SeaVee’s 450Z is the result of a spare-no-expense mission to build the ultimate boat for live-bait fishing in all weather. We tested this beast in its natural habitat while kite-fishing with live goggle-eyes in 5-foot seas off Miami’s coastline. We wasted no time assembling kites at the fishing grounds thanks to the ready-to-fly kite compartment in the hardtop. Within 10 minutes of stopping, the first sailfish of the day was on.
Interior and Accessories
No one will ever accuse the SeaVee 450Z of being underplumbed or lacking in live-bait capability. There are twin 40-gallon transom tanks in the corners along with two 40-gallon in-deck livewells. A fifth optional livewell holding 60 gallons can be added in the bow, giving it a total capacity that equals four 55-gallon barrels. The system uses adjustable, proportional Groco valves that are programmed to pressurize livewells when traveling above 6 knots to prevent sloshing. When coming off plane, the pressurization abates for more convenient use while fishing.
Some tower supports resemble oil refineries with a host of vision-blocking, toe-stubbing pipes, but on the 450Z, there are no tubes below the hardtop. Instead, the structure itself provides the support, anchored by artfully sculpted, one-piece, no-seam ladders that don’t have handrails and instead employ curved recesses behind that fit hands perfectly and give just the right leverage to hoist yourself easily and safely. Heading down, rounded indentations on the narrower section below the hardtop guide feet, sight unseen, into the proper position onto SeaDek-padded steps.
Like the 450Z’s hull and deck, the one-piece center console is created by a vacuum-assisted, resin-transfer molding process. A total of 22 inserts are needed to build in the complexity of this console’s design, and while it only takes an hour to shoot the injection, it takes weeks to set up, cure, and take the mold apart. Its coolest feature is the cabin door that’s opened and closed with the same button.
Inside, you’ll find an air-conditioned oasis for catching some z’s or visiting the stand-up head with shower. An electrically actuated high-low teak table descends to form the filler section of the berth. The cabin also comes with a refrigerator and sink.
At the helm, the driver sits, stands or leans on the centerline for better visibility and perspective. The two rows of triple captain’s chairs on our test boat give everyone a skipper-worthy throne. Even those in the back row get an AC vent and have great forward vision thanks to the raised seats. At the helm, twin 24-inch Furuno displays anchor the command center, and there’s even a rear-facing screen built into the hardtop so the captain doesn’t have to constantly answer the question, “What’s the depth?” In front of the console is a wide chaise-style lounge seat that’s low enough to fit well below the gunwale for passenger security.
Great care was given by designer Rob Kaidy to allow this double-stepped Z-hull to run at the same angle of attack no matter the liquid load of the 110-gallon freshwater tank, 48-gallon diesel tank (for the genset), and triple gas tanks that hold 778 gallons.
The roomy fishing cockpit can be cleared even further thanks to the electrically actuated retractable cooler/rear-facing bench seat. A rigging station resides above the bench, and there’s a tackle locker that holds 14 Plano Edge-series waterproof boxes. Five fish boxes have a total capacity of 550 gallons, with the large, forward box giving owners the option of adding chiller plates to preserve ice.
At the end of the day, we made a quick move toward some diving birds and placed our rigged baits into tuna tubes to keep them lively for the short run. Just as we were about to head for home, one of the portside rods bowed over. We hooked what turned out to be a 36-pound blackfin tuna that took several laps around us to help illustrate the ease with which an angler can fight a fish from anywhere on this boat thanks to a level deck, moderate gunwale heights and recessed toe kicks all around. Even when the tuna got close to the stern, the quad Mercs were near enough to the transom—thanks to the lack of an engine well—to guide the fish around. Had it been a big yellowfin, we could have used one of two side doors, which open inward on industrial-strength hinges. A new, integrated fold-down dive ladder eliminates the need to manually attach a boarding ladder.
The 450Z displays amazing balance at any speed, and the driver doesn’t have to be a trim wizard to keep it running at a proper attitude. After launch, bumping the trim up about one bar on the indicator put the Z-hull at a perfect angle of attack to make easy work out of the 3- to 4-foot seas during the return trip to Haulover Inlet. Once on plane, our inclinometer never deviated from 4 to 5 degrees no matter the speed. Only when putting the whip to the quad Mercury Racing 450R outboards did we trim up to about three bars to reach its terminal speed of 64.4 mph despite our rigged-for-fishing payload.
Shopping? Sea-trial Everglades’ 455cc, a center-console flagship, priced at about $1.7 million with quad Yamaha 425 Offshore outboards.
How We Tested
- Engines: Quad Mercury Racing 450R
- Drive/Prop: Outboard 5.44 HD/Mercury Enertia ECO 20″ x 16″ outside, 21″ x 16″ inside
- Gear Ratio: 1.60:1 Fuel Load: 350 gal. Crew Weight: 750 lb.
- Requires little driver input to run at the proper attitude.
- Standards include a Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer and an Onan diesel generator.
- Flawless rigging and excellent service access.
- Without the backrest cushion in place, you can whack yourself in the back with the grab rail on the rear-facing cockpit cooler/bench seat.
- AC vents for the second-row seats only cool crewmembers from the waist down.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$1,258,164 (with test power)|
|Displacement:||22,000 lb. (dry without engines)|
|Transom Deadrise:||22 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||778 gal.|
|Available Power:||Quad Mercury 450Rs, quad Yamaha 425s or triple Mercury 600s|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
SeaVee Boats – Miami, Florida; 305-759-6419; seaveeboats.com