Each Sailfish boat I’ve tested demonstrates one overarching principle: The company’s design team consists of experienced saltwater anglers and accomplished skippers. This wealth of knowledge leads to features and building techniques that favor hardcore fishability, exemplary seakeeping abilities in the roughest waters, and the durability to support an extended warranty and make owners proud for decades to come. Just as important, Sailfish keeps family and crew comfort in mind, making its boats ideal candidates for boaters with diverse views of recreation afloat.
In a sea full of center-console sport-fishers, finding one that stands out in the fleet requires the builder to pay special attention to making the deck suitable for doing battle against big game. Sailfish knew how to check all those boxes in the design and construction of the new 312 CC.
Rod holders abound and are conveniently located, but not overdone like in some vessels. Fourteen rod holders, including six shotgun holders, are arranged around the cockpit. Five are located in the hardtop, and there are two kingfish rod holders, one each to port and starboard. Those are particularly important for kingfish, obviously, but they are also handy when bump-trolling with liveys for pelagics such as mahi or sailfish. Also built into the hardtop are backing plates to receive outriggers, either as factory-installed options or aftermarket accessories.
You’ll find 62 gallons of combined livewell capacity between the portside transom livewell and the leaning-post well. Keep pitch baits in one and pilchards in the other. They are rounded inside to improve bait movement, well-aerated, and covered with acrylic lids for easy observation.
We like the setup of the rigging station in the leaning post, including tackle drawers, slots for utility boxes, and spots to keep tools handy.
The bow deck is ready for anglers too, with rod holders conveniently located and removable lounge cushions to convert the seating area into a casting platform. The cockpit itself has stowable seating that, when deployed, gives four to six crewmembers comfortable places to take a load off. When stowed, the seats complete the gunwale and transom bolsters, allowing anglers to brace comfortably while battling fish. We also found the gunwale height was well-balanced between providing a safe cockpit depth and the ability to reach the water to release a fish. All boxes checked there.
Hand in hand with fishability is performance. A center-console needs to be stable at rest under crew movement and comfortable at speed in rough seas. To accomplish this, Sailfish employs a hull design it calls VDS for variable-degree stepped hull. This hull design aligns three separate running surfaces on both sides of the keel. The one nearest the keel has a 24-degree deadrise to cleave waves at speed. The middle surface is 23 degrees, broadening out to improve stability. The surfaces closest to the chine are 22 degrees, ensuring an optimal balance between at-rest stability and a smooth ride.
Building a hull that is comfortable in nasty waves has to pair with construction techniques that allow it to stand up to those rough seas over the long run. Sail Tech is what Sailfish calls its lamination schedule and assembly process. It includes layers of Kevlar, carbon fiber and quad-axial fiberglass to create a rigid hull that can handle re-entries with aplomb, even after cresting large waves.
Handling in our tests was a blast thanks to twin Yamaha F300 outboards with digital controls and Helm Master EX. Docking the boat was easy. Acceleration was snappy, rising to plane in a little over 3 seconds and hitting 20 mph in under 5 seconds. The 312 CC has a range of 400 miles at 29.4 mph, with 10 percent of its fuel left in reserve.
The helm station features comfortable bucket seats set a perfect distance from the wheel and throttles. Piloting while seated seemed more natural than most boats I’ve tested, and the footrest in the station was ideally located. With the bolster up, the skipper is easily in control with an outstanding view through the tempered-glass windshield that’s integrated into the hardtop design. On top of the console, where everyone dumps their wallets and phones, Sailfish installed a convenient compartment with dividers and a clear lid to stow passenger valuables, glasses and such. If you choose to add radar, the hardtop is reinforced to handle it.
A side boarding door is becoming mandatory among boat buyers, and Sailfish’s door is well-done. Opening inward, the door boasts solid stainless-steel hinges and battens watertight with a beefy, highly polished latch.
Conveniences in the bow area include an insulated cooler under the center-console seat and retractable lounge backs. A flip-up center bow seat improves access to the electric windlass when it comes time to man the anchor. Inside the center console is a roomy compartment with more than 6 feet of headroom, housing a sink, toilet, and convenient access to batteries, switches and wiring.
The Sailfish 312 CC is the latest in the company’s full line of bay and offshore boats. In my experience, it is among the best in its class.
|10,725 (w/ power)
|$304,924 base (w/ test power)
Sailfish Boats – sailfishboats.com