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Draft (hull): 2'2"
Displacement (approx.): 13,500 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 22.5 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 9'0"
Max Cabin Headroom: 6'6"
Fuel Capacity: 538 gal.
Max Horsepower: 1,400
Available Power: Triple or quad outboard motors up to combined 1,400 hp
SeaVee boats have long been heralded for their great-running conventional deep-V hulls. Now, the company has introduced a new series of step-hull boats called the SeaVee Z series in 32-, 34- and 39-foot lengths. I met with SeaVee’s design team aboard a 390Z, both on land and on water, to get to the truth behind these new double-step center-console boats. We discovered many things, most notably that, instead of following in the wake of others’ designs, SeaVee set its own course for a higher-performing, more efficient hull form.
The design is a collaboration between SeaVee Boats co-owner Ralph Torres and longtime SeaVee designer Robert Kaidy, a principal at Ocean5 naval architects. Upon a first quick glance at the boat from the side, experienced boaters might classify the steps as being quite large (guilty!). Large steps usually mean a boat that requires a lot of attention to the helm, needing trim and throttle to control.
Looks can be deceiving.
The Z models actually feature a pair of small, 2-inch-tall steps. The vents at the chines are what are oversized, the idea being that most step vents are too small. These big openings are intended to prevent the vents from clogging up and to allow more air to be fed to the hull, alleviating the “hitch” or “hesitation” — it’s an instantaneous loss of speed and stability, really — that many stepped hulls exhibit due to clogged vents. If you’ve driven a stepped hull or had one roar past you, you may have heard the chuff-chuff-chuff sound that accompanies this phenomena.