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With so many new boats on the market this year, we had to break out annual buyer's guide in half. Here’s part 2 of the ultimate guide for what’s new in fishing boats for 2018!
By Capt. John N. Raguso

Last year Parker Boats splashed the fully-loaded 2540 Dual Console. Then Parker Marine President Linwood Parker said, “For the past 18 months, Parker Marine has worked diligently to deliver a blend of our classic styling with the latest technologies to bring new levels of enjoyment to your boating experience. This design for multi-purpose family and fishing can be personalized to fit your lifestyle needs.”
The 2540 DC hull has an overall length of 30 feet, 2 inches and boasts a 9 -1/2-foot beam. Parker’s proven 21-degree deep-vee hull design paired with twin Yamaha F200 outboards provides a top-end speed of 50 mph while cruising comfortably and economically in the 25- to 35-mph range with its generous 163-gallon fuel tank.

With the 2540DC, an attractive, rugged hardtop, spacious helm and cockpit with convertible seating arrangements, along with an enclosed head are all configured with the family’s comfort in mind. High-end upholstered lounge and sundeck seating offers the best of style, comfort and long-term durability and she can also work efficiently at bending the rods when it’s time to fish.

For more information, visit www.parkerboats.net.

Everglades introduced their new 335CC at the recent Ft. Lauderdale boat show. Mimicking the best features of the already-proven 325CC, the 335CC was designed with luxurious comfort in mind. Integrating fishable function with elegant extras, this 33-footer is one the whole family can get behind. The 335CC’s refined layout allows for improved seating throughout. Anglers and their families will find enhanced luxurious bow seating, including removable forward-facing bow backrests. The new model also features larger, more lavish fold-down transom seating, providing a comfortable ride from virtually any seat. In addition to its abundant amenities, the 335CC continues the Everglades commitment to fishability. The larger console and hardtop provide added storage and weather protection, while the bigger built-in coolers and fishbox storage allow for fishermen chill out even more of their catch for the ride home. The 325CC’s bait prep area and tackle storage were reconfigured to provide a more intuitive experience on the new 335CC.

Everglades’ latest model also includes more standard features than its predecessor, including a dive utility door and premier stereo system with JL Audio speakers and a Fusion head unit. The 335CC’s RAMCAP unsinkable hull continues to set the standard for some of the safest, smoothest-riding boats on the market today.

For more information, visit www.evergladesboats.com.

Buddy Davis Boats is a division of Davis Yachts and has been building outboard-powered center consoles in the Davis mold that give these Carolina girls a unique and singular look. Known for its legendary ride, the Buddy Davis hull is designed to cut through monster head seas, run on rails in following seas and lie still while drifting in deep troughs waiting for a strike. A Buddy Davis hull rarely pounds and slices effortlessly through waves. With a substantial keel and skeg, it doesn’t wander and it tracks true. Davis’ forward flair and sheer deliver a dry ride and contribute to buoyancy. When that white water is fast approaching, you can power through with a sense of security, knowing your bow will rise to the occasion. A Davis center console gets you there quickly, safely and comfortably, with an advanced hull design, built in the North Carolina Outer Banks tradition. This, as well as advanced construction methods, quality materials and well-engineered layouts, set Buddy Davis out as one of the top center console boats for offshore fishing. Beyond the superior ride and handling, Buddy Davis boats are designed to accommodate the hardcore fisherman with built-in fishing amenities from bow to stern. The current Buddy Davis stables include a trio of center consoles, the 28, the 34 and the 42. For 2018, they will introduce the 39 CC which is sure to be popular with bluewater anglers.

For more information, visit buddydavisboats.com.

I spoke with Yellowfin Sales Manager Marty Bistrong at the recent Ft Lauderdale Boat show, and he mentioned that they will be introducing an updated 34 CC at the upcoming Miami Boat Show, so stay tuned for more. Also new for the upcoming season is their 21 Bay Hybrid. With incredible acceleration, impressive fuel economy and a blistering top end, this bay rocket will push you past the competition across big windy bays. The 21 Bay Hybrid combines the ride and performance of Yellowfin’s 24 Bay combined with a traditional flats boat layout that will really strut its stuff come tournament time. Constructed like its big brother with hi-tech composites that maximize strength while reducing overall weight, she may be one of the smallest boats in the fleet, but she’s still a Yellowfin. You will be hard pressed to find another boat in its class with as many standard features and storage as you will find on the 21 Bay Hybrid. Some of these include twin quartets of vertical rodholders that flank either side of the center console command station; room to flush mount a 12-inch multi-function display at the dash panel; an under-console storage area; a cushioned seat with backrest set forward of the console; four storage bins and fishboxes set under the raised forward casting deck; plus a trio of wells and storage bins under the rear deck.

For more information, visit www.yellowfin.com.

Sea Born Boats currently offers a trio of center consoles (21, 22 and 24), five bay boats (19, 21, 22, 24 and 25) and a pair of beefy offshore center consoles (23 and 28). The all-new 2018 Sea Born SX281 Offshore is their largest, most luxurious model to date. With a 27-foot 9-inch LOA, and a 9-foot, 11-inch beam, the 281 is ready for your offshore call of duty with plenty of freeboard, a twin-step deep-vee running bottom and numerous standard fishing features. Some of these include a 12-inch Simrad EVO multi-function display with SS60 thru-hull transducer; a swing-in gate on the port side; nine flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales and transom cap; a leaning post with livewell; fiberglass T-top with overhead rocket launcher; a pair of large insulated fishboxes under the cockpit sole with Gulper pumps; a rear baitwell with LED lighting; under-gunwale horizontal rod racks, a bait rigging and tackle center and more. When it’s time to relax, there’s a large lounge area in the bow with removable cushions and seat backs with insulated storage down below for your gear. A Lewmar windlass makes anchoring a breeze with push-button simplicity. A removable dinette table turns the forward lounge into a dockside gathering place or sun deck. A large head under the spacious center console is equipped with a sink and Corian counter top. At the helm, plush, two-stage captain’s chairs can be used either as a leaning post or as a traditional seat. Since 1994, Sea Born boats have been manufactured by Composite Research, Inc. in Blackshear, GA.

For more information, visit www.seabornboats.com.

Pursuit’s stylish dual console lineup has evolved to new heights with the introduction of their DC 365. This flagship model has been engineered with more comfort, innovation and standard features that take your sport utility experience on the water to the next level. Forward bow and port side lounge seating, a swivel seat at the helm and patent-pending, fold-away bench seating at the transom and under the gunwale give your crew a comfortable place to enjoy whatever type of water activities that are on the menu. Notable standard features include a large tempered glass windshield with walkthrough, wide pathways from bow to stern and plenty of large storage compartments. Instrumentation and controls at the helm are ergonomically engineered and an optional Garmin electronics suite makes the DC 365 a joy to operate. The cabin is easily accessible with a fiberglass door and features solid wood accents with modern finishes, a full berth forward and a comfortable aft berth. A small family or couple may overnight for the weekend with essential amenities, such as an A/C, microwave and audio visual entertainment. Hull side windows reveal generous amounts of natural light below. Foldaway seating quickly transforms a social venue to a wide-open, fish-ready cockpit with hull side door, livewell, gunwale-mounted rodholders and an insulated fishbox and storage box in the floor. The DC 365 can do it all with room to spare and style that is pure Pursuit. Standard power on this newbie is courtesy of triple Yamaha F300s.

For more information, visit www.pursuitboats.com.

Jupiter is getting ready to launch its new 43SF center console at the upcoming 2018 Miami boat show. The preliminary info on this boat is totally “out of this world,” and the 43SF is destined to be one dynamite fishing machine when she gets splashed. The LOA is 43 feet, 1 inch, with a 12-1/2-foot beam (3.44:1 ratio of length to beam), with a 24-degree aft deadrise deep-vee running bottom and a dry weight of 18,175 pounds. Standard power is provided by a trio of Yamaha electronic F350 V-8 four-strokes with digital fly-by-wire controls. Engine upgrades include quad Yamaha digital F300s or a quartet of the big F350s. With a fuel capacity of 602 gallons, the Jupiter 43SF provides faraway range for wherever you need to travel to find the fish and do it in the fast lane. Everything on this sportfish is oversized, including an 80-gallon livewell capacity, 680 quarts of dry storage space in the bow, 105-gallon port and starboard transom fishboxes, 75 gallons of freshwater and a separate 49-gallon fuel tank for a standard Kohler diesel generator. Raw water washdown and three freshwater washdown spigots are standard, as are a dozen stainless steel rodholders, fiberglass T-top with a six-rod overhead rocket launcher, GEM outrigger bases with 22-foot carbon poles and recessed stern bench seating. The cabin area features a 10,000 BTU A/C unit, galley with microwave and sink, stand-up head and shower, electric porcelain head with 16-gallon tank and macerator, plus a 5-gallon hot water heater.

For more information, visit www.jupitermarine.com.

The Robalo R242 EX is new for 2018 and is the largest member of their family-friendly Explorer center console series, which also includes 20- and 22-foot models. Notable standard features on this debutant include a limited lifetime hull warranty, premium vinyl accent color options with BeautyGard coating, U-shaped bow seating with forward facing backrests and bow cushions, insulated bow fishboxes/storage with integrated hull-side drains, a lockable console head compartment with a standard porta-pottie and storage, transom bilge access with a designated 5-gallon bucket holder, premium leaning post with backrest and a removable 72-quart cooler down under, raw water washdown, freshwater cockpit shower, a 5-year premier level limited component warranty, L-shaped aft bench seating with 16-gallon livewell and storage under the seat, plus removable bow seating backrests port and starboard. Standard power on this newbie is a Yamaha F250 four-stroke.

Also new for Robalo for 2018 is the new queen of the fleet, the R317DC. For the fishing family, the R317 goes above and beyond for comfort. A large head compartment is located under the helm station complete with storage, a sink and a toilet. The head compartment is accessed from the starboard bow behind a concealed door. The cabin is accessible from behind the portside helm and features a full fiberglass liner, opening port light, secure rod storage, and a sleeping area perfect for the young ones to escape from the sun or take a nap. When it’s time to fish, the R317 is equipped with a huge 50-gallon fishbox under the aft seats, rodholders, a 36-quart removable cooler, and a 25-gallon cooler/livewell with LED lighting and clear Plexiglas lid.

Comfort features abound on this new dual console, so visit www.robalo.com for more details.

This South Carolina boat builder has introduced two new fishing boats for 2018. The first of these is the Heritage 241 CC, which joins a family lineup that includes 21-, 23- and 25-foot models. The Heritage 241 CC measures 23 feet, 8 inches LOA, with an 8-1/2-foot beam, sporting 18 degrees of aft deadrise on her vee-bottom and tipping the scales at 3,400 pounds (dry, without power). She is rated to carry up to 300 horsepower on the transom, fueled by a 111-gallon tank. The bow of this boat is designed for entertainment and versatility, with wrap around seating, removable backrests, drink holders and stereo speakers. Two large storage boxes under the seating provide a convenient spot to stow away your gear. They are both insulated and can be used as fishboxes or coolers, plus there’s an additional large in-floor storage under the cockpit sole. The lockable enclosed head area under the console is a great place for changing out of wet clothes and for storage, plus it can also be equipped with a convenient porta-pottie. This standard oversized hardtop is equipped with four speakers, LED anchor light, map reading light, spreader light, misters, vertical rocket launcher, kingfish rodholders and Taco outrigger plates. The deluxe leaning post can accommodate two adults comfortably, with individually adjustable flip-up bolsters and a flip-down footrest. There’s a space for a cooler under the leaning post, with a strap to secure it when underway. The aft layout of this boat offers a four-wide bench seat with removable cushions for easy storage and cleaning, with a pair of 8-gallon livewells set in each corner, plus convenient bilge access. The other new boat for 2018 is the 247 Bay Boat.

For more information, visit www.sportsmanboatsmfg.com.

The Invincible crew continues to “wow” the sportfishing community with their latest design, the new 40 Catamaran. The twin sponson hull forms bear a familiar resemblance to the Michael Peters-designed monohulls in their inventory, but the comparisons stop there. The distinguished multi-hull naval architects at Morelli & Melvin were tasked to take their America’s Cup championship racing knowledge and apply it to the new 40 Catamaran running bottom design. The primary focus of the 40 Catamaran project was on sea-keeping ability. So the M&M crew created a boat that would tear through seas coming from any direction, while still being able to maneuver turns at high speeds without the need to drastically slow down, which is a flaw of many other contemporary catamarans. This cat is built to go the distance with a standard fuel capacity of 640 gallons to fuel her quartet of outboards. With a transom rating of 1,600 horsepower, the power combinations are endless as we get into the next generation of high horsepower outboards. The fuel capacity can be increased up to a total of 800 gallons, which will make for some very interesting high-speed travel possibilities for the northeast canyon crowd. She is rated for a top speed of 75 mph at max power, with a cruising speed in the 40- to 50-mph range. I saw this girl up close and personal at the recent Ft. Lauderdale boat show and she is an absolute beast!

For more information, visit www.invincibleboats.com.

Sea Pro is back in business after one of the original principals bought the name back from Brunswick, so they returned to South Carolina to do what they do best, manufacturing quality and affordable fishing boats. Sea Pro founder Jimmy Hancock joined forces with former Tidewater Boats founder Preston Wrenn, to bring about the resurrection of a very popular brand of saltwater fishing boat. Sea Pros are built at a newly renovated 200,000-square-foot facility.

Sea Pro’s line-up currently offers four bay boats from 17 to 24 feet and a trio of deep-vee center consoles (21, 23 and 25). The newest of these is the 259 center console, and I was able to jump aboard and take a closer look down at the Ft Lauderdale boat show. My first impression of this sportfisher was that she was a large and solid hull, with a 22-1/2-degree aft deadrise deep-vee running bottom and an abundance of standard fishing and comfort features. Her specs support what my feet and eyes told me when I jumped on the cockpit sole: at 4,850 pounds dry and without power, she has a bulk that is meant to support her mission of blasting through uncooperative coastal seas. With a 25-foot, 9-inch LOA, supported by an overwide 9-foot, 4-inch beam, there’s plenty of cockpit space onboard for a quartet of anglers to do their thing, either inshore or offshore. This boat offers an abundance of comfortable seating for the crew to settle in when underway, including a pair of up/down cushioned bolsters in the standard leaning post/rocket launcher and a triple-wide collapsible cushioned bench in the transom bulkhead. A standup head is standard, as is the T-top/hardtop setup. Sea Pro will launch the 319 deep-vee center console in the spring of 2018, so stay tuned for more.

For additional info, visit www.seapromfg.com.

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