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Launched new for 2015, the 31 DV Miami is Steiger Craft’s biggest, baddest and most capable fishing boat yet.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
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To get a better understanding of the design and development of the new 31 DV Miami, I reached out to Steiger Craft’s VP of Operations, Conner Steiger to get his insights. According to Conner, “The 26 DV Miami was and still is a very popular boat in our lineup, especially with bluewater anglers. The one Achilles heel of the 26 was its 200-gallon fuel tank, which made canyon daytrips realistic, but not extended-stay overnighters. The new 31 is like a 26 on steroids. It offers a standard 300-gallon fuel capacity and is rated to carry twin V-8 Yamaha 350 four-strokes, so it has both extended offshore range and the added speed to get you there safely and back. The added length of the 31 versus the 26 bridges the next wave and gives it a smoother ride. The 31 DV Miami is also closer to the ideal 3-to-1 length-to-beam ratio (31-foot length and a 10-foot beam) compared to the 26, which also makes for an improved wave-piercing ride with its 22-degree aft deadrise variable vee hull.”

I was able to jump aboard the Steiger 31 DV Miami a few weeks back and was immediately impressed by the enormous cockpit, which measures 10-1/2 feet in length by 8 feet in width (84 square feet), supported by 25 inches of thigh-high depth throughout. Since company CEO Al Steiger is a fishing fanatic and had considerable input into the design of the 31 Miami, one of the neatest cockpit features is a triple combination toe-rail, horizontal rod rack and sinker storage compartment that runs the length of each side under the covering boards. This is a way-cool standard feature that you won’t find on any competitive boat and is a bottom and drift fisherman’s dream come true, with multiple compartments to stow your sinkers, while giving excellent toe and leg support when leaning over the side to slip the net under your favorite quarry.

One of my pet peeves with new “sport fishing” boats is that they never seem to have enough standard rodholders onboard. Once again, due to President Al Steiger’s decades of hardcore fishing experience, the 31 DV Miami solves this dilemma from the get-go. With most competitive manufacturers offering four to six flush-mount gunwale rodholders, the 31 Miami trumps them with a total of 10. The test boat that I inspected had even more with a total of 14 in the gunwales, with six across the back in the full-height transom cap, and four in each covering board - and with the 10-1/2-foot cockpit length you can install even more! An eight-rod rocket launcher on the top of the Miami’s fiberglass roof adds rodholders to clear the decks, plus there are a trio of horizontal poly racks under each gunwale, bringing the standard rodholder total up to 24! Other cockpit fishing features include an in-deck livewell with macerator pump-out, plus an insulated fishbox set in the transom cap that measures 46 inches long by 11 inches wide by 10 inches deep and drains its icy contents directly overboard.

There’s plenty of room in the Miami’s upper cabin area for the crew to stay dry and comfortable when underway to the fishing grounds, with a 7-foot long cushioned bench to port that includes a trio of recessed tackle storage drawers and access to the twin four-way switches to control the quad battery setup. An adjustable captain’s chair sits atop of a fiberglass module that includes a small (optional) refrigerator, microwave oven and a coffee maker. With 6-1/2 feet of headroom, the Miami’s cabin will be roomy enough for most crewmembers, also offering the convenience of twin overhead stainless steel handrails when negotiating a rough inlet or choppy seas. The 31 Miami offers a roomy dash panel to flush-mount twin 12-inch multifunction displays, an auto pilot, dual engine instruments, twin VHF radios and more. An in-deck fishbox with macerator pump-out completes the upper cabin accommodations.

Stepping down into the lower berth area, which offers 65 inches of headroom, there’s a twin vee berth, additional drawers to stow tackle or gear, a private head area to starboard, plus a freshwater sink. The standard features list on this 31-footer is a nautical mile long and options include AC/heat with shore power and inverter, transom and cockpit bolsters, a drop-down transom bench, outriggers, windlass and more.

Recent Yamaha factory tests show that this 31-footer is fast to the fishing grounds. Outfitted with standard twin 300 four-strokes and spinning 18-inch pitch SWS II three-blade standard props, she will hit a top speed of 51.4 mph at 6050 rpm, turning 28.7 mph at 3500 revs while burning 15.7 gph for a net of 1.83 gph. If you need to get to a hot bite with more urgency, bumping the twin electric fly-by-wire throttle to four grand will hit 33.7 mph on the GPS at 19.8 gph for 1.7 mpg fuel efficiency.

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