There’s a full-height recirculating livewell built into the transom cap, which doesn’t require that you get down on your hands and knees to snag a livey and pitch it overboard. A transom gate set in the port corner allows easy access to the swim platform and standard fold-up boarding ladder. One of the hallmark features of the 2601WA throughout the years has been its roomy cockpit with ample freeboard, and the 2013 edition carries on that tradition. Standard cockpit coaming bolsters are a nice touch and will provide cushioned leg support when angling the big ones to boatside. When it’s time to ice your catch, a pair of insulated fishboxes set under the sole via flush deck hatches will get the job done and kick the icy gurry overboard via a macerator pumpout for easy clean-ups. Four flush-mount stainless steel rodholders are standard, as are twin horizontal rod racks set under the gunwales. Both helm pedestal seats are set on top of fiberglass modules that house insulated coolers down below with overboard drains. A dry stowage area set under a hatch between the seats adds to this vessel’s utility. The helm features a gauge panel, accessory switches, marine compass and a dedicated area to yoke-mount a multi-function display for your marine electronics. Stepping down through a companionway into the cabin, the 2601WA offers a classic interior arrangement with a Bomar hatch overhead, twin vee bunks, a table/filler cushion, Porta-Potti, alcohol stove and freshwater sink. These accommodations are enough to get out of the sun, change out of wet clothes or do modest overnighting at your fave beachside hideaway. The walkaround area is not recessed, so you will get max cabin and helm space. Moving forward, there’s a cushioned bench built into the forward cabin dome, a recessed anchor locker and a molded fiberglass bow pulpit.
From a construction standpoint, every Striper boat is built using multiple layers of hand-laid fiberglass with overlapping layers of reinforcements in the keel and chines. Self-bailing decks send water overboard where it belongs. The one-piece Fibercore stringer system is bonded to the hull and the composite transom will not deteriorate, rot or crack. Closed-cell foam is sprayed in every open space between the interior floor and hull bottom for basic flotation, insulation and greater noise reduction when underway. The 2601WA features a V-Track hull with a 20-degree aft deadrise and a unique strake design that offers excellent traction and cornering when underway.
MULTIPLE POWER OPTIONS
Like each of its three other sister ships in the Striper walkaround stable, you can have the 2601WA with either an outboard (single or twins) or with a single I/O power format. With Striper shifting its manufacturing facilities a few years back from the west coast to Little Falls, MN in the heart of Great Lakes country, there was a big demand for I/Os, which is why each striper in the walkaround lineup features this power option. Striper has configured the 2601WA’s transom to accommodate either single or twin outboard engines from Yamaha, Mercury and Evinrude as part of the power mix. I have some past helm time with the 2601WA powered by a single 225 V6 outboard and depending on the load and sea conditions, it will hit a top speed in the low 40s with fuel-efficient cruising speeds from 25 to 33 mph. Some of the mid-2000 era boats featured a larger 160-gallon gas tank, but the latest versions of the 2601WA, both outboard and I/O, are equipped with a 139-gallon fuel capacity.
Twin F150 four-stroke Yamahas are a popular choice on the Striper 2601WA and according to factory tests, will top out at over 47 mph spinning a pair of 15.25D x 17P 3-blade SWS props. She’ll plane at only 3000 rpms and will offer excellent 2.87-mpg fuel efficiency, hitting 22.4 mph at only 7.8 gph. Bumping the twin throttles up to 3500 revs, the GPS will indicate 27.5 mph at 11.2 gph, for a net of 2.46 mpg. Advancing the controls to 4-grand will get you 32.2 mph at 14.6 gph, for a bottom line of 2.21 mpg. If you need to travel in the fast lane to catch up to a hot bite, dialing in 4500 rpm on the digital tachs will push her along at 36.6 mph while showing 18.3 gph on the Yamaha fuel flow gauge, which translates to 2 mpg. This is still decent mileage for a three-ton, 26-foot sportfishing machine gobbling up nautical miles at a rapid pace.
Notable standard features on the Striper 2601WA include all seat cushions, trim tabs, raw water washdown and a “five-to-life” limited warranty. MSRP for the outboard models will range from $73,231 (Evinrude 225) to $101,401 (twin Yamaha 200s), with I/O pricing from $66,011 to $71,176 for 260 to 300 Horsepower MerCruiser V-8s.