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Boat & Motor Reviews


Southport’s 272 CC is the epitome of what a mid-sized offshore center sport fishing machine is all about.
By Capt. John N. Raguso

With excellent fishability, a smooth ride, fuel-efficient performance and high-tech construction that should stand the test of time, the Southport design team takes this go-anywhere concept one step further with the ability of each owner to choose either single or twin outboard power.

There is actually a pair of Southport 272 CCs in their revised 2016 lineup. The original model that we tested out a few years back features twin bench forward seating and carries the FE designation for “family edition”. However, the focus of this month’s boat review will be the latest addition to the family, the 272 TE, which stands for “tournament edition”.

The Southport 272 TE’s layout will definitely appeal to hardcore anglers and it caught my eye at last fall’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, where I was able to jump onboard at the Bahia Mar docks and immerse myself in her details. This boat is built to handle offshore seas, with a beefy 4,600-pound displacement (dry, without power) and a C. Raymond Hunt designed deep-vee running bottom that carries 22 degrees of deadrise to the transom. I have made a few trips offshore on this hull over the past few years, taking some of my charter clients on “away” trips and have seen firsthand how this mid-sized sportfisher handles a variety of sea conditions. She is dry, runs with a relatively flat angle for great visibility and can certainly handle the rough stuff with a high degree of confidence. She is also one of the best looking boats at the marina, with her graceful flared Carolina bow, aggressive forward rake and reverse transom with tumblehome aft.

What I particularly like about the 272 TE’s layout is the wider 9-1/2-foot beam, which adds some extra elbowroom and hip space for the crew to travel from bow to stern. The Southport design team put this added beam to good use, featuring a single level cockpit that allows an angler to do a complete 360 around the gunwales when fighting an active gamefish, which is the #1 way to get it done. Standard forward and aft cushioned bolsters and thigh-high 27-1/2-inch cockpit depth provide max crew support when fighting a large gamefish and leadering it to boatside. A huge 80-gallon coffin box is standard issue on the 272 TE, which will ice down a small school of 40- to 50-pound tuna, or keep four cans of chum and a few flats of bait chilled out for your next shark trip with plenty of room to spare. A built-in macerator pump helps with the cleanup at day’s end. Additional fishbox capacity is available from a pair of insulated 27-gallon in-deck fishboxes that flank either side of the helm, accessed via flush cockpit sole hatches. These too drain their icy gurry overboard with a push-button macerator. The full height transom offers a recirculating 30-gallon livewell tucked in the port corner, with a swing-out wave gate in the opposite side to help bring the big ones aboard or to access the swim platform. A large locking cockpit hatch aft provides easy access to the bilge plumbing and pump wiring. An aluminum leaning post with a removable cooler and a quartet of vertical rocket launchers are standard, with the ability to upgrade to a fiberglass leaning post that offers tackle storage, a built-in ice box, plus bolster helm chairs. When nature calls, the 272 TE’s stand-up head situated in the large, deep console is easily accessed via a starboard companionway and features a stainless steel freshwater sink and a Marinedeck cabin sole for sure footing.

Heading back topsides, the roomy console dash panel will accommodate a pair of 12-inch multifunction monitors for total electronics flexibility. If you need to drop the hook at your favorite wreck, reef or offshore honey hole, the spacious anchor locker will accommodate a pair of anchors, a generous amount of rode and also features an optional through-stem windlass system.

One of the most intriguing features of the Southport 272 TE is that she is available with either single or twin Yamaha or Suzuki outboard power, with your choice of a single 300-horsepower V-6 or twin 200 four-strokes. I spoke with NJ dealer Tom Tweer from Hobby Lobby Marine down in Toms River, NJ, who was one of the first dealers to get the new 272 TE outfitted with a single Yamaha F300 outboard. According to Tom, outfitting this setup with a Yamaha 15-1/2-inch diameter x 16-inch pitch SWS II 3-blade stainless steel prop will achieve a top speed of 42 mph at 5,850 rpm. Dialing it back to more sedate cruising speeds, the 4.2L F300 V-6 will push her along at 25 mph at 4,000 rpm/12.1 gph for a net of 2.1 mpg and 32 mph at 4,500 rpm/15.9 gph for a bottom line of 2.0 mpg. Even if you push her into the fast lane, dialing in 5,000 rpm on the electronic throttle will hit 36 mph on the GPS at 20 gph, for a net of 1.8 mpg, so she will still get great fuel economy for a 27-footer. In contrast, factory tests with twin 2.9L Suzuki DF200s will bump up the top speed of this hull to almost 49 mph, with slightly faster cruising speeds of 29.2 mph/2.16 mpg at 4,000 rpm and 34 mph/1.8 gph at 4,500 revs, with the safety of dual engines for those long offshore trips. If you are on a budget and do most of your fishing inshore or out to 20 to 25 fathoms, the single engine option is a nice alternative, plus there is enough transom space to add a kicker down the road. Construction of the Southport 272 TE is first class, with a vacuum-infused vinylester resin hull, foam filled fiberglass composite stringer grid, standard aluminum frame T-top with a six-pack of rocket launchers and dozens of standard features including pressurized freshwater and raw water washdown systems.

Length - 26 feet, 6 inches
Beam - 9 feet, 6 inches
Weight - 4,600 pounds (dry, without power)
Deadrise Aft - 22 degrees
Draft - 20 inches (engine drives up)
Freshwater Capacity - 20 gallons
Fuel Capacity - 204 gallons
Max Horsepower - 400 HP (single or twin outboards)