Buying a new boat is a big decision for anybody and the one thing that you will find out very quickly is that there is no perfect boat to suit all of your needs, there will always be some compromise during this process. For me I was coming out of a 5 metre tiller steer aluminium boat that took me everywhere I wanted to go whether it was in the dams, fishing the bay or heading offshore so I decided that I wanted a boat of similar size as I knew the size suited my application; what I did have to decide upon though was whether I stayed with a tiller steer or I changed into a side or centre console boat. After much discussion with fellow boaters I decided that a side console configuration was what I wanted, compromising some open space but gaining room to mount my electronics and offering an easier method of steering, being hydraulic steering with wheel rather than tiller.
After having settled on size and configuration I looked into models that would reduce long term wear and maintenance as my boat lives outside and we do use our boat more than the average fisherman. In the back of my head I wanted to avoid future replacement of the timber floors as I had to do this on my old boat once and that being the case I explored models that had sealed aluminium floors rather than timber floored models. I was excited to find that Sea Jay boats offered a 4.90 metre side console with sealed aluminium checker-plate floors - the Sea Jay 490 Ranger Sports. This model in fact has what Sea Jay refers to as a 'wet-deck'; this means sealed floor with scuppers through the transom where water from the deck can run to the outside of the hull.
I could see value in all the other standard features of the Ranger Sport, things like the durability of the 5083 plate aluminium construction, the stability that the Samurai hull boasting a 2.35m beam offers, the added internal volume that the raised sheer line gives and the unbelievable amount of storage under that front cast platform meaning that the entire floor is free from clutter. Other bonuses included the capped keel and the fact that the boat comes completely wired with 12 volt system including LED navigation lights, six switch panel, bilge pump and battery isolator switch.
After spending over 250 hours on the water in first 18 months I now look back on my purchase and say that I am happy with the boat; to be honest 'happy' is an understatement, I love it!. The combination of the Ranger Sport 490 and the light weight Yamaha F90 four stroke outboard provides excellent performance including very economic fuel consumption. The trailer I selected was the Redco RS510MO and the ease in which it combines with the 490 to load and unload is awesome. Electronics is too big a story to write about in this article so stay tuned and I will pen an article on choosing electronics at a later date.
I would absolutely purchase another one Sea Jay Ranger Sport and encourage you to call me at the dealership on 33979766 or visit the dealership at 117 Old Cleveland Road Stones Corner (Greenslopes) and ask for Troy.