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As an entry-level into a medium-size fibreglass trailerboat, the Cox Craft Sea Runner has the makings of a sound fishing platform with some aftermarket attention, notes Rick Huckstepp




The Cox Craft Sea Runner is one of those 'no frills' boats that fit the groove created by the medium-sized trailerboat market.
At 5.4m and with a hull weight of around 580kg it is towable with a six-cylinder family sedan or small 4WD. Should you want to heavily dress this boat, there is plenty of scope and while only 5.4 metres, there is ample room to install all-important sportsfishing gear, such as out and downriggers.
The cabin in this boat has plenty of headroom with a V-berth that is low-profile with a shallow two-level leg well.
If you are a hoarder you will find stowage space a little light on, with no compartments under the side cushions in the cabin, and the void full of buoyancy foam. There is stowage in the fore end of the vee, though, and all-around sidepockets in this cabin are about 12cm wide.
The roof hatch is large and a big adult may easily put their body through the open tinted hatch to work the ground tackle from a large anchor well. Sturdy bowrails surround this area with a tube for the stock of a reef pick or boat hook. The looms coming from the instrumentation through the bulkhead are neatly secreted behind a hinged hatch.
The aperture into the cabin is large and open and is in front of the passenger seat which, along with the helm seat, is a forward-and-rear sliding swivel type.




The hydraulic steering is mounted on a vertical section of the bulkhead, and on a sloping top a Navman combination chartplotter-depthsounder was gimbal mounted along with a radio. To gimbal mount a large electronic cabinet here blocks the view to the instrumentation installed on a forward fascia, so positioning of the instruments on the flat closest to the skipper might alleviate this issue. A flush-mounted combo unit in its place would also work.
In front of the passenger is a deep rebate, handy for the usual things that slide all over the place when underway.
The windscreen is all Perspex and a sturdy hand rail is fitted on its inside. The test boat was fitted with a canvas bimini and a set of clears which had two zip-open flaps for low-visibility viewing.
Sidepockets for the front two seats are at a handy height and full-length sidepockets are installed under the coamings that stop short of the fold-down rear lounge base. When this is lowered for those fishing at the transom, the front edge touches the deck so getting the feet under for better balance is not possible. Changing its fold-down length will change the ergonomics so some quick-release hinges in place of the permanent type installed will allow the base to be removed for fishing and replaced for family days on the water. With that alteration the padded back rest will be comfortable to lean on.
Deep rebates in the inside corner of the coamings hold grabrails and a pair of well positioned rodholders on each gunwale will store rods off the deck.




Under the transom bulkhead, one can access the oil reservoir for the Evinrude E-TEC engine and also the battery which was secured in a rebate in the deck. Aft of that, the deck drops into a bilge where a pump is installed. A lot of the wiring criss-crossing this area could be fixed to the inside of the hull for neatness sake should you be on the fussy side.
Over the back of the transom bulkhead is a pair of stylish bait tanks with hinged nylon hatches that are part of the top liner. You will locate the fuel filler here as well as a pair of ski tow eyes. A fold-down stainless steel boarding ladder is installed on the starboard side also.
With weather warnings outside along the Gold Coast, we stayed on the Broadwater during the test. While there was no swell to play on, there was plenty of boat-wash to push the Cox Craft over. It proved to be dry when the wind was onto the forequarters and soft riding when attacking what waves we could muster.
On the throttle, holeshot was excellent with the 115hp E-TEC which is the manufacturer's recommended horsepower. Should you have heavy payloads you might want to option up to the maximum recommended horsepower of 140, but as tested, this boat will cater to a family of four for fishing or fun just nicely.
We pulled out a top speed of 67kmh as indicated on the GPS at full throttle and while the tachometer was malfunctioning, the engine sounded like it was at maximum rev range which is about 5500rpm. Trimmed in, the boat manoeuvred directly with no aeration at the propeller even when pushed to its limits.
The Cox Craft is a good base on which to build a serious fishing platform. It has the right ingredients from the start, in that it is stable when dead in the water, handles the chop nicely and for a small boat, has a big workable cockpit. Oh, and it's not going to break the bank either.




Dry and soft ride in chop
Stable dead in the water




More stowage under the bunks would be handy
A tidy up of cables and hoses under the transom bulkhead required





Specifications: Cox Craft Sea Runner




Price as tested:                                  $47,546
Options fitted:                                    Hydraulic instead of cable steering,
                                                          Bimini top and clears, rear cockpit
                                                          Lights, radio, GPS, ski tow eyes,



Material:                                             Fibreglass
Length overall:                                    6.35m
Length on trailer:                                 7.7m
Beam:                                                2.2m
Deadrise:                                            20º
Weight:                                              590kg (hull)




Fuel:                                                  130lt
Passengers day:                                  6
Rec. max. HP:                                        140
Rec. max. transom weight:     240kg




Make/model:                                Evinrude E-TEC
Type:                                                 Direct fuel injected two-stroke V4
Rated HP:                                          115
Displacement:                                     1726cc
Gear ratio:                                          2.0:1
Weight:                                              167kg
VELS rating:                                      3-Star




Cox Craft,
18 Christensen Road,
Stapylton, Qld, 4207
Phone: (07) 3807 4699
Fax: (07) 3807 9033



Originally published in TrailerBoat #230


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