Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat Reviewed

The 35-knot Release 43 Gameboat has classic lines, composite construction and a 140-square-foot cockpit for fighting big fish.
Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat
The Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat has an Erwin Gerards-designed hull, which helps provide an economical 24.8-knot cruise speed and 35-knot top hop. Courtesy Release Boatworks

New Jersey boatbuilder Release Boatworks has introduced its 43 Gameboat, a sport-fisherman  with lines reminiscent of one of the most classic fishing boats ever built—the 43 Merritt.

The 43 Gameboat comes ready to fish with a lengthy standard equipment list, including a 140-square-foot cockpit, single-lever electronic controls, power-assisted hydraulic steering, an 11.5 kW Onan generator, teak ladderback helm seat with a four-inch pedestal and removable cushions and covers, four flush-mounted rod holders, a walk-through transom door with lift gate and much more. There’s also a tuna door with lift gate, so add a few more rod holders, a fighting chair and/or a rocket launcher, some outriggers and this boat is ready for the tournament circuit.

Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat
The heart of any great fishing boat is the cockpit. The Gameboat is well laid out for chasing pelagics anywhere in the world. Courtesy Release Boatworks

“The 43 Gameboat continues our proud legacy of building timelessly beautiful and endlessly fishable custom boats,” says Jim Turner, Director of Release Boatworks. “This boat is for the customer we know best—the boat owner who values compact maneuverability, a large cockpit, and spacious sleeping accommodations. This is a family-friendly boat, which combines our classically engineered seaworthy hull with spacious accommodations below for overnight trips, as well as a highly fishable cockpit and clean wake for hardcore sport fishing.” Indeed, these boats would be just as at home chasing giant blue marlin in the turbulent Gulf Stream off Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, as they would be in the flat-calm waters of Kona, Hawaii, or anywhere in between. 

The extensive use of composite materials throughout the boat creates a strong structure without excessive weight, enhancing overall performance. Case in point: with standard twin 550 horsepower Cummins QSB6.7 diesels, the 43 Gameboat reportedly comes on plane with little effort and settles in at a 24.8-knot cruise speed at 2,000 rpm. The builder says that fuel burn at cruise is an economical 43 gallons per hour. Push the throttles and the boat is soon running smoothly at 31.5 knots. Wide open, the 43 Gameboat is said to hit 35 knots. 

Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat
At the helm, there is plenty of room for the owners’ choice of electronics and single-lever controls, all within easy reach. Courtesy Release Boatworks

The 43 Gameboat has a modified-V hull form with 14.5 degrees transom deadrise. Penned by naval architect Erwin Gerard, the hull design is said to offer notable seakeeping ability. Some options include 600 hp Cummins QSC or Volvo Penta D8 engines, omnidirectional sonar, gyrostabilization and various tower options.

Belowdecks, there is a teak-accented head to starboard with a full shower, a vanity and a stainless-steel sink. The master stateroom with island queen berth is fully forward, while a guest stateroom with over-and-under bunks is to port opposite the head. 

Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat
The engine room is designed for ease of maintenance for either an owner-operator or full-time captain. Courtesy Release Boatworks

Founded in 2009, Release Boatworks is a custom boatbuilder that combines fishability with high-end construction and finish. Each boat has fishing-friendly designs such as low gunwales for the easy handling of billfish at boatside, a clean wake at trolling speeds and multiple livewells and fish boxes. These boats are built with 100-percent composite materials, using vinylester resins, carbon fiber, biaxial and triaxial woven fiberglass cloth and composite cores throughout the hull areas. 

The Release Boatworks 43 Gameboat combines the eye-catching profile of yesterday’s classic designs with the latest technology and modern performance, to produce a formidable fishing platform. The 43 Gameboat is also available in walkaround, flybridge walkaround or express layouts.

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