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March 21, 2013

Invincible 33

Invincible’s newest and smallest center console comes packed with serious fishing features.

Click through all the images in the gallery above.

With so much attention being put on large center consoles with triple and quad engines lately, I was glad to get to test a fishing-focused midsize center console recently. Powered with twin engines and designed for serious fishing, the Invincible 33 did not disappoint. I had run the 36 Invincible several months ago and was glad to get the call to check out the smaller 33. 

Several things make the smaller center consoles just as appealing as the larger boats: These include ease of ­trailering, less initial purchase cost without the extra engines, less operating expense, and ease of fishability when you have only a couple of people aboard, to name a few. The Invincible 33 comes well laid out and executed, with all of the fishing features necessary to do pretty much anything an offshore angler could possibly want to do. 

I tested the 33 on a nasty, cold and windy December day in Boynton Beach, Florida. The boat came rigged beautifully, with no clutter. It even had the steering wheel mounted on the centerline of the console, a huge pet peeve of mine when the wheel comes offset to one side. A centered wheel works better for landing fish and handling the boat in an unobstructed manner. 

The twin 300 hp Mercury Verados pushed the 33 onto plane ­effortlessly, and the boat is so well balanced that there is little bow rise at all. I never lost sight of the water in front of me which, in the Intracoastal with buoys, markers and other boats in the narrow channel, is a comforting thing. Verado steering is excellent, and the boat reacts to wheel commands with ease. It is responsive to trim tabs, and feels solid and smooth when up on plane. 

Michael Peters designed the twin-stepped Invincible hulls, which are known to be fast. The 33 exhibits outstanding fit and finish because Marine Concepts creates all molds and plugs for the boat using computerized, state-of-the-art five-axis routers and cutters, and Invincible uses only high-tech coring materials. The molded grid stringer system gets glassed to the hull, then bonded to the liner using methacrylate adhesive, and the deck and liner are also bonded in similar fashion, creating one super-strong and inseparable unit.

With three people and full fuel, our test boat hit 61.9 mph at full throttle against the wind and tide, and reached near 64.5 mph ­downwind. However, the sweet spot for economy and ride for the 33 seems to be between 4,500 and 5,000 rpm. At 4,500 rpm, the boat clips along at 40 mph burning 25 gph; while at 5,000 rpm, the boat moves out at 45.4 mph, burning 33 gph. On a long run, this increased range opens up all kinds of blue-water fishing opportunities. 

I liked the Key West-style hardtop that allows five vertical rod holders on each side of the console. Again, the T-top is designed as a fishing tool that offers the best fishing advantages while providing adequate shade for those behind the helm and even in the front seat. It has five rod holders across the back and two kingfish-style rod holders on either side on top.