Contender 25 Bay: 2019 Boat Buyers Guide

Contender's 25 offers all-around fishability and a comfortable ride.

2019 Contender 25
LOA: 25'4" | Beam: 8'6" | Fuel Capacity: 90 gal. | Dry Weight: 3,550 lb. with power | Max HP: 400 | Certifications: NMMACourtesy Contender

For 35 years, the company founded by South Florida boater, saltwater fisherman and conservationist Joe Neber has been building hardcore fishing boats focused on fishability, comfort, range and speed.

He’s had help: Contender buyers select many features of their boats — engines, ­leaning posts, offshore fishing ­towers, rod holders, outriggers, livewells, transducer, GPS, and other custom sport-fishing items.

Simply, you help build the fishing boat of your dreams.

The Homestead, Florida, company makes fishing boats 24 to 39 feet long. Contender One was the top center-console in Bluewater Movement’s 2017 Quest for the Crest — one victory in a long history of ­successful tournament fishing in Contenders.

Contender cheerfully and confidently avers that whatever your level of fishing expertise, “you’re starting with the unfair advantage of a Contender ­fishing boat.”

Contender 25 Bay
Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay are among the watery inspirations for the Contender 25 Bay.

The company says, “A Contender gets the job done on the bay.” And beyond. When seas are calm, the 25 Bay is comfortable offshore too.

Standout features include spacious casting platforms forward and aft. Covering boards and bolster pads the full cockpit length protect knees when the fight is on.

Clean aft rigging creates a trouble-free fishing and fish-fighting stage. Jump seats beckon when it’s time to take a break.

The 25 Bay’s standard features include a 340-quart dry-storage compartment with additional battery storage, 180-quart insulated in-floor fish box, 40-gallon livewell/baitwell and 12-gallon baitwell (together meeting or exceeding the numerical needs of 93 percent of survey respondents), and 170-quart insulated cooler. The console front seat houses another custom 70-quart cooler. Two rod lockers guard gear.

Options help you dial in the top, console, leaning post and electronics you want.

A skinny-water specialist, the 25 Bay draws just 12 inches and welcomes an optional jack plate. Transom deadrise of 15.5 degrees augments its stability.

But on the right day, it likes blue water too — and gets there in a hurry, thanks to its twin-stepped hull that shortens both time to plane and travel time.

Survey Says: On Target

  • Plenty of space for large displays on helm
  • Livewell systems meet or exceed expectations

Owners Say

  • Like how well it runs on any kind of sea
  • Level deck, easy to maintain, fast and fuel efficient
  • Good livewells and fish boxes, good storage and rod holders

Contender Says

  • All-around fishing mojo
  • A plethora of comfort options
  • Attention to detail allows you to custom-build a boat that fits your needs