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September 21, 2007

Shamrock 270 Open

Shamrock occupies a unique niche in the fishing-boat market by specializing in high-quality production inboard boats, a field that it dominates. The company's latest effort is the 270 Open, a 27-foot center console with a single inboard. The 270 features a simple yet thoughtful layout, and is built with Shamrock's usual exemplary level of fit-and-finish and rugged construction techniques.

Fishing features abound, too.Fishing features abound, too. In the cockpit, for instance, we found a full-sized transom door to starboard that opens under a hinged covering board. This isn't some thin plastic gate that was added for appearances; it's a real transom door, designed to accommodate big fish.

Other niceties include standard cockpit coaming pads and an insulated, in-deck fishbox that runs down the centerline of the cockpit and drains through a macerator pump. The tackle/bait-prep center in the transom features a cutting board, a fresh water sink, and four slide-out tackle trays. There's also a 32-gallon live well on the center of the transom.

Easy Engine Access

The 270's engine sits beneath a large molded-fiberglass box that serves as a base for the helmsman and passenger seats. The helm seat has a comfortable backrest, as does the aft-facing passenger seat. The aft backrest has a storage space behind it, and the seat portion flips up to provide instant access to the boat's transmission and stuffing box. For more thorough access, the entire seating area raises on gas-assisted rams to completely expose the engine. Everything on the engine is easy to reach, a nice change from inboards that force you to stand on your head to change a spark plug or an oil filter.

The large console has a molded footrest...The large console has a molded footrest and a spacious area above the wheel for electronics. The helm itself tilts aft for easy access to wiring and the batteries. Beneath the console, Shamrock has designed a truly spacious and well-finished head compartment with a real marine head and a 15-gallon holding tank. The compartment is also furnished with a sink, vanity and a fresh water shower.

Up front, the multi-level casting deck contains lots of storage space. The first level, just forward of the console, holds a second large, insulated fishbox. This box also drains through a macerator, and is removable. The raised deck holds an insulated, 225-quart cooler that can also be used for storage.

A triangular anchor locker at the bow holds the anchor line, and future versions of the 270 will even feature rod lockers in the hullsides. Racks now hold three rods per side. The 270 also has an unusual number of drink holders, which are spread all over the boat. We counted a total of ten - an unofficial record! Those of you who appreciate a cool beverage at sea will love this boat.

specificationsThe big center console got on plane easily with the optional 7.4-liter, 390-hp Pleasurecraft Marine (PCM) carbureted gas inboard. A recessed prop pocket, which Shamrock calls the SP II drive system, lowers the shaft angle to improve efficiency, while also reducing the boat's draft. The modified-vee hull tracks straight and is very stable when under way or at rest, and standard recessed trim tabs allow you to lower the bow to meet any chop you might encounter. Shamrock's speed trials with the 390-hp powerplant indicate a cruise speed of 24.3 knots at 3600 rpm. Wide-open, at 5000 rpm, the boat hits 31.5 knots.

Standard power comes from a 300-hp, 5.7-liter PCM EFI inboard, but there are several other PCM options available, as well as gas options from MerCruiser and diesel options from Yanmar. There's not much in the boating world that's more reliable than a straight inboard, and nobody does it better than Shamrock. Its legions of fans know this, and that's why boats like the 270 are at the top of the pack.

Shamrock, Cape Coral, FL; (941) 574-2800;