It's the family fishing market that Bombardier has identified and targeted with its Fish Hawk line of outboard boats, and the 230CC exemplifies this dedication to the versatile, family fisherman. The boat features a roomy, safe and comfortable interior, built on a proven hull design. The two-piece construction - the hull and a one-piece, drop-in liner - make for easy maintenance and clean-up at the end of the day. With a welcome lack of fasteners, cracks and seams, the boat can be hosed out quickly on Saturday night after a long day of fishing and be fresh and ready for a family cruise Sunday morning. You won't spend a lot of time and energy keeping this boat shiny.
In the bow, the integral pulpit with anchor bracket and a waist-high stainless rail make for safe and fast completion of anchoring chores. The rope locker is placed conveniently where it can be reached from the front platform. Inside is a bracket to support a Danforth-style anchor, and with the lid closed, the deck it occupies provides a stable, protected platform for casting.
The bow platform is covered by a single sun cushion, which conceals twin storage bins. Both drain overboard, and can serve as dry storage for PFDs and raingear, or as fishboxes. If casting from the bow is more appealing than lounging in the sun, take the cushion out and leave it at home. Twin step-ups from the cockpit sole to the casting deck provide an easy and comfortable transition between the two levels.
The console features a built-in, 56-quart, molded, insulated icebox with a seat cushion. Inside the console, a portable toilet is standard, and there is plenty of storage for a variety of gear and fishing tackle. Ventilation and lighting inside the console could stand some re-engineering. As built, the console provides good storage, but is less enticing for purposes that require human occupancy. This could be easily remedied with the addition of a vented window on the starboard console bulkhead to let in air and light.
Inset into the console is a handy tackle locker, which holds three removable trays. Hooks, snaps and sinkers are close at hand and out of the way with this arrangement. A large, flat area on the top of the console provides ample space for mounting electronics. A big, easy-to-read compass comes standard on the console top. The dashboard features a large, lockable box for storage, and full instrumentation and switches mounted on the facing surface. Speed, tach, fuel and trim gauges are all standard. A 12-volt plug is handy and convenient on the dash. Our test boat was equipped with a T-top and radio box, which currently is available as a dealer-supplied aftermarket option.
Twin bucket seats at the helm pivot and slide on Wise aluminum mounts. These can be adjusted to allow the helmsman to drive while standing or seated, when conditions allow. Seats mount atop the 30-gallon lighted live well, and slide forward to provide access to the bait. Pumps and plumbing are reached through plates in the live-well sides.
The cockpit is set up nicely for fishing and cruising. In each of the rear corners are collapsible jumpseats that provide seating when cruising to the fishing grounds. Once the fishing starts, these seats fold flat against the transom. Running across the rear of the cockpit is an icebox/fishbox. In the port corner is a bait-prep station that includes a raw-water washdown powered by a ShurFlo Pro-blaster pump. Under-gunwale racks hold two rods per side, and the 230 comes with four flush-mount rod holders in the covering boards. Access to pumps and filters is via hatches in the transom bulkhead.
All hatches are supported by spring supports. Seven stainless cleats are positioned conveniently around the gunwales, with the two rear cleats recessed to keep them out of the way. The hull provides a deep, comfortable, and family-safe interior all the way around.
The 18-degree deadrise on the 230's hull offers a very soft and stable ride. The hull maintains good control and steerage while staying on plane at low speed, and is quick and responsive to trim. Equipped with the standard 200-hp Evinrude Direct Injection outboard mounted on the Stainless Marine bracket, the 230 cruises, according to the manufacturer's data, at 33.1 mph at 4000 rpm. This speed burns 10.4 gph, and with the standard 109-gallon gas tank offers a range of just over 300 miles. Open it up all the way to 5655 rpm and it will burn 19.7 gph while turning a shade over 50 mph. Because it's rated to 300 hp, the 230CC is also available with additional power options.
Bombardier Recreational Products, Benton, IL, (618) 439-9444;