Stunning Sea Jay 490 Vision with T-Top and all-new 90hp Mercury in-line 4-stroke

Stunning Sea Jay 490 Vision with T-Top and all-new 90hp Mercury in-line 4-stroke

Our first test of a Sea Jay in the form of this very smart 490 Vision turned out to also be a first look at the new range of Mercury in-line 2.1 litre 4-strokes.

Sitting proudly on its single axle Dunbier trailer in front of Adelaide Shores Marine, the 490 Vision featured a strikingly graphic and colourful “wrap”, Sea Jay’s optional “T-Top” and a sleek, compact 90hp Mercury 2.1 litre in-line 4-stroke.

Yet another striking feature of this rig was the 490 Vision‘s raised sheerline above a steeply swept bow angle. In fact, the topsides not were not only raised but also widened from amidships forward, creating a nice muscly, broad shouldered look, all part of Sea Jay’s unique “Samurai Hull”.

In their search for a better riding, more efficient hull Sea Jay opted, with this “Samurai” concept, for a sharper entry, deeper forefoot, extra waterline width, wide reversed spray chines, a full length keelson with 2/3 running strakes and greater freeboard forward.

Sea Jay’s substantial, optional fold-down “T-Top” provided not only a good degree of shade, 9.81m headroom and extra grab rails, but also a six rod ‘launcher, an overhead locker and carried the 490 Vision‘s anchor light.

Standing above cool, grey marine carpet, the centre console was topped by a tinted perspex screen, under which was a broad fascia for electronics and on this boat, a Mercury “VesselView7” high resolution colour unit. This displayed 30 aspects of engine telemetry on a touch screen and offered a host of further, clever functions.

Two large storage lockers were set below the helm, which comprised the engine on-off-start-kill switch, switch panel (anchor light, nav. lights, bilge pump, bait tank pump, two spares), wheel for the Bay Star hydraulic steering and the Mercury engine/trim remote.

Ahead of the console was the forward fishing area and anchor locker, set between long bow rails. Access to this space from the console was easy and safe, thanks to the hull’s flair, raised sheerline and carpet underfoot.

We measured the cockpit to be 1.6m long, 1.9m wide and 0.8m deep, with 1.45m long side shelves. On each side deck we found a long grab rail, three rod holders and a stern cleat, with the fuel filler set into the port deck amidships.

The transom featured a battery locker with isolator switch to starboard, a storage locker opposite and overboard, two boarding platforms with grab rails. A very sturdy, two-step fold down ladder was located to port of the very neatly installed Mercury outboard.

We noted that this Sea Jay 490 Vision could be launched almost with one hand, before the neat 90hp Mercury 4-stroke purred quietly into life. Soon we were out on calm Gulf waters, spinning the Mercury “Trophy Plus” 17” pitch 3-blade s.s. propeller up through the rev. range.

From the extraordinary Mercury VesselView7 unit we recorded 4.2 knots @ 2,500rpm (8.8 lph), 20 knots @ 3,500rpm (12.6 lph), 24 knots @ 4,000rpm (15.2 lph), before hitting a maximum of
35 knots @ 5,500rpm (33.4 lph).

Moving up to each engine speed proved that the 90hp Mercury’s torque seemed to peak about half way through the exercise before tapering off mildly thereafter, a solid, impressive performance.

Running at speed over the calm seas we toyed with the helm, trying to unsettle the ‘Samurai‘ hull but to no avail. The reverse chine, keelson, strakes and broad beam combined to maintain a dry, level ride even as we worked the helm harder. In short order we had created some wash to charge through. Here again the hull shone, its clean entry free from any crash and bash and still no spray came aboard.

When running back along our wake, the hull tracked truly as those broad “Samurai” shoulders and reverse chines pushed the wash wide.

Thrown into a series of tight turns, the hull gripped nicely, producing a pleasing heel-in while the Mercury maintained its revs. very well. At rest we three adults stood to one side of the cockpit and noted that, having listed to around 3°, the hull refused to move any further.

At low speed, the “Samurai” hull could turn in very little over its own length. Engaging reverse, a smooth, fuss-free aspect of the new Mercury, we noted excellent helm response to both port and starboard. Throughout all our test manoeuvres the steering was light yet positive, requiring little effort.

After just an hour or so aboard the Sea Jay 490 Vision centre console, we came to appreciate its no nonsense layout, which made for ease of movement throughout the boat, plus the abundance of grab rails and the extra protection from the reverse sheerline forward. The only thing missing, we were told, was the 150 litre ice box which offered a cushioned, two person seat.

For further information on the Sea Jay 490 Vision, contact Adelaide Shores Marine, West Beach, on 8295 8000.
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