I took my right hand and palmed the standard dual binnacle Yamaha electronics controls to the right of the wheel, which I tilted into its lowest position. The twin 250-hp, four-stroke Yamaha gasoline outboards barely murmured as I eased the motors of my 27-foot center console test boat from Southport into forward idle and lined her up with a mile-plus straightaway. The bayside waters just north of Long Island’s Jones Beach were calm as a moderate north wind sucked the late-summer humidity out of the atmosphere. I thought to myself that these engines would enjoy the cool, crisp air as I asked them for every inch of horsepower available. It was game on.
With those controls firewalled, I watched the standard Yamaha gauges call out the rpm in rapid fashion: 1000, 2000, 3000…5500. From a slow idle to wide-open-throttle, this constant-variable-deadrise-designed vessel shot up to an average top hop of 57 mph. (Her standard polyethylene gas tank was loaded with 153 gallons of fuel, full load is 204 gallons.) At this speed, with the engines trimmed up and the standard Lectrotab recessed trim tabs retracted, the motors burned a combined 54.8 gph and my test boat offered 1.04 mpg for a range of 191 statute miles. The 27’s sweet spot came at 3000 rpm where she ran at an easy cruise speed of 30 mph, while those Yammies burned a miserly 14.1 gph for a range of 391 miles or 2.13 mpg based on a full tank and a ten percent safety reserve. (See chart here for full test data.)
I took hold of the wheel (SeaStar hydraulic steering is standard) and put the 27 hardover at 35 mph. My test boat, which features a solid fiberglass hull bottom, foam-cored fiberglass strakes and stringer-bed system, offered a comfortably moderate inboard lean as she cut a boat-length-and-a-half turn and slalomed like a world-class skier. She handled with aplomb, tracked true and her noticeable bow flare prevented spray from flying over the 27-inch-high gunwale. That said, I would suggest equipping this boat with a wing-out-type enclosure if you plan on using her on the northern environs.
While this vessel’s performance is impressive, she’s also a purpose-built fishing boat. To that end, the 27’s equipped with a massive 45-gallon livewell just aft the centerline helm station. It resides under seating for two and is a tri-oval shape, which is geared for minimal water disruption and, in turn, lively baits. In addition, this center console features a transom-fit cutting board and baitbox, 38-gallon, in-deck fishbox with a macerator and two more 45-gallon insulated fishboxes under the foredeck seating.
There’s also copious stowage aboard punctuated by a 31-gallon insulated box just forward of the helm and in-deck stowage, which is flanked by the forward seating area. There are also stowage bins and removable trays next to that aforementioned livewell. You can easily store up to six rods under this vessel’s gunwales, six more in the rod holders and another five in the optional T-top rocket launcher. Even the biggest gear head should find room for everything.
From her gentle roll moment while drifting (Thank you wide chines) to her 360-degree fishability and layout, Southport’s 27CC hits the mark on all points. The builder also does an admirable job of keeping her streamlined. For example, all of the cleats are recessed; the optional Lewmar windlass is found underneath an easy access anchor hatch; and the boat’s lines are sleek and low profile. Combine all of this with a sturdy build and you have a vessel as comfortable fishing the rips for striped bass as trolling fathom curves for pelagics. With a boat this well-rounded and ready to go, the hardest decision you’ll have with the 27 is deciding how to get more time off to go fishing.