Our test boat came rigged with an optional molded fiberglass hardtop with rings cut out of it on the starboard side to accommodate the vertical rod storage while maintaining coverage and protection from the sun. It also had eight rod holders across the aft end and carries the radio and radar antennas. Contender makes its own Isinglass curtains to fit the hardtop and console, and they were designed well, something some builders struggle with.
Contender offers several seating choices, all good options depending on your needs. Our test boat had a unit that was comfortable to sit on, with deep storage under the seat and an integrated cooler. The leaning post had great handrails across the back, so three riders can stand behind it and hold on without fear of getting thrown around.
The spacious cockpit offers plenty of room to move around. In-deck, it has two 105-gallon lined and insulated fish boxes outboard of the stringers. Along the centerline aft of the leaning post, there's a 68-gallon livewell and a large lazarette access. The transom has two 40-gallon wells to starboard and centerline, as well as a transom door to port. It has nice wide gunwales to walk around while carrying a cast net around to the back for unloading and offers a great walkaround fishing platform, with plenty of room between the console and gunwales for getting around the boat.
Contender builds the 39 ST as it does its other boats, using hand-laid multidirectional fiberglass throughout, along with a foam-core glassed stringer system and a cored hull with foam flotation throughout.
Few serious fish-boat builders have put all the elements together to make a great boat in this size range, but this is a market niche that Contender has helped create and define over the years. The company not only has done a fine job of incorporating the elements that make the 39 ST look and feel like a Contender, but the company has integrated practical and useful fishing features that make sense and are vital to success.
Contender 39 ST
Weight......15,400 lbs. (loaded)
Price......$313,315 for base 39 ST with triple Yamaha 300s
Contender / 800-645-2906 / www.contenderoffshore.com