BOAT TEST: SEAFARER 525 VAMP

By: Rick Huckstepp


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Speed, fishing features, and stowage space… the Seafarer 525 Vamp has a lot for you to sink your teeth into

BOAT TEST: SEAFARER 525 VAMP
SEAFARER 525 VAMP

Seafarer Boats continues to be one of the doyens of the fibreglass trailerboat industry.

At a recent BRP Evinrude E-Tec media day on the Gold Coast, attended by most of the fishing and boating journalists from around this country and New Zealand, we had access to a couple of the models from this boatbuilder, one of which was the 525 Vamp.
This rig was fitted with the E-Tec 115hp engine from Evinrude and, while we were restricted from access to the ocean, the amount of wash coming off a dozen big boats screaming around the river at full noise more than put it through its paces.
A centre console configuration, the boat features sporty lines with a high bow raking back to the aft end where swimout pods envelope the outboard motor.
The oil reservoir bottle is filled externally from the engine well. The stern light sits central on the transom bulkhead. This is a dubious location for the light as the engine blocks its view to vessels approaching from directly astern.
A small livebait tank in each aft corner may be plumbed or used for wet stowage.
An aft beam-width lounge has a permanent padded backrest against the inside of the transom bulkhead and the seat base is partly collapsible, freeing up fishing space while still providing seating in one corner. When either or both is lowered, there is plenty of room to get the feet under when fishing out the back.
Sidepockets extend well forward from the back of the cockpit, offering plenty of room for rigged rods in racks, and boat hooks and gaffs. There is an extra stowage pocket each side of where the gunwales rise up toward the bow, which makes good use of available voids inside the coamings.
The lower pockets feature aluminium non-slip foot treads for climbing over the sides of the boat.

 

 

IF IT AIN'T BROKE…


This boat also features a wraparound fore section lounge, ideally making it a crossover between a sportsfishing boat and a bowrider. The three cushions in the front section are removable and the compartments underneath have drained gutters on their lips, which should offer reasonably dry stowage. The bow is finished with an over-large anchor well, which could hold very large Danforth anchors and grappling reef picks.
Midships, the console looked rather familiar to me. The design is, in fact, along the same lines as the one on my son's boat. As it turns out, his was purchased as a stand alone module and fitted to an alloy boat some years ago. It is still a good helm station. The adage 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' must still apply at the Seafarer factory because this console has hardly changed since 1998.
The deck on which the console and helm seat module is fitted is raised about 75mm. There's a sporty wraparound screen with a grabrail above, and the bulbous nose of the front of the unit is rebated to feature a padded seat with stowage below. There is a lot of room for tackle boxes under the console.
Seastar hydraulic steering was fitted to this unit so manoeuvring this rig didn't require too much effort.
There is ample room on the dash for large cabinet marine electronics and Furuno's new FCV-620 took up only a small amount of the available space.
The helm seat consisted of a large rectangular box with a padded hinged hatch - ideal for storing safety gear. The full-width back rest is a pivot type, allowing you to face astern when trolling or relaxing.
The battery and oil bottle are installed on a raised shelf under the transom coaming and the aft end of the bilge is visible from the helm. The aft end of the polyethylene tank and its fittings are also accessible from here and the entire tank can be easily lifted out, if required, by removing the screwed down hatch that's centrally located in the aft cockpit.

 

 

MESSING AROUND


Out in the mess that was once a calm canal, the E-Tec pushed the Vamp to 42mph, or a shade under 70km/h, with the engine revving to 5600rpm.
Cutting across big chop that was occasionally a metre high, was a dry affair as a lot of the spray was turned down by the high forequarters. The ride was also gentle when standing anywhere from the midships to the aft sections and steering under high-speed turns was relatively stress free.
With a lot of young families in the market for a boat to cover all the fields of fishing, bowriding, wake boarding or skiing, the Vamp deserves a closer look. It is beefy enough in the forequarters to punch into big offshore seas and offers stability when running round the deck, making it a good bottom bashing rig.
The sporty lines will keep the fashion conscious happy, and towing it around won't break the bank, either, as it could be towed with a six-cylinder family car.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


Big console
Box seat stowage space
High forequarters provide a dry ride

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Nothing

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Seafarer 525 Vamp

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested:                          $44,330
Options fitted:                           VHF radio, sounder, back seat, back rest on helm seat, hydraulic steering, boarding platform and ladder, carpet
Priced from:                             $39,158 (BMT)

 

 

GENERAL


Material:                                   Fibreglass
Length overall:                          5.25m
Beam:                             2.25m
Deadrise:                                  19°
Weight:                                     750kg (hull only)

 

 

CAPACITIES


Fuel:                                         90lt
People                                      6
Rec. max HP:                             115
Rec. min HP:                              70

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model:                             Evinrude E-Tec 115
Type:                                       V4 direct injection two-stroke
Rated HP:                                  115
Displacement:                           1726cc
Weight:                                     167kg
Propeller:                                  19-inch Viper

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Lindsay Fry, Seafarer Fibreglass Boats P/L,
16 Seaview Ave, Mermaid Beach,
Qld, 4218
Phone: (07) 55316939
Email: info@seafarerboats.com
Website: www.seafarerboats.com

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #213

Find Seafarer boats for sale.

 


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