Contender 35 ST: 2022 Boat Buyers Guide

The 35 ST matches stunning speed with fishability.
Contender 33 ST fishing in the ocean
The 35 ST is always ready for fishing. Courtesy Contender Boats

Contender builds semicustom sport-fishing boats, each matched to the individual needs and tastes of its owner. 

Homestead, Florida-based Contender Boats says its employees’ extensive experience in boats imparts a companywide respect for ever-changing offshore conditions. The boats are ready for adverse weather but, in the meantime, provide superb platforms for fishing and family boating. Contenders—25 to 44 feet—are built on both stepped and deep-V hulls, and come in the Tournament, Bay and Fisharound models.

Among Contender’s nearly 40-year record of successful tournament fishing, Contender One was the top center-console fishing boat in Bluewater Movements’ 2017 Quest for the Crest. More tournaments, the company says proudly, have been won on Contender boats than any other brand.


Contender 35 ST

It gets to the fishing spot in a hurry, then swiftly back to the dock for weigh-in or ahead of a storm. In between and always, the Contender 35 ST is ready for fishing.

Credit the blistering performance—including top speeds of 70 mph—to the innovative dual-step hull design, which, in addition to boosting speed, aids fuel efficiency and handling.

A single-level, nonskid sole and deck facilitate efficient fishing. Within that deck and elsewhere are enormous fish and storage boxes. An integral dive platform—and full transom with transom door—makes dealing with a big catch a breeze.


Contenders are all semicustom builds: You select the fishing options—such as towers, a second station and more—that match your fishing style and tastes, add navigation and sonar to suit your budget and Contender assembles them.

Beyond stunning speed comes generous range. A 400-gallon fuel capacity provides for a range of more than 550 miles.

Manufacturer’s Remark

Being a semi-custom builder allows us to craft boats that deliver the ultimate performance, strength, durability and comfort you expect from a Contender.


Performance Data

  • Test Power: Triple Yamaha F300s
  • Test Load: 12,000 lb.
  • Test Speed: 68 mph @ 6,000 rpm
  • Max Range: 576 mi. @ 32.7 mph, 3,000 rpm


LOA: 34’5″
Beam: 9’10”
Fuel Capacity: 400 gal.
Dry Weight: 6,600 lb. plus power
Max HP: 1,200
Certifications: NMMA

Editor Says

I’ve experienced Contender’s step-hull design first-hand on the 35 ST while fishing for sails off Florida’s east coast. The design offers strong lift and level trim for efficiency and speed, as well as a smooth ride and easy handling. – Jim Hendricks, Staff Editor, Fishing Group

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