Boat Review: NorthCoast 280CC - The Fisherman

Boat Review: NorthCoast 280CC

NorthCoast 280CC running4


Length – 28 feet
Beam – 9 feet, 1 inch
Weight – 4,800 pounds, dry without power
Draft – 17 inches (engine drives up)
Deadrise Aft – 24 degrees
Fuel Capacity – 188 gallons
Max Power – 600 horsepower

Recently introduced as the sister ship to the 285 Cabin, albeit it is using a deeper-vee 24-degree running bottom, the new NorthCoast 280 CC takes a no nonsense, all-business approach to getting you offshore and back in the rough stuff to play where the big fish call home.

The 280CC is based on an overall length of 28 feet, with a beam of 9 feet, 1 inch, with 24 degrees of deadrise aft and a dry weight of 4,800 pounds. She’s powered by twin outboards, up to a total of 600 horsepower and the 182-gallon tank will offer just about 10 hours of cruising range with a judicious hand on the throttle, with a 10 percent reserve. To do true everyday canyon running on this rig, I’d like to see this fuel capacity closer to the 200- to 210-gallon range, just to add some legs and longevity to the trip, especially if you ran into heavy weather. But she’ll get by in the occasional canyon runner mode if you pick and choose your spots and weather windows wisely.

The layout of the new 280CC is very “fishy” and includes a number of standard features that will help you take care of business when it’s time to bend the rods. She features an integral transom and full-height bulkhead for easy fishing and security for the crew in rough weather. A trio of recirculating baitwells, with a 25-gallon livewell in the leaning post, another 20-gallon livewell centered on transom, plus a 91-gallon in-deck livewell set under the starboard cockpit sole, will handle all of your live bait needs.  Both the huge in-floor fishbox located under the port cockpit hatch and the aforementioned in-floor oval baitwell to starboard are macerated and pump their watery gurry overboard. There are a total of eight flush-mount stainless steel rodholders installed as standard equipment, with a trio set in each gunwale covering board and a pair flanking either side of the livewell in the transom cap. There’s additional rod storage under each gunwale port and starboard, plus lockable rod storage forward under the sole. Add an additional quartet of vertical rodholders in the leaning post and five more overhead in the standard T-top’s rocket launcher and this NorthCoast 280CC’s pedigree and mission statement speak loud and clear.

Other notable standard accoutrements include both freshwater and raw water washdown systems; a six-pack of cockpit courtesy lights; a transom door in the port corner to help heft the big ones aboard; swim ladder; a pair of 8-gang DC accessory panels; a foldaway footrest on the front side of the leaning post; Edson S/S steering wheel with spinner knob; a half-dozen S/S pop-up cleats; a head compartment set under the roomy console with portable head, port light for ventilation, 29-gallon holding tank with macerator and Y-valve, 38-gallon freshwater system and access to the aft side of the electronic panel for easy rigging and maintenance.

The NorthCoast 280CC’s deep-vee running bottom can be rigged with your choice of outboard power, ranging from a single 350, to twin 225s, 250s or 300s, up to a max rating of 600 sea ponies. My initial guess is that a pair of 250s or 300s would be ideal and I’d want to see the specifics of each in a variety of sea conditions before making the final choice. Factory tests powered by a pair of Honda 250 V6 four-strokes indicate that this 24-degree aft deadrise hull is no slouch, and will reach a top speed of 54.5 mph at wide open throttle—that’s moving for a big girl! Dialing it down to a more realistic four-grand cruising speed, she’ll turn 32.5 mph at only 18.2 gph for a net of 1.79 mpg. If you need to get from here to there in a hurry to catch a hot bite, advancing the twin throttles to 4500 rpm will indicate 36 mph on the GPS navigator, drinking approximately 23 gph, for a bottom line of almost 1.6 mpg.

The NorthCoast 280CC features “no wood” composite construction, a standard white hull with boot stripe (with nine different added cost gelcoat color options), a foam-cored deck and molded hull liner w/two tone molded non-skid (gray/tan), a foam filled composite grid stringer system, high-density foam cored transom, a high-impact rubrail with insert and is backed by a 12-year structural hull warranty. If you want a tough as nails center console boat that can run in a rough neighborhood, this one might be your ticket to ride. For more information, visit