Tested by Heinrich Kleyn (July/August 2018)
THE Seacat 565 CC was tested back in 2007 by my good friend Kevin Smith (see November/December 2007 issue of SKI-BOAT magazine), and now, 11 years later, I got to test an updated model which has had a few modifications made to it. I tested the Seacat 565 FC model in 2009 and was eager to give the centre console a try, so when I got the call from Erwin Bursik telling me to call Ryan Hansen from Durban Yamaha to arrange a test I was over the moon.
There are so many boats on the market these days, so how does a manufacturer convince you to buy their product? One way is to make a couple of changes that will make it much more comfortable on the boat and more to your liking. This is exactly what Grant Read did for Yamaha when he did some changes to the Seacat 565 CC.
There are quite a few Seacat 565s among the local fishing fraternity so it was not the first time I’d seen the boat. I was, however, very excited to see what changes have been made to make it more appealing to the fisherman, because in my opinion this boat was already one of the best in the marketplace.
One surprise on the new boat was that Ryan Hansen from Durban Yamaha fitted two-stroke engines on her stern. At 70hp they weren’t very big engines either considering the size of the boat.
A little skeptical about that aspect, I approached her on the Durban Point beach where she lay on the sand ready for the tractor to push us into the water. I was accompanied by Malcolm Fischer from Durban Yamaha while Erwin Bursik, Ryan Hansen and Shaun Lavery from Yamaha would be on the photo boat.
I have to add that this was the first time we’ve ever started a boat test before sunrise and that Shaun Lavery was there before 8am!
We were a little concerned that the weather would not playalong and that it would be raining, but the day before I saw that there was a gap in the weather and we might be lucky to have a little sunshine. Still concerned on the morning, we got pushed into the water with a slight north-easterly wind blowing and some clouds around. By the time the sun came out the clouds had drifted away and we had a stunning sunrise with a slight wind blowing.
The swells were a little bumpy, but if I timed it right it would be good conditions to do the test. I generally prefer the test conditions to be a little like a washing machine anyway, to give me a good indication on how the boat will react to all conditions. In short, the conditions were perfect for testing.
Like all the other Seacats, the 565 CC comes standard on a galvanised breakneck trailer manufactured by Grant Read at his factory. This means that the trailers are a perfect fit for the boats.
Towing is easy and dropping her off on the beach is simple — if you let your tyres down to the required pressure. Loading her back onto the trailer was a little more challenging because Ryan had left his winch controls outside his front door at home so we had to do it by hand. I have to say it was easier than I thought it would be to hand winch her onto the trailer, but I would still recommend an electric winch to make it easy for yourself. Remember, this is not a small boat so she’s heavy to move by hand.
MOTORS, CONTROLS AND PERFORMANCE
As I mentioned earlier, Ryan has fitted this Seacat 565 CC with twin 70hpYamaha two-stroke trim and tilt engines with 704 binnacle controls. At first I thought that the 70hp two-strokes would be a little pap for this size of boat, but I was in for a surprise with their performance.
The tractor pushed us into the water, and as soon as I turned the keys the motors were running. These days 90% of the deep sea fishermen have got four-stroke engines and we tend to forget that there is not much difference between a four-stroke and a two-stroke engine. Yes, the four-stroke is a little bit lighter on fuel and it does not use two stroke oil, but then the two-stroke engine has a bit more power when you pull away on the throttle.
I was incredibly impressed with the 70hp Yamaha two-strokes that were used for the test. The fuel consumption was also very good, especially on a boat of this size. Ryan travelled at an average of 30.5km/h for 1 hour 35 minutes and they manage to get 48.5km on two tanks of fuel. This is much faster than normal trolling speed so fuel usage will be lower if you take it at normal 12-19km/h for trolling.
Considering the cost of living nowadays it’s worth being able to reduce costs by fitting Yamaha two-stroke motors when you buy a boat. These motors certainly produced all the power we needed.
Like many other people, I often play down the power produced by two-strokes in comparison to four-strokes, and our first instinct is to fit a four-stroke outboard. But boy, just take this Seacat fitted with 70hp two-stokes for a test and your eyes will water.
At one point we were just drifting and I told Malcolm that he must just hold on while I tried a couple of manoeuvres. When I pushed the smooth throttles right open I got a serious fright at the power of the pull off. I believe she was about two- to three seconds faster than a four-stroke getting out the hole onto the plane. I had to tap back on the controls before I could do my figure-of-eight turns in the water because she was just too fast out the hole.
The turning circle between the swells is very small and perfect for surf launching. I expected some cavitation with such a small turning circle, but there was none in either direction, nor when I straightened her up after a 360 degree turn and pushed the controls open. All I felt was pure power.
The hull produced a smooth and soft ride through the water and I could not get her to broach. Riding with the swell I trimmed the engines up a little bit and she handled it with ease. Against the swell I found she produced one of the softest rides of any boat I have been.
The Seacat 565 CC, with her brilliant steering ability, will handle any conditions that you throw at her.
Many years ago I was on a Seacat with a doctor in Moçambique. This doctor’s mantra was that you get on the boat, push the controls wide open, and only tap back when you reach your fishing destination. That was the first time I was scared on a boat. He said he was trying his best to break the boat. Well, today, I can say with all honesty, “Good luck, Doctor! After what I saw on this test you’re going to have to work a lot harder; the boat is going to break you before you break it.”
As I mentioned earlier, Grant has made a few changes to the design of the new 565 CC.For a startthe centre console is a little wider which creates a lot of space. Extra seating has been provided on the battery boxes which are also bigger than before, and more seats have been fitted on the transom. By moving the roll bar further back they have created a more comfortable sitting space.
The fuel hatches and the fish hatches are still fitted in the deck, but they have changed the hatch lids and made them flush with the deck, and have fitted a gutter system. What this mean is that your hatch lid is flush with the deck but if water gets onto the deck it will not run into your hatches but will rather drain away through the gutter system.
The back of the boat has been straightened out to provide more protection for the motors against spray. The splash-well has been made smaller which means that less water will accumulate in the splash-well and you will have better buoyancy.
The bow has been raised, but note that this has only been done on the center console Seacats and not on the forward consoles.
Taking a look at the whole layout, starting from the back you get the splash-well which is smaller than before, with two nice seats fitted just in front of the roll bar. This Seacat 565 CC has been fitted with a nice livebait well with a glass window between the two back seats.
The centre console has a beautiful stainless steel T-top with rod holders at the top. The new console area has plenty of space for all the electronics that your heart desires.
There are two fish hatches, one on each side of the deck, with two fuel hatches — also one on each side — built into the deck with a nice drainage system that will minimise the risk of water flowing into the hatches. There’s a comfortable bum box with hatch and seats behind the centre console. In the front you have two hatches and the anchor hatch.
The gunnels are higher than before and space has been created to fit rods into the side of the gunnels. There’s plenty of open space on this boat as well as a lot of storage space. The Seatcat 565 CC’s well thought-out layout means it’s one of the few boats where you really could fish with ease 360 degrees around the boat without any obstruction.
I don’t think there are many more changes that Grant could come up with, but I’d better bite my tongue because every time I say that he manage to shut me up.
I have to say that this is one of the softest boat rides I have been on.Furthermore, the great surprise I got with the two 70hp Yamaha two-strokes will make me think twice before I just buy four-strokes in future.
Grant has once again done an awesome job with all the changes and, as usual, his work is also of a very high standard. Yamaha are very blessed to have somebody like this in their corner producing such high quality boats for them.
This boat is an all-rounder that will suit the serious deep sea angler as well as inland anglers who focus on freshwater fishing. The Seacat 565 CC is easy to tow around and I know that Ryan Hansen uses this boat personally for competitions as well as video footage for TV programmes.
If you really are interested and you have a limited budget speak to the guys at Durban Yamaha; they might be able to give you a good deal on a Seacat with two-stroke Yamahas on the back.