REVIEW: SAILFISH 2800 PLATINUM

By: John 'Bear' Willis, Photography by: John 'Bear' Willis

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Fishing is the usual target of the Sailfish 2800 Platinum. However, the owners of this boat have more in store for their versatile powercat.

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 7

HIGHS

  • New forward Targa and cabin lines
  • Premium manufacture and finish
  • Liveaboard facilities
  • New stateroom/bathroom layout

LOWS

  • Slight harmonic at trolling speed

REVIEW: SAILFISH 2800 PLATINUM priced from A$259,990

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 1

Words can’t express the joy of seeing your brand-new custom boat package for the first time. I recently got to live the experience vicariously, through the eyes of Ian Fairgrave and his gorgeous and effervescent wife Yanti who were taking an on and off-water delivery of their glorious Sailfish 2800 Platinum at Webbe Marine in southern Sydney.

Ian is a man who knows what he likes in life, and with Yanti the warmhearted couple radiate a glowing persona of infectious joy and enthusiasm. I was honoured to be invited to share the absolute thrill of their very first inspection and test run of their new toy. And what a toy it is.

RESEARCH FIRST

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 5

This was no impulse purchase; instead it was the culmination of 12 months’ research and a similar delivery period spent custom crafting their new pride and joy.

"We had met Ashley and the guys from Sailfish some 12 months earlier and spent a year researching our options," Ian said. "We read and watched all of the reviews and videos on Trade-a-Boat and other sites and were particularly pleased when the brand won consecutive Australia’s Greatest Boats competitions, confirming our interest."

The crew at Sailfish proved their ‘unlimited boundaries’ motto with this fresh burger-with-the-lot.

It’s hard to bring sporty lines to the rather square and upright nature of a cat, yet Sailfish has managed to capture a sense of style, speed and glory with the striking new forward-facing Targa’s appealing aesthetics, the fully lockable cabin with enclosed hardtop and extended rear awning. Not only does it look great but it brings greater protection from the elements as well as more capacity for water toys and liferafts as well as comms and navigation equipment up top.

This is one beautiful cat, combining sky blue high-sided hulls with an ivory deck and cabin, and adding just a touch of stylish pinstriping to oval cabin portholes and pronounced black window trim to enhance the nautical eye-candy.

MORE THAN FISHING

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 8

The majority of Sailfish cats are destined to become serious offshore warriors, hunting pelagics in extended offshore assaults, but Ian and Yanti have other purposes in mind. The boat will be dry-stored at Akuna Bay Marina and the couple looks forward to cruising the world-class waterways of Pittwater and the Hawkesbury, down to Sydney Harbour and Port Hacking and up to Nelson Bay in search of adventure.

Ian has purchased a Chevy Silverado to tow the package on extended road trips north and south, so the boat has been custom-fitted with a huge array of liveaboard options. Even so, they were a bit nervous about their ability to launch and retrieve such a large package until we demonstrated the simplicity afforded by Sailfish’s full drive-on/off tri-axle trailer.

Yanti has also been known to feel a little seasick, which is why the supreme stability of the Sailfish 2800 Platinum with its Hydroflow Gen 3 hull was a primary consideration. She said she felt nothing but exhilaration as we took off down Botany Bay and out to sea on a perfect morning with – unfortunately for me – no swell. That Hydroflow cushion certainly produces a feeling of euphoria and is a tribute to the Sailfish hydrodynamics.

HELM ASSURANCE

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 3

I felt quite at home with the familiar pair of 150hp Honda four-strokes powering the package along confidently and quietly up to a wide-open throttle of 36.7kt, redlining at 6100rpm with the 17in SST props topping out. The vertically unimposing lady of the house was hootin’ and hollerin’ with excitement on the rear deck, yet at the opposite end of the scale, even at Ian’s towering height he found the head clearance and vision perfect. You honestly feel quite invincible from the helm of the 2800. The entire package simply fills you with confidence.

I was honestly gobsmacked by the premium level Sailfish has achieved in the finished product, particularly when you consider the custom nature of this fitout. I was also pleased to see a far more sensible and alluring cabin and bathroom layout with an ingenious two-way hinged door to enclose either area. There’s a large double bed with surprisingly decent headroom as well as a relatively spacious bathroom set deep into the port hull, complete with head, vanity and hot/cold shower. It’s really quite inviting for a trailerable cat.

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 9

The fully enclosed cabin has taken the Sailfish ideals to a higher domain and the helm layout and positioning have evolved to excellence. The driving position is very comfortable seated or standing, especially with the thickly upholstered bolster-style skipper seats both to port and starboard. They have strong stainless steel frames, folding armrests and are supported by premium suspension pedestals too.

The dash has plenty of space for the 12in Furuno multifunction unit that includes radar, GPS, plotter and sounder in one condensed unit. There’re acres of dash space for other instruments and accessories, and the upper arch on this comprehensive fit-out was left blank for future additions.

There are twin digital multifunction gauges giving clear readouts for the Hondas, Aqualarm, compass, Lone Star winch switch gear, autopilot and a beautiful set of flip switches developed by Sailfish. The vision for the non-vertically challenged is superb, though it was obviously a bit high for Yanti’s minimal proportions.

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 10

The driving experience is enhanced by a spoked stainless steel steering wheel, twin engine controls and even a well-placed footrest, but I have to say I did miss the ability to switch to single-lever ‘Sync’ on the controls, a feature not available from Honda – yet, anyway.

Behind the helm seat, a twin-burner gas stove is set into a console that also houses the Duoetto MkII electric hot water unit along with assorted pumps and plumbing, and even some more storage. There’s a nifty floor drawer where you can keep all of those odd-bod knick-knacks that boating accumulates.

The passenger side features a really well designed utility cabinet complete with sink, microwave and utensil drawers, all assembled in some of the most appealing aluminium construction I have ever seen aboard a boat.

AIR-CON TOO

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 4

To ensure year-round boating comfort the package is also fitted with a 10,000BTU reverse-cycle air-conditioning and heating unit. Sailfishes are often complemented by the stone-like Rhino Coat flooring from the deck to the bathroom. It’s stylish yet tough and non-slip, making it ideal for this package.

The cabin is enclosed from the rear with a pair of black-framed aluminium French doors with curved windows that allow a sense of open space and ‘flow’ throughout the boat. Beside the doors there are seat modules either side. Under the port side is a compartment for the EvaKool fridge-freezer on a high-quality set of sliding tracks. But the real pièce de résistance is the starboard side slide-out stainless steel barbecue and portable generator storage module beneath. This package genuinely caters for extended excursions and comfortable cruising.

Yanti said: "I look forward to simply waking up, maybe on the beautiful Hawkesbury, cooking some bacon and eggs, maybe some fishing or perhaps just a swim off the back."

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 6

Sailfish has devoted the same high level of attention to the layout and finish in the expansive rear deck. There’s plenty of room for entertaining, perhaps with some added folding table and chairs, though there’s already plenty of seating especially with the added lift-up side seat.

The coaming are a safe height and deep, and there are rodholders in all the right places, plus SeaDek on the top surfaces for non-slip boarding.

The work space is just terrific with that big transom walk-through gate and folding dive ladder, underfloor kill tanks, a true self-draining deck with scuppers, secure compartments for all electrical and plumbing including the batteries, twin livebait tanks, padded coamings, cutting board with saltwater tap and even a handy sink with hot/cold fresh water. The work area is just as well-suited to a serious marlin expedition as it is to coastal cruising; perhaps a marina party or simply relaxing in peace in some quiet cove.

THE WRAP

Sailfish 2800 Platinum 2

I have been sold on Sailfish catamarans for many years but the customisation of this new 2800 Platinum package and the continued improvement in finished quality is a credit to the entire team. I’m reminded of a statement from a previous Australia’s Greatest Boats competition: "The judges all came in from the trials with eyes wide open and jaws on the ground. The X-factor has gone stratospheric!"

That is exactly the experience expressed by the lucky new owners of this premium Sailfish 2800 Platinum with Ian saying: "It was simply spectacular," while Yanti was still punching the air and yippy-yahooing on the rear deck. Me? I still giggle over our Kevin Smith’s comment in 2016 when he said: "The Sailfish is a fisherman’s wet dream." 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

A$259,990

GENERAL

TYPE Powercat

MATERIAL Aluminium alloy

LENGTH 8.8m

BEAM 2.5m

WEIGHT 3500kg (BMT, dry)

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 7

REC. HP 2 x 150

REC. Max HP 2 x 225

FUEL 480L

WATER 110L

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Honda BF150

TYPE DOHC four-cylinder four-stroke with VTEC

RATED HP 150 (each)

DISPLACEMENT 2354cc (each)

WEIGHT 220kg (each)

GEAR RATIO 2.14:1

PROP Solas 17in three-blade stainless steel

SUPPLIED BY

Webbe Marine

17 Yalgar Road,

Kirrawee, NSW, 2232

PHONE +61 2 9521 7944

FAX +61 2 9542 1287

WEB webbemarine.com.au

 


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