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.
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.
36 knots at 5,600RPM
No fuel metering available
Length on Trailer 7.5m
Height on Trailer 2.2m
Width on Trailer 2.4m
Deasrise at Transom 23°
Dry Tow Weight 1,980kg
Max HP 200HP