His pulse slows at first. the sound of water lapping against the hull lulls the angler into a state of being. No thinking. No acting. Just being.
A slight tug on the fishing line and he snaps back to reality. His pulse quickens. The line comes tight, and grunts on both ends indicate a pitched battle. Someone will win, and someone will lose. No matter how the fight plays out, a boat got him here, to the place where the infinite contest between man and fish is staged.
It’s what anglers live for — a moment that can be achieved and enjoyed many times, for years to come, with these 15 fishing tenders.
Hydrasports Custom 3900CC
Hydrasports custom made noise in the center console market when it launched the 53-foot Sueños in 2015. The builder says its 39-footer is built to the “same mil-tough” (as in military) specifications as her big sister. So if your plan includes chasing big fish in the deep, the 3900CC could be the vessel to get you there. Power is twin 627 hp Seven Marine outboards, triple or quad 300s or triple 350s. Her reported top-end speed with any of the engine options is about 58 knots. Garmin electronics such as radar and autopilot are standard, as are fishing amenities including outriggers and a forward fish box. A 12-volt fridge is forward too. Under the helm console are a head and bunk.
Seavee had anglers in its sights when creating the twin-stepped-hull 390Z. The builder developed a stainless-steel, two-part towing plate to displace energy evenly when a mothership is pulling the boat. SeaVee also offers custom T-tops that can be taken off or folded down. Power options include triple 300 or 350 hp four-stroke outboards or quad 300s, 350s or 400s, as well as Volvo Penta IPS engines and inboard diesels. The reported top-end ranges from 53 to 66 knots. Need rod stowage? The 390Z can hold as many as 42. Other fishing must-haves include a 65-gallon transom livewell, with a second 140-gallon livewell and third 70-gallon livewell as options. The helm console has space for two 16-inch multifunction displays.
With 24 degrees of transom deadrise, the Regulator 31 puts the deep in deep-V hull form. She’s a 31 in name, but her length overall with the Armstrong engine bracket is actually 36 feet, 5 inches. This center console can be powered with twin 300 hp four-stroke Yamahas. The builder reports a 48-knot top-end. Regulator keeps the ambitious angler in mind when it comes to fish stowage, with a 36-gallon transom livewell, a 228-quart transom fish box, a 500-quart fish box/rod stowage and a combined 440 quarts of fish-box stowage forward. Some angling options include 16- or 18-foot Taco telescoping outriggers, a T-top rocket launcher and a refrigerated transom fish box.
A knifelike profile hints at the wave-slicing capabilities of Contender’s hand-laid fiberglass, stepped-hull 32ST. Twin 300 hp Yamaha four-strokes reportedly propel this deep-V center console to a top hop of 54.7 knots. Twin 350s are also an option. The boat has two 40-gallon livewells, three 96-gallon fish boxes, a 130-gallon fish box and two in-deck rod lockers. Fish not included.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that goes double when you’re looking at the Pursuit S 328 Sport. Note the razor-straight sheer line, the side boarding door for easy access during spearfishing adventures, and the clever ground-tackle setup. Seating includes the transom seat for two, helm seats for two more, and the forward section for an additional four or five guests. This boat also has an extended hardtop to keep you cool when trolling under a hot sun — trust us, your dermatologist will appreciate this feature. Getting to the fish of a lifetime won’t take long with twin 300 hp outboards pushing the S 328 Sport to a top hop of 43 knots. Best cruise speed is 28 knots, offering 1.31 mpg and a 354-nautical-mile range on 300 gallons of fuel, according to the builder.
The Intrepid 475 panacea could be the cure for whatever’s ailing you. After all, the builder says this supersize center console is named for the Greek goddess of universal remedy. The 475 has a foam-cored, vacuum-bagged fiberglass hull, ensuring the boat is up for whatever Poseidon may toss at you. Owners can choose from a variety of triple or quad four-stroke options. Unlike some other tenders, the 475 is large enough to have more expansive belowdecks amenities, including a galley with a refrigerator and hard-surface countertops, a head with shower, and a V-berth for when you decide to take a midday siesta or do an overnight on the hook. If the bite slows, the forward sun pad and wraparound seating provide a place to catch some rays, have an adult beverage and share a fish tale or two.
Boston Whaler 250 Outrage
Many yachtsmen can trace their on-the-water roots to a 13-foot Boston Whaler. Those boats were often pulled behind or stowed on board larger vessels as tenders. The 250 Outrage is the latest from the original unsinkable boat company. This center console can be powered with twin Mercury four-strokes to a maximum of 450 hp. Noteworthy standards include four rod holders, a leaning post with 30-gallon livewell, a bait-prep station and three tackle drawers. Add the optional T-top with radial outriggers, and fish beware. Want to personalize the 250 Outrage? Try one of the 10 hull colors. Other options include a Raymarine electronics suite, bow towing eye, windlass and cockpit sunshade.
Release Boats has a six-model line running from 18 to 30 feet length overall. The Release 230 Dual Console is equally at home as a hardcore angling platform or as a gentleman’s fish boat. She can be powered with a single four-stroke outboard up to 300 hp. There’s room for six guests in the cockpit, including the helm and companion seat, plus a walk-through windshield allows access to the foredeck. Standards include hydraulic steering with tilt wheel, a stereo and a transom door. Options for the 230 DC include custom hull color, upholstery upgrade, power-assisted steering, trim tabs, a Bimini top and an electric head.
The vessel’s 30-inch transom height should make netting your catch as easy as shouting “Fish on!”
Not many builders offer 60 models to choose among, but the 30-years-and-going-strong Carolina Skiff does. The builder’s 26 LX is part of its Sea Chaser series and is built with all-composite construction and flotation. The boat is offered with such standards as two rod lockers forward, gunwale rod stowage with coaming boards, and a 5-gallon cast-net bucket for bagging ballyhoo down South and tossing on bunker pods up North. A console livewell should keep the catch fresh all day. Power for the 26 LX comes from a four-stroke outboard up to 350 hp. Prospective owners can go to the builder’s website and spec out everything from hull color to powder coating, hardtops and more.
Even when this boat is still, the Scout 380 LXF’s lines will make her look like she’s streaking across the sea. An epoxy-infused hull makes her bluewater strong, but also light. Match the twin-stepped hull to triple 350 hp or quad 400 hp four-strokes and a lot of boats will only see your transom. She can be tailored to your piscatorial pursuits. One of several cool features is the hydraulic beach platform.
Now for something completely different. Meet the Insetta 45. This vessel’s vacuum-infused, tunnel- and stepped-hull form is designed for speed and the rigors of running offshore. The 45’s open-deck layout and 11-foot-8-inch beam give her true 360-degree fishability. Power options include twin 300 or 627 hp outboards, quad 300 hp outboards or twin 500 hp Yanmar diesels. Performance ranges from a 28- to 35-knot cruise speed to a 39- to 57-knot top-end. Standard angling amenities include a leaning post with 29-gallon livewell, tackle drawers for 12 Plano stowage boxes, 20 rod holders and an integrated cutting board. Twenty-one-foot outriggers and two Garmin GPS Map 8215s are standard too.
Grady-White Fisherman 236
Coastal fog blue. Sand. Sea glass. These are just some of the seven optional hull colors available on the Grady-White Fisherman 236. Like all Grady-Whites, this boat is fishing-focused. There is a 160-quart insulated transom fish box and two 89-quart fish boxes forward to hold your prizes, plus a transom door for something a little bigger. A 15-gallon livewell is standard, and the deluxe leaning post option gives you an additional 29-gallon livewell under the seat, plus four rod holders. A fiberglass T-top and 15-foot outriggers are also optional. Maximum horsepower for this center console is 300 ponies. The boat’s hand-laid fiberglass hull has the builder’s SeaV2 hull form with constantly changing deadrise, aimed at making her seakindly.
If you’re a tuna-tango fan, the Everglades 355 Center Console offers room to dance. The cockpit area measures 127 square feet, and there is 360-degree walkaround room should your thunnus go for a stroll. The 355 CC can be equipped with a tower for a better view of trolled baits. A table forward can drop to double as a casting platform. Powered with triple 350 hp four-stroke outboards, this boat won’t take long to get from the yacht to the fishing grounds and back to the grill. The variable-deadrise, deep-V hull form should ensure a comfortable ride in most conditions. From fish boxes to tackle stowage to outriggers and more, owners can fine-tune the 355 CC to suit angling needs.
Walkaround fans will gravitate toward the all-custom Bonadeo Boatworks 37. She has fine touches including a high-gloss teak toe rail and teak coaming boards. There’s a queen berth belowdecks in the air-conditioned cabin. Anglers will appreciate the two in-deck fish boxes and cockpit livewell. The boat holds 400 gallons of fuel for triple 350 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards.
When you’re leaving the big yacht for a day of fishing in the deep blue, having a boat with a solid backbone is critical. EdgeWater builds its center consoles, including the 262CC, with its Single Piece Infusion method to deal with life on the salt. Essentially, the hull and grid system are vacuum-infused at once, resulting in a sturdy monocoque structure. Performance is another vital piece of the puzzle, and the 262CC can be powered with twin 200 hp or 250 hp Yamaha four-strokes. Top speed with the 200s is reportedly 44.6 knots. Need fish stowage? The 262CC has two in-sole fish boxes with pump-out and a second fish box forward. Live-bait fans should appreciate the 28-gallon transom livewell. Some notable options include hull color, outriggers, hardtop enclosure and Garmin electronics.