2017 Boat Buyer's Guide - The Fisherman

2017 Boat Buyer’s Guide

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Common

It’s a good time to be a boater and a prospective boat-buyer with steady and reasonable fuel prices, a plentiful domestic supply of oil and the fall’s political hysteria behind us. The digital revolution is working its way into the fishing platforms that we use to bend rods both inshore and in the blue water and some of the next-gen standard features found on today’s fishing boats are truly amazing when compared to some of yesteryear’s rides. Let’s get right into this season’s review at what’s new in the world of outboard-powered fishing boats.

World Cat

I jumped aboard World Cat’s new 280CC-X at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat show, and this cat was meant to prowl offshore waters with feline prowess. This center console is the first World Cat craft to carry the “X” designation. The all-new 280CC-X provides the smooth-riding advantage of catamaran style twin-sponson hulls and marries it to bold and aggressive styling, the latest technology, unequaled deck and cockpit space, with new levels of comfort and first-class luxury. World Cat designers and engineers used an all-CAD approach to create an exceptionally stable platform with an all-new hull that provides a smoother, drier, more responsive ride in all types of sea conditions. Styling innovations include a sleek, graceful sheer line leading to a tumblehome aft, a swept-back glass-dash console topped by a surfboard-edge hardtop, plus an aggressive, unique bow with integrated docking lights and through-hull anchor.

CZone’s digital switching system, traditionally available only on larger craft, enables full-boat control with touch-screen convenience from one location; no more balky panel switches and fuses or cantankerous circuit breakers. A spacious head offers a full 50 inches of sitting headroom and is accessible through a wide side-hinged door. Two large compartments in the aft deck allow easy access to the ship’s mechanical systems and were designed with both customer and dealer input to get it right. When it’s time to fish, a total of eight flush mount gunwale rodholders and a 30-gallon recirculating livewell will get the job done. Twin 110-gallon fuel tanks will support canyon range. For more information, visit www.worldcat.com.

Steiger Craft

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Steigers

New for this Long Island based boat builder is the latest iteration of their proven and popular 21 DV Miami cuddy. One of the most significant changes includes a new helm dash panel that accommodates a 12-inch multi-function display (or a pair of 9-inch screens) for your navigating and fish-finding needs. Other welcome upgrades include an additional three inches of cockpit depth (now measuring 26 inches aft) a redesigned full privacy door to the roomy cabin area with flip-up lid that makes for easy entry and egress; a comfy up/down bolster on the upgraded captain’s pedestal seat with adjustable kick plate; new-and-improved sliding windows at the helm and passenger positions; plus almost 75 inches of standing headroom under the three-sided pilot house. Standard power is provided by a Yamaha F150 four-stroke, but consider the more punchy F200 if you will carry a large crew and copious gear onboard. Notable standard features include twin Blue Sea waterproof accessory panels, stainless rails, porta-pottie, compass, dual batteries with selector switch, electric trim tabs with helm indicator, hydraulic steering, a port side couch with under-seat storage in the pilot house, opening front and side windows, an aft-facing seat behind the captain’s chair with dry storage, anchor locker with hatch, port and starboard windshield wipers, a 42-gallon fishbox in the transom cap with overboard drain, an insulated 55-gallon in-floor fishbox with diaphragm pump-out, a quartet of stainless steel flush-mount rodholders, a solid cabin bulkhead wall, V-berth with cushions, an aluminum outboard bracket with folding boarding ladder, plus pop-up cleats amidships. For more information, visit www.steigercraft.com.

Invincible

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Invincibles

Invincible boats are some of the hottest fishing machines on the planet right now and for good reason. Naval architect Michael Peters really has his act together and has designed some of the most interesting boats of the last decade, including the U.S. Navy’s small fast-attack boats, which uses a similar running bottom to the Invincible 36CC. Peter’s Stepped-Vee Ventilated Tunnel (SVVT) hull creates the lowest drag coefficient of any mono hull fishing boat currently in creation. This translates to increased speed and improved fuel economy compared to most competitive stepped hulls, plus a better ride. Simply put, if you need to be the first one to the fishing grounds, and you want to get there in relative comfort, this could be the ride you’re looking for.

The relatively new 42 Center Cabin marries a true fish-around layout to Invincible’s largest hull to date. She is available with both triple and quad outboard (1,600 horsepower max) configurations, with top speeds in excess of 65 mph the norm for the triple outboard setup, with faraway canyon range provided courtesy of her huge 565-gallon fuel capacity. Standard features include an air-conditioned cabin, 7-foot double berth, above and below-deck livewells, a built-in anchor locker, generous amounts of dry storage, raw water washdown and AGM sealed batteries. Copious amounts of cockpit space enable you and the crew to take on the largest saltwater gamefish in distant canyons and return to tell the tale. For more information, visit www.invincibleboats.com.

Contender

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Contenders

The latest Contender to hit the bluewater is their 39 FA, which designates that it’s a center cabin “fish-around” design. The 39 FA is the culmination of the hard knowledge that comes from many hundreds of hours of tournament fishing in unpredictable and ever-changing sea conditions. Capable of handling up to 1,600 sea ponies on the transom, she is optimized for speed and comfort without sacrificing “fishability.” The 39 FA has impressive creature comforts and plenty of room for the crew to shelter down below on those long canyon overnighters with a microwave, refrigerator, freshwater sink, TV and spacious v-berths. It also offers sufficient accommodations and storage to take a weekend off at your favorite beachside hideaway. Powered by triple Yamaha 350-horsepower engines, the Contender 39 FA is an open water speed demon, topping out at over 70 mph. With a standard 500-gallon fuel tank capacity your boundaries won’t be limited, making distant canyons a reality on your radar screen. You can get there fast, get there dry, get there in comfort and be one of the first to get in the game.

The 39 FA is constructed using high-tech, hand-laid fiberglass throughout employing multi-directional fabric, a foam-cored composite stringer system, foam floatation, an integral dive platform attached to a full transom, with a transom door to allow you to bring the big ones aboard. Unlike some production boat builders, Contender gives each owner the chance to team with their craftsmen in a “hands-on” boat building process. Owners choose each component of the vessel from the power options, to the electronics package, livewell rigging, down to the type of upholstery stitching and more. For additional information, visit www.contenderoffshore.com.

Scout

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Scout 21SFXs

The new 215 XSF center console is built on Scout’s fuel-saving NuV3 hull design. The deck plan offers ample standard amenities for everything from serious fishing to comfortable cruising. This 21-footer boasts a wide 8-1/2-foot beam and plenty of space onboard. A notable standard feature onboard the 215 XSF is the forward seating in the bow, plus a forward sun lounge/coffin box complete with cushion. Other standards include port and starboard swim platforms with ladder; powder coated aluminum leaning post, complete with backrest and 72-quart Igloo cooler; Fusion Bluetooth stereo with four 6-inch speakers; three USB outlets; stainless steel bow rails, rod and cup holders; and an aerated baitwell with high speed pick-up. For more information, visit www.scoutboats.com.

NauticStar

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide NauticStars

Head out to your favorite inshore or bluewater fishing spots in style and comfort in NauticStar’s all-new 2602 Legacy center console. This beauty is loaded with quality standard features that produce brisk performance and multi-mission versatility for a variety of activities. The roomy cockpit on the 2602 Legacy features plush seating with flip-out backrests for the bow area’s twin split raised benches, insulated 25-gallon fish boxes down below, with a triple-wide bench seat aft that conceals the 18-gallon beverage cooler and an oversized insulated 50-gallon fish box that will chill out your catch of the day. The large step-down head under the console is fiberglass-lined with a sink, mirror and SeaDek flooring. The leaning post is equipped with a four-rod rocket launcher and is beautifully styled and ergonomically correct, with flip-up bolsters and comfortable thick cushions on the seat bottoms. It also includes a large 21-gallon baitwell, a switch panel and conveniently located freshwater washdown. There’s a second larger 30-gallon recirculating livewell set in the port transom corner and there’s easy access to the swim platform via a starboard gate. This Mississippi girl measures 25 feet on the centerline with an 8-1/2-foot beam. She features a 20-degree aft deadrise angle running bottom that tapers to 45 degrees at the entry. The 139-gallon fuel capacity should provide bluewater range and she’s rated to carry either twin F200 or single F350 Yamaha four-stroke outboards. Her dry weight is 4,000 pounds, so you can trailer her wherever the fish are biting. For more information, visit www.nauticstarboats.com.

Buddy Davis

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide BuddyDaviss

Buddy Davis joins the “big center” console market with its newest model, the Buddy Davis 42. From the Carolina bow flare to the “tumble home” stern, these distinct features enable this boat to handle monster seas while riding soft and dry. The new design and creature comforts, like standard diesel generator, air conditioning, triple helm chairs, electric grill and integrated seating, just to name a few, make this boat what it is, a hardcore fishing machine that will keep the family happy. With a center console this big, there’s even room “below” for a fully enclosed stand up head with shower and Cherry wood kitchenette. Having a place to catch some sleep and freshen up, give this “open boat” the amenities usually reserved for larger express or sportfish style boats. Every hull is vacuum infused and custom built one at a time ensuring that not only will you be able to make the long run to the Northeast canyons, but you’ll be able to make it home, safe and dry! For more information, visit www.davisyachts.com.

Sailfish

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Sailfishs

The 236CC is a true multi-mission platform designed for single outboard power and is perfect for either inshore or offshore rod-bending pursuits. Family friendly features include a roomy step-down enclosed head, comfortable deep bow seating, telescoping ski pole and thigh-high freeboard. Rodholders and cup holders abound, along with a pair of 120-quart insulated bow fishboxes with overboard drains, a 30-gallon recirculating livewell set into the transom’s port corner, a console seat cooler with 27-quart cooler down under, large in-floor bow storage, handy console footrest locker and an optional console top organizer. The ergonomic console bulkhead keeps all controls within convenient reach, and the dash panel was designed to accommodate today’s big-screen multi-function displays. Innovative fold-up seating in the aft cockpit translates to plenty of dancing room when it’s time to fish, plus a convenient double-wide bench allows your crew to take a load off when heading off for a day of fun in the sun or coming back to home port.  Owners can specify their choice of Yamaha F200, F250 or F300 four-strokes, or Mercury 250 or 300 super-charged Verados. The Yamaha F200 will give this girl a top speed in the low 40s with a moderate load, but if you are carrying a larger crew, you would be better served opting for a Merc or Yamaha 250. Each of these power choices will hit a top speed in the mid-40s with fuel-efficient cruising speeds from 25 to 35 mph. For twin power fans, Sailfish will still keep the 240CC in the lineup, which is a totally different hull design. For more information, visit www.sailfishboats.com.

Grady-White

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide GW235Runnings

With all of their focus on the larger vessels in their family friendly fishing fleet over the past few years, Grady-White has gone back to their roots for 2017, with the introduction of the 235 Freedom dual console – new addition to Grady’s popular Freedom lineup of family oriented dual consoles.

The Freedom 235 provides a generous helping of “big boat” features, exceptional quality, luxurious seating and an oversized enclosed head. The 235 also features some Grady firsts: built-in swim platform extensions port and starboard, plus convenient stern auxiliary anchor storage when setting the anchors at your favorite beachside hideaway. I checked her out firsthand at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show, and Grady’s VP of Engineering David Neese spent some quality time explaining this newbie’s break-through design. One other Grady-White nuance for 2017 is that stringer systems and transoms for every new Grady are built using high technology, impervious-to-water composite materials; there is no wood. Furthermore the sturdy composite transom on most new Grady-White models is reinforced with a solid aluminum transom angle brace to distribute torque and provide unfailing strength, plus every Grady-White has enough sprayed-in foam flotation to ensure that the boat is unsinkable. For more information, visit www.gradywhite.com.

Henriques

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Henriquess

The much awaited reintroduction of the Henriques 50’ Sportfisherman has made the big splash. This vessel has been redesigned to accommodate the new generation of fishermen and fisherwomen. The new interior design offers a commodious salon, three staterooms, and two heads to accommodate all your overnight guests.

The Henriques line has always been well-known for their enormous cockpits and the 50’Sportfisherman is no different. It offers two in-deck fish boxes, transom livewell, freezer, rodholders, engine room access, transom door, and plenty of room for a fighting chair to reel in the big ones. The fly bridge is also more spacious, offering a pod style helm and plenty of room to install all the latest high tech electronics. A mezzanine is also available as an option. But most importantly, the fine, beautiful lines of this vessel will allow the owner to achieve top-notch performance. Standard power will come from a pair of C-18 Caterpillars yielding 30 knot cruise and a top end of 36 knots. For more information visit: www.henriquesyachts.com.

Southport Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Southports

Southport Boats introduced a new model on their popular 33-foot platform, the Southport 33 LX. The most noticeable feature of the new 33 LX is a forward 270-degree wraparound pit seating area on the port side, which creates a comfortable and spacious lounge area in the bow. It is Southport’s answer to the sociability of a dual console, while still maintaining the center command station operation, visibility, functionality and fishability of a center console. As a result of this new layout, the boat features more tender-like amenities, including extra refrigeration, a microwave, coffee-maker, plus food and beverage storage and food-preparation areas, all wrapped up in a summer galley.

With the  addition of an L-shaped wrap-around lounge in the aft port corner and wet-bar with refrigerator and bottle and glass storage in the leaning post, the aft cockpit rivals the bow area for comfort and social amenities. For hardcore sport fishing enthusiasts, the Southport 33 FE, 33 TE or 33 ST are the logical choices.
For more information, visit www.southportboats.com.

Boston Whaler

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide BostonWhalers

Boston Whaler’s Outrage family of center consoles welcomes its newest member for 2017, the 230 Outrage. I jumped aboard this new sportfisher at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show and one of the most notable aspects of the new 230 is how roomy it feels for its size. The 230 Outrage perfectly balances comfort and capability. It excels as a fishing platform, yet it’s also designed to facilitate fun-filled days on the water with family and friends. Amenities include a standard head in the console, an expansive bow area with wraparound forward seating, plus a double-wide bench directly in front of the console that lifts to reveal a large storage compartment underneath. Anglers will appreciate the 230 Outrage’s numerous fishing features, including the integrated fiberglass hardtop option. Rodholders are placed strategically throughout the cockpit and the transom features a convenient portside livewell. The 230 Outrage’s Converting Leaning Post starts as a standard bench helm seat, but its backrest conceals a handy flip-down workstation. Anglers can select the optional Fishing Leaning Post to gain a convenient 30-gallon livewell. For more information, visit www.bostonwhaler.com.

Carolina Cat

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide CarolinaCats

Carolina Cat expanded their feline fleet with the 23CC and 23DC. Both the center console and the dual console layouts are based on the same 22-1/2- by 8-1/2-foot twin sponson hull design. The 23CC has a top speed of 46 mph with twin Yamaha F115s with 3.4-mpg fuel efficiency at cruise that will go a long way on the standard 96-gallon tank. The 23DC offers a different deck layout that is more family friendly, with a top speed of 44 mph. The 23DC takes advantage of its added useable deck space with seating for up to 10. A roomy 150-quart insulated cooler is set beneath each bench seat in the bow and the foredeck offers a forward anchor rode locker and bow pulpit. The 23DC features a large head enclosure with a standard porta-pottie, but a freshwater electric head with holding tank and pump-out/overboard discharge is available as an option. For more information, visit www.carolinacatboats.com.

Maritime Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide MaritimeBoatss

This Maine-based boat builder expanded their coastal fishing boat lineup to include five styles of layouts from 14 to 25 feet. Maritime’s 14-, 18- and 20-foot rolled edge skiffs are simple, basic, uncomplicated boats with maximum interior space, self-bailing cockpits and hulls that are fuel efficient and easily propelled with low to moderate horsepower. They are built strong and “unsinkable” and dry-running with a seaworthy ride. The distinctive feature of the Defiant center console series is the wraparound non-skid deck that facilitates easy boarding, installation of flush mount rodholders, pop-up cleats and self-bailing cockpits. Models 21 feet and larger have a large step down area under the console that provides room for storage and an optional porta-pottie or marine head. The Patriot and Voyager Center Cabin models combine all the benefits of a center console with the convenience of a full cabin. You can walk and fish around the side decks of the cabin without tripping over elevated steps. Additional weather protection is provided by each of these models giving you the opportunity to cruise, play or fish longer in comfort and security. The 21, 23 and 25 Express models feature a composite laminated glass windshield for strength and good looks. These boats have large versatile cockpits ideal for cruising and comfortably accommodating friends and family. Maritime’s 23 and 25 Challenger cabin models feature excellent visibility from the well-designed pilot house, a large comfortable V-berth that easily accommodates two adults and has a variety of seating, galley and cockpit configurations to meet your needs. For more information visit www.maritimeboats.com.

Key West

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide KeyWests

This South Carolina boat builder has solidified its bluewater fleet for 2017 with the introduction of a trio of new Billfish offshore center consoles. The three Billfish models include the 261, 281 and 351 and all share a very fishy center console layout. Standard power on the Billistic 281CC are twin in-line four cylinder F200s, with the Billistic 351 going with twin F300s, but she can handle triples for some blazing bluewater speed. Even though the 261CC is the smallest Billistic in the line-up, she shares all of the premium construction and design of the bigger models. To keep it in budget, she runs fine with a single 300-horsepower four-stroke, or you can roll in the fast lane with twin 250s. You will get great performance and economy with either package. Recent factory tests with the 261CC sporting a pair of Yamaha F200s had her hit a top speed of over 51 mph, with 2.5-mpg fuel efficiency at 27 mph, loafing along at only 3,500 rpm. All Billistic running bottoms are deep-vee, with both the 261 and 281 models sporting a 20-degree aft deadrise and the 351 featuring a radical 24 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Top of the line hardware is featured throughout the Billistic models from pumps to plumbing, with an endless assortment of optional equipment to customize it to fit your needs. All three Billistic center consoles feature a powder coated hardtop, full porcelain head with holding tank, insulated fishboxes, popup cleats, LED accent white/blue lighting, full premium cushions and bolsters and much more. For more information, visit www.keywestboatsinc.com.

Everglades

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Evergladess

Everglades introduced another hybrid bay/offshore boat for the new season in the form of the 253cc. This mid-sized sportfisher was designed using the best features of her siblings, the 243cc and the 273cc. The result is a union of elegance, functionality and fishability, and this multi-function vessel is equally adept at both shallow and deep water fishing. The massive 91-square-foot cockpit includes ample storage and design features to keep passengers comfortable and their gear out from underfoot. The 253cc boasts multipurpose seating with two aft fold-down seats that convert to a non-skid casting platform and lockable rod storage with cushioned protection located under the forward bow seating. Additional rod and dry storage is found under the port and starboard gunwales. The 69-gallon in-floor insulated fishbox and 26-gallon livewell come into play when it’s time to bend the rods. One of the most unique features of the 253cc is the twin Yeti Hopper 20 holders, which are perfect for easy loading and unloading of coolers for drinks and ice. These are in addition to the built-in 87-quart insulated EverCooler located under the forward console seat. Passengers can enjoy the convenience of a step-down head and improved dash storage (including charging ports and a watertight glovebox). Like her sister ships, the Everglades running bottom provides a smooth and dry ride in a high-tech, unsinkable hull. For more information, visit www.evergladesboats.com.

EdgeWater

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Edgewaters

Introduced in 2016, the 248CX Dual Console represents the latest evolution in EdgeWater design and technology and is equipped with a Yamaha F300 four-stroke outboard as standard power. This new crossover design features EdgeWater’s most ergonomic and sophisticated deck design for a dual console to date, along with the builder’s advanced Single Piece Infusion (SPI) hull construction. She features a redesigned bow seating area with plusher amenities, including forward-facing seat backs with built-in armrests. The forward storage boxes are insulated and have a new separated box design with a remote latch system. The helm provides great sightlines and improved ergonomics for the captain and offers enough dash space to accommodate a large 16-inch multi-function display. The 248CX showcases EdgeWater’s all-new, patent-pending port-side Ultra Lounger back-to-back seat with insulated fishbox storage and six different seating configurations. The bait prep station also is a modern design with many different configurations. These new additions create a more spacious cockpit with a full transom-width fold-out seat, while maintaining a large transom baitwell. The transom walkthrough provides easy access for watersports and to bring large gamefish aboard. The Yamaha F300 V-6 four-stroke will provide a top speed approaching 50 mph and 3+ mpg fuel efficiency at 3,500 rpm/28 mph.
For more information, visit www.ewboats.com.

Albemarle

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Albermarles

Albemarle is sticking with a singular purpose of producing seaworthy cuddy cabin sportfishers. Breaking from historical profiles, the three smallest boats in the fleet, the 25, 27 and the new 29, are all outboard powered express layouts. The four larger Albemarles, the 32 Express, 36 Express, 41 Express and the 41 Convertible are all inboard diesels. Albemarles appeal to experienced crews with their fish-ready features and creature comforts that dominate a long list of “must have” standard features. The new 29 Express offers the ultimate in hardcore fishing amenities in a relatively compact and nimble twin-outboard power package. Serious anglers will appreciate its offshore ability, exceptional handling in rough seas and fuel economy. Featuring a modern helm area with forward-facing seating for three, mezzanine style seating aft, large fishboxes, baitwell, dual tackle centers and a standard transom door, this express comfortably sleeps four. The deep-vee hull is designed to slice through head seas, land softly in the troughs and keep the windshield dry. She is available with either twin F300 or F350 Yamaha four-strokes, and her 320-gallon fuel tank provides canyon range. For more information, visit www.albemarleboats.com.

Parker

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Parkers

The big news for Parker Boats for the 2017 model year is that they will be splashing their first, all-new, fully-loaded 2540 Dual Console. The 2540 DC hull will have an overall length of 30 feet, 2 inches while boasting a 9-1/2-foot beam. Parker’s proven 21-degree deep-vee hull design paired with twin Yamaha F200 outboards will provide a top-end speed of 50 mph while cruising comfortably and economically in the 25- to 35-mph range. This new dual console will go a long way in between fill-ups with a generous 163-gallon fuel tank. With the 2540DC, Parker continues to embrace its heritage while combining trend-setting features to maximize the family boating experience. 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. Also relatively new for Parker Boats is their 2810 XLD walkaround (featured image.) This 28-footer sports an overall length (with bow pulpit and outboard bracket) of over 35 feet, supported by a 9-1/2-foot beam. She can carry up to 600 sea ponies on the transom and is fueled by a large 232-gallon tank. For more information, visit www.parkerboats.net.

Pursuit

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Pursuits

The new DC 235 is packed full of comfortable seating and storage with classic Pursuit styling throughout. Notable standards include plush cushions, a porcelain marine head with holding tank, cockpit bolsters and a neat assortment of fishing features when family or friends want to catch a fresh dinner. The DC 235 offers good value and affordability, delivering on this promise through a fully appointed boat that is ready to provide sport utility functionality right from the get-go, with enough popular options to allow each owner to tailor the boat for their special needs. A single dependable Yamaha F250 delivers consistent performance for a variety of water activities from board sports to cruising and fishing. If more performance is required, an upgrade to Yamaha’s F300 should satisfy your expectations. A roomy head and handy shelf storage in the port side console make a full day out on the water a pleasure for all. Convenient integrated transom platform extensions set outboard of the powerplant make getting on and off the boat a safe and simple process, whether at the dock or beachside.
For more information, visit www.pursuitboats.com.

Pro-Line

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Pro Lines

Pro-Line’s new 23 DC embodies the versatile and multi-tasking spirit of the company’s original 24-footer, but with a full complement of contemporary advancements and high-tech construction.

From its numerous seating configurations, convenient pass-through windshield, generous amounts of storage, a 65-square-foot cockpit and a sleek updated design, the 23 DC is sure to provide endless hours of entertainment and happy memories in a fun bow-riding style for families and friends. Whether skiing, diving, sightseeing, camping, or just a simple play day at the beach, this boat does it all. And when it’s time to wet a line, the 23 DC continues Pro-Line’s heritage of angling excellence that started more than four decades ago with its rugged predecessor. A quartet of flush mount rodholders in the gunwales, horizontal rod racks that stow an additional six-pack of outfits, a lighted 18-gallon recirculating baitwell and a pair of roomy insulated fish boxes ensure that she can fish as hard as she plays. The 118-gallon fuel tank will take you a long way between fill-ups and you can power up with either single or twin outboards up to 300 horsepower from Mercury, Honda or Suzuki. A 10-year structural warranty gives owners peace of mind for the long haul.
For more information, visit www.prolineboats.com.

Cobia

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Cobias

The 261 CC is the latest Cobia to take style, fishing performance and family comfort to the next level. She’s perfectly proportioned with every square inch of usable cockpit and storage space leveraged to the max. There’s plenty of foot space behind the deluxe tackle station with premium helm seating or in front of the forward entry console with huge step down head area. The split bench seating in the bow with optional forward facing backrests allows for complete forward access. Additional convenience features on the 261 CC include easy access to the batteries situated under the helm seats and a huge bilge entry door that lifts electronically with the touch of a button. The convertible rear bench seat makes the transition from a fishing machine to a beach water taxi a snap. Like all Cobias, the 261 CC provides excellent value for your boating dollars. The 161-gallon fuel tank will provide bluewater range for those long distance forays and the 21.5-degree aft deadrise running bottom smoothes the bumps when in transit. For more information, visit www.cobiaboats.com.

Mako

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Makos

Mako’s new 334 CC is built on a 24-degree aft deadrise hull with a unique notched transom for excellent performance and improved efficiency. Powered with twins or triples up to 1,050 horsepower, the 334 CC slices through the heaviest chop, rides dry and smooth and has the range to handle any offshore quest with its 306-gallon fuel capacity.

This big shark is available in three different editions to match your lifestyle needs. The Standard Edition includes a full-featured Garmin electronics package, two 34-gallon baitwells, a leaning post with freshwater sink, cooler with a massive storage capacity, two 290-quart in-deck coolers, a walk-in head and an inward-opening tuna/dive door. The Bluewater Family Edition is loaded with creature comforts and includes luxurious bow seating with gel-coated storage beneath. A removable, cushioned bow filler converts to a raised table and there’s an auto-retractable 5-foot long sun shade that can be controlled from the helm or from a mobile device using the Garmin app. The Sportfish Edition was developed with the cooperation of some of Florida’s leading guides. It features a huge open bow, with a 292-quart coffin box that lifts on hydraulics to reveal storage beneath. The T-top is crowned with an upper helm station with Mercury VesselView and it’s flanked with premium outriggers. For more information, visit www.mako-boats.com.

Jupiter

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Jupiters

Jupiter’s new 25 Bay features all of the amenities of a traditional bay boat while adding more flexible functionality with higher gunnels, flush decks, voluminous tournament livewells and storage that you might expect to find on much larger offshore center console fishing boats. The 25 Bay offers multi-mission versatility with its shallow 14-inch draft delivering both backwater and offshore performance with equal efficiency. A choice of factory-installed towers and the ergonomically designed center console provides for large twin screen multi-function displays for all of your electronics needs. The standard built-in center console seat incorporates a 130-quart insulated cooler under the cushion to put every square inch of available space to work. Outfitted with a Yamaha F300 V6 four-stroke, the Jupiter 25 Bay cruises efficiently between 30 to 40 mph and is capable of attaining speeds of 55 mph at wide open throttle. For more information, visit www.jupitermarine.com.

Pioneer

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Pioneers

The current Pioneer lineup includes a total of 11 outboard-powered center consoles, bay boats and dual console designs ranging from 17 to 22 feet. Reliable rumor has it that they are working on a 26 Offshore for possible introduction in the spring of 2017. Currently, the 222 Sportfish is the queen of their young fleet and is a trailerable center console equipped with a 32-gallon recirculating livewell built into the leaning post that also features a cushioned backrest and four rod rocket launcher. Other fishing features include a tackle storage center, flush-mount and under gunwale rod storage, a 94-quart Igloo removable forward console cushioned cooler seat and twin forward fishboxes set under raised bench seats. Rated to carry Yamaha outboards from 150 to 300 horsepower on the transom, the 96-gallon fuel tank will take her a long way between fill-ups, especially if you opt for the Yamaha F200 four-stroke. All Pioneer boats are backed by a transferable 7-year/lifetime structural hull warranty. For more information, visit them on at www.pioneerboats.com.

Carolina Skiff/Sea Chaser

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide SeaChasers

Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser do not have any new models for 2017, but they continue to tweak their lineup and have incorporated a number of feature changes to their hull designs. One of the most noteworthy upgrades is the incorporation of LED Nav lights that are now built into the rubrail port and starboard on the 19, 21 and 23 Ultra series boats. Yet another change is the patented molded-in fiberglass splash guards on both the DLX and JVX series boats. Last season Sea Chaser introduced four new models that included the 21LX and 23 LX Bay Runner CCs and the 22 Offshore and 24 Offshore center consoles. Looking closer at the 23 LX Bay Runner, she features 100 percent composite construction, an 8-foot 7-inch beam and carries 16 degrees of deadrise at the transom to help tame an afternoon wind chop in the bay. Standard fuel capacity is 52 gallons and the transom is rated to carry outboards up to 250 horsepower. Standard features include insulated front and rear baitwells and gunwale mounted rod storage with coaming pads. For more information, visit www.carolinaskiff.com.

Wellcraft

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Wellcrafts

Wellcraft introduced a trio of newbies in its “Fisherman” family of boats for the upcoming season: the 221, the 241 and the 262 Fisherman. The 221 and 241 are special purpose bay boats, and the 262 center console is a multi-mission fishing machine that performs equally well in bays, inlets, off the beach or in far offshore waters.

The 221 Fisherman measures 22 feet 4 inches in length with an 8-1/2-foot beam. With a 15-degree aft deadrise angle and relatively shallow 14-inch draft, she can sneak into skinny water and provide a stable platform when casting to cruising gamefish in the shallows. She can cover serious ground in a short time, with her transom rated to carry outboards up to 250 horsepower. She is equipped with the usual accoutrements like front and rear casting platforms, tackle storage, rodholders everywhere you turn and a step down into the console for a small porta-pottie MSD. The 52-gallon fuel tank should provide enough range to fish from sunup to sundown. Her bigger sister 241 Fisherman is a larger, roomier and heavier version of essentially the same shallow water chariot, albeit with a larger 87-gallon tank and a max horsepower rating of 300 sea ponies. The 262 Fisherman sports an overall length of 26 feet 4 inches supported by a 9-foot beam. Her 21-degree aft deadrise deep-vee hull cuts through ocean swells and afternoon bay chop alike with equal efficiency. The 158-gallon fuel capacity will provide bluewater range powered by a pair of 150s, and her transom is rated to carry up to 500 horsepower. For more information, visit www.wellcraft.com.

Yellowfin

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Yellowfins

Although Yellowfin is known more for its bluewater fishing boats that range from 29 to 42 feet, they also make a few that are meant to be just as fishy, but closer to shore. The latest additions to Yellowfin’s inshore collection are the 24 Bay and the 24 Bay CE (Carbon Edition). Each of the 24 Bays is based on an identical hull and running bottom that features a 24-foot 10-inch length, supported by an 8-1/2-foot beam. The big difference between the standard 24 Bay and the Carbon Fiber Edition is the weight of the package. The displacement of the 24 Bay is 3,050 pounds, whereas the Carbon Edition is able to cut that speed-robbing heft back by an astounding 650 pounds, or 21.3 percent. The real magic is that their engineering team can do this trim job with no sacrifice in overall strength. No matter which model you prefer, there are some specs that they both share in common, like a 72-gallon fuel capacity, 14-inch draft and an astounding 400-horsepower max power rating. Standard features are few, since Yellowfin is a semi-custom builder that allows each operator to impart his/her personality into the final product.
For more information, visit www.yellowfin.com.

Striper

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Stripers

The new 230 Walkaround measures 22 feet 8 inches in length supported by an 8-1/2-foot beam and is able to carry outboards up to 300 sea ponies on the transom. The 20-degree aft deadrise combined with a sharp forward entry angle and her hefty weight should allow her to romp at will in both inshore and offshore waters, even if the wind kicks up a bit. The 230 Walkaround features a v-berth, porta-pottie, freshwater sink, storage and a nice place to duck out of the weather or to stay overnight during those warm summer months at your favorite beachside retreat. Other features include in-floor insulated fishboxes, gunwale mount rodholders, a recirculating livewell and aft seating for the crew.
For more information, visit www.striperboats.com.

Sea Fox

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide SeaFoxs

Sea Fox boats are all about giving consumers the maximum bang for the buck and the 328 Commander is no exception. She is roomy and a capable angling platform, with rodholders positioned just about everywhere you turn in her spacious cockpit. Standard fishing features include a 35-gallon livewell with aquarium window to port; a 55-gallon pressurized livewell with glass top on the centerline; a 65-quart premium electric slide-out cooler to store your fresh bait; 1100-gph aerator pumps for the twin livewells; plus a total of seven insulated fishboxes located under the twin forward bench seats, with four in the cockpit sole and a large coffin box forward of the center console command station. But she can show a softer side too, with her deluxe console featuring an electric toilet, freshwater sink with shower, a marine head, Corian countertop, net storage and rod storage under the cushioned sleeping quarters. The fiberglass helm pod is equipped with a trio of deluxe fiberglass-backed bucket seats for total comfort and support on those long runs offshore. For more information, visit www.seafoxboats.com.

Robalo

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Roboloss

The 200ES combines the best of everything into one 20-foot hull. The bow area of the 200ES comes standard with wrap-around bolsters, a full cushion package and removable back rests. All Robalos feature water resistant circuit breakers designed with longevity in mind and are located where they can be easily reached while on the water. No more fumbling with fuses, simply reset the breaker and you are back in business. The aft cockpit of the 200ES features a molded-in bench with upholstered backrest. The bottom cushions are easily removed to access a concealed livewell, dedicated 5-gallon bucket storage and a deep storage well. Even though she’s relatively petite, this 20-footer is fully equipped, with features that you would expect to find on much larger craft. At the top of this list is a roomy head area with marine porta-pottie that is accessed via a swing out door at the front of the console. Insulated coolers with overboard drains are positioned under each of the split bench seats, complete with overboard drains. For more information, visit www.robalo.com.

Regulator Marine

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Regulatorss

There’s a lot going on for this Edenton, NC based boat builder for 2017 and the all-new Regulator 31 and newly-enhanced Regulator 25 lead the model year launch. The Regulator 31CC is equipped with standard twin Yamaha F300 four-strokes, a massive cockpit, oversized tackle center and insulated fishbox, plus every feature needed for a day of serious sportfishing. The all-new 31 will also feature a starboard dive door, integrated forward seat backrests and other lifestyle amenities designed to maximize comfort offshore. The newly-enhanced Regulator 25 features a new walk-through tuna door, T-top with Surfboard Edge and SeaStar Optimus electronic power steering with tilt helm. She still offers great speed, excellent fuel economy and a well-balanced ride, so you can fish the canyons in comfort or bring the family aboard for weekend fun. New options throughout the 2017 fleet include custom-painted Yamaha engines, new Garmin electronics packages, updated seating/tackle/livewell options and more. For additional information, visit www.regulatormarine.com.

Century

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Centurys

Celebrating 90 years in the boat building business, the new 24 Resorter Dual Console delivers multi-mission versatility, with the requisite amenities, features and performance needed for hardcore fishing trips, day cruising excursions and high-octane family watersports. The dual console design features a large bow seating area with a removal table, beach-boarding ladder and foldable armrests that create comfortable loungers. Large side consoles feature a roomy head area to port and dry storage to starboard, with excellent access to electronics and helm wiring. The 24 Resorter’s ergonomic dash panel has enough space to mount a large-screen MFD, plus a convenient covered recess area to throw items like keys, cell phones and other items out of the way and weather. This hybrid does it all, handling inshore or offshore fishing, comfortable day cruising and family-friendly watersports activities with equal aplomb. With the Raymarine eSeries HybridTouch multifunctional display for complete digital switching, you’ll take full control of everything from the advanced chartplotter to onboard LED lighting.
For more information, visit www.centuryboats.com.

Sea Hunt

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide SeaHuntss

Sea Hunt’s largest bay boat to date, the BX25BR offers enough vee and mass with her 3,400-pound dry weight to let this Carolina girl knife through an afternoon wind chop on large open waterways with ease. A 68-gallon fuel tank combined with a 300-horsepower max transom rating allow each owner the flexibility to tailor the powerplant to suit their needs. Notable standard features on the Sea Hunt BX25BR include a huge 250-quart insulated storage box under the bow casting platform, an 18-gallon console livewell, 28-gallon recirculating livewell in the aluminum leaning post with 4-rod rocket launcher, plenty of rod storage and dry spots for your gear set under flush hatches in the fore and aft decks, plus a pair of convenient flip-up cushioned jump seats in the transom corners. The console has enough room for a portable MSD and she is equipped with SeaStar hydraulic steering with a tilt helm. Recessed trim tabs are standard, as are LED underwater lighting. For more information, visit www.seahuntboats.com.

Sea Hunter Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide SeaHunters

SeaHunter’s hull design delivers an extremely fast and smooth riding boat that will make day trips to the canyons not only possible but comfortable. Known for their great ride, they achieve this through a full, padded v-bottom with a stepped transom. Their hulls are about 10% to 15% faster than regular v-bottom or abbreviated hull designs (also know as stepped hulls). The sharp entry (60 degrees) and deep-vee at the transom (24.5), combined with oversized chines allow a smooth, dry ride at any speed. The hull design is perfectly designed for optimal depth finder performance at all speeds. With a line up ranging from a behemoth 45′, to the 41′, 39′, 37’and 35′ Sea Hunter’s standard features are vast and are highly customizable. Their performance stats are well worth researching further. For more information visit www.Seahunterboats.com

Sportsman

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Sportsmans

The Open 282 center console measures 28 feet 2 inches in length with a 9-foot 3-inch beam. You can run either twin Yamaha F200s or F300s on this Carolina girl, depending on your budget and need for speed. She’ll go plenty fast with the twin in-line four cylinder F200s, hitting a top speed of almost 50 mph at wide open throttle and 2.5-mpg+ fuel economy at 3,500 rpm, where she will hit 26.3 mph on the GPS, while drinking only 10.4 gph, for a net of 2.53 mpg. Not bad for a big, deep-vee 28-footer. The Yamaha F300s will reach almost 60 mph on the top end and will loaf along at half throttle, getting 28 mph and 2.21 mpg at only 3-grand. Her 195-gallon fuel tank will take her a long way, no matter which power source you select. Notable standard features on the Open 282 include a 12-inch Simrad GPS with thru-hull transducer, twin macerated in-deck insulated fishboxes, fiberglass hardtop with LED lighting, leaning post/rocket launcher with built-in tackle center and a trio of batteries with switching system. For more information, visit www.sportsmanboatsmfg.com.

Defiance Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Defiances

The Defiance Admiral 270 EX Pilot is one of four models in the Defiance Admiral Pilot series which also includes 22, 25 and 30-foot models. This West Coast girl was designed to handle the sea going challenges delivered by places like the Outer Banks of Cape Hatteras and the Aleutian Islands, and there is no mistaking her pedigree as a serious fishing platform. She comes standard with three insulated in-deck fish boxes, a spacious cabin to provide a comfortable ride during long runs to the fishing grounds, and a large V-berth for overnight stays. A 9-foot, 10-inch beam provides a stable platform and plenty of open cockpit space to settle the score with pelagics like tuna, sharks and billfish. Standard power is a bracket mounted Yamaha F150 HP four cylinder, with an option to up the power to a Yamaha F200 HPV6 Four Stroke. A 180-gallon fuel tank provides plenty of range to chase down a hot bite. For more info on the complete lineup of Defiance Boats, go to www.defianceboats.com.

Allied Boat Works

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide Allieds

Allied Boat Works designs and builds high quality stock and semi-custom Downeast style boats. Every Allied hull and fiberglass component is hand laid using quality materials and built with precision craftsmanship and pride. All Allied boats maximize the use of high density, closed cell USCG certified foam flotation. Allied’s lineup includes 15, 17, 20, 21 and 24 footers available in four models – the Sportsman with a roll edge gunwale and Unlimited with a full deck cap (both are fully customizable); the Explorer and Venture series which are fully finished including full liner with non-skid. The Venture series includes a ¾ cabin and full cuddy with sleeping quarters, head and galley. New for 2017 is a 24-foot center console model.
For more information go to www.alliedboatworks.com.

Clearwater Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide ClearWaters

H2O is a group of Veteran Salty Boat Building Experts that joined together in 2015 to share a common goal. That goal is to deliver constant quality and unrivaled customer service to the market place. Many of their staff have been building boats for over three decades.
With a model line up consisting of a 19′, 20′, 22′, 23′ and 25′ center consoles Clearwaters has their focus set on features and performance for the saltwater angler. The Fisherman had an opportunity to experience the 2508 CC and was impressed with its layout, finish and ride. Starting at the transom bracket, the 25 feels more like a 28′ boat. Its 9’6″ beam adds to perception of space, but with twin 250hp Hondas the boat jumps up on plane in a snap and feels well balanced. The 20 degree dead rise will tame most seas and with 100% construction and full foam filled floatation it runs quietly and has a ridged feel. Clearwater offers a 10 year warranty on their hull so you can purchase with confidence. Check out the full line of Clearwater Boats.
For more information go to www.clearwater-boats.com

SeaPro Boats

2017 1 Boat Buyers Guide SeaPross

One of the original owners of Sea Pro Boats and former founder of Tidewater Boats have teamed up to resurrect the mid-tier, high quality, saltwater fishing center console boat that Sea Pro Boats have long been known for. “The Next Wave” is an all new incarnation of the brand that officially launched in the spring of 2015. After introducing a total of 4 new models for the 2016 model year, SEA PRO has already added two more with plans for a total of 8 new models for the 2017 season. The new line is built with South Carolina pride in a newly renovated 200,000 sq. ft. facility in Whitmire, SC. We’re especially impressed with the 239 Deep VCC for Fisherman readers. This boat is just packed with features and construction techniques that are found in much more expensive boats.

From its hand laid fiberglass hull, to 10 Year transferable hull warranty, lifetime hardware warranty and 5 Year bow to stern warranty (excluding electronics), they give buyers the confidence that their purchase is protected. We also like the standard features of the 239 such as a deluxe fiberglass T-top, with powder coating , tilt hydraulic steering, composite transom, engineered custom fiberglass stringer system, all stainless steel forged thru hull fittings, cleats, rail rubs and steering wheel. It’s a very nice package.
For more information see the full line up and learn more at www.SeaPromfg.com

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