Some boats make a lasting impression, so much so that they become ingrained in your personal encyclopedia of "good boat" memories. Shamrock long ago made it into my mental list, after the gray New England morning when I watched a 25-year-old pilothouse model plow to Prudence Island on a turbulent Narragansett Bay stirred up by a winter storm. The owner appeared snug in the house, and the boat looked solid and purposeful.
The 270 Open shares the same pedigree and stout appearance. A 300 hp V-8 TBI EFI gas engine powers her, drawing on Shamrock's history as one of the first production builders of fishing boats under 30 feet to exclusively use inboard power. An insulated engine box in the 270's cockpit lifts up for easy access on all sides. If you need better durability, Shamrock offers diesel options. Having the engine's weight in the 270's belly helps with stability, and the lack of an outboard hanging off the transom should make it easy to raise fish-something the 270 is definitely designed to do. Her forward deck has an insulated, removable fishbox with macerator and overboard discharge, and a 225-quart cooler.
The transom has a 32-gallon bait well and an opening transom door with heavy-duty stainless-steel hinges and a flip-up gate. Cockpit bolsters should cushion anglers during a good fight. The raw- and freshwater washdowns are under the gunwales, along with rod stowage. An optional T-top incorporates additional rod stowage and a platform to mount outriggers.
The center helm has a good footrest, well-placed instrumentation and room for a complete electronics package. Tucked within the console is a stand-up head and shower.
One of the 270's best attributes is her hull design. It employs a full-length keel that not only protects the prop and rudder, but enhances tracking. The keel consists of a hand-laminated fiberglass outer skin filled with a catalyzed mixture of high-impact ceramic putty that hardens into a solid core. It should be impervious to rot and moisture, and a heavy bronze shoe is fitted for additional protection.
The prop pocket directs a steady flow of water to the propeller and allows good shallow-water capabilities.
Shamrock, (941) 574-2800; fax (941) 574-7489; www.shamrockboats.com.