by Dom Wiseman

Plate aluminium boats are tough, sturdy and built to last and that’s why when North Queensland charter company, CY Charters started looking for a new boat to suit their operation, their first call was Offshore Marine Master. They have been building boats for close to twelve years and produce boats for discerning recreational anglers and the commercial sector too. Their expertise across a range of boats from 5.0m through to 8.0m and above and twin hulled beasts like the one we’re looking at here gives them a unique skill set that ensures no matter what you want, they can build it. They also build hull only, packages and will do custom aluminium work on existing boats.
The owners settled on in this instance was the Jaycat, a twin hulled cabin cruiser made with 5083 grade alloy with tonnes of room on board and some neat custom additions to make fishing charters easier and more efficient.

WHAT YOU GET
With any fishing boat, and let’s face it, this is exactly why CY Charters, based on Albany Island near Cape York, chose this vessel, it’s imperative that it has fishing room and the 8.0m Jaycat has it in spades. The checker plate deck is flat throughout with a small step up towards the bow and provides a comfortable operational area across the whole package. The cockpit is set nice and deep ensuring anglers chasing thuggish GTs and speedy predators have no fear of being dragged over the side which reaches mid thigh on an average person. The sides are also flat in the front two thirds and comfortable to brace against despite the fact there is no recess for the toes to allow for the most efficient lean angle. That said while fishing on the boat at no time did I find this uncomfortable.
In the rear cockpit there is approximately 2.0m of open space before you hit the mid mounted cabin. Right at the rear, there is a small walkway between the twin Suzuki outboards that allows angler full access around the outboards and hides a kill tank while also ensuring the skipper has easy access to the engines while down or trimmed up, a non negotiable when you’re operating in an difficult and remote area like Cape York. On the port side rear gunnel, a bait prep station and cutting board with shelf provides room for the skipper to keep the baits or lures going out to the anglers while he isn’t ducking and weaving to avoid the novice anglers best casting efforts. Underneath the transom gunnel is a storage box, while on the port side, another hatch hides a large live bait tank.
OMM Jaycat 8
OMM Jaycat 9Cabins generally provide protection from the sun, so the one on the boat has a somewhat surprising feature, though after coming to grips with its unusual appearance it is a clever use of the space with the roof of the cabin used as a fishing platform. Firstly the cabin sits about 500mm in from either side creating a full walkaround interior. In addition, the centre section is missing, so it’s also a complete walkthrough (as you can see from the pictures hereabouts). What this does is make the whole boat usable and as anyone knows when the fish are schooled up and the action is frantic, being able to move around to the best spot on board to pitch a cast from is imperative. The skippers view through the split front window is adequate and the open nature keeps the air flowing through, especially important in the hot climate of the north. It does have a drop down clear to fill in this section should the weather really turn.
The roof has been built to handle a couple of people standing on it and from here; it provides a commanding view of reefs and thus the fish. Six rod holder either side take care of the fish catching apparatus while the front corners are fitted with a sturdy railing system that allows up to two anglers to stand here and throw lures in all directions. It’s space that would otherwise be wasted and set up like this, means you can comfortably fish two anglers down the back, two on the roof and one to two up the front with no problems.
Inside the cabin CY Charters have gone for a fairly simple set up with a captains chair in front of the 12-inch Lowrance multi-function display on the dashboard that is also adorned with electronics and gauges while behind him is a bench seat with storage underneath while another bench seat on the port side runs in a bow to stern direction. Again, there is more storage under here and a large storage area can also be found on either side of the front section of the cabin.OMM Jaycat 11
OMM Jaycat 13The bow features the aforementioned step which has an upholstered backrest for comfort while the bow has an all encompassing bow rail with a split in the centre for easy disembarking onto one of the many deserted coral cays found nearby. More storage is also located under two hatches for ropes and anchors here. All in all it’s a fairly basic yet immensely efficient set up which is more a necessity for an operation like this but can be tailored by the manufacturer to your own purposes.

POWER
This beast is powered by twin 200hp four-stroke Suzuki outboards that are built on a four cylinder platform delivering a weight advantage of 12 per cent over the comparable 200hp six cylinder version. They are loaded with advanced technology with variable valve timing and oxygen sensors to monitor fuel/air mixtures providing enhanced performance and precise fuel economy.
The cowling, designed to provide a direct air flow of cool air into the engine intake manifold keeps the engine operating efficiently, essential for a performance engine like this running a high compression ratio of 10.3:1.
This engine weighs approximately 225kgs that is not overly heavy for an engine of this size. They power the craft well and have tonnes of power on tap when needed and also being a four stroke, deliver exceptional fuel economy which is crucial for the often long running times that a charter operator like CY Charters undergo between fuel stops.

ON THE WATER
Up on the east coast of Australia in the far north, the winds can get very hairy with almost daily easterly winds producing a consistent short sharp chop which can test any boat, however, the ride delivered by this 8.0m craft is exemplary and one of the most comfortable I’ve been on. The twin hulls pierce chop with ease and the stability has to be-seen-to-be-believed.
OMM Jaycat 16
OMM Jaycat 19The hull entry is sharp and planning strakes help the boat rise onto the plane at approximately 3000rpm. As with any twin-hulled boat, they require a little getting used to as they turn flat and can be a little unnerving for the uninitiated. Once underway the throttle stays where it should and any chop or wake is a minor inconvenience. When confronted by waves the harder you push, the more comfortable the boat becomes. Standing or sitting there is no banging or lurching and the boat rises and falls in a controlled fashion as air is forced between the hulls and the water below.
The water leaves the boat approximately two-thirds down the hull and a built in chine running along the length keeps spray down and away from the wind which can bring it back into any boat.

OVERVIEW
This boat is built to be functional and it has a utilitarian feel about it due to the simple but ultimately effective design and finish that has been used. Space on board has been maximised and while comfortable, it’s not set up for days and days of on water cruising, although Offshore Marine Master could customise and add anything your heart desires. It’s a classic charter set up, easy to maintain, easy to clean and plenty of space for the fish.
jaycat 3POSITIVES
Great space
Simple layout
Fishability

NEGATIVES
Not suitable for extended cruising

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (as tested) $250,000
Construction: Plate Aluminium
Length Overall: 8.0m
Beam: 2.50m
Engine: Twin Suzuki 200hp four-stroke
Fuel Capacity: 700-litre (350L per side)