Whittley Sea Legend SL20 with 200 Volvo Penta

The helm is comfortable and the dash well laid out. It can hold bigger than the 7” Garmin in the test boat.

by Steve Morgan •

There’s five lengths of the Whittley Sea Legend available and the Sea Legend (SL) 20 is the smallest of them. And as most Whittley SLs are purchased with an inboard rather then outboard option, Alan Whittley organised us an SL20 with a 200HP Volvo Penta inboard to test.

Actually, it wasn’t that much of a stretch – we rocked up the day after Whittley’s on water event at the Queenscliff Marina – a lovely little clear-water berth right by the entrance of Port Phillip Bay.

Whittley are well known for taking their boats to the people. Their marketing includes shopping centre displays and on water events, as well as the more traditional boat shows and Alan Whittley’s theory for this is simple: Whittleys are family friendly, so they need to get the boats to where the families are.

Practical patterns in the SeaDek - like rulers - are fairly common in modern glass boats.
We liked the easy access to the cranking battery and isolation switch.
The bait board drains via a pipe over the transom and is easy to remove if its not needed.
Ample side pockets and an underfloor kill tank make this a practical fishing machine.
The router SeaDek floor inserts are standard, too.
The helm is comfortable and the dash well laid out. It can hold bigger than the 7” Garmin in the test boat.
The router SeaDek floor inserts are standard, too.
Spring-style trim tabs are standard on the SL20 package. That bait board at the transom is the only optional extra on this package. Everything else is standard – and the rig comes in at under $80,000.
23° of deadrise at the transom makes the Sea Legend hull soft-landing in rougher waters.
Whittley supply this rig on a twin-axle, electric brake trailer. They could get away with hydraulic, but opted for the safer path.
Enough room here to held half-a-dozen of your favourites.
If you’re converting from an outboard to an inboard, you need to get used to using your trim gauge and not just looking back when you’re trimming up to load the trailer.
The bow is well set up for anchoring and retrieval.

That said, this is a serious fishing boat with some creature comforts more than a Whittley cruiser that you can fish out of.

Priced to impress (the rig is under $80,000, ready to fish), the SL20 is a great entry point to the Sea Legend range and entirely capable of taking you tuna fishing one day and whiting fishing the next.

There hasn’t been a Volvo/Whittley combo I’ve tested yet that isn’t fun to drive. Even though this hull is only rated to 200HP and is fitted with the SX iteration stern drive with a single prop (and not the water-gripping duo-prop option) it still packs a punch when you drop the throttle and drives around likes a sports car.

Like all Whittleys, the finish is great. The cabin is lined and spacious, the decks have folded non-slip where not covered with custom SeaDek and the seat bases are designed for maximum practicality. This rig has a pair of ice boxes stashed under the seats with half-cut list to allow in situ access.

There’s a sliding, lockable door for cabin privacy and security.

At the helm, the dash is well laid out and there’s room to flush mount a sounder or multi function display.

Of course, the question most anglers ask when faced with fishing out of an inboard-powered boat is that of cockpit room.

You’ll be glad to know that the incursion of the engine bay into the cockpit is minimal and the design of the transom allows easy entry from either side. There’s ample side pockets to hold some of your extra gear and the optional bait board confines the messy stuff to one area.

Under the deck, there’s a kill box to keep your catch in great shape.

Packaged on a twin axle Mackay trailer with electric brakes, Whittley definitely haven’t taken the cheaper option when putting together the cradle for this hull.

Overall, if you’re looking to get into a fishing Whittley, the SL 20 seems the natural place to start. In addition to watching the video of the Fishing Monthly YouTube channel (by scanning the QR code hereby), you can take a virtual tour of this boat by visiting the Whittley website (www.whittleymarinegroup.com.au) – it’s pretty impressive. There’s you can also find your nearest dealer.

Performance
36 knots at 5,600RPM
No fuel metering available

Specifications
Length
                              6.37m
Length on Trailer       7.5m
Height on Trailer        2.2m
Width on Trailer         2.4m
Beam                                 2.4m
Deasrise at Transom  23°
Fuel                                    150L
Dry Tow Weight           1,980kg
Max HP                            200HP