Big boats are nice, but ask nearly any yachtsman with a fleet, and he’ll tell you there’s great fun to be had on tenders. With the wind in your hair and a big fish tugging on your line, life doesn’t get much better. Efficient, rugged and fun, the fishing tender has come into its own and is now available with all kinds of features that used to be the exclusive province of larger siblings in the marina. Here are 15 choice picks, new for this season.
Pursuit S 288 Sport
The S 288 is now the entry-level model in the builder’s four-hull Sport line, which ranges up to an S 408. At 30 feet length overall, the S 288 has room for many features found on her larger siblings.
- Thrill of the Chase: With twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards, the S 288 can hit 48 knots. The engine package comes standard with the Yamaha Helm Master steering system and its Set Point feature, which has three modes that let skippers lock in a position, a heading or both.
- Fully Loaded: Amenities aboard the S 288 include a hullside tuna/dive door, a transom livewell and dual in-sole fish boxes. Seating is aft and up front, so the crew can rest their legs between bouts with gamefish.
Take the next step: pursuitboats.com
Carolina Skiff Sea Chaser 24
For more than 30 years, Carolina Skiff has built dependable vessels that are fun to drive and adept at bringing in fish. The builder offers more than 60 models, including its Sea Chaser line, which in itself has four series that range in length from 16 to 27 feet length overall.
- Multitasker: The Sea Chaser 24 HFC stands out for her versatility; HFC stands for hybrid fish and cruise. She comes standard with features meant to please both types of boaters, including an insulated fish box, fold-down cleats, a stainless-steel anchor chock, LED lighting under the gunwale, a built-in lifting eye, stainless-steel cupholders and more. Capacity is 12 boaters, no matter whether they’re lounging or wetting lines.
Take the next step: carolinaskiff.com
The Edgewater 370CC butts up against the monster-size center-console class at 37 feet long. The builder categorizes her in her own Yacht class, separate from its Heritage, Center Console and Crossover lines that max out at 32 feet length overall. The 370CC’s horsepower-to-size ratio of 9.2 pounds per horsepower makes her best in her class, according to the builder.
- Take it to the Edge: The 370CC’s options for customization include multiple hull colors, a 70-gallon in-transom livewell, a Garmin electronics package and a Fusion stereo system.
- Speed Thrills: With triple 300 hp Yamaha outboards, the Edgewater can hit a top-end speed of 56 knots, according to the builder.
Take the next step: ewboats.com
Ocean Alexander 45 Divergence
Ocean Alexander has long had a reputation for constructing stout, bluewater-cruising motoryachts. Now the builder is applying that heritage to the center-console market with the 45 Divergence.
- Divergent Thinking: Fit and finish, and in particular woodwork and leather stitching, are on par with the builder’s motoryachts. Owners can customize each hull with more than 400 cosmetic variations.
Take the next step: oceanalexander.com
Grady-White Canyon 456
Grady-White has a sizable new flagship: the Canyon 456. The builder says that in designing this boat, it wanted to “reimagine the luxury sport-fishing yacht,” with the widest beam (14 feet) in its class allowing for literal boatloads of amenities and features on board. The 45-foot-long center-console displaces a cool 24,500 pounds sans engines.
- Great White: The Canyon 456 is fitted out with cockpit boarding doors to port and starboard, a 459-quart insulated freezer box, a Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer, cushioned bow seating with backrests, and an enclosed head with a sink and shower (inside the console). The galley has Corian countertops and stainless-steel drawers, along with vertical rod stowage. The V-berth converts electromechanically from a bed to seating with a table, near a 32-inch TV and more rod stowage.
Take the next step: gradywhite.com
Scout 530 LXF
The Scout 530 LXF is the builder’s new flagship. Early inquiries left the builder expecting to be sold out for the first year after Hull No. 1 made her debut.
- Vroom! She can have an array of engine setups, with four, five or six Mercury or Yamaha outboards up to 2,700 total horsepower. The blistering top-end is reportedly 65 knots.
- Inside and Out: Scout worked with Fort Lauderdale-based Genesis Interiors on the European-style interior, with ideas taken from larger yacht builds. Other interesting touches include electrically raised rocket launchers and double hydraulic swim platforms that open to port and starboard. The 530 LXF also comes with a concierge: Company Capt. Josh Slayton delivers each 530 and makes sure each owner is comfortable with the boat.
Take the next step: scoutboats.com
It was only a matter of time. Viking Yachts has been a dominant player in the fish-boat market for years, and now has rolled out Valhalla Boatworks, its foray into the burgeoning center-console sector.
- Hero Status: Viking collaborated with Michael Peters Yacht Design to create this 36-foot-9-inch boat, which has a gently sloped sheerline. The boat can have twin, triple or quadruple outboards up to 1,200 hp. Customized installations of Seakeeper gyrostabilizer systems leave room for stowage, systems and more. A transom livewell, in-sole fish boxes and rod holders help to bolster this vessel’s fishing cred, while the stepped hull should provide an airy ride with a firm grip on the sea.
Take the next step: valhallaboatworks.com
Solace is a new boat company whose first model is the 345. Note the vessel’s unorthodox transom, which juts out between the twin Yamaha outboard engines, creating 5-foot flush access that leads to a hydraulically operated dive door. Just forward of there, to port and starboard, are folding benches that seat two people apiece. There’s also a three-person retractable bench that extends from the workstation.
- Bug Out: Owners can choose an optional second workstation with a “folding buggy top” for protection from the elements.
- Big Plans: The Edgewater, Florida, builder has 16 acres of space and plans to roll out a full line of models behind the 345. So get ready to say hi to the new guy.
Take the next step: solaceboats.com
Boston Whaler 210 Montauk
The 210 is the new flagship in Boston Whaler’s Montauk line. Like all Whalers, she’s “unsinkable,” and is also built for hose-and-go use, so owners can maximize their time on the water.
- Whale of a Time: The 210 Montauk comes standard with a 150 hp Mercury FourStroke outboard and a galvanized-steel trailer with LED lighting and a swing tongue. Fishing options include rod holders, tackle drawers and a 30-gallon livewell; the optional fishing package adds a host of angling amenities.
- Cruising Cred: Optional bow seating should make for an optimal place during sunset cruises. Five gelcoat colors are available for the hull while a teak package lets owners class up the joint.
Take the next step: bostonwhaler.com
Coastal Craft 33 Express
The Coastal Craft 33 Express is based on the Pacific Northwest builder’s 33 Profish. Like her sistership, the Express version is trailerable, has about 81 square feet of cockpit space to wet a line, and has two berths for spending the night on the hook in a favorite anchorage.
- Ready To Run: The 33 Express can cruise at 30 knots for 400 nautical miles and hit 40 on the pins, according to the builder.
Take the next step: coastalcraft.com
Nor-Tech 390 Sport
Nor-tech has always toed the line between center-console and pure speedboat, and the 390 Sport is no exception. She has a scorching top-end of 70 knots with triple outboard Mercury 400R racing engines, according to the builder.
- Fast Fishing: The 390 Sport has two tuna doors, an in-transom livewell and an array of rod holders dotting her gunwales. Garmin is a Nor-tech partner for outfitting helm electronics.
- Have a Seat: U-shaped forepeak seating and twin lounges are forward of the console, giving guests and crew a place to stretch out in the sun. JL Audio can design the stereo setup of the owner’s choice, and Nor-tech works with Lumishore on underwater lighting packages.
Take the next step: nor-techboats.com
World Cat 280DC-X
World Cat says it has 80,000 customers aboard its boats worldwide, with the newest model from its 140,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina being the dual-console 280DC-X. It’s an evolution of the 280CC-X.
- Cat Fish: With an optional angling package—including a 20-gallon livewell and five hardtop-mounted rocket launchers—the World Cat becomes quite the fishing machine. Top speed for heading to the offshore fishing grounds is just shy of 40 knots, according to the builder.
- Lounging Around: This catamaran has U-shaped seating in the bow with a filler cushion that creates a sun pad. Transom seating offers some protection if rougher weather begins to kick up.
Take the next step: worldcat.com
Belzona 32CC Tournament
Belzona bills its 32CC Tournament Edition as “the ultimate fishing machine.” The boat has full walkaround space and an army of rod holders. She also can be tricked out with outriggers, a Garmin electronics package and a marlin tower for better sightlines when chasing the big fish that this baby is meant to hunt.
- Power to the People: The base-model 32CC is offered with twin 300 or 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards (and optional joystick controls). The Tournament Edition can jack up the power with a pair of 400 hp outboards.
- In the Zone: The Belzona 32CC Tournament Edition has a full head with a shower (in the console) and wraparound seating in the forepeak.
Take the next step: belzonaboats.com
SeaVee constructed the 290B with a composite-cored hull to reduce weight while retaining a stiff, strong and quiet ride. The boat’s relatively small size also gives owners the ability to trailer her.
- Deep-V: The 290B has a deep-V hull with 25 degrees of deadrise at the transom and a fine entry. Speeds range to 60 knots. Draft is just 20 inches, allowing for some skinny-water fishing too.
Take the next step: seaveeboats.com
Intrepid 345 Nomad
Intrepid bases many of its designs on customer feedback, and that’s what happened with the 345 Nomad. Its composite T-top has a full-height wraparound glass windshield for protection against sun and spray. Owners can choose from two console options: a side entry with that standard T-top, or a front entry with the builder’s optional, traditional, aluminum T-top. Standard features include an inward-opening dive door, a fold-under swim ladder, an insulated fishbox and an integrated motor bracket for twin or triple outboard-engine configurations. Rod lockers are forward to port and starboard. Fender stowage and transom storage wells are also standard.
- Go Fish: The 345 Nomad has six rocket launchers on the after end of her hardtop and can be fitted with outriggers.
Take the next step: intrepidpowerboats.com