Seajay Nomad – By Dan Kaggelis

There’s something about the simplicity of small boats which makes them so enjoyable. Whilst they may not have the creature comforts of larger boats, the fact that we are often time and money poor means having a boating and fishing option which is inexpensive, easy to prepare and maintain, and most importantly simple to get on the water can make a big difference in terms of fishing frequency and experience.

Small aluminium boats or tinnies have come a long way in recent years as new hull designs and shapes have really opened up options for fishermen. For example, you either had an option of a deep V nose hull which was great for punching through the rough stuff but unstable at rest, or a flat bottom punt style which was light and had the ability to go in super shallow water but performed poorly in rough weather.webs1

Today there are plenty of really well-designed hybrid options which provide the best of both worlds and one of the best on the market would have to be the Seajay Nomad. The Seajay Nomad resembles more of your traditional V nose punt style tinny, however its unique V nose entry shape allows the boat to really punch through waves similar to that of the deep V nose hull. On the plane, the Nomad slices through chop effortlessly and provides a dry comfortable ride thanks also to its oversized spray chines.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Nomad flattens out to the back of the boat creating a ton of stability at rest which is perfect for those looking for a stable lure casting platform. The hull design also allows the boat to get through the real shallow stuff as well which is ideal for those fishing low water systems.

In testing the boat featured here, I took it to the Mitchell River in the Gulf for 10 days of hard fishing. For the majority of the trip, we had 25 to 30 knots every day which saw the river chop up pretty badly and at times have some pretty rough conditions which prevented most of the smaller boats from fishing more exposed areas.

The Nomad however ate up the conditions with ease and really handled the conditions without compromise of safety and at times, speed. The Hull once on the plane ate up pretty much everything except for the larger river waves which most larger boats would have struggled in anyway. In fact, at times we had other boats travelling in our wake, so we could break the waves and provide a safer comfortable ride.

The stability of the hull was also a standout especially in the rough and windy conditions when trying to throw lures and work vibes over structure.  In my old V nose hull, this would have been impossible to achieve without risking safety.

The other feature which makes the Seajay Nomad so versatile is its light weight build which makes it a perfect car topper. The two most popular models – the 3.7 and 3.85 (which is featured here) have a bare hull weight between 65 and 75kg which makes them super easy to put on top of your four-wheel drive for those off-road adventures.

This is a big factor to consider as getting to most out of the way places these days especially in the far north without destroying your trailer or tinny can be a task. Sure, there are plenty of off-road trailers out there which will get your boat to most places no matter what the road conditions, but they can be mighty expensive and the car topper option in my opinion is still the cheapest and safest way to get your boat to the middle of nowhere.

What often puts people off the car topper option is the restrictions it provides in boat size. This is why the Nomad is a great choice. For example, the 3.85 Nomad pictured here provides a lot of boat for its size. With a beam of 1.68 metres, it has plenty of room inside for all your gear, esky and equipment without compromising fishing space.webs5

If you are worried about fishing in croc infested waters in such a low sided boat or want a bit of extra safety for the kids, Seajay also offers the option of a HS or high sided model which provides a 75mm higher side to the standard hull. Living closer to the Gulf and tip of Queensland, I have begun to do a lot more car topping trips and the Nomad Hull so far has been the perfect choice for this style of fishing. Whilst the 3.7m model is lighter and easier to use as a car topper, I opted for the 3.85m as I still trailer it around for my local fishing trips and that extra bit of size is always welcome when you want to take a few extra people along or want to do an extended coastal trip and you want to take that bit of extra gear like a swag.

In terms of modifications to the hull, the principle focus was to ensure all floors, casting decks and other accessories could be easily removed and just as easily reinstalled without too much time and effort. For this reason, I opted for a two-piece removal marine carpeted floor, removable casting front deck as well as removable seats and a Johnny Ray Sounder Mount which allows you to pop your sounder and bracket on and off using a simple lever. The other focus was keeping the weight down as some of the remote places I fish are extremely tidal and the need to travel over shallow flats and sand bars is always a problem. You quickly see the need to reduce weight when you have to drag a boat over a long sand bar. The three main design inclusions which added the most weight was a boat length aluminium pocket for the storage of rods, nets and other tools, an aluminium sounder shelf for the 10 inch Humminbird Mega and a braced frame for the front casting deck which also opened up a ton of under floor storage for safety gear and anchors as well as deep cycle battery for the bow mount 55lb Minn Kota Terrova I Pilot.

The main feature which has really impressed me about the Seajay Nomad is its toughness. With 1.6mm thick sides and bottom and 8 ribs, this hull is super tough and can take a beating.

On its last trip, we really put the hull through some terrible on water conditions for 10 days straight travelling around 40km per day and it never missed a beat.

The Seajay Nomad 3.85 is rated to a 25hp motor which is what the boat featured which sees a top speed of around 45kms and hour with two people and gear.

Finally, I have to mention the Fishwreck Boat Wrap which I am sure you will agree looks awesome. To be honest I was a little worried about how it would hold up being car topped on rocky, bull dust covered roads, as well as up the creek amongst the snags, but it has been awesome.

To give you a bit of an idea about its resilience, this boat came home as red as blood from the last bush trip and took a beating on the road but suffered minor scratches and the bull dust washed off with ease leaving it looking brand new.

Overall the Seajay Nomad is a tough, versatile tinny which opens up plenty of options for the small boat angler.