria's southwest all the way to Narooma on the south coast of NSW.

The Seatamer Ultimate is a strong boat. Its bottom plate thickness is 6mm, with 3mm sides, and it is obviously built to full Victorian survey standards. It is rated at 2C as well as 2D class so that Matt is able to offer his clients offshore sojourns in search of the exciting Victorian mako and southern bluefin tuna fisheries.

Matt really excels in sportsfishing adventures in Port Phillip and Westernport Bays where he has gained a deservedly huge reputation for continually producing the highly prized gummy sharks, snapper and whiting.

BORN TO FISH

The Seatamer is built to fish! It has a huge and very stable deck area, surrounded by a custom stainless steel rodholder and baitboard combination from Quality Marine in Dandenong.

The deck is 4mm checkerplate aluminium that is easily cleaned with the deck hoses and self-draining deck. Matt has incorporated a pair of commercial size plastic iceboxes that give all-in-one coolbox, storage and seating. He fitted a driver's seat to his last boat and ripped it out again very quickly stating that it only “got in the way of his fishing!” Hence, none are fitted to Matt's Seatamer.

The transom section incorporates a large livebait tank that doubles as a killtank when fishing for bread and butter species like whiting, pinkie snapper and trevally. Matt runs up to four downriggers at any one time, particularly in Westernport where strong currents are the order of the day. Much of the time, the forward downriggers are loaded with burley pots while those at the rear are used for the larger gummy outfits.

Reel Time has a perfect sized wheelhouse area for this style of boat. It has a largish lockable cabin that provides the toilet facility as well as storage for the huge array of equipment required on a charter boat, or indeed a serious amateur outfit.

Matt opted for a double rack of rocket launchers to be factory fitted. This is a must due to the changing nature of a fishing outing which can see you on ultra-light gear for whiting at the same time as mid-rang gear for snapper and gummies, and all the time being prepared for that larger shark encounter.

HONDA TAMERS

Most of the engine manufacturers are keen for Matt to endorse their products and Honda came up trumps on this occasion with a pair of 135hp fuel injected 2.4lt four cylinder four-stoke engines. The power package is excellent and well matched to the Seatamer.

The Honda's are whisper quiet with huge torque to propel the large loads that you can expect with a boat load of customers. The top-end speed of 68kmh at 5800rpm, with five adults and two kids on board, is most pleasing and gives Matt the capability of fast travel to where the action is, giving his customers more fishing time in productive waters.

There are also 40amp alternators on each engine, supplying more than adequate power to run the vast array of electronics, including a Little Annie anchor winch that gets a beating on this boat.

An impressive Furuno FCV585 colour sounder gives a magnificent image of the bottom at all speeds. The definition and ease of operation places this unit as a leader in its class, and knowledgeable operation of such a unit is a key to angling success. A Furuno Navnet VX2 colour GPS/chartplotter gets Matt where he wants to go with ease.

The GME AM/FM/CD player gets a “reel time” workout with Matt, and the communications are provided by a GME VHF radio.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

The boys at Hella Marine have used the Seatamer Ultimate 7.4m as a demonstration boat for their sensational range of marine lighting options. At night, the boat looks like a Christmas tree!

Its amazing the difference that efficient lighting can make, not only for safety, but also to enhance the nighttime gummy shark, mulloway and snapper charters for which Matt has earned a great reputation. The range of Hella LED work lights, decklights and navigation lights is a bonus that ensures a “hell of a good time” is had in safety and comfort.

To show off their sponsorship from Hella, the new Seatamer Ultimate has been given a beautiful wrap of an underwater mural which features one of Matt's beloved gummy sharks. The boat looks magnificent and has been the talk of the town down south. These “wraps” are a real innovation in the boating industry. The entire side of the boat is one large sticker, printed on commercial printers and laid in a single piece. Created with the aid of computer graphics, the sky is now the limit for your imagination to display on your dreamboat.

Looks are one thing? performance is another! The Seatamer is an absolute machine on the water! The designers have combined a relatively deep 15-degree vee at the stern with a sharp 31-degree entry into the package. This is somewhat deeper than many aluminium competitors and it certainly gives the unit exceptional riding comfort. One would normally expect a drop in stability due to the deeper veem, however, this was certainly not evident, in fact quite the opposite. The boat is exceptionally stable at rest.

She absolutely loved to run at 4500rpm where she gained a very comfortable 52kmh. You can really cover some sea miles at this speed and it certainly lives up to its name in riding comfort. In a larger swell, backing off to 4000rpm, the twin Hondas really start working in their torque range to hold the big package up on the plane with confidence to travel at 46kmh. The big tinny was still on the plane at 38kmh at 3500rpm for when the going really gets rough, and the twins allowed precision trim of the boat according to load and sea conditions.

There is no banging or twanging of the aluminium hull, and the minimal spray is well deflected away from the windscreen. The driver's windscreen has a wiper and I would like to see another on the passenger side. I have also had considerable experience in this style of wheelhouse and I would like to see all manufacturers consider a washer system, similar to motor vehicles, due to salt crystallising and obscuring vision in a marine environment, particularly at night.

Matt Cini's Reel Time Charters Seatamer 7.4m is rightfully turning plenty of heads in Victoria, not only because of its stunning outward appearance but also because its seakeeping ability.

Matt works the boat every day of the week, often for back-to-back charters and is booked months ahead due to enthusiasm and angling success. The package matches his enthusiasm in supplying a tough, trailerable vessel that provides plenty of fishing room for the customers and comfort while moving from hotspot to hotspot at speed.

I am looking forward to my next excursion on the Reel Time Seatamer, not only to enjoy some great sportsfishing action but to have another drive of this dedicated, premium quality boating package in our challenging conditions in Bass Strait.

If you are in the market for a strong, fast and comfortable offshore-style fishing machine I highly recommend your consideration of the Seatamer range of products, and have one tailor fitted to your preference.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Strong build
  • Stability fishing
  • Huge deck area
  • Storage
  • Lockable cabin
NOT SO MUCH

Would like a wiper on passenger windscreen

SEATAMER ULTIMATE 7.4M CUDDY
HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $141,000 w/ survey costs, trailer, twin 135 Hondas, and options
Options fitted: Fitout, and painted hull
Priced from: $133,000
GENERAL
Type: Monohull Cuddy
Material: Aluminium; 6mm bottom, 3mm sides, 4mm deck, 3mm cabin
Length: 7.4m
Beam: 2.65m
Deadrise: 15°
Weight: 2100kg (hull); 3250kg (BMT)
CAPACITIES
Fuel: 2 x 150lt
Rec. min. HP: 2 x 115hp
Rec. max. HP: 2 x 150hp
Rec. max. engine weight: 450kg
ENGINE
Make/model: 2 x Honda BF135
Type: Four-stroke DOHC inline four-cylinder outboards
Rated HP: 135hp at 5500rpm
Displacement: 2354cc
Weight: 220kg (each)
Gearbox ratio: 2.14:1
Propeller: 2 x Solas 15in four-blade stainless steel
SUPPLIED BY:
Seatamer Marine
Redhead, NSW, 2290 Phone: (02) 4944 9224 (02) 4944 9224
Email: sales@seatamer.com.au
Website: www.seatamer.com.au

Reel Time Fishing Charters,
Langwarrin, Vic, 3910
Email: mattcini@bigpond.com
Website: www.reeltimefishing.com.au

© COPYRIGHT 2009 Seatamer Marine Manufacturing Pty Ltd