Yellowfin veterans with firsthand experience on board scored Yellowfin among the top five brands in -design construction, fishability and performance. While some luxury sport-fishing boatbuilders dipped a little lower on fishability, Yellowfin’s open deck space, guttered for easy cleaning and fast drainage, and livewells pressurized with powerful pumps kept Yellowfin anglers far north of just happy with their boats. In terms of value, Yellowfin rang the bell with a great brand reputation and the willingness to make available any feature a buyer wanted from a broad list of options. These accolades are a direct customer endorsement of president Wylie Nagler’s demonstrated philosophy that he is personally responsible for the quality of every boat shipped from his -Bradenton, Florida, facility.
Though the boats are built in Florida, the styling for Yellowfin’s larger models is clearly inspired by the Outer Banks. Characteristic high bows and wide flare extend through the line from the 42 down through the new 26. Similar cues abound in the bay-boat series from 17 to 24 feet, with a lower wind-escaping profile. High-performance scores are attributed to a refined stepped-hull design that -provides optimum ventilation, low friction and no slippery habits of early racing steps.
The only way Nagler would bring a smaller offshore fisher to his brand is if it incorporated every attribute of quality, performance and fishability for which his larger boats are known. And it had to fill a niche his respected brand left untouched. That is the impetus for the new 26. The Yellowfin customer needed a smaller center-console, one they could possibly trailer or conveniently hoist in their backyard waterway. The 26 will be a second home for tarpon pass anglers, and its 18-inch draft will be capable of following them up the beach. On fair days, trips offshore will be mastered by the vessel’s sharp stem and keel.
Keeping with the DNA revered by the owners, speed and fuel efficiency are boosted with a proprietary stepped hull. Fishability is supported with a multifaceted, tactical approach ideal for tournament anglers. It begins with the leaning post 50-gallon livewell with flow control and pressurized capabilities to gentle the ride for delicate bait. Rigging rod holders to the left and right of the livewell lend a hand. The deck plan accommodates anglers with open footpaths from bow to stern. At the bow, step up to the optional elevated foredeck and cast your net over the recessed grab rails. A rod holder can be found everywhere you might need a second hand.
The elevated aft platform serves double duty. With snap-on pads, it’s a transom-wide bench seat that seats as many as four. Pull off the pad, and it becomes an elevated casting deck. The 26 also seats two at the bolstered helm and two in front of the center console.
Under-gunwale rod holders and large storage compartments speak to our respondents’ accolades for a boat with plenty of fishing amenities.
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