Review: Sailfish 2800 Platinum

By: John Willis, Photography by: Ellen Dewar


Sailfish powercats were top-five aluminium fishing boats at Australia’s Greatest Boats three years running. With the Sailfish 2800 Platinum can they get even better?

Australia has wonderful inshore opportunities but perhaps none are more attractive than cruising Sydney Harbour, Botany Bay, Pittwater and the Hawkesbury system, all within a day of Port Stephens and Jervis Bay.

This is the home of Sailfish Catamarans and many of its enthusiastic customers. We were offered a ride on a Sailfish 2800 Platinum with a recent convert, Nick – a committed sport and gamefishing enthusiast, he’s also a family man with a lighter, more entertaining side to his boating needs.

 

Sailfish catamarans

Sailfish 2800 Platinum

Nick needed a boat that was "bigger, better and more stable" than his previous Cruise Craft 625 and its 175hp E-TEC. That’s a great boat in its own right but it was time to progress as his kids were growing and so were his mates! They all yearned for more deck room and greater overall size and facility in a trailerable package. The undeniable stability of a twin-hull Sailfish was the obvious choice and the hefty weight didn’t faze Nick thanks to strong towing offerings from Ford’s F series, as well as Chevs and GMCs. Since the new Sailfish 2800 Platinum ended up heavier than he expected, its realistic towing weight being around 4.1 tonnes on its custom aluminium trailer, he upgraded from a Land Rover Discovery to a new Ford F250.

Whilst the Sailfish brand is certainly on a roll it’s no newcomer. I used to sell them for the now defunct Boronia Marine some 20 years ago when they were regular sights at fishing tournaments up and down the east coast. And though the brand and its people have progressed a long way, the theory remains the same.

 

Aluminium powercat design

The Sailfish brand has been particularly successful in Trade-A-Boat’s Australia’s Greatest Boats competition, sweeping the pool for the past two years with its S7 and S8 offerings and coming in a close second in its first year of competition.

Back to back awards in the highly competitive Aluminium Fishing Boats category is a real achievement but not content to rest on their laurels, the Webbe Marine boys were keen for me to inspect their Platinum Series.

They offer complete turnkey packages fitted with the customer’s selection of accessories, electronics and custom tackle. The finished products leave the showroom with the convenience of one-stop shopping. The Platinum Series also offers the ability to customise your package, including cabin size and configuration.

 

Layout and deck

Sailfish 2800 Platinum deck space

Nick is more a day fisherman than an overnighter so the standard cabin length on his Sailfish 2800 Platinum with maximized deck suited him. Should you wish for a longer interior, perhaps with weekender-style galley and dinette, it’s all available.

The Sailfish Platinum Series features a fully enclosed cabin with a raised bridge deck – a mental and physical plus – with a self-draining deck. You enter the cabin through a pair of solid French doors that allow excellent security and protection from the elements but give terrific flow throughout the boat when open. Our ride had the internal cabin door to the port for access to the accommodation. The configuration is quite unusual for a cat but works well. You step down into the deep sponson via a tilting lid over a toilet that has its own macerator and holding tank. The floor drains to a well in the sponson and there’s a pull-out shower to help you keep fresh on long journeys.

Having all this on one side allows for a large double berth across the centre and starboard, with storage under. The design is really convenient.

 

Helm

Helm on Sailfish 2800 Platinum

The helm configuration, dash and seating have evolved to an excellent command and passenger module with comfortable seating and standing arrangements featuring a pair of deluxe upholstered seats and grab handles in all the right spots – including the roof. Nick wisely chose a combination of Furuno dash-mounted depth sounder with a Garmin multi-function screen, and LED system gauges. There’s a bank of 12 easily identified switches, Stress Free anchor winch control, twin binnacle controls (without sync function) and intermittent wipers and washers, which are standard on the Platinum Series. The layout is terrific, as is the 360-degree visibility. There is no need for trim tabs with individual trim on this cat.

 

Fishability

Fishing outriggers on Sailfish 2800 Platinum

The Sailfish brochure claims: "When the reels are screaming and all hell breaks loose on deck, room to move is vitally important to ensuring your best chance of landing that dream catch. The huge Sailfish 2800 Platinum gives you a cockpit that would make any charter-boat operator jealous."

I reckon they’re right – and I’m a charter operator! It is simply a pleasure to fish on the large platform that is ideally set up for sport and game fishing. I particularly like the twin boxes with padded lids either side of the French doors. It’s an excellent spot to travel in, particularly when keeping an eye on the spread whilst trolling.

Nick had a slide fitted under the port-side container for a removable electric fridge/freezer, and there’s an external sink behind for cleaning up and refreshing. There are also padded combings, side pocket and rod/gaff storage underneath and a pair of rear enclosures for the batteries, switch and pumping gear.

Outrigger on Sailfish 2800 Platinum

There’s the essential baitboard to starboard, large livebait tank to port and the tremendous advantage of the long walkway through to the opening door at the back of the boat, which is only possible given the catamaran configuration. I love the acrylic non-skid flooring from Sailfish.

This beautiful Sailfish 2800 Platinum is aptly named Untamed, a classic attitude for this beast of a boat! Its high grey sides and white top looked sensational as we met it just inside Sydney Heads, keen to scramble aboard to set a course to the shelf hoping for a late-afternoon marlin strike. Unfortunately we never raised one, but we had a blast just the same.

 

Sailfish 2800 Platinum powercat on the water

See how the Sailfish 2800 Platinum rides with twin Honda BF150 outboard motors.

 

The Trade-a-Boat verdict

Sailfish 2800 Platinum with twin Honda 150hp outboards

If you like cats, you’ll love the Sailfish. It’s a totally different sensation to a monohull but I like it. Many boats seem to shrink when you put them on the water but the 8.4-metre overall hull feels big, seaworthy and extremely comfortable. This is a hull that you could use daily, as do many commercial customers. I’m unashamedly a bit of a patriot and love the fact the Sailfish range is locally manufactured, with options and accessories to suit every client and presented by the friendly, experienced staff with the long history of Webbe Marine.

 

HIGHS

• Huge volume.

• Premium fishing platform.

• Enclosed cabin and helm.

• Range from the Honda outboard motors.

• Non-skid floor.

• Manufacturing quality.

• Australian made.

 

LOWS

• Uummmmm the sink’s a bit uncomfortable as a backrest.

 

Sailfish 2800 Platinum specs

Sailfish 2800 Platinum price $224,990 + marine electronics

Priced from

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Almost all of them!

 

PRICE AS TESTED

$259,000

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Aluminium, 5mm hull and transom, 3mm sides

TYPE Aluminium catamaran fishing boat

LENGTH 8.4m O/A

BEAM 2.5m

WEIGHT towing weight 4100kg (approx)

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 2 + (DAY) 7 +

FUEL 2 x 240L (larger options available)

WATER 60L

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Honda BF150 outboard motors

TYPE Four-stroke DOHC four-cylinder, 16-valve outboard motors

PROPELLERS Three-blade 17in stainless

 

MORE INFORMATION

Webbe Marine

17 Yalgar Road

Kirrawee, NSW 2232

Phone (02) 9521 7944

Email gavan@webbemarine.com.au; ashley@webbemarine.com.au

Web webbemarine.com.au 

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #477, on sale April 21, 2016. Why not subscribe today?

 


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