Hydra-Sports continues to impress me with its line of fish boats. This summer, parent company Genmar Holdings, Inc. assembled part of the Hydra-Sports fleet for inspection along with other boats that fall under the corporate umbrella. Most of the oohs and aahs on the dock were directed at the 3300 Vector (with triple four-strokes hanging off the transom) and the new 2300 Bay Bolt.
Whether it is the almost 9-foot beam, the hull design's refinements or the 14 degrees of deadrise, the 2300 offers a superior, dry ride. In between thunderstorms the day of my test, the winds blew hard enough to create an honest 2-foot chop, the kind that turns a ride aboard some boats of this style into a kidney-pounding experience. At speed, the 2300 handled the challenge as if it wasn't there, a little surprising given her shallow draft.
Running the boat seated on, or leaning against, the post is effortless. Everything is within plain sight and easy reach, including two 12-volt accessory plugs.
Instrumentation isn't overwhelming, which is in keeping with the simple concepts the design follows. A tach, a speedometer and a fuel gauge are standard.
Though she resembles a flats boat, she is clearly a bay boat. Poling this skiff would be a bit much. Look to her 19-foot sister as a more practical dual-function platform.
Construction is wood-free, and the stringers are bonded to the hull in a rigid, rot-free system. The 2300 is self-bailing. The layout is intended to accommodate fishermen's needs and includes rugged nonslip, removable and built-in coolers, and a 26-gallon live well.
Two casters can work simultaneously, one on the large casting deck forward, a second on the raised section aft. If you have rods for every condition, this boat can stow them, as many as 18 in total.
Power options are many, but the base 150 hp Yamaha will move this boat well and economically. Speed demons can opt for the 225 hp engine.
Our test boat had a jack plate for running in skinny water. Add a pair of trim tab-mounted electric trolling motors (an aftermarket item), and you'll have to carry a rag to wipe off the drool of envious anglers.
The hull carries a transferable 10-year warranty. Its composite transom incorporates some of the same material found in the tiles of NASA's space shuttles.
Hydra-Sports, (800) 755-1099, ext. 538;