By: Daniel Nash, Photography by: Stuart Grant

Sea Pro Boats has chosen to celebrate its last year as a teenager with a trip Down Under to explore Australian waters


Born in Blair, South Carolina in 1987, Sea Pro’s mantra is to build high quality saltwater boats at an affordable price. Its birthplace is located in one of America’s outdoor adventure playgrounds and there is no shortage of lakes or coastline for a day, week or (if you’re lucky enough) a month on the water. In fact a visit to a South Carolina web site indicated over 20 lakes available to launch your boat before you even think of the bluewater. I imagine there’s plenty of money to be spent on quality vessels in this part of the world, so my guess is you’d need to be deliver a high quality product or face extinction pretty quickly.
Sea Pro claims to be rated number one in retail registrations in the saltwater outboard fishing category of 15ft or above in the US, so it’s little wonder it was acquired by Brunswick Corporation at the end of 2004. Brunswick paid US$51 million for Sea Pro (along with Sea Boss Boats) to strengthen its Saltwater Boat Group that already included Boston Whaler. Everyone knows Whaler’s strong reputation in this segment of the market place, so it was with interest I ventured out to Warmies Boat Ramp in Melbourne to check out Brunswick’s new baby.

Our first glimpse of the Sea Pro 206 CC came as we rolled into the car park at the boat ramp. Initial observations instilled the impression that this boat was a classy looking rig that would net you plenty of fish. The 206 CC is probably used around the vast lakes of South Carolina however the hull is designed with saltwater in mind. It looks tough and it would want to be, as every boat comes with a transferable 10-year hull warranty, as well as full NMMA certification.
I boarded the boat while on the trailer to get a look before we hit the water. Climbing the stainless steel boarding ladder onto the half swim platform gives you the impression that this is a strong, well constructed boat. The most alluring aspect on my initial inspection is the amount of fishing features that have been incorporated into this boat. The most striking of which is the size of the two livebait wells, which are big, circular and voluminous – a whole 75lt, in fact. They are built into the transom moulding and open via a stainless steel pin that, when closed, sits flush against the lid meaning clothing, nets and lines won’t get caught up if you’re facing a big fight.
To house your catch, there’s a 50lt insulated fishbox with an overboard drain. I’m tipping if you’re nailing fish offshore in South Carolina it’d be full of mahi mahi, mackerel and snapper. Come to think of it, if you’re fishing Port Phillip Bay in the right conditions it’ll make a good home for local snapper, flathead and whiting.
There’s also recessed rod racks on either side of the boat. Immediately beneath each rack is a stainless steel toerail to hook into, while the gunwales are bolstered with six-inch-high cushions that slide into place. If you need to brace yourself as you try to haul in a feisty fish, this boat has got all bases covered. 
Forward of the fishbox in the bow is a raised casting platform that can double as a lounge with the addition of bow cushions. The storage under the platform is probably the best bet for safety gear. The casting platform also enables good access to the anchor locker. A hatch on the portside of the centre console also reveals a porta potti. This recess could also be used for storage should you not want to take up that option.
As well as the lounge up front there’s a rear seat with a backrest. This lifts up on stainless steel hinges to provide access to the battery storage and oil compartment. The seats are white with silver detailing and give the boat a fairly flashy look when matched with the blue and white Tournament Series hull.  

Stainless steel fittings are plentiful on all Sea Pro boats. On the 206 CC there’s a recessed bowrail and console rail, and springline cleats are also plentiful. There’s a pair adjacent to the livebait wells and a further two amidships, both port and starboard. A fishing boat of this nature would not be complete without good quality rodholders, and there are four stainless steel flush-mounted ones on the 206 CC.
The centre console on this boat is very busy, yet well designed. It’s protected by a T-top that plays host to four rocket launches and a horn. Swivel chairs were replaced with a leaning post on the test boat, which featured a cushioned base, removable back rest and extra rocket launches.
The 206 CC is not short of instrumentation and controls and these are all integrated via Mercury’s SmartCraft system. Mercury claims this system provides more control at the helm. While this was difficult to assess during the test, where time was at a premium, I imagine this system will give you a far better idea of how your boat performs and handles in different conditions over a long period of time.
As well as SmartCraft gauges, there’s eight switches covering the horn, bilge, washdown, livewell and lighting, as well as two accessory switches. Mercury had fixed a Navman Trackfish 6600 to the dash right in front of the helm, however there was a dedicated electronics box above head height in the T-top. I feel there’s plenty of room on the dash for extra electronics and the electronics box may be more suited for further storage. Others may like this feature, though.
A stainless steel steering wheel, throttle, drinkholder and lockable glovebox complete the helm setup. A tackle box mounted into the centre console is a novel feature illustrating how well this boat utilises storage space. It’s not all that big but you could fill it with tackle and tuck away a large external tackle box into storage to create more fishing space.
The beauty of a centre console like this is that it’s set up to be just as home on the lakes as it is in saltwater, so if you like to dabble in both fresh and saltwater you will get even more bang for your buck with this Sea Pro. No doubt there’s plenty of these roaming through their natural habitat in South Carolina and my guess is it wont be too long before they take a liking to Australian waters. 

Specifications: Sea Pro 206 CC

Price as tested: $59,382
Options fitted: Rodholders for splashwell, console cover, Tournament Series gelcoat, T-top with electronics box and rocket launchers, leaning post with rocket launcher, tackle box, half swim platform, hydraulic steering, anchor roller, porta potti fuel/water separator, bow cushions, pull up cleats, dual battery switch, bolsters, baitwell power supply.
Priced from: $53,371

Material: GRP
Type: Centre Console
Length overall:6.6m
Beam: 2.47m
Deadrise: 17°
Weight (BMT): 2036kg dry

Fuel: 420lt
Rec/max HP: 250
Passengers: 8 or 527kg

Make/model: Mercury
Type: Optimax 
Rated HP (ea): 175
Displacement (ea): 2507cc
Weight (ea): 195kg
Gearbox ratio:1:87:1
Propeller: Mirage Plus 18P

Brunswick Boat Group
132-140 Frankston-Dandenong Road
Victoria, 3175
Web: www.seaproboats.net

Originally published in TrailerBoat #209


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