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September 21, 2007

Pathfinder 2400-V

Pathfinder's new 24-foot bay boat expands our expectations of what an inshore boat can do. While it was clearly designed with fishing as its primary purpose, as you would expect from a division of the Maverick Boat Company, the 2400-V can do so many tasks well that it's difficult to pin down precisely what it does best. One thing is certain, though: If you like a simple yet highly functional layout, this could be your boat.

The 2400-V has aggressive styling that any fisherman is sure to like. It's smaller than an offshore center console of the same length, yet has a higher freeboard than most large flats skiffs. It's truly a hybrid design, one that will be equally at home in shallow bays, rivers and estuaries, as well as in some offshore situations.

Handles the Chop

Because it's built to run in open water on occasion, the 2400-V features a hull that can take on choppy conditions with no problem. The modified-vee hull has a sharp entry and a step in the transom that allows the engine to be mounted slightly higher than on most other center consoles. When we tested the boat in Florida Bay, it rode great in what little chop we could find. The hull throws water down and back very efficiently, so it should be dry-running, and we took no spray whatsoever when jumping the wakes of passing boats.

The boat leapt onto plane quickly and was very fast with a 225-hp Yamaha EFI outboard, cruising easily at 40 mph at 4000 rpm. Jam the throttle forward and you had better be hanging on. Wide open, the boat hit 55.2 mph at 5300 rpm. At that speed we were passing a lot of the cars driving down US 1 in the Keys!

Plenty of Room

Pathfinder 2400-V specificationsOpen fishing space abounds on the big Pathfinder, starting with the raised casting deck forward that contains three large storage boxes and an anchor locker. The port box is a lockable rod locker that extends forward, while the starboard compartment is a fishbox. A recessed bow light and cleat keep prevent line snags, and the bow is surrounded by a large toe rail for sure footing. Optional stainless handrails along the gunwales provide even more security when the going gets rough.

An optional 20-gallon live well sits under the forward seat in the console, providing handy access to live bait for those fishing in the bow. The fill for the optional fresh water system (with shower head) is also located under this, with the tank placed beneath the console. The standup helm has a stainless handrail, and the standard rocket launcher holds four rods, with room underneath for a 90-quart Igloo cooler. Eight more rod holders along the sides of the console store rods vertically, and the optional T-top had room for four more.

A second raised casting deck in the stern contains the boat's 25-gallon main live well, as well as a storage area to port that can also serve as a fishbox. The boat's battery, oil tank, and bronze live well through-hulls (complete with strainers) are easy to get to and service through a convenient hatch to starboard.

No-Wood Construction

All Pathfinders are built without wood, using the highest quality ArmorCote gelcoat, vinylester resins and hand-laid fiberglass cored with high-tech foam laminates. The end result is a light, strong boat that will stand up to years of service, no matter what you ask of it. Couple this quality construction with the boat's inherently functional design, and you begin to realize why lots of fishermen think the 2400-V could be the most versatile boat on the market.

Pathfinder Boat Co., Ft. Pierce, FL; (888) SHALLOW; www.pathfinderboats.com.