Fresh off a successful launch at the recent Miami Boat Show this past February, Carolina skiff has introduced an “evolutionary” new lineup of LS series center console that include models sized 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 feet. For this review, we’re going to focus on the largest and current queen of the new fleet, the 25 LS. Starting with the design, the LS Series features a fresh, new look with a complete inner liner that’s bonded to the outside hull. Not only does the boat’s handling and performance improve with the liner’s added stiffness and rigidity, but its molded-in bow boxes and stern compartments increase on-board storage. The LS Series’ spacious front and rear decks can be used for fishing, but add some optional cushions and it’s now a sun bather’s delight. Each of the new LS models, from the 17 to the 25, comes with a molded-in swim platform and ladder for easy access in and out of the water when it’s time to spend some quality time at the beach or pursuing your favorite water sport activities.
Room to Spare
Being the largest member of the fleet, the 25 LS offers plenty of room to roam over its appreciable forward and aft cockpit areas. The relatively straight lines of the 25 LS’ utility skiff design also do their part to add to the extra space onboard. The full-length fiberglass inner liner has allowed the Carolina Skiff engineers to add some extremely interesting utility features, including a roomy raised forward casting deck with recessed compartments, accessed by outboard-opening fiberglass hatches with hinged friction lids. These spacious interiors offer a dedicated space to stow 5-gallon buckets, PFDs, gear, fishing tackle or whatever. Each compartment offers a drain at the aft bottom end to ship water directly overboard. There’s also a molded-in anchor locker in the forepeak of the 25 LS, in addition to an under-deck battery storage area.
Moving aft towards the center console command station, the 22 HFC console is standard issue, with an upholstered passenger seat and storage down under. Binnacle controls, a wiring harness, full instrumentation, a lockable storage access door, Teleflex Xtreme shifter control cables, Teleflex tilt helm with S/S steering wheel and premium steering cable, S/S grab rail, twin S/S cup holders, a six-pack of vertical rodholders (three per side) and a marine horn are all part of the standard package. One of the most unique features of the console setup is the quick-disconnect windshield, which pops off easily after rotating a handful of 90-degree hand locks. Standard seating is a S/S cooler frame with an adjustable back rest, with a convenient 70-quart removable cooler down under. Other standard console area goodies include a pair of cargo storage bags, an upholstered bench seat up forward with storage down under and a pair of grab rails port and starboard. The aft casting deck, which includes a standard livewell, easily transforms to a family friendly area with a pair of pop-up cushioned jump seats in each corner of the transom. The standard features list on the 25 LS continues with a non-skid surface on the deck and cockpit sole; a self-bailing cockpit; a single S/S bow eye and twin S/S stern eyes; a quartet of S/S flip-up cleats; plug-in LED bow and stern lights; plus Velcro horizontal rod saver racks port and starboard.
Some desirable options for the fairly well-appointed 25 LS include a power-grip stainless steel steering wheel; hydraulic steering with tilt helm; console livewell with LED light; AM/FM Bluetooth radio w/USB, iPod and Aux plugs; 12/24-volt trolling motor plug and control panel; raw water washdown; a three-piece bow cushion set; a low-profile stainless steel split bow rail and more. If you want to keep the sun off your head or enhance the utility of your ride, you can add the convenience of a Bimini top or a T-top with either a canvas or molded fiberglass hardtop. From a fishing and comfort standpoint, there are a trio of leaning post and seating upgrades to choose from to really enhance her fishing skill set. She is also available with 10 different hull colors to truly personalize your experience.
Backed by a 10-year structural warranty on the hull and a five-year bow-to-stern warranty, this next-generation LS series of Carolina Skiffs truly is an “evolution.” For more information, visit www.carolinaskiff.com.