Josh and Robin Berman were on their way to Bimini in their 37-foot center console to attend a rendezvous and fishing tournament when they came across a floating railroad tie. They stopped to take a look. The ocean was teaming with life, according to the retired Tavernier, Florida, couple. Mahi-mahi were everywhere. They decided to stay and catch a few. Little did they know that the one 23-pounder they brought in would be the winner of the tournament.
As exciting as that experience was, it turned out to be only half the adventure. There was rough weather on the ride home. The skies turned black and storms rolled in. â€śSeas were three or four feet, but with the use of our radar, power and offshore ride, we were able to shoot through a gap in the storm at 30 knots and break free from the bad weather,â€ť Josh says. â€śThe rest of the ride home was beautiful.â€ť The boat that got them home was a 2017 SeaVee 370Z with triple 300-hp Yamaha outboards. The Bermans bought it last May for $365,000. The investment got them back on the water after a stretch of being boatless.
Josh, who was born and raised in South Florida, started fishing in the backwaters as a teen. â€śMy father was an avid boater; I started when I was six,â€ť the 58-year-old says. Robin moved to South Florida in the late 1980s to work in the yachting industry. â€śI got into fishing with a group of my coworkers,â€ť she says. â€śI fell in love with offshore boating and ocean fishing.â€ť
The coupleâ€™s fleet over the years included a Cajun bass boat, a 17-foot Boston Whaler
Montauk, a Penn Yan, a Sea Pro and a 23-foot Irvette, built in Florida. Their biggest boat was a 34-foot Jupiter with a tower, but at one point, it presented a problem.
â€śWe moved to Tavernier and found that with its tower the boat would not fit under Tavernier Creek Bridge,â€ť Josh says. â€śWe either had to drive an additional sixteen miles per trip to go out Snake Creek, or get another boat that did not have a tower.â€ť
They determined that the SeaVee would meet their requirements. They wanted a smooth, dry ride; good speed (top end is around 55 knots); fishability; and quality fit and finish. â€śSeaVee has a good reputation in the South Florida fishing and boating market, and many of our friends had told us of the quality and value of a SeaVee,â€ť Josh says.
There were not many versions of the boat they wanted on the market when they ran into Fulton Ivy, a sales manager at SeaVee. Ivy told them a 37-footer that was in for service had an owner who was moving to Costa Rica and ready to sell. Soon, the deal was done.â€śOur vision was to be able to easily go to the Bahamas, which we have done now multiple times, and also to enjoy the fishing, diving and sandbar life in the Florida Keys,â€ť Josh says. â€śThis boat suits all those purposes.â€ť
The boat was in like-new condition when they bought it; features included extra rod holders and stowage, along with two outlets for electric reels, and a side door and ladder for access. â€śThe only work we have needed to do was the 100-hour services and some detailing,â€ť Josh says. â€śWe also added two swivel rodholders for deep-dropping.â€ť
Electronics include a Garmin radar, autopilot, 22-inch monitors, Chirp transducer and Fusion console stereo with JL Audio amplifiers and speakers. Power comes from triple 300-hp Yamaha F300 outboards, giving the SeaVee a cruising speed of 33 knots at 3700 rpm. Fuel use is 1.1 miles per gallon, Josh says.
â€śWe do a lot of entertaining in the Keys and like to take our visitors to the Islamorada sandbar,â€ť Robin says. â€śAnd we also enjoy taking them offshore for fishing adventures. Weâ€™ve gone over to the Bahamas several times. SeaVees are built for the rough water with that flared bow. It is a very dry boat, and the wide beam makes it very stable in rough conditions.â€ť Sitting on a lift behind their Florida Keys home, the SeaVee is always ready to go. â€śWe can see this boat being our method of getting on the water for years to come,â€ť says Josh.
The SeaVee 370Z rides a SpeedRail, twin-stepped, cross-ventilated hull that uses multiple lifting surfaces for trim, fuel efficiency and handling. The hull can reportedly top out above 56 knots with triple 350-hp engines, and range is more than 600 miles with the boatâ€™s 460-gallon fuel tank.
The 370Z comes in two configurations: a tournament fishing machine with tower options and extra stowage, and a Luxury Edition with molded-in forward seating, a variety of rear-seat configurations, and a console shower and head.
The fishboatâ€™s 75-square-foot cockpit has room for lockers (the boat can hold 42 rods in all) along with two 40-gallon transom livewells, a 170-quart cooler, and a tackle prep station with a rigging table that folds out over a cabinet with trays and drawers. Thereâ€™s an in-deck fishbox, and a coffin box is an option. Contoured racks under each gunwale hold coil hoses for saltwater and freshwater spigots.
Popular options include a transom door, port-side dive door, freshwater shower, dive rack and ladder, bow thruster and high-performance trim tabs.Â
Miami native Capt. Don McGee founded SeaVee in the mid-1970s to produce high-quality, high-performance boats. In 1993, Moises Rodriguez, Ralph Torres and Ariel Pared bought the company and today, stay true to its original mission.Â
This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue.