Contender 32ST: 2019 Boat Buyers Guide

Contender's 32ST is a hardcore fishing boat focused on fishability, comfort, range and speed.

2019 Contender 32ST
LOA: 32'7" | Beam: 9'8" | Fuel Capacity: 310 gal. | Dry Weight: 11,560 lb. with power | Max HP: 800 | 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 32ST
This fishing machine, built initially for Miami kite-fishing, is a refined platform for which an angler can select options en route to a custom-built ­tournament boat that fits his or her needs.

Powered by twin Yamaha 300s, the double-stepped open-water speedster has a generous range provided by a standard 310-gallon fuel tank.

Twin 40-gallon pressurized livewells keep even large baits fresh, a criterion of 61 percent of survey respondents. When the catch comes aboard, four massive fish boxes await, two port and starboard aft, and two ­forward of the console.

Standard are four gunwale-­mounted rod holders, beyond-standard vertical storage spots for 19 — five on the rear of the helm seat, four on each side of the console, six on the T-top — plus locking rod boxes port and starboard of the forward lockers.

The rear of the helm seat houses a slide-out cooler and rigging station. An L-shaped lounge in the bow is removable for more fishing room, and the one-level deck makes for easy movement fishing or battling fish. Grab rails are recessed.

Many owners opt for custom fishing towers from which to spot fish or fish-indicating birds miles off. Complete second stations are available too, thanks to the easy Yamaha CAN bus system they call Second Station Command Link, which accommodates dual, triple or quad installations. Power steering increases maneuverability, and electronic throttle and shift makes command of the ­powerful engine combos easy.

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