SeaVee 420Z Review: Quality Outboard Built for Serious Anglers

A new model with a proven track record hits the water
A SeaVee sport-fishing boat cruising across the open water.
With quad Mercury power, the 420Z is a top performer on the water. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

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SeaVee Boats has been a custom builder since its inception in 1974; over the past 25 to 30 years, it has delivered a high-quality, ­factory-direct product built to the ­owners’ needs, with practical layouts, a host of standard equipment, and a thorough list of options for each model that offers the buyer the best of everything.

The new 420Z is no exception, with its solid construction and proven ride. The hull, liner, deck, console, and all small parts are made using a vacuum-assisted resin-transfer infusion process, with PVC core material for weight savings, strength, and manufacturing consistency.

The SeaVee running surface has multiple lifting strakes and trademarked “speed rails,” along with carefully engineered weight distribution, offering a consistent running angle producing optimal lift for steady take-off with little bow rise, allowing the deep-V hull to handle the sea conditions. The twin-stepped cross-ventilated hull has a four-part air-­induction system with a central-air reserve to prevent drag and suction, creating an efficient and stable hull that all SeaVee-patented Z hulls are known for.

These intricate design features on the ­running surface allow the boat to track straight while not scrubbing speed, carve turns without sliding or blowing out, and offer predictable control to the operator. We tested the handling and ride on a thoroughly rigged boat built for a knowledgeable owner who set up his 420Z for serious fishing.

Divets built into a sport-fishing boat hull to hold fishing rods.
Wide alleys lead to the bow—the test boat was equipped with more than 80 rod holders. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

SeaVee offers the 420Z in two layouts. The captain’s edition­—with a sailfish or gap tower, as the test boat had—comes with a more ­traditional hardtop and aluminum pipework with a polycarbonate three-sided enclosure. The 420Z is also offered with a setup like their larger boats, with an integrated hardtop with a kite box, molded-fiberglass aft support leg ladders to access the second station, and a windshield frame with safety-glass windshield. It creates a distinctive look for the larger SeaVee boats.

We tested the 420Z on a summer afternoon out of North Miami with little wind and a few rain showers. Our test boat was rigged with quad 400 Mercury Verado outboards, a white powder-coated full gap tower, Seakeeper, and a host of options that make this boat a real threat for nearly any kind of fishing.
The forward deck has an access hatch to the anchor locker with windlass and anchor chute, with a stainless anchor through the bow. There is also an access door on the face of the anchor locker inside the boat to fully utilize the locker—a great setup for anchoring and retrieving. On deck is a huge 161-gallon insulated fish box that doubles as a storage locker. Just aft is a dry-storage compartment that can be rigged as a livewell to serve the forward area; there are port and starboard full-length rod lockers in the deck on either side. For more forward seating, SeaVee offers optional molded full ­lay-down lounges with electric backrests.

The main helm of a sport-fishing boat featuring electronic displays.
The helm has plenty of room for ­multiple ­electronics displays and controls. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

Stepping up onto the helm platform, the operational end of the console is ergonomically well-laid-out. Our test boat was rigged with three Furuno NavNet TZtouch3 displays.

SeaVee utilizes a large source-inverter ­system that allows for a full day of operation on the water, with all the power requirements for air conditioning, multiple livewells and Seakeeper. AGM batteries are standard, and lithium batteries that can be fully charged overnight for use the next day are an option. Engine and house batteries are isolated to reduce voltage stress.

The test 420Z had three ladder-back ­captain chairs in single-row seating, with the custom tackle center and molded fold-down rigging station, tackle storage, and aft-facing seat with cooler under. The 420Z is offered with optional dual-row seating with either ladder-back chairs or bench seating for the second row—a nice option for comfortable cruising and dedicated seating for the family.

A view of the second station at the top of the tower of a sport-fishing boat.
The gap ­tower with second station was also laid out well, the perfect location to run the boat while kite-fishing or trolling. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

The cockpit is all fishing, featuring ­40-gallon livewells in each corner offering easy access to your bait without having to get on your knees. Livewells are fed with a sea-chest pump system with dual raw-water inlets and a manifold system to direct flow as well as increase or decrease flow, depending on your bait needs. Underdeck in the cockpit are 100-gallon port and starboard fully insulated fish boxes and a centerline lazarette hatch for bilge access.

Read Next: Check out the SeaVee 450Z here.

We ran the 420Z with quad Mercury Verado V-10 400 hp outboards, 672 gallons of fuel, a full 60 gallons of water, and three people on board. The boat quickly came to plane with little bow lift. At 3,500 rpm, we hit 25.6 mph burning 42 gph, and we found her sweet spot to be 4,500 rpm, reading 43.4 mph and loping along comfortably burning 64.5 gph, for 0.67 miles to the gallon. At wide-open 6,200 rpm, the boat hit 65.1 mph. The boat carved turns, with no sliding, slipping or cavitation.

Two rows of seating in the SeaVee 420z sport-fishing boat.
There are options for single- or dual-row seating with either ladder-back chairs or benches for the second row. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

The folks at SeaVee are avid ­fishermen and boaters, and they implement their many decades of experience into their boats. The 420Z is no exception, with quality ­glasswork, clean fit-and-finish, high-quality ­components, and a good dose of what is practically needed and what is not. Everything is where it should be, and there is no lack of anything necessary to get the job done offshore. Once again, SeaVee has hit the mark—and exceeded it—with another great boat.

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