Of all the boats that Al Steiger has produced over the decades, there are a few classics that stand out from among the fleet. One of these is his proven 23 Deep V Miami running bottom, which is even more ergonomic with its updated dash, cabin and cockpit layout. This year’s Fisherman Dream Boat contest is truly one to try your best to fish, compete and win. The first prize is the perfect size for northeast anglers, with optimum weather protection, a huge cockpit, exceptional range with her 124-gallon standard fuel tank, a porta potty and queen size berth down in the cabin to weekend it somewhere with the family and a deep-v forefoot with 19-degree aft deadrise to handle choppy waters in relative comfort. Let’s take a closer look at what this dream boat has to offer.
A Lot To Like
With five decades of fishing and running charters in northeast waters, I’ve gotten to a point where I know what is going to work on a boat and what’s not. The Steiger 23 DV Miami is chock full of things that are definitely going to work, whether you ply the back bays, inlets or near offshore waters. When I jumped aboard this next-gen layout of the proven 23 Miami DV format, the first thing that caught my eye was the absolutely huge cockpit, which measured a full 90 inches long and 85 inches wide. For the non-math majors out there, those dimensions translate to 53 square feet, which is impressive for a vessel that measures just 23 feet in length with an 8.5-foot beam. Cockpit depth was equally as impressive, with a solid 27 inches of internal freeboard both aft and amidships, which makes leadering, tagging, releasing or catching a frisky gamefish safer for you and the crew in rough seas. The second thing that caught my eye was the one level cockpit sole, stretching from the aft transom bulkhead, forward to the cabin companionway. This will eliminate multi-level trip hazards when underway during typical sport fishing activities.
Yet another desirable attribute on the Steiger 23 DV Miami was her cabin house design, which features a solid 6-foot, 4-inches of headroom, which was totally perfect for my 6-foot, 3-inch height. The huge side and forward windows promote maximum visibility when underway in a 180-degree arc from port to starboard. The made-in-USA side windows feature convenient sliding glass sections to let fresh air in during those balmy summer days, but shutter with positive latches to keep wind-blown spray outside where it belongs during rough weather. The twin forward windows also swing up at various angles to allow fresh air into the cabin, but lock down tight when the situation demands. A 40-gallon livewell positioned in the transom cap will hold a couple dozen bunker in a happy state until showtime and is in the perfect spot to grab a bait and get it overboard in short order. If live bait is not on the menu that day, this insulated box with overboard gravity drain makes for a great transom fishbox for the usual inshore suspects like fluke, slot-sized stripers, sea bass, porgies, weakfish, etc. If bigger game is on the menu, there’s an insulated fishbox located under the aft cockpit sole that is roughly 80-gallons in capacity and uses a dedicated pump to empty out its icy contents back at the dock for clean-up. This box will definitely chill out a quartet of 40 to 50-pound tuna, with plenty of ice to keep them frosty. The captain’s swivel chair on the 23 DV Miami is a great standard feature and offers up/down armrests in addition to a flexible cushioned bolster that flips down when you want to take a seat or flips up when you want to stand when underway, providing excellent lumbar support. The triple wide bench set to the port side of the cabin house will seat a trio of crew and offers a roomy 51-inch x 21-inch x 21-inch box for dry storage, or yet another convenient area to chill your catch. The optional six-pack rocket launcher is a must-have item on this fishing boat and is positioned perfect for someone of my height to reach up and grab the rods with minimal fuss.
Have It Your Way
Al Steiger has been an avid saltwater angler on Long Island and northeast waters for over five decades and it was his passion for this sport that inspired him to create his own lineup of sport fishing boats that bear his name. As such, you would expect the latest generation of the 23 Deep Vee Miami to be ready to go from the start and she does not disappoint. Notable standard features on this trailerable sport fisher include a six-pack of oversized cleats (bow, stern, spring); a fiberglass bow pulpit with rail, which can be deleted for a simple, lower profile stubby S/S anchor roller; cabin top handrails port and starboard; opening front windows and cabin portholes; port and starboard windshield wipers; a porta pottie down in the cabin; a port side couch for three of your crew; recessed trim tabs; a quartet of flush mount stainless steel rodholders in the gunwales, with three horizontal rack under each side; an 80-gal below-deck fishwell under the aft cockpit sole with pumpout; 40-gallon transom livewell; convenient built-in sinker trays port and starboard; a two-tone deck (tan or gray); and vee berth cushions in the cabin.
Some desirable optional features include a three-section roll-up Miami canvas back (or a full Chesapeake fiberglass wall and locking door); a choice of hull colors; helm storage for a tackle box or cooler; a Bomar hatch in the cabin ceiling; cockpit bolsters; under gunwale LED lighting; a drop-down transom bench; raw water washdown; a 6-rod rocket launcher on top of the aft cabin; additional gunwale mount rodholders; a spot light; spreader lights; pop-up cleats; windlass and more.
Our test boat was equipped with the roll-up canvas curtains aft of the cabin, tackle storage boxes forward of the helm, two extra rodholders in the transom cap on either side of the livewell, raw water washdown, 8-inch pop-up cleats amidships and aft, a Bomar cabin hatch, plus an anchor windlass. She was ready to fish inshore or offshore, with plenty of weather protection, room for the crew, a place to get out of the elements down below, a roomy queen-sized cushioned vee-berth and a generous amount of built-in insulated boxes to chill out your catch.
Good To Go
The 23 DV Miami that we tested in the Great South Bay was powered by a Yamaha 250HP 4.2L V6 outboard with an electric digital throttle and shift control. Spinning a 15-3/4 diameter x 15 pitch 3-blade stainless steel SWS II prop, hole shots were very frisky, with time-to-plane speeds under five seconds, even with three adults and a bunch of gear onboard. I was able to keep her up on plane at 18-mph at a modest 3200 rpm, which is a great feature when traversing rough seas to keep the discomfort to a minimum. With a top speed of over 46-mph at wide open throttle, this running bottom offers excellent 2.3-mpg cruising speeds from 3500-to-5000 rpm, with optimum performance at the usual 4000-rev sweet spot, getting 29.8-mph at 10.5-gph, for a net of 2.84-mpg. The standard 124-gallon fuel tank will take you and the crew a long way between fill-ups and definitely offers you extended near offshore capabilities, weather permitting. This Steiger’s 19-degree aft deadrise running bottom runs “proud” with zero tendencies to bow-steer, which is a great attribute for a cabin boat that can have a significant amount of weight forward. The standard recessed trim tabs enable the operator to keep the boat on a level attitude to smooth the ride and keep spray to a minimum. It’s my understanding that the Dream Boat version of the 23 DV Miami will be equipped with an F200 1.8 liter Yamaha four-cylinder, four-stroke outboard. I would anticipate that the top end speed with the F200 will likely be in the 38 to 40 mph range, with optimum cruising speeds in the mid-20s. The Steiger 23 DV Miami is totally good to go and I say that from experience, since I have done numerous away charters on her with my clients over the years. Bottom line, I’d take her out on the briny to go fish any day, rain or shine.