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SOUTHPORT 29 CC

With a proven layout, hi-tech construction upgrades and a new manufacturing facility “down east” in Augusta, ME, the Southport 29 CC remains one of the most impressive sportfishers on the market.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
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SOUTHPORT 29 CC

Originally introduced back in 2006 as the 28 CC when Southport Boats was domiciled down in Wilmington, NC, like many other modest volume manufacturers, they hit a wall in the great recession of 2008-2009 and eventually shut down their operation. In 2011, Southport Boats became part of the Maritime Marine Group (which includes Maritime Skiff, Southport and Bristol Harbor Boats), where a team of experienced Maine boat builders ensures that the construction of every Southport matches the outstanding performance of the C.

Raymond Hunt hull design. Not only are Southport Boats constructed with the highest quality gel coats, adhesives and composite materials, but now they are being built using modern vacuum infusion technology which provides a stronger, higher quality product (less resin and more fiberglass) that makes a great boat even better. The combination of exceptional hull performance, beautiful lines and modern construction techniques make this Southport one of the most impressive rides in its class.

CLASSIC LAYOUT
If I had to describe the 29 CC’s roomy layout in one word, it would be “fishy.” With an overall length of 28.5 feet supported by a super-wide 10.5-foot beam, there’s a lot of room onboard to fit everything you are likely to need for a long day of bending the rods, either inshore or offshore. With 26 inches of internal freeboard aft and 27 inches amidships, there’s 32 square feet of unobstructed fishing cockpit aft of the efficient standard combo leaning post/tackle center, which also boasts a 45-gallon livewell set-up. The transom contributes to this vessel’s fishing efficiency with a convenient bait rigging station that includes an insulated box and freshwater sink/shower, in addition to twin transom doors set to either side that will allow you to bring the big ones onboard with a minimum of effort.

She’s all set up for trolling the canyons right from the get-go, with a trio of heavy-duty flush mount rodholders installed in each gunwale, two pairs of horizontal rod racks set forward and aft under each covering board, plus a six-pack of vertical rodholders set overhead in the optional t-top’s rocket launcher. When it’s time to ice down your catch, there’s a convenient pull-out 38-gallon fishbox with macerator pumpout set athwartships to the keel under the aft cockpit sole, plus a huge integrated 157-gallon insulated coffin box positioned in the forward section of the center console that will hold a gaggle of large yellowfins, medium bluefin or bigeye tuna and measures 52 inches long by 40 inches wide and 30 inches deep. The one-level cockpit adds to her overall fishability when bending a rod. A Lazarette-type deep storage area set under the sole forward of the raised coffin box and a flush vertical anchor locker in the forepeak with a unique low profile, thru-hull anchor roller set-up completes this fishing functional layout.

The helm offers a dedicated dash panel that will accommodate a pair of big-screen multi-function displays, set just above the hydraulic tilt steering unit. A companionway in the starboard side of the console allows access to a roomy standup head area down below, complete with a freshwater sink and some welcome stowage space for your gear.

IMPRESSIVE RIDE
I have been out on this Southport 29 CC a few times in the past and can tell you that she is one sweet ride. Her Hunt4 variable deadrise running bottom is a next-gen, deep-vee from the folks who actually invented this hull form back in 1961. If anyone can improve on the original design and make it better riding and more fuel efficient, C. Raymond Hunt and Associates can. The Southport has an amazingly flat running attitude and rarely needs a dose of trim tab to correct her trim, courtesy of her super-wide 10.5-foot beam and wide reversed chines.

Factory tests using a pair of Yamaha 4.2-liter V-6 F250 four-strokes really make this big girl dance. Her top speed spinning 17-inch pitch stainless steel SWS II three-blade props is over 53 mph with two people aboard. Even though she’s almost three tons dry without power, those big block Yammies will plane her at 23.3 mph at only 3000 rpms, drinking 12.5 gallons per hour for a net of 1.86 mpg. Advancing the electronic throttles up to four grand will get you 34.7 mph at 21 gph for 1.65 mpg fuel efficiency. Dialing in 4500 revs will get your heart racing a bit, traveling in the fast lane at 40+ mph at 28 gph, for a bottom line of 1.45 mpg.

During my historical sea trials, I have been able to plane both the 29 CC and her little sister 27 CC on a single outboard using small block Yamaha 3.4-liter V6s, so the bigger 4.2-liter blocks should duplicate this trick with minimal effort. The 232-gallon poly fuel cell will take you a long way between fill-ups with true canyon range. With a standard features list a nautical mile long, this is a must-see bluewater CC if you are in the market.