Jupiter Marine, builder of premium offshore fishing machines for more than two decades, just applied its top-notch design and construction and discriminating fit and finish to its 25 Bay, a new 25-footer built to deliver backwater and offshore performance with the kind of versatility that frees anglers of limitations and lets them target a wide range of game fish, wherever they may roam.
The clean, elegant lines that give larger Jupiter models their dockside appeal are clearly present on the new 25 Bay, and so are the high-performance hull — built with vacuum-infused vinylester and a foam-filled stringer grid for maximum strength and rigidity — and the ergonomic features customary of the brand.
The new center console is designed to go shallow, floating in just 14 inches of water, but it’s no traditional bay boat. Hop aboard and you’ll realize it’s tailor-made for the hardcore angler. You won’t find sun pads, reclining loungers, electric grills or other frills. Jupiter opted for an open layout with higher gunwales, flush decks, lots of cockpit space fore and aft, and seating for a crew of four or five. A wealth of fishing amenities accommodate live-baiting inshore waters, jigging, or trolling out in the deep blue.
Up front, a pair of cavernous in-deck compartments afford over 1,000 quarts of storage space to stash safety gear, large personal effects, tackle bags and the always-important five-gallon bucket. The console seat accommodates two, and underneath, a 135-quart cooler with round corners may be plumbed upon request, to double as a livewell. The backrest lifts to access convenient storage for rain gear and other essentials inside the console. At the helm, a Ritchie compass serves as backup to navigation electronics on the dash, designed to accept a pair of 12-inch displays. Down low, a full-width footrest lets the skipper and a companion brace themselves in bumpy conditions.
The aluminum helm-seating module includes a pair of comfortable seats with fold-down bolsters and armrests, plus a hatch shielding five large tackle storage trays from the elements.
The module also incorporates a convenient storage compartment in the back and, to carry enough live bait to fish and chum, a 40-gallon livewell with a calming blue interior, complete with lighting, friction hinges and clear acrylic lid. Just aft, twin 220-quart fish boxes to port and starboard have the dimensions to hold sizable pelagics and, with 5 inches of insulation, preserve ice for prolonged periods.
Coaming pads throughout protect hips and thighs and ensure a comfortable stance anywhere around the boat for added leverage while fighting heavy fish. As on Jupiter’s larger boats, perfectly spaced hawsepipes relegate cleats to the inwales, keeping the covering boards clear of potential snags. Meanwhile, raw- and freshwater washdowns maintain a clean cockpit and keep the crew cool. And if you like listening to your favorite tunes on the boat, Jupiter hides speakers under the covering boards, safe from salt spray and washdown water that can shorten their time of service, though the music still booms loud and clear.
In line with Jupiter’s purposeful design, the 25 Bay includes a console tower with a remote helm station, which benefits the skipper with improved visibility to easily spot snook, redfish or striped bass lurking in a trough or a sand hole, tarpon cruising in a channel, cobia following a manta ray, or sailfish rising to the baits. Welded to the aluminum frame, a pair of rocket launchers hold 10 rods, out of the way yet ready for action. More rod storage is gained with optional horizontal racks under the gunwales, and there are six flush-mount rod holders along the gunwales, plus a dual-purpose drink/rod holder on both sides of the forward console seat.
Trim tabs and a hydraulic Porta Bracket are standard issue on the 25 Bay. The latter extends the outboard 21 inches aft of the transom for added stability, and raises or lowers as needed to cross sand bars or shallows and find the sweet spot for peak performance.
Putting the new bay model through its paces, I found the takeoff just right for shallow water: swift and short. With the push of 300 horses, the 25-footer jumps up and goes from zero to 30 mph in just over eight seconds. Cruising speed is a comfortable 33 mph at 4,000 rpm, or a faster 37.2 mph at 4,500 rpm, a combination that yields a considerable range of about 230 miles with the standard 85-gallon fuel tank. And if you want to reach your favorite spot before the tide turns and the bite shuts down, run at wide-open throttle, where the boat responds by accelerating to a smidgen over 47 mph.
Despite its brawn — a plus when venturing well past inlet jetties — the Jupiter displays welcome agility and responsiveness in the turns. It also remains on plane, cruising effortlessly without plowing, at less than 20 mph: a virtue that comes in handy when running and gunning from one weed line to the next or scouting for fish inshore — a task the hull transom step and Porta Bracket perform to perfection in water skinny enough to make some skippers nervous.