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September 21, 2007

Pro-Line 25 Sport

A Big, beefy center console packed with fishing features

The Pro-Line 25 has hit the market as two new models: the 25 Sport and 25 Walk. We recently tested the former in the Florida Keys and found it to be a surprisingly nimble, comfortable and solid inshore and light offshore fishing platform. Pro-Line has always designed boats that meet a fisherman's needs, and this design is no exception.

The bow platform holds two huge storage compartments. Both drain overboard, making them ideal for a variety of gear, wet or dry, or they can be used as additional fishboxes. The rear bow hatch runs the width of the casting deck, and is held in place with rubber latches, which are easy on the shins and provide a tight seal. Additional storage is located beneath the cockpit sole, forward of the console, so there's plenty of space to stow fishing gear, extra clothing and just about anything else you need for a day on the water.

Pro-Line 25 SportAccess to the interior of the console, which houses the porta-potty and provides additional storage, is through a portside door. Inside, a convenient fold-down shelf covers the porta-potty and makes a comfortable seat when servicing or inspecting the underside of the instrument panel.

The console, from the business end, is beefy and generous, instantly recognizable as pure Pro-Line. Two rows of rocker switches on the dash to starboard put all the necessary controls within easy reach. The electronics panel is roomy, with plenty of space for flush-mounts, and protected by a clear, locking cover. The top of the console is finished in a dark, non-glare, non-skid coating. It's a thoughtful touch that reduces glare and keeps loose items from sliding around. A recessed, molded-in footrest along the bottom of the console allows for a couple of different operator positions. The leaning post is generous, and has four flush-mount rod holders along the rear edge. A large live well molded into the back of the leaning post and topped with a seat cushion is available as an option.

Pro-Line 25 SportAcross the transom, a padded bench seat conceals a 30-gallon fishbox. Access to the transom interior is via a hatch on the port side, beneath a removable storage bin. Batteries and the oil tank are accessed via a hatch in the cockpit sole. Three molded-in rod holders are located under the gunwales on both sides. A tackle locker in the side wall keeps small items organized and close to hand, yet out of the way.

Our test boat was rigged with a single Mercury 250 EFI, but the transom platform easily carries a pair of 150s if you prefer. The 250 was well matched to the hull, which moves smoothly and quickly onto plane with no extreme elevation of the bow. The boat turns as if it's on rails. The hull is solid. It's a proven design, and Pro-Line seems to have left well enough alone when it redesigned the interior. Trim-tab response is quick and sure, but the hull runs great with no tabs at all. They are only there to adjust for load or sea conditions

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SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 25' 5"
Beam: 8' 6"
Draft: 14"
Hull weight: 3,600 lbs.
Max hp: 300
Fuel: 138 gals.
Base price w/ Mercury 225 4-stroke: $55,734

As mentioned, the 25 is also available as the 25 Walk, a walkaround configuration with a cuddy cabin. Belowdecks in this model is a vee-berth, bow storage and a table with cushioned seats. There's also a galley with a butane stove (standard) and a porta-potty. Interior lighting, two portholes and a cabin hatch in the overhead provide plenty of light and ventilation. Seating at the helm is provided by twin captain's chairs with a walkway between to the acrylic cabin door for cuddy entry. Pro-Line Boats, Crystal River, FL; (800) 344-1281; www.prolineboats.com.