Stamas 317 Main
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The expression what was once old is new again certainly applies to Stamas Yachts. As the oldest family-owned boat company in the United States, it is credited with innovations that are industry standards today. Stamas pioneered the use of fiberglass in hulls and liners, developed self-bailing cockpits, added foam flotation and incorporated livewells into its designs. Its boats have always had a reputation for solid, quality construction and seaworthiness.
That tradition continues. Stamas still builds rugged fishing boats at its plant in Tarpon Springs, Florida, but it recently adopted a new marketing strategy. By selling though their factory showroom, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, a big discount can be passed on to buyers. The 317 Tarpon is the first model introduced under this program.
I almost gave a wolf whistle walking down the dock the day of my test. The 317’s Imron sapphire-blue hull was that striking and gave the boat a fresh, modern look. Several other hull colors are also available. The boat appeared to be much larger than its actual size, and the clean layout and roominess were noteworthy. So was the performance, as I soon discovered.
Customer preference determines the engine choice: Our test boat came rigged with a pair of 250 hp Mercury Verados. Those four-stroke ponies produced a top speed of 50 miles per hour. A more economical cruising pace of 4,500 rpm pegged the GPS at 38.8 miles per hour, with a fuel burn of only 27.2 gallons per hour. The boat is responsive and easy to handle, appreciable traits for its size. The slightly rounded stern has a variable deadrise going from 18 to 20 degrees. This feature, combined with the aggressive bow entry, gives the Tarpon a soft, sure ride. We punched through passing boat wakes without hesitation. It’s always comforting to have that much glass under your feet when encountering rough conditions offshore.
Once on the fishing grounds, the 317 is more than ready for action with many standard features. Dual locking rod lockers in the bow deck handle the arsenal overnight. There are more racks under the gunwales, plus a four-rod rocket launcher on the aft edge of the fiberglass hardtop. Thick, comfortable coaming pads provide relief during long stand-up fights. Big fish can be hoisted aboard through the large transom door in the starboard corner before being deposited into one of the spacious 347-quart deck boxes. All are fully insulated and drain overboard. Fresh- and raw-water washdown systems are standard.
There’s plenty of room for live bait too. A 50-gallon well behind the helm handles most of the load, but if you carry different baits, a second 30-gallon well is ready on the transom. The transom also incorporates a bench seat that stows flush when not needed. Aggressive nonskid provides sure footing on wet decks, and you don’t have to worry about tripping over anything either. The deck is flush except for the raised bow compartments, although a walkway between gives access to the large anchor locker.
The Tarpon’s console is absolutely gigantic and includes a mounting panel that accommodates even the largest displays. A factory-installed Garmin electronics array is an option. This boat also has the Todd helm-seat upgrade, which is a convertible stand-up bolster or flip-down seat. Sight lines from the helm are unrestricted either way, and the hardtop offers plenty of welcome shade. The extra-tall compartment inside holds an electric porcelain head and also offers easy access to the helm wiring.
Price savings does not mean cost-cutting with the new Stamas line. Each boat is built using hand-laid fiberglass construction with premium materials and components. The boats are backed by a seven-year limited warranty. Stainless-steel pop-up cleats and through-hulls above the waterline are matched with bronze through-hulls below. Careful attention to the fit and finish is evident throughout. Each boat comes standard with a hardtop, an electric head, a 20-amp battery charger, fuel/water separators, hydraulic trim tabs, and a windlass with rode, chain, and anchor. Notable options include powder coating on the hardtop, a spotlight, an outrigger package and bow filler cushions.
All U.S. sales are being handled from the factory showroom, now located at the Port Thunder Marina facility in St. Petersburg. Trade-ins are welcome and financing is also available. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a Stamas, the new 317 Tarpon is a great way to jump-start your personal boating legacy.
Deadrise: 19 degrees
Fuel: 302 gal.
Water: 20 gal.
Weight: 6,300 lb.
Max hp: 500
Base price: $147,879 with Mercury or Yamaha 250s