Top Yacht Tenders

The Editors at Yachting magazine draw up a list of their top new tenders, updated with new boats for 2014.

Best Yacht Tenders: Boston Whaler 370 Outrage
What’s  the best  boat  to  own?  Tough question, we know. Well, many yachtsmen have multiple on-the-water interests, and sometimes more than one boat is the answer. (We really like those people too.) For those boaters who own larger cruising-oriented craft but also like to fish, sometimes towing or stacking a smaller tender or keeping a second boat in an angling hot spot is the answer. Whether you like to chase bonefish on the flats or billfish in blue water, there’s a boat to suit hard-core anglers and gentleman fishermen alike. Yachting has put together a well-rounded compilation of the latest crop of small and midsize, largely fishing-oriented vessels that can address virtually all of your angling pursuits. From your 16-foot shallow-water permit chaser to the 42-foot tuna tamer, chances are you’ll find the one (or two) you’re looking for within these pages. Happy hunting. The boats in this flotilla work well as both stand-alone fishing platforms or tenders for a larger yacht. Boston Whaler 370 Outrage
Who doesn't remember the Boston Whaler ad with one of its 13-foot center-consoles cut in half and still cruising around a marina? The company built its reputation more than 50 years ago creating "unsinkable" boats, and that tradition continues with its new 370 Outrage, the largest in this series that starts at 19 feet length overall. To ensure toughness, the 370 sports a hand-laid fiberglass hull, and closed-cell urethane foam gives the boat her flotation factor. (She has a 5,200-pound swamp capacity.) In addition to her granitelike construction, she's quick. The builder reports that, with triple 250-horsepower Mercury Verado four-strokes, the 370 easily makes 28 knots at 4,000 rpm. At wide-open throttle (6,325 rpm), she is said to hit 43.3 knots, so untying from your bigger boat for some quick island-hopping and a picnic on the beach is a breeze. Her shallow draft helps explore those cool off-the-beaten-path spots too.
Boston Whaler
Best Yacht Tenders: Boston Whaler 370 Outrage stern
The Boston Whaler 370 Outrage can be equal parts day fishing boat and cruiser/dive boat; it all depends on how you rig her. For example, you can set up her center leaning post area with a full-on bait-prep center or make it a barbecue hub with an electric grill, cutting board and single-burner cooktop. You can also customize her hull color to match the big boat, add a Raymarine electronics package or satellite radio, or install a joystick to assist with close-quarters maneuvering. If you want to go, the 370 Outrage can get you there. Boston Whaler, 877-294-5645; bostonwhaler.com LOA: 37'6"
BEAM: 11'6"
DRAFT: 1'11"
DISPL.: 13,500 lb. (w/o engines)
FUEL: 425 gal.
ENGINES: 3 x 300 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $447,745
Boston Whaler
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Chris-Craft 36 Launch
Chris-Craft's goal for its Launch 36 was simple: remind people what it means to play out on the water. That's why each 36 comes with a list of recommended toys ranging from snorkels and tubes to Seabobs and kayaks. We’re told don’t eat two hours before rigorous fun on the water, but there’s no rule about eating once you’re finished, which is where this boat’s open-air galley comes in handy. Situated between the helm and aft seating are a 2-burner cooktop, grill, sink, ice maker, refrigerator and microwave. The cockpit’s pop-up table has seating for five guests to enjoy an al fresco meal without bumping elbows.
Courtesy Chris-Craft
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If one day aboard the 36 isn’t enough, spend the weekend aboard. There are two staterooms, one forward with a queen berth and another amidships with a double and single berth. Having a separate head to starboard and shower stall to port allows each to be more voluminous than if they were sharing space. The forepeak’s full-sized closet has enough room to hang suits or dresses should you need to change out of your bathing suit for dinner ashore. Chris-Craft, 941-351-4900; chriscraft.com
LOA: 38'2" (with swim platform)
BEAM: 12'6"
DRAFT: 2'7"
DISPL.: 16,000 lbs.
FUEL: 286 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 380 hp Volvo Penta V8s diesels
BASE PRICE: upon request
Courtesy Chris-Craft
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Comitti 34 Venezia Elegance
The story of Comitti yachts began in the shoreside community of northern Italy's Lake Como, a stunning piece of water surrounded by towering snowcapped mountains. The property has been a popular retreat for aristocrats since its time as part of the ancient Roman Empire. Centuries later, the world’s elite still flock here, only now they seek classically styled wooden boats like the 34 Venezia Elegance. From her sparkling steel-color hull to her mirrorlike mahogany topsides, the 34 Elegance is an attention-grabber, but she also serves as a functional entertaining platform. For example, the sun pad aft allows three guests to relax and enjoy the view. Three steps down from there, a natural teak swim platform with a boarding ladder makes going for a dip a painless process. Wraparound seating enables five adult guests to converse within earshot of the captain.
Courtesy Comitti
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Should your day in the sun wipe you out, or if your day trip turns into a weekend getaway, a cuddy cabin with a V-berth provides the perfect escape. A civilized-size head is a nice addition when enjoying time afloat. You’ll be hard-pressed to think of something your 34 is missing that you can’t live without, but if a detail does come to mind, this custom builder is happy to accommodate. Comitti, 802-863-9853; comittigroup.com LOA: 34'0"
BEAM: 10'0"
DRAFT: 2'3"
DISPL.: 9,900 lb.
FUEL: 132 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 260 hp gas or diesel MerCruiser or Volvo Penta inboards
BASE PRICE: $406,900
Courtesy Comitti
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Contender 24 Sport
The 24 Sport continues Contender's tradition of boats built by fishermen, for fishermen. Starting with a 26-gallon above-deck livewell, two 59-gallon dry stowage compartments forward and four fish boxes (94 and 43 gallons forward, two 30 gallons aft), the 24 Sport has the kind of stowage anglers appreciate. Four flush-mount gunwale rod holders and six under-gunwale rod racks keep sticks for a variety of species close at hand. In addition to the seating behind the console, two benches are forward (with a removable insert to create a U-shaped bench for fishing over the bow or for when anchoring chores are done). There's also aft seating. For strength and long life, Contender builds the 24 Sport using hand-laid, multidirectional fiberglass and a foam-core molded structural grid. A custom sport console features an integral helm pod, a switch panel with waterproof switches and breakers, and a high-speed compass, and it can house an optional marine toilet in its step-down compartment. A custom wheel and hydraulic steering are standard, as are the custom-recessed Lenco trim tabs. A single Yamaha 300-horsepower outboard propels the 24 Sport to a 48.5-knot top hop at 2.11 mpg. Contender Boats, 800-645-2906; contenderoffshore.com LOA: 24'6"
BEAM: 8'6"
DRAFT: 1'6" (engines up)
DISPL.: 5,250 lb.
FUEL: 130 gal.
ENGINE: 300 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard
BASE PRICE: $342,141
Courtesy of Contender
Top Yacht Tenders: Grady-White 251 CE
Grady-White 251 CE
When I borrowed a pickup from a friend on a back country fishing trip in Florida, he warned me that the radio only played two kinds of music: Country. And Western! And, in a way, that tells the story of the new Grady-White 251 CE (Coastal Explorer), which is designed to do two kinds of fishing: Inshore. And Offshore. It has the hull draft to allow fishing on the shoals, and the hull shape (higher freeboard, more prominent bow) that differentiates it from typical bay boats. And yes, this is one of Grady-White's patented SeaV2 hulls from C. Raymond Hunt Associates, so expect nothing less than a terrific ride. Designed to be powered by a single Yamaha F250 or F300 (the maximum horsepower), the boat shows a fine blend of performance and efficiency underway. With an F300, full fuel tank, four persons, and a boatload of fishing and safety gear aboard, the 251 CE recently turned a top speed of 45.8 mph, planing in just 4 seconds, and showing a sweet spot of 3 mpg at 22 mph, really excellent economy for those who plan to cover lots of water during the day. Although the 251 CE has plenty of room for four anglers to work, comfort was not neglected. Port and starboard 74-quart fishboxes forward have cushions and folding backrests. The molded forward console seat has a cushion and backrest, the helm leaning post accommodates two and a 72-quart removable cooler under, and there are two aft bench seats with folding backrests flanking the motor well. Like every Grady-White, the deck hardware is top notch, and there are rod holders everywhere. Grady-White Boats, 252.752.2111; www.gradywhite.com. LOA: 24'7"
BEAM: 8'6"
DRAFT: 1'2" (hull)
DISPL.: 3,500 lb. (w/o engine)
WATER: N/A
FUEL: 78 gal.
ENGINES: 1x 300hp Yamaha outboard
BASE PRICE: $121,816 (well equipped)
Grady White
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Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama Edition
Tommy Bahama is a lifestyle brand synonymous with enjoying life by the sea. So is Hacker-Craft. The two joined forces to create the 30-foot Tommy Bahama Edition yacht. Like every hand-built vessel that comes from the builder's Silver Bay, New York, facility, the 30 sports a brilliant mahogany hull, but this one also features eye-catching light-blue bottom paint. The topsides boasts a sparkle that can only be accomplished with 15 coats of hand-brushed varnish. Besides the immaculate brightwork, onboard details such as the two-tone joinery and custom upholstery and embroidery make this boat shine. The Tommy Bahama insignia can be found adhered to the hull in gold leaf, embroidered on the steering wheel and etched into the glassware.
Hacker-Craft
Hacker-Craft Tommy Bahama Edition
Underwater LED lights also help this vessel stand out. Not just for decoration, the 30 keeps guests entertained with a high-end sound system that plays through stainless-steel speaker grilles. There’s also a cocktail cabinet and a refrigerated drawer to help you beat the heat. Her 425-horsepower Mercury HO propels the vessel to 39 knots. Hacker-Craft, 866-540-5546; hackerboat.com LOA: 30'0"
BEAM: 7'3"
DRAFT: 2'4"
DISPL.: 4,500 lb.
FUEL: 75 gal.
ENGINE: 425 hp ­Mercury HO gasoline stern drive
BASE PRICE: $429,000
Hacker-Craft
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Hell's Bay Professional
The folks at Hell's Bay have a reputation for working with owners and captains to create the perfect tender that is also one heck of a skiff. The Professional tender starts with reinforced lifting eyes and towing points, but the builder goes a step further to match the boat with custom davits, cradles and tie-downs. Want a custom color configuration to match your mothership? No problem. Hell's Bay is well-known for precision craftsmanship, using only the finest biaxial polyester and Kevlar fabrics in its hand-laid hulls and decks.
Courtesy of Hell's Bay
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The hull design features a sharp stem and wide, distinctive spray rails that knock down spray and add stability underway or on the flats. The Professional hull is designed to handle a wide range of water conditions, to pole easily and to turn responsively when the bottom begins to shoal. A review of the available options suggests a few must-haves: a Tibor push-pole holder and one of Hell’s Bay’s custom carbon poles, a tilt helm, vertical rod racks for the console and lights for the cockpit and the lockers. Serious fly-­fishermen will also want the forward casting platform, tied down to the deck, for an improved view of the waters all around. Hell's Bay Boatworks, 321-383-8223; hellsbayboatworks.com LOA: 17'8" (w/ brackets and engines)
BEAM: 5'10"
DRAFT: 4.5" (w/ engine and fuel)
DISPL.: 625 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 160 gal.
ENGINE: Recommended 60 hp
BASE PRICE: $47,500
Courtesy of Hell's Bay
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Jupiter 41 Express
Jupiter Marine's boats have a reputation as solid stand-alone fishing, diving and cruising platforms. Its new 41, which comes in express or sport bridge versions, has developed a keen following among large yacht owners too. In fact, the Florida-based builder is installing a towing eye on a new 41 because it's going to be pulled behind a 185-foot Delta. The 41's deep-V, Posi-Stern hull form comes from Donald Blount and Jupiter, and her build is of solid hand-laid fiberglass. If you want to leave the bigger boat behind and overnight on the 41, that's no problem: Her below-deck accommodations can handle five guests in two cabins plus a dinette that converts into a berth. Her 480-gallon fuel capacity offers plenty of range for exploring remote anchorages.
Courtesy of Jupiter Marine
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Interior appointments include custom wood options such as teak, cherry or sapele, to name a few. Standard galley gear makes meal prep easy with a two-burner electric cooktop, microwave, refrigerator and freezer, and Corian ­countertops. Fishermen will appreciate her angling amenities such as the standard mezzanine seating (a full-height bait-prep center here is optional), two 90-gallon ­macerator-equipped fish boxes, a ­60-gallon livewell, six rod holders, a transom door and gate, and two under-gunwale rod racks. Add options like outriggers, hardtop spreader lights and a marlin tower, and you’re ready to chase the big ones. Jupiter Marine, 941-729-5000; jupitermarine.com LOA: 40'3"
BEAM: 12'8"
DRAFT: 2'1" (engines up); 3'6" (down)
DISPL.: 22,480 lb. (fully loaded)
FUEL: 480 gal.
ENGINES: 3 x 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $576,760 Express; $634,500 Sport Bridge
Courtesy of Jupiter Marine
Palm Beach Tenders
Palm Beach Tenders
For those who prefer rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), the new line of Palm Beach Tenders will turn some former compromises into practical features. If the size of your tender has been limited to what will fit into your boat's integral aft garage, you may have opted for waterjet propulsion to save on height and length. Now there is another option that lets you keep smaller, less-­expensive outboards as power. The Palm Beach four-model series (10 to 16 feet length overall) of RIBs features a patented, wirelessly activated engine stowage solution that sets the outboard in a low-profile, horizontal position, offering better handling and more low-profile stowage when loading or unloading the vessel, whether it be with a crane or a set of rollers. Each craft has a molded fiberglass console, hydraulic steering system and Hypalon fabric tubes for long life. Stainless-steel grab bars and trim tabs are standard, and most include 12-volt power sockets. Palm Beach Tenders, 877-778-8710; palmbeachtenders.com LOA: 15'9"
BEAM: 7'0"
HEIGHT: 2'11" (approx. w/ engines up)
DISPL.: 778 lb. (dry, w/ 60 hp outboard)
FUEL: 6 gal. portable tank
ENGINE: 60 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard
BASE PRICE: Upon request
Courtesy Palm Beach Tenders
Top Yacht Tenders: Pursuit ST 310
Pursuit ST 310
Pursuit's largest Sport Tender, the ST 310, is purpose made to serve as the all-around tender to much larger motoryachts, serving all owners who want to embrace fishing, diving, and exploring during the day, and sunset cruises to end the day. With a pair of Yamaha F300 outboards on the transom, a half load of fuel, and two people aboard, the ST 310 will plane off at about 2500 rpm, and 13 knots, burning 9.6 gph. Push it to the stops, and it will top out at 47 knots at 5900 rpm, burning 52.4 gph. The deep-V bottom, with 24 degrees of deadrise at the transom, is just right for rough water, such as crossing the Gulf Stream, and the boat and motor combination handles very well across a wide range of open water conditions. Forward, there is a comfortable wraparound seating area with rod lockers under the seat cushions and a stout, recessed handrail wrapping around the area. A small dining/entertaining table removes to store below, and the bow area converts to a comfy sunpad. A door on the port side of the console allows access to the head compartment, which also houses a sink/shower fixture, and is the perfect place to store dive gear, keeping the decks uncluttered. Because the console is oversized, the walkway linking forward and aft cockpits is along the port side. The dash is large enough for two large multifunction displays. Seating at the helm includes a single seat for the driver, a double seat just to starboard for friends and family, and outstanding protection behind the wide windscreen. The aft-facing bench seat just abaft the helm seating is positioned optimally for watching trolled baits, and is next to a locker with sink, livewell and cooler. There is abundant storage under the starboard seat, as there is beneath the transom bench seat, featuring a large removable bin allowing access to the bilge and mechanical systems aft. Pursuit Boats, 772.465.6006; www.pursuitboats.com. LOA: 31'2"
BEAM: 9'6"
DRAFT: 1'7" (hull only)
DISPL.: 8,890 lb. (w/twin outboards)
WATER: 20 gal.
FUEL: 260 gal.
ENGINES: 2x Yamaha F300 outboards
BASE PRICE: $244,695
Pursuit
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Regulator 25
Looking for a boat that can be towed and stowed, and can handle the rigors of blue-water duty? Regulator can say with certainty that its fleet can accommodate those requests. Why? One of its deep-V, wave-slicing 26-footers was lost in a storm in 2008 off New England, and 3,000 miles and more than three years later, the craft washed up on a beach in Spain — intact! Building on that legacy is the 25, which features the same solid fiberglass hull and foam-filled, grille-style stringer system as her predecessors do. The stringer system's voids are foam-filled for added strength without excessive weight and for noise reduction. Hard-core anglers will appreciate the 25's 360-degree fishability, two 160-quart foredeck fish boxes and 140-quart foredeck stowage space under cushioned seating. Remove the cushions and this spot makes a great casting platform. Rounding out this craft's angling arsenal is a 23-gallon in-transom livewell, a 120-quart in-transom fish box and tackle stowage in the helm-seat console. Just throw some outriggers on the hardtop and you're ready to wet lines. In addition to two helm seats, foredeck seating and a seat for two just in front of the helm, there's a fold-out bench seat at the stern. She's laid out for comfort and built for speed. With twin 200-horsepower, four-stroke Yamaha outboards, the 25 can reportedly cruise at about 27 knots at 4,000 rpm. Her top end is said to be 44 knots. Regulator Marine, 252-482-3837; regulatormarine.com
LOA: 30'0" (w/ brackets and engines)
BEAM: 8'10"
DRAFT: 2'0" (engines up); 2'9" (down)
DISPL.: 7,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 160 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 200 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $130,395
Courtesy of Regulator Boats
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Scout 350 LXF
The newest flagship of Scout's center-console fleet is the 350 LXF, incorporating the company's Dual Stepped Hull technology to increase performance and fuel economy. Power choices include twin Yamaha F300 or F350 four-stroke outboards, but the boat can also hoist triple Yamaha F300s — for those who can handle 900 horsepower and top-end speeds of 61 knots. Deadrise at the transom is 22 degrees, indicating that the ride in rough water should be comfortable. Boarding is through a centerline transom door, and there's an Armstrong ladder for reboarding after a swim or dive. Good thought was given to mooring, with 10-inch pull-up stern and bow cleats plus two 8-inch spring-line cleats. Standard equipment includes Optimus electric hydraulic steering, 30-amp shore power with a 50-foot cord and a 50-amp battery charger. Fishing-specific features include a 60-gallon transom fish box, two aft in-floor fish boxes, six stainless-steel flush-mount gunwale rod holders and two horizontal under-gunwale racks. The console is protected by a powder-coated hardtop, patented with glass enclosure, and it houses an inner console double berth with a fold-up table, microwave, refrigerator and head. Scout Boats, 843-821-0068; scoutboats.com LOA: 34'11" (w/ brackets and engines)
BEAM: 10'9"
DRAFT: 1'11" (approx., engines up)
DISPL.: 9,100 lb. (dry, no engines)
FUEL: 360 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x or 3 x Yamaha four-stroke outboards to a max of 900 hp
BASE PRICE: $342,141
Scout Boats
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Sea Ray SLX 350
Bowriders offer the kind of comfort, seating and features that most tenders lack, and the SLX 350 from Sea Ray is just such a vessel. Noise attenuation is fully addressed in this new design, from the ­well-sealed engine compartment and patented Tuned Transom system (which dampens engine noise) to the leading-edge hull laminates that convert vibrational energy to heat, which is pulled away by the water the boat runs in. There's seating for 18 people at rest and 11 people facing forward while underway. The transom is configured with a host of entertainment features including coolers, speakers and a remote for the AM/FM Rockford Fosgate stereo. At the helm, an integrated 9-inch Raymarine chart plotter is standard, as are MerCruiser's SmartCraft system (with a wide range of diagnostics), a digital throttle and a shift binnacle.
Courtesy Sea Ray
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Other twin-engine options include a 380-­horsepower MerCruiser 8.2 Mag/Bravo Three and Axius joystick-­equipped versions of both the 350- and 380-horsepower sterndrives. The fiberglass top’s protection from ultraviolet rays can be upgraded with an optional aft-extending sunshade, just right for those relaxing on the convertible sun pad after they'vebeen sufficiently tanned. Two other notable options are the teak cockpit table that retracts into the cockpit sole and the submersible swim platform. Sea Ray Boats, 865-582-2200; searay.com LOA: 34'6" (w/ brackets and engines)
BEAM: 10'6"
DRAFT: 3'1" (drives down); 2'3" (up)
DISPL.: 13,000 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 160 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 300 hp MerCruiser 350 Mag/Bravo Three gasoline sterndrives
BASE PRICE: $238,600
Courtesy Sea Ray
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SeaVee 390Z
Performance is defined as the execution of work, acts or feats. When SeaVee began building its 390Z performance boat, it needed the craft to be fast and have excellent handling. During the research phase, marine architect Robert Kaidy was excited about the speed and fuel efficiency that stepped hulls offered, but he worried about their reputation for slipping during high-speed turns and their inability to keep vessels on plane at anything but top-end speeds. So Kaidy and his team redesigned the stepped hull from the ground up, using a computational fluid-dynamics computer model — a system used previously by only NASA and the U.S. Navy. That technology and many sea trials yielded a one-of-a-kind stepped hull with a speed rail and ventilation cavities to prevent slipping and allow planing at a wider range of speeds.
Courtesy of SeaVee
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SeaVee continues its commitment to performance above the waterline with its livewells (you can choose up to three of them). The pump that circulates salt water through each well can be adjusted individually depending on a particular bait’s oxygen requirements. This is a real plus for the tournament-angling crowd. A smart helm layout, plenty of fishable space all around the center-console and ample stowage for rods and tackle certainly help the 390Z with the execution of work, acts or feats, namely bringing home big fish. SeaVee, 305-759-6419; seaveeboats.com LOA: 39'0"
BEAM: 11'0"
DRAFT: 2'2"
DISPL.: 11,820 lb. (w/o engines)
FUEL: 538 gal.
ENGINES: 3 x 300 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $288,300
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Southport 33 FE
Southport Boats' 33 FE should launch about the time you read this, and she'll be the builder's largest center-console to date, headlining a range that starts at 27 feet length overall. Like previous models, the 33 FE will sport a continuously variable, deep-V hull form with a knifelike entry and mid-30-degree deadrise amidships transitioning to 22 degrees transom deadrise. The seakindly hull design comes from renowned firm C. Raymond Hunt and Associates, which has collaborated on Southport's vessels since 2003. Supporting this design are the vacuum-infused solid-fiberglass hull, cockpit and deck liner, ensuring strength without added weight.
Southport
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Fishing aficionados will appreciate the 33’s dual 6-foot-long insulated fish boxes forward and two 75-­gallon in-deck cockpit fish boxes. There’s also a tackle center available abaft the dual-seat center-console helm ­station. But this vessel isn’t merely a fish-raiser. If you prefer to cruise, the tackle center can be made into an entertainment center, and a foredeck dinette converts into a sun pad for catching some rays on the hook. If you feel like taking a nap or ducking out of bad weather, the console section has a 6-foot-long berth, and the head with sink and shower area offers 6-foot-3-inch headroom. Standard power is twin 300-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke outboards. Southport Boats, 207-620-7998; southportboats.com LOA: 32'6"
BEAM: 10'8"
DRAFT: 1'10"
DISPL.: 7,300 lb. (w/o engines)
FUEL: 300 gal.
ENGINES: 2 x 300 or 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $264,000
Southport
Yellowfin 40 RHIB
Yellowfin 40 RHIB
A successful superyacht tender wears many hats. One hour the craft might be shuttling a couple ashore for breakfast, the next she might be a scuba-diving and snorkeling platform, and then acting as a ferry for cruising provisions. The Yellowfin 40 RHIB is a versatile vessel that does all of this equally well. This sport-fisherman builder constructed the 40's rugged hull by sandwiching Corecell composite foam coring within a Kevlar and fiberglass shell, making the form both lightweight and strong.
Courtesy of Yellowfin Yachts
Top Yacht Tenders: Yellowfin 40
The Yellowfin 40 can be equipped with triple 350-horsepower four-stroke outboards to help her reach speeds near 70 knots. Stowing extra fuel aboard your yacht for your tender is not always an option, so this boat’s efficient fuel burn of 1.4 mpg at 39 knots is an attractive feature, as is the clean design that lends itself to both easy boarding and easy exiting. Options for the 40 include a 400-gallon fuel tank, a bow thruster, a hot-water shower, a DVD player, a stereo and an air-conditioned cabin. A private head in the console is another nice feature. Yellowfin, 941-753-7828; yellowfin.com
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Boston Whaler 270 Vantage
There are many reasons for owning a boat. Some people like to cruise, others like to fish, and still others fulfill a need for speed. Then there is the group known as "all of the above." If you belong to this category, then the 270 Vantage may interest you. The serious angler will appreciate things like the two forward fish boxes, optional lighted 19-gallon livewell, bait-prep station and stainless-steel mounted rod holders. Standard 150 hp dual Mercury four-stroke Verados reportedly propel the 270 to 45 knots at wide-open throttle. The 175-gallon fuel tank should allow for a range of 170 nautical miles at that speed.
Courtesy of Boston Whaler
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When you’re not fishing, you will enjoy the comforts of home, including the electric grill and refrigerator for serving up an alfresco dining experience. A Fusion stereo system provides music, because every day on the water needs a soundtrack. New owner Herman Ackley discovered the 270 Vantage when looking to downsize from his prior boat. “We are used to having a heavier boat, and this one is pretty light, but it will get up and plane so nicely and ride so well; it is just unbelievable for that size boat, which is what we really liked about it,” Ackley says. “It’s supposed to be unsinkable, though I’m not going to try and find out, [and] that’s a big plus too.” Boston Whaler, 877-294-5645; bostonwhaler.com SPECS
LOA: 26'10"
BEAM: 9'0"
DRAFT: 1'8"
DISPL.: 5,200 lb. (dry w/o power)
FUEL: 175 gal.
ENGINES: Twin Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards to 450 (max)
BASE PRICE: $126,493 w/ twin 150 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Boston Whaler
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Contender 39 LS
The 39 Luxury Sport (LS) was born to run through rough water with a twin-step, deep-V hull and fine entry that transitions into a sharp 24.5-degree aft deadrise. To ensure the run to the grounds is solid, the 39 LS sports a hand-laid fiberglass hull with a foam-core, fiberglass-encapsulated stringer system. In addition, she's rigged to fish with four in-deck fish boxes that add up to a total of 615 gallons of insulated fish stowage. There's also a transom door to ease lifting in big fish, plus four standard rod holders. For live-bait fans, there are two 40-gallon livewells. To round out your angling arsenal, options include outriggers, a few extra rod holders and a livewell light.The 39 LS has aft seating as well as retractable side seating for when you're relaxing from a long day of bailing big ones. Her cockpit is equipped with a grill for cooking your catch, a sink, a refrigerator and in-console rod holders that also function as cup holders and tackle drawers.
Courtesy of Contender
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You can customize your boat’s hull color, upholstery and more. Two-time Contender owner Greg Reyes keeps his 39 LS in Kona, Hawaii. He says, “I have owned my boat for about six months and can say without a doubt that it lives up to its reputation. With the step-hull design, it has no problem cruising at 40 knots in rough seas.” Reyes adds that, with triple Yamaha 350s, his 39 LS can reach 52-plus knots. “I can get out to remote fishing locations in almost half the time of the typical Hawaiian fishing boat.” Contender, 800-645-2906; contenderoffshore.com SPECS
LOA: 39'1"
BEAM: 10'10"
DRAFT: 2'0"
DISPL.: 7,800 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 500 gal.
ENGINES: Twin or triple Yamaha four-stroke outboards to 1,400 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $357,596 w/ twin 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Contender
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Deep Impact 330 LS
The 330 LS may be the smallest vessel in the Deep Impact line, but she was designed to seat 16 comfortably when you're not cruising the 1,000-fathom line for the man in the blue suit. She has a deep-V, two-step hull with 23 degrees aft deadrise. Those steps help reduce drag. When powered with triple outboards up to 900 total horsepower, the 330 LS is said to streak across the sea at 56 knots (or more).The hull is built with resin infusion, cored with Mantex and Divinycell, and further strengthened with Kevlar. The 330 LS comes with a substantial list of standard gear, such as a livewell, rod holders, LED cockpit lights, freshwater and saltwater washdown, and transom door. Deep Impact will also customize its boats, and noteworthy options include a custom-painted hull, underwater lights, extended T-top, towing eye and bow thruster. Deep Impact 330 LS owner Vito Errico moved to his new boat after owning a 39-foot center-console. He says running the bigger boat was like driving a bus. "The 330 LS is nimble," he says, adding that with twin 350 hp Mercury Verados, the boat hits a top hop of 59 knots with full fuel and five people aboard. Got speed? Deep Impact Boats, 305-627-9394, deepimpactboats.com SPECS
LOA: 33'0"
BEAM: 10'0"
DRAFT: 2'4"
DISPL.: 9,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 220 gal.
ENGINES: Twin or triple four-stroke outboards to 900 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $264,000 w/ twin 300 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Deep Impact Boats
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EdgeWater 388CC
For more than two decades, EdgeWater Power Boats has offered anglers myriad choices in fishing boats ranging from 14 feet to 38 feet. Its flagship 388CC is aimed at the run-and-gun crowd. This center-console features a Michael Peters-designed variable deadrise hull form born for wave slicing. She's beamy enough at 11 feet to be stable when slow-trolling baits or drift-fishing, but not so much that she pounds in a seaway. To ensure that her ride is solid, the 388CC has a fiberglass hull built with EdgeWater's single-piece infusion process. Airex coring helps stiffen the structure while reducing weight. Once on the grounds, she's quite fishable, thanks to full walk-around room, standard 500-quart in-deck fish boxes, a 66-gallon in-transom livewell, 55-quart cooler stowage and a 64-quart foredeck fish box. There's plenty of room to ice down those kingfish, dolphin and tuna. Custom options include a teak console package and Imron hull color. For easy docking, a bow thruster and joystick control are also available. And you can choose twin or triple Yamaha outboards. South Carolina fisherman Joe Bailey is a three-time EdgeWater owner who puts about 400 hours on his 388CC in a typical season. He says he's happy with his choice of boat: "The quality of the build in all three boats has just been flawless." He's also been pleased with service at both the builder and local levels. And for someone who makes regular runs of 60-plus miles in search of tuna, wahoo, kingfish and marlin, that's pretty important. EdgeWater Power Boats, 386-426-5457; ewboats.com SPECS
LOA: 37'10"
BEAM: 11'0"
DRAFT: 1'10"
DISPL.: 9,600 lb.
FUEL: 340 gal. (std.); 120 gal. (opt.)
ENGINES: Twin or triple Yamaha four-stroke outboards to 900 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $334,715 w/ triple 300 hp four-stroke Yamaha outboards
Courtesy of Edgewater Power Boats
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Hell's Bay Marquesa
After Hell's Bay did a thorough redesign of its popular Marquesa technical skiff, it shocked the industry by unveiling a boat that looked, well, the same as the original. You would have to get up close and personal with this model to notice the details that have improved — and that's where she really shines. For example, her three-inch-wider beam may not seem noticeable at first glance, but when you are balancing on the poling platform in single-digit inches of water, you'll quickly discover its importance. Marquesa owner and professional angler Brit Robinson noticed the difference right away. "The boat had enough beam that I could stand on the edge of the bow and swing a 12-weight while being stable," Robinson says. "It's amazing what difference an inch or two can do for stability."
Courtesy of Hell's Bay
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Her stern has also been modified to create a longer running pad that allows for easier planing, especially when paired with a 90 hp Evinrude outboard. “It takes off well, trims well, and when you put it into a turn it doesn’t try to slide on you,” Robinson says. “I had confidence in it turning around bends and creeks. She was always solid under your feet.” Another detail Hell’s Bay perfected was stowage capacity. Not only is it abundant, but the attention paid to ensuring the hatches fit snugly in their deep gutters was nearly obsessive. The space keeps your gear dry, and it won’t creak when you step on it, both important details for any fisherman stalking lunch in the flats. “It’s a boat for the serious angler,” Robinson says. “It’s not a family beach boat. It’s made for going out and going fishing on the flats, and she does it well.” Hell's Bay, 321-383-8223; hellsbayboatworks.com SPECS
LOA: 18'1"
BEAM: 6'6"
DRAFT: 7'0"
DISPL.: 695 lb.
FUEL: 28 gal.
ENGINE: Single four-stroke outboard to 90 hp (max).
BASE PRICE: $48,800
Courtesy of Hell's Bay
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HydraSports Custom 3400 CC
When HydraSports Custom was designing the 3400 CC, it looked to the owners of its previous 3300 CC for input on improvements. With 550 owners to consult, HydraSports got plenty of feedback, which led to one very practical and pretty boat. Step into this sporty center-console and you'll have already seen her most popular feature: a dock door to starboard that opens and closes by flipping two simple latches. From boarding family members conveniently to landing giant tuna and swimming children alike, such a door appeals to the fisherman and the family man. Another head-nodding-cool feature is the foldaway bench in the stern. It provides a view of all the action from the most stable spot under way.
Courtesy of Hydrosports Custom
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As soon as a game fish is hooked up, the bench folds up and stows neatly. The space in this center-console’s compartment can fit your average NFL wide receiver. It makes using the head or accessing the back of the helm’s electronics a little less of an acrobatic feat. HydraSports offers multiple power options. New owner and competitive fisherman Jeff Schoeler chose triple 300 hp Yamahas to ensure he gets to the fish first. “In tournaments, we run with some of the best when it’s calm, but when it’s rough we leave everyone [behind],” says Schoeler, who has pushed the boat past the brave side of 50 knots. Asked if things get hairy at that speed, he says: “When there are three-to-fives and they’re seconds apart, the big flare in the bow keeps us dry and you don’t hear any squeaks or rattling. She is a solid boat.” HydraSports Custom, 800-539-2628; hydrasports.com SPECS
LOA: 33'5"
BEAM: 10'4"
DRAFT: 2'0"
DISPL.: 8,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 336 gal.
ENGINES: Twin or triple 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards to 900 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $259,900 with twin 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Hydrosports Custom
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Intrepid 375 Center Console
Intrepid has designed a new hull that it says provides greater support and stability for four-stroke engines. A new sheer line, wider chines and a reverse transom are easy on the eyes. The helm console slides to port at the touch of a button, revealing access to a step-down head with vanity and sink. "Always ready" anchor stowage eliminates the need for a bow pulpit. Livewell and cooler options in the forward seating provide stowage without affecting comfort. Vacuum-bagged, hand-laid, unidirectional and multidirectional fiberglass laminates, plus foam-core hull sides, transoms and boat deck liners provide rigid strength in a lightweight package.
Courtesy of Intrepid Boats
Intrepid 375
The transverse stepped hull provides maximum deadrise and, according to 375 CC owner Tim Kingcade, a remarkably dry ride. “I took delivery of my Intrepid 375 in Fort Lauderdale and ran it on the outside to Miami in four- to six-foot seas, and there was not a drop of water on the deck,” he says. “It was a really enjoyable ride.” He admits that what really keeps bringing him back to the Intrepid brand (he is on his fourth) are the people. “These are beautiful, well-built boats, but they are also completely customized. I went to the factory twice while this one was being built and spec’d it out just like you would a larger yacht — from the fabric on the seating to where the hawsepipes went.” Kingcade asked for a lot of customizations, he says, “and not once did they say no. At each junction, they said, ‘We’ll figure it out.’ The overall experience of building a boat with Intrepid is unrivaled.” There’s a waiting list for new boats, so Kingcade has also appreciated their terrific resale value. There is one more feature Kingcade likes that comes standard on every Intrepid: fun. “Even though I could afford to have a bigger boat, I have this one because it’s so much fun — big fun.” Intrepid, 954-922-7544; intrepidboats.com SPECS
LOA: 37'9"
BEAM: 10'6"
DRAFT: 3'0"
DISPL.: 15,000 lb.
FUEL: 300 gal. (std.); up to 200 gal. (opt.)
ENGINES: Triple four-stroke outboards to 900 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $320,000 w/ triple 300 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Intrepid Boats
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Invincible 42 Open Fisherman
The Invincible 42 Open has a bold name that is backed by an equally bold design.This beamy (11 feet, 7 inches) 42-footer sports a deep-V hull from Michael Peters. In fact, this vessel's "stepped-V ventilated tunnel" hull has a patent pending. The 42 is reported to hit 56-plus knots when powered with triple 350 hp outboards. (Quads are available.) Supporting the vacuum-bagged, fiberglass hull is a molded grid stringer system with bulkheads that give the 42 stiffness and backbone. This giant center-console features 360-degree fishability and can be equipped to chase big game. She comes standard with twin in-deck livewells totaling 170 gallons. You can add another one forward or on deck. Once you install the hardtop rocket launcher, in-gunwale rod holders, telescoping outriggers, insulated fish boxes and LED spreader lights, you're ready to go deep. And at 56 knots, it won't take you long to get there. Jim Lambert has owned multiple Invincibles over the years and currently tows a 42 behind his 80-foot sport-fisherman. "I recently purchased a new 42 Invincible Open to fish locally and to tow to some of the locations we have planned," he says. "I easily towed my 36 for 4,000 miles in one year and look forward to doing the same on my 42. I use my 42 exclusively over my 80-foot sport-fish during the sailfish season." Invincible Boats, 305-685-2704; invincibleboats.com SPECS
LOA: 42'9"
BEAM: 11'7"
DRAFT: 1'11" (approx.)
DISPL.: 13,400 lb. (w/ power)
FUEL: 600 gal.
ENGINES: Triple or quad four-stroke outboards to 1,400 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $350,000 w/ triple 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Invincible Boats
Jupiter 38
Jupiter 38
A wide beam, centerline fuel tanks, plenty of freeboard aft and a ride that just won't quit make the Jupiter 38 a must-have on your tender short list. Donald Blount and Associates designed this step-up from the popular 31 and incorporated many of its features in the larger model. Twin 350 hp Yamaha outboards are standard, but triples are a popular option. Seven insulated deck compartments, a 53-gallon livewell and hatches that are dogged and gasketed give anglers plenty to praise. A solid fiberglass hull bottom, closed-cell PVC foam coring, a high-density ceramic matrix core transom and a nonskid deck that's both ­mechanically fastened and fiberglass-bonded to the hull contribute to the 38's reputation as a well-built center-console.
Courtesy of Jupiter Marine
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Owner John Jansheski, who also has a Pershing 64, considers the Jupiter 38 a “magic” model, much like the Bertram 31 and 54. “Sometimes a builder just gets it right: You’re smart, you’re good, you’re lucky … and you get the Jupiter 38,” he says. “The perfect weight and deadrise, solid glass construction and the right hull design, and it’s magic.” Jansheski runs his 38 at 42 knots in three- to four-foot seas all the time, without a second thought. “I have never felt a ride like the one on this 38. I’m really into how a boat interacts with the wind and the water. … I have a deep appreciation for good design. Some guys test the comfort of the seat and look at the cup holders. That’s not me,” he says. Jansheski, who used to tow a 31 Intrepid behind his Ferretti 83, means it: He’s in the process of buying his second Jupiter 38 right now. Jupiter Marine, 941-729-5000; jupitermarine.com SPECS
LOA: 38'2"
BEAM: 10'7"
DRAFT: 3'0"(motors down)
DISPL.: 11,480 lb. (dry w/ engines)
FUEL: 330 gal. (std.); 80 gal. (opt.)
ENGINES: Twin or triple Yamaha four-stroke outboards to 1,050 hp (max)
BASE PRICE: $339,000 w/ triple 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of Jupiter Marine
Top Yacht Tenders: Maverick 17 HPX
Maverick 17 HPX
When purchasing a technical skiff, you'll want it to have a shallow draft for navigating the flats. But if it's too shallow, you could compromise handling at speed. With a draft of about eight inches fully loaded, the Maverick 17 HPX hits both high notes, says Capt. Marshall Cutchin, a fishing guide who has been putting his 17 HPX through her paces out of Key West, Florida, since March. "It's an all-around fantastic boat," he says. "It's the fourth boat in the [Maverick] line that I've owned, and in my opinion, it's head and shoulders above the rest, not because the other boats were bad but because this one represents the perfect combination of power and hull balance."
Courtesy of Maverick
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Running 100-plus miles per day with clients is typical for this charter veteran, who embraces the HPX’s smooth ride at almost 35 knots. To give sole credit to the 70 hp Yamaha outboard for this accomplishment is to neglect the 17 HPX’s hull design. Built using VARIS (vacuum-assisted resin infusion system) technology, the hull is made entirely of carbon Kevlar, weighing only 315 pounds when popped from her mold. The 17 HPX’s deck layout considers stern stowage, bow shape and everything in between, ensuring that her weight is dispersed evenly to create a stable platform. That’s a big plus when battling a fish from the tip of the bow in a breeze. Improved balance also allows for quieter and more efficient poling. When bagging the catch is on the line, wide gunwales make the most out of her 6-foot-3-inch beam, allowing anglers to maneuver easily around the helm. Maverick, 772-465-0631; maverickboats.com SPECS
LOA: 16'9"
BEAM: 6'3"
DRAFT: 4.75"
DISPL.: 1,000 lb.
FUEL: 15 gal.
ENGINE: One 70 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard
BASE PRICE: $43,319
Courtesy of Maverick
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Regulator 34 CC
Regulator's 34 Center Console is designed, like all Regulators, by Lou Codega and has been garnering special attention for her size: If you include the brackets and twin 350 hp Yamaha V-8 four-stroke outboards, this 34-footer is closer to 39 feet. A large cockpit includes angling amenities such as an above-deck livewell, a transom fish box, a walk-through tuna door and an optional refrigerated transom fish box. The console is large, with room for two 14-inch multifunction displays, and it houses a stand-up head and a two-person berth. A fiberglass T-top and frameless glass windshield provide the helmsman with lots of shade and a big view.
Courtesy of Regulator Boats
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The Regulator 34 CC tops out near 52 knots, which can come in handy when you’re chasing a bite. “If the bite is somewhere else, you have to get there fast and safely,” says owner Wayne Enroughty, who has had four previous center-consoles. But the real reason he swears by his boat is the ride. “Stability and dryness — it’s very dry and very stable,” he comments. “The ride doesn’t beat you up.” Enroughty often brings along a half-dozen other people when he’s fishing, and he occasionally spends a day just cruising with his family. “I always knew Regulator was a good, quality product, but it was going to the factory that made the difference to move me toward the purchase. When you see what goes into building these … you know they’re solid.“ Regulator, 252-482-3837; regulatorboats.com SPECS
LOA: 33'10" (w/o bracket)
BEAM: 10'11"
DRAFT: 2'3" (engines up)
DISPL.: 11,115 lb. (dry)
FUEL: 380 gal.
ENGINES: Twin 350 hp four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $254,995 w/ twin 350 hp Yamaha F350 four-stroke ­outboards
Courtesy of Regulator Boats
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SeaVee 390 LE
Like all the boats in the SeaVee 390 range, the LE comes with a variety of power options, including triple or quad outboards or twin diesel inboards — it's even the first center-console to come with IPS drives. But what really sets the LE apart from the rest of the range are the bells and whistles that take her seamlessly from fish-fighting machine to family cruiser.The LE configuration focuses on comfort. Additional seating in the bow and stern provide lots of extra space for relaxing. If you prefer, the bow section can be configured as a sun lounge with L-shaped seating that incorporates the console door, or it can be designed to accommodate two split benches with electronically adjustable backrests. A wet bar, optional fridge and additional drink cooler keep passengers hydrated and happy.
Courtesy of SeaVee
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Feel like fishing hard? The molded front seating areas and the rear seats are removable, turning the cockpit into a ready-to-rumble fishing platform. Andy Fernandez has been boating for 25 years and has owned everything from a Hatteras 45 to Makos and Pursuits. He says his 390 LE is the best boat he’s ever had. “One, it’s the most seaworthy,” he says. “Second, for being a center-console boat, it is the most spacious and best put together. It’s very well designed, and all the creature comforts are in the right place. I use it for about 70 percent fishing and 30 percent pleasure.” When asked if he doesn’t consider fishing a pleasure, he laughs and says, “Well, you should ask my wife!” SeaVee, 305-759-6419; seaveeboats.com SPECS
LOA: 39'0"
BEAM: 11'0"
DRAFT: 2'2" (w/ engines up)
DISPL.: 13,700 lb. (w/ triple engines)
FUEL: 538 gal.
ENGINES: triple or quad 350 hp four-stroke outboards
BASE PRICE: $299,500 w/ triple 350 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Courtesy of SeaVee