BOAT TEST: SEA HUNT VICTORY 225
Trailerable family fishing boats don’t get much more impressive than the latest offering from Sea Hunt. As Dan Trotter discovered, the Victory 225 is just about the perfect weekend family cruiser, with the potential to double as a serious offshore fishing platform.
TEST: SEA HUNT VICTORY 225
Built in the US using the latest composite construction technology, the Sea Hunt Victory 225 is a sizeable trailerboat that's relatively light yet strong and robust. With a finish you'd expect of a North American import, it features clean edges, polished rails and no end of attention to detail - on the lounge and leisure front, there's nothing that hasn't been thought of. However, with a few customised modifications, this walkaround cabin-cruiser could also serve as a great dedicated sportsfishing vessel, with the added benefit of loads of creature comforts.
The Sea Hunt Victory 225 comes ready to roll on an aluminium Dunbier trailer. Available with either a hardtop bimini or as tested with the custom-made soft top and clears, there's also a bimini extension that can shade the whole deck area on hot, sunny days. Obviously the leisure aspect was firmly in mind during the boat's design and construction phase. There are drinkholders by every seat, padded lounge seats across the transom and - just behind the driver and passenger pedestal seats - a surround-sound speaker system. The floor is carpeted and you'll find insulated storage under the seats. On top of this, the driver and passenger seats can be rotated and slid forward or backwards as required, either becoming part of or removed from the seating plan.
The Victory 225 is licensed to carry eight people, with plenty of space for everyone to while away the time on our spectacular Aussie waterways. High sides and padded gunwales make the boat feel safe and secure, while transom boarding platforms on both sides of the enginewell make hopping in or out of the water an easy proposition. The addition of a collapsible stainless ladder means that almost anyone can enjoy a dip, snorkel or waterski on a hot summer's afternoon, before rinsing off in the cockpit under the freshwater shower.
The generous walkaround makes accessing the bow to drop anchor, grab a mooring or simply lounge in the sunshine easy, although the omission of a bowroller for anchor storage seems like an oversight, turning the anchor drop/retrieve process into a two-person job - or, at the very least, work for an experienced hand.
The cabin itself is well appointed, large and comfortable, and with the bunk infill in place there is easily enough space for two adults to get a good night's rest. Windows either side and a hatch overhead provide ample ventilation, while the inclusion of a basin and a combined tap/showerhead, plus the portable toilet, really ensure all the family's needs are met. Lockable cabin doors provide added security for storing items on board - or extra privacy for romantic nights tucked away in a pristine cove or bay.
UP AND AT 'EM
An interesting quality on this boat at rest was the way it felt large and perhaps even a little bulky, but once the 225hp Suzuki four-stroke got stuck in it actually felt like a sports model - quick onto the plane, capable of hard and fast turns and reaching an impressive top speed of 39kts (72.1kmh) at WOT. It's perfect to escape the crowds, tow skiers or wakeboarders or get you to a pre-dawn, offshore fishing session. With a deep-vee variable deadrise hull, a proud bow and high sides, expect the Victory 225 to take serious weather conditions in its stride. My only note here is that when it comes to picking options, I'd go for a trim tab control panel with LED position indicator lights (and one that allows you to lock the trim tabs in sync).
On the fishing front the Sea Hunt Victory 225 has all the makings of an awesome fishing platform: it rides well, it's stable at rest and it would comfortably accommodate four to five anglers, depending on your preferred style of fishing. And, because it's got a stack of comfy seats, you could also happily troll all day for billfish, mahi mahi, tuna and so on. Equipped with a large baitwell under the middle transom seat, the ready plumbed setup circulates ample water to keep all manner of livebait healthy and kicking. If I was fishing on this boat I'd take up the luxurious marine carpet well before the first rod was placed in one of the numerous gunwale-mounted rodholders, so any mess could be hosed down with the deckwash and allowed to drain through the selfdraining deck scuppers.
Speaking of rodholders, if fishing is high on your agenda then a quality rocket launcher would certainly be a worthwhile addition, as would a purpose-built baitboard.
Under the driver's seat is a tackle storage locker complete with a number of tackle boxes. You may, however, need to get a little creative when it comes to storing a landing net and gaff, plus handlines, berley bombs, and all that. The slightly elevated driver's position is great when trolling, casting lures or deep water jigging, in that the skipper can see everything that is going on with ease while keeping his feet dry. The large cockpit dashboard provides ample space for marine electronics in either a split-screen system or side-by-side sonar and chartplotter units. There is also space for dash-mounting marine radios, and the large switch panel has space for all the required accessories. In the centre between the driver and passenger pedestal seats is additional insulated storage, which could be used for drinks, lunch, or even for chilling your prized catch.
The Sea Hunt Victory 225 is the perfect solution for anyone who needs a boat that can easily switch from entertainer to fish fighter. It has the creature comforts for relaxing runs with family and friends, with the performance, sure-footed ride and stability at rest to satisfy the offshore anglers. The Sea Hunt range is available from Neken Marine in Sydney and Hyper Marine on the Gold Coast - dealers interested in carrying this line should direct enquiries to Neken Marine.
On the plane...
Standard equipment inventory
Ample padded seating and drinkholders
Large cabin with large bunk and cross ventilation
Formidable structural integrity
Dragging the chain...
Lack of rod and tackle storage
Transom seats make fishing out the back difficult
Lack of bowroller for anchor storage and deployment
Specifications: Sea Hunt Victory 225
Priced from: $89,697 (with Suzuki 140hp four-stroke and Dunbier Supa Rolla trailer)
Options fitted: Bimini top, Garmin GPS/chartplotter/fishfinder, Suzuki DF225
Price as tested: $106,488
Type: Family cabin-cruiser/fishing boat
Material: GRP laminates
Weight (BMT): 2050kg
Rec. max. HP: 250hp
Make/model: Suzuki DF225 four-stroke
Type: 24-valve, DOHC, six-cylinder, in-line,
Rated HP: 225
Gearbox ratio: 2.29:1
Propeller: Yamaha S/S 17in pitch
Unit 3, 4 Taronga Place
Mona Vale, NSW, 2103
Tel: (02) 9979 9649
Sea Hunt Boats
2348 Shop Road
Columbia, South Carolina
United States of America
Originally published in TrailerBoat 264.
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