Many center consoles are designed to run fast in calm waters, but only a handful can handle sporty offshore conditions. Since its launch in 2003, Southport Boats has understood that a fishing boat is only as good as its hull. Southport was one of the first boat builders to design family fishing boats specifically for high-horsepower, four-stroke outboards.
The new Southport 33 FE (Family Edition), the latest in that generation, combines a variable-deadrise planing hull with robust construction to deliver a smooth ride in challenging offshore conditions. The running surface, designed by C. Raymond Hunt, was specifically built around the 33’s specific center of gravity and weight, including the standard 300 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards.
Reaching a top end of 52.3 mph with the Yamaha 300s (55.0 mph with optional twin 350s is just one asset of the Hunt hull. It also tracks exceptionally well in rough seas, while holding precise turns. It can even sit beam-to against four-foot waves, rocking gently, while many other hulls would pitch like a metronome. The bow’s Carolina flair gives the 33 FE its broad-shouldered, yet elegant look, but it also keeps the boat dry, even in sizable head seas.
The 33 FE’s resin-infusion construction makes it stronger and lighter than most competitor’s boats, while its two-stringer grid, hull, liner and main deck are chemically and mechanically bonded creating a sturdy, monocoque structure. Owners can feel the quality behind the boat’s solid, quiet ride.
Compared to boats of the same size range, the 33 FE’s displacement is 1,000 to 2,000 pounds and is lighter than others in its class, while retaining its 10-foot 8-inch beam. One of its competitor’s 33-footers has the same dry weight, but is a one-foot narrower. Southport is also detail-focused, designing clear access to pumps, plumbing, electrical system and electronics; another sign of a serious offshore boat.
The Southport 33 TE (Tournament Edition), launched last year, has more offshore fishing features than the already fish-friendly FE, including an insulated 100-gallon “coffin box” in the bow and customizable cockpit.
Of course, what really distinguishes the Southport twins is the smooth, dependable ride that lets them head for the canyons at times when competitors’ boats, with their stepped hulls and triple outboards, either have to throttle back to displacement speeds or just stay. And we all know you can’t catch ’em at the dock.