Review: Sea Jay 5.6 Striker

By: Kevin Smith, Photography by: Kevin Smith


The Sea Jay 5.6 Striker with a new Yamaha 130 outboard motor is a classic package that will suit inland and offshore fishing.

I’ve seen heaps of Sea Jay plate aluminium fishing boats on the water and heard fantastic reports about them, and even though they originate from Bundaberg, I still haven’t had the pleasure of testing too many of them.

Recently Yamaha released its latest and greatest 130hp four-stroke outboard motor and had an array of boats rigged for comparisons with the new motor. One in particular was the latest Sea Jay 5.6m Striker centre console, and if I had to pick my best centre console for 2015 this was most certainly one of them.

 

BEST CENTRE CONSOLE FOR 2015?

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker

The Sea Jay 5.6 Striker is designed with a seemingly simple layout including: raised casting deck in the bow, a few swivel seats, rear positioned console, sidepockets, livewell, baitboard and rear boarding platform with ladder. The boat is not loaded with bling, fancy fixtures and features – but that to me is what makes the Striker appealing.

When you take a closer look at the Sea Jay 5.6 Striker’s layout and beyond the standard features, the overall finish and solid feel of the boat is impressive. I liked the simple design in the stern with a fast self-draining deck and easy access to plumbing as well as the full carpeting that looks classy and feels good on the feet. The console is not overkill but still maintains enough space for flush or bracket-mounted electronics, and the multiple seating positions suit driving and fishing, while the sidepockets are spacious. Up front, I liked the spacious hatches built into the casting deck.

Ride of Sea Jay 5.6 Striker

Less is more and an open, clean space on board makes the boat seem far larger than what it actually is. Personally when it comes to fishing centre consoles, I prefer angling with only one other or, at a push, I might take a second person. On the Sea Jay 5.6 Striker I reckon three will be no issue and, if needed, a fourth would still be comfortable enough to handle.

 

TOP END FISHING

Casting deck on Sea Jay 5.6 Striker

So what style of fishing does the Sea Jay 5.6 Striker suit most? Well if I had to pick it, I can easily visualise this boat screaming up creeks in the Northern Territory chasing big barra. The high gunwales would keep the crocs out and with the layout as is, it will be an awesome boat to fish lures from.

Besides that, the Striker is just as good for the standard lure fisherman who frequents dams, as well as being even better for bay and offshore work. For the bait fisherman, again, it’s a boat well-suited if you don’t mind the open air, while for offshore use I would be quite happy fishing both bottoms and gamefish from it.

So whether it is chasing snapper or barra on lures, bait fishing or even offshore gamefishing, this centre console weapon can do it all – and like any boat, you can easily add to it to suit your style of fishing.

 

NEW YAMAHA 130hp

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker with 130 hp Yamaha

While I was impressed with the layout configuration, it was the boat’s performance that scored higher marks. Having no idea on how the new four-stroke 130hp Yamaha outboard would perform, it didn’t strike me as a boat that was going to have serious guts and glory when it came to performance.

A simple knock on the new design Yamaha controls forced an above-average holeshot out of the Yamha 130hp engine and a lightning-fast acceleration through to the top end. I must admit that I was totally blown away with the Yamaha 130’s performance, especially considering that at wide open throttle we were shunting along at 37.5kts, chewing a mere 46.35lt/h.

The new Yamaha digital gauge is also a win, providing clear data and, topping it off, the new 130 sports Yamaha’s prop SDS (Shift Dampener System) makes it ever so quiet when selecting gears.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker on the water

Coming off the throttle to speeds commonly driven to suit comfort and economy, the 5.6 Striker hull and Yamaha combination proved to be even better, 3500rpm producing 18.5kts and a ridiculously low consumption of 12.75lt/h or 1.45nm/lt. That kind of fuel consumption definitely suits my budget and with a 200lt tank fitted, you won’t be going to the bowser too often. I must say that I was surprised and really impressed throughout the rev range on this classic hull and motor combination.

When it came to the ride characteristics of the hull, again Sea Jay has upped the ante and produced a sturdy plate aluminium hull with incredible ride capabilities. The majority of the build is 4mm plate aluminium and this makes the 5.6 Striker an absolute chop annihilator, maintaining above-average comfort for the ride in rough conditions, as well as smooth handling when chucking it into turns. With good height to the bow and the ability to trim right up, the ride is also nice and dry for a centre console.

 

THE TRADE-A-BOAT VERDICT

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker layout

The Sea Jay 5.6 Striker is a fun boat to drive and one that feels good and safe on the water at all speeds. It can easily handle tough conditions both inshore and offshore. Again, the less-is-more concept definitely applies to the Sea Jay 5.6 Striker centre console and, as a standard off-the-shelf boat, I really liked it as it was.

That said, you will always add accessories to any boat to suit your fishing/boating style. Personally, I might add a few accessories and electronics but wouldn’t change the motor setup as it really is a good combination.

 

SEA JAY 5.6 STRIKER SEA TRIALS

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker with single 130hp Yamaha outboard motor

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN (LT/H)

1500

4.9

3.4

2500

7

7.85

3500

18.5

12.75

4500

25.7

19.40

5500

32.8

33.20

6300 (WOT)

37.5

46.35

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

HIGHS

  • Lighting performance
  • Super-low economy
  • Simple and clean layout
  • Quality build

 

LOWS

  • Difficult to mount rodholders into gunwales
  • A bit more support needed or a better rail fitted around the screen

 

SEA JAY 5.6 STRIKER SPECS

Sea Jay 5.6 Striker price: $53,890 w/ Yamaha F130, Redco tandem-axle trailer (QLD rego) and safety gear (priced from)

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Plate Aluminium

TYPE Planing monohull fishing boat

LENGTH 5.96m

BEAM 2.3m

WEIGHT 1185kg

DEADRISE 17.5˚

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 6

REC. HP 115

REC. MAX HP 150

FUEL 200lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Yamaha F130A 130hp outboard motor

TYPE Inline four-cylinder four-stroke petrol outboard motor

RATED HP 130

DISPLACEMENT 1832cc

GEAR RATIO 2.15:1

PROPELLER 13¼ x 16in polished K-Series w/SDS

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Sea Jay Aluminium Boats

2 Maddison Court,

Bundaberg, QLD, 4670

Phone 07 4152 2111

Email sales@seajayboats.com.au

Web seajayboats.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #466, June / July 2015. Why not subscribe today?

 


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