I had the opportunity to visit the Steiger Craft factory a few weeks back and to observe firsthand how their 25 Long Beach has morphed into its current iteration, the 255 Center Console. Although more than 90% of Steiger’s current semi-custom production of roughly 100 boats per season is dedicated to their signature three-sided Miami and totally enclosed Chesapeake pilot house designs, their owner’s roots fishing open center consoles “back in the day” still runs deep. This love for 360-degrees of total fishability and the ease of working a large gamefish from the bow to the stern area and back is manifested in the current 2019 version of the 255 CC. This dog can hunt and is the largest of a trio of center consoles (255, 23 and 21) currently offered by this Bellport, Long Island-based boat builder that is approaching its fifth decade of producing quality coastal fishing boats.
The layout of the new-and-improved 255 CC is wide open and will easily support a crew of anglers in comfort, no matter what type of fishing is on the menu. There’s over 33 square-feet of unobstructed cockpit space aft of the standard leaning post/rocket launcher, which features two enclosed lockers with a total of ten tackle drawers down below and a two-tiered, five-rod rocket launcher above. You can stick four anglers forward of the console with plenty of elbow room when drifting the bottom or working your favorite wreck. There’s additional tackle storage in the transom, with removable Plano 3700-series boxes and/or deep slide-out drawers set aft of weatherproof hatches in each corner that can be removed to afford access aft for critical maintenance items like the fuel filter, drains and fuel lines. The console companionway door set into the starboard side of the console allows entry to the head area that features a neat “trap door” floor…with the hatch lowered to the “down” position, this creates a storage space that will hold a variety of fishing gear and safety equipment. With the floor raised, this morphs into a step-down area to the standard Porta-Pottie marine head that offers five-feet, eight-inches of standing headroom when nature calls. Other notable standard features include hydraulic steering; T-Top with powder-coated rails; recessed trim tabs; raw water washdown; a quartet of gunwale-mounted rodholders; pop-up bow and stern lights; forward anchor locker and more.
More Good Things to Come
After talking with owner Al Steiger, the refreshed 2019 is merely the harbinger of more good things to come for the 255 CC. The next-gen 2020 version, which will be available in June, is rumored to be the Fisherman’s 2020 Dream Boat contest’s grand prize. She will undergo yet additional changes to transform her into a high-octane sportfisher that is ready to prowl the back bays, inlets, inshore and blue waters in search of big game sportfishing opportunities. According to Al, the new 255 CC will offer higher gunwales with deeper cockpit freeboard; a supersized center console command station with increased height, additional dash space for flush-mounting electronics and more headroom down-under; a larger insulated fishbox/livewell set into the transom cap and accessed via a flush deck hatch; increased onboard tackle storage; plus a trio of front deck options (open one-level cockpit with or without coffin box cooler, or raised casting platform) that will please the most discerning owners who occasionally perform family fun days at the beach.
Length – 25-feet, six-inches (hull only, not including standard outboard bracket)
Beam – eight-feet, six-inches
Weight – 4,900-lbs
Deadrise Aft- 21-degrees
Draft – 20-inches (engine drive up)
Fuel Capacity – 150-gallons
Max Horsepower – 300 HP (single or twin outboards)
We’ll run a more detailed performance review of the new 2020 Steiger Craft 255 CC after she is officially launched and I am counting the days until then. For more information, visit www.steigercraft.com.