Top New Fishing Boats of 2017

A look at the latest crop of new fishing machines featured on Salt Water Sportsman.
SWS Top new boats of 2017 - Regulator 31
Regulator’s 31-foot center console is one of many new fishing boats launched in 2017. Courtesy Regulator Marine

As 2017 comes to a close, Salt Water Sportsman editors review the top new fishing boats (in alphabetical order) featured this year to give you the opportunity to compare the different designs, top features and virtues. It’s also good context as 2018 begins — and a new crop of boats hit the market.

Top new boats of 2017 - Avenger 24 Bay

Avenger 24 Bay

Avenger Boats followed the success of its 26-foot bay model with the new 24 Bay. Courtesy Avenger Boats

Following the well-received launch of its Avenger 26 Bay, boatbuilder Carolina Composites reintroduced the original Avenger hull with lower-freeboard sheer and all-new cap and deck layout with a roomy forward casting deck that includes a compartment with cradles for bow and stern anchors, twin rod lockers, and a 180-quart insulated box. There’s also a 260-quart fish box with pump-out, a 96-quart cooler in the transition step, twin 27-gallon livewells in the transom corners, and a 12-gallon well under the forward console seat.

An aluminum leaning post with a four-rod ­rocket launcher and 75-quart cooler is the standard helm seating, and a folding transom bench accommodates more crew members. Flush-mounted rod holders and undergunwale racks, trolling-motor wiring harness, hydraulic tilt steering, Lenco trim tabs, Atlas jack plate, LED lighting, and raw-water washdown are all ­included in the standard package. A flip-back bolster leaning post with livewell and tackle center, and a T-top or hardtop with a second control station are among the many available options.


The bow flare redirects spray downward for a dry ride, and the offset, slightly notched transom keeps the propeller engaged with the water, smoothly producing forward thrust, even when the engine is raised. Although the Avenger 24 Bay is rated for up to 300 hp, a Suzuki 250 ­produced speeds in the mid-50s.


  • Length: 24’8″
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 14″
  • Fuel: 89 gal.
  • Deadrise: 15 degrees
  • Weight: 2,800 lb.
  • Max HP: 300
  • Price: $64,849 w/ Suzuki 250 hp

Top new boats of 2017 - Boston Whaler 230 Outrage

Boston Whaler 230 Outrage

The new 230 Outrage packs lots of amenities and fishing features usually reserved for larger boats. Courtesy Boston Whaler

This new center console boasts a deep-V hull with lifting strakes and substantial flair at the bow. It features amenities like an in-console head compartment and wraparound forward seating with a cooler underneath that doubles as dry storage, complemented by an optional removable table. The forward console seat accommodates two and lifts to access storage for personal effects or rain gear. A larger storage compartment hides in the floor, under a hatch foward of the console.


The innovative leaning post starts as a bench-style seat, but the backrest contains a counter that flips down to prepare baits or snacks. The backrest also rotates 90 degrees to form an aft-facing seat, and a 54-gallon cooler nestles neatly at the foot of the powder-coated leaning-post frame. Twin in-floor fish boxes, long enough for sizable pelagics, stretch into the cockpit. There’s a 16-gallon livewell on the transom, a fold-away bench for rear seating, and a transom door to access the integral swim platform.

An optional fishing package adds a pump-out feature to the fish boxes; coaming bolsters in the ­cockpit; raw-­water washdown, vertical rod holders and under-gunwale rod racks. The fishing leaning post, another upgrade, includes a 30-gallon livewell.

With a 300 Verado, the Boston Whaler 230 Outrage took 11 seconds to go from zero to 30 mph, but the boat becomes most agile above cruising speed, exceeding 52 mph at wide open throttle.



  • Length: 23′
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 18.5″
  • Fuel: 110 gal.
  • Deadrise: 21 degrees
  • Weight: 3,800 lb.
  • Max HP: 350
  • Price: $88,894 w/ 225 Verado

Top new boats of 2017 - Contender 39 FA

Contender 39 FA

Contender’s new 39 FA embodies fishability and includes a cabin suitable for overnight and weekend trips. Courtesy Contender Boats

Contender’s latest and largest Fisharound offers 360-degree fishability and a modest cabin with the necessary comforts for overnight trips and weekend getaways, like an ­enclosed head and shower, a galley with a two-burner cooktop, microwave, sink, two undercounter Isotherm drawers, a flat-screen TV, and a queen berth with electric rams that lift it to access storage underneath.

The dash ­accommodates two large MFDs, plus gauges, switch panel, VHF radio, trim-tab switches, and more. The test boat came with the optional tower and a second helm station accessed via ladders on both sides of the leaning post. There’s a pullout storage bin under the forward seating, and helm seating consists of a leaning post with three Llebroc helm chairs ­­on electric slides. The leaning post features a full-length storage bin with a lid that doubles as a rigging station, tackle drawers underneath, and a Frigid-Rigid cooler that slides out with the touch of a button.


Forward of the cabin, a huge in-floor bin with access hatch serves as storage or a drop-in livewell, or hosts an electric ram for a lift-up table. The cockpit features two in-deck insulated fish boxes, full coaming pads, two 50-gallon livewells on the transom, a transom door.

The high-performance stepped-hull of the Contender 39 FA handles choppy conditions well, carves turns at speed, and proves stable while both running or drifting. Powered by triple ­Yamaha F350s, it easily reaches 70 mph.


  • Length: 39′
  • Beam: 10’10”
  • Draft: 24″
  • Fuel: 500 gal.
  • Water: 60 gal.
  • Weight: 15,000 lb.
  • Max HP: 1,600
  • Price: $449,187 w/ triple Yamaha F350s

Top new boats of 2017 - Everglades 273 CC

Everglades 273 CC

The Everglades 273 CC is built on a high-performance deep-V hull that delivers a soft ride, great acceleration and fuel efficiency. Courtesy Everglades Boats

Forward seating allows unobstructed passage to the bow. Underneath it, lockable storage incorporates racks for up to 16 rods. A step back, there’s an 82-gallon in-floor fish box, and a 97-quart cooler under the forward console seat. With a 45-quart cooler aft, however, the larger one can be used for dry storage. Twin hatches provide access to gear stowed inside sizable gunwale compartments, while racks, farther down the gunwales, hold three rods on both sides of the ­cockpit. Rod storage also includes four combination rod/cup holders flush-mounted on the covering boards and four rod tubes on the hardtop’s frame. The center console incorporates a hydraulic sliding tempered-glass windshield that lowers with the push of a button.

Twin bolster seats are nestled in a ­helm-seating module, the back of which houses a tackle-storage and bait-prep center, complete with a sink with pull-out sprayer, and a lighted 31-gallon livewell with clear lid. Folding stern seats accommodate two and stow away by simply pulling the backrests down, clearing the back of the boat and creating a narrow but level and elevated deck that lifts entirely to tend to batteries, fuses, battery switches, pumps, fittings and seacocks.

The 27-footer’s variable-deadrise deep-V hull lessens impact when the boat takes on waves, increasingly flattens toward the chines for greater stability, faster planing and better acceleration and fuel efficiency. With twin ­Yamaha F250s, the Everglades 273 CC topped at 54.7 mph.


  • Length: 27′
  • Beam: 9’3″
  • Draft: 18″
  • Fuel: 157 gal.
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees
  • Water: 20 gal.
  • Weight: 6,400 lb.
  • Max HP: 500
  • Price: $208,000 w/ twin Yamaha F250s

Top new boats of 2017 - Jupiter 25 Boca Grande

Jupiter 25 Boca Grande

Jupiter’s 25 Boca Grande is a hybrid model that successfully combines virtues for inshore and offshore waters. Courtesy Jupiter Marine

Jupiter Marine’s 25 Bay (now called 25 Boca Grande) floats in just 14 inches of water, but it’s no traditional bay boat. It boasts an open layout with higher gunwales, flush decks, lots of cockpit space fore and aft, and seating for a crew of four or five. Up front, a pair of in-deck compartments afford over 1,000 quarts of storage space. There’s a 135-quart cooler with round corners beneath the console seat, which may be plumbed as a livewell. The backrest lifts to access storage inside the console. The aluminum helm-seating module includes a pair of comfortable seats with fold-down bolsters and armrests, plus five large tackle storage trays, a storage compartment in the back, and a 40-­gallon livewell with clear lid. Just aft, twin 220-quart fish boxes to port and starboard have the dimensions to hold sizable pelagics, and 5 inches of insulation to preserve ice for prolonged periods.

Coaming pads, trim tabs and raw- and freshwater washdowns come standard, as well as a console tower with a remote helm station. Welded to the tower frame, a pair of rocket launchers hold 10 rods, there are six flush-mount rod holders along the ­gunwales, plus a dual-purpose drink/rod holder on both sides of the console, and optional racks under the gunwales provide more rod storage.

With a 300 hp motor, hole shot is swift and short, the hull transom step and Porta Bracket perform to perfection in skinny water, and at wide-open throttle, the 25-footer, surpasses 47 mph.


  • Length: 26’1″
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 14″
  • Fuel: 91 gal.
  • Water: 9 gal.
  • Deadrise: 15 degrees
  • Weight: 3,700 lb.
  • Max HP: 300
  • Price: $129,995

Top new boats of 2017 - Mako 414 CC

Mako 414 CC

The largest Mako to date, the new 414 CC is available in two feature-rich editions, Bluewater Family and Sportfish. Courtesy Mako Boats

This is Mako’s largest model to date. Its deep-V hull hull features a 24-inch deadrise, lifting strakes, and a set-back transom to deliver undisturbed water to the props. Built for serious fishing, the 414 includes a wealth of attributes, including raised compartments with 59 quarts of dry-storage on both sides of the bow, a 824-quart chamber a step aft stows fenders, buckets and other large items.

There are eight flush-mounted rod holders on the gunwales and horizontal racks for six rods, two 455-quart in-floor fish boxes at midship and two 511-quart boxes (with macerators and overboard discharge in the cockpit, all well-suited for icing down trophy-size pelagics. Twin 50-gallon livewells with clear lids sit on the transom corners, and the deluxe hardtop with built-in electronics boxes has a shade that extends aft to cover the cockpit.

The 41-foot center console doesn’t lack creature comforts or seating. Cushions and removable backrests turn twin compartments at the bow into comfortable loungers, a removable table between them converts the front of the boat into a social zone, or a filler panel bridges the gap to form a full sun pad. A pair of loungers with fold-down armrests and a 275-quart cooler underneath stretch forward of the console. Jump seats pull down from the port and starboard gunwales, and wider versions onn the rear bulkhead accommodate six and stow away when it’s time to fish. A stand-up head compartment inside the console is equipped with a pull-out shower, sink, toilet, bunk and storage.

The Mako 414 CC is available in Bluewater Family and Sportfish editions, each with different options added. Powered by quad 350 Verados, it topped out at 59 mph.


  • Length: 41′
  • Beam: 11’11”
  • Draft: 24″
  • Fuel: 566 gal.
  • Water: 50 gal.
  • Deadrise: 24 degrees
  • Weight: 16,840 lb.
  • Max HP: 1,675
  • Price: $479,995 w/ quad Merc 350 Verados

Top new boats of 2017 - Pursuit S 328

Pursuit S 328

Pursuit’s S 328 marries comforts and conveniences with amenities tailored to the demanding offshore angler. Courtesy Pursuit Boats

The new 32-foot center console boasts a getaway below that houses a head with sink and vanity, a double berth that converts to an aft-facing sofa with open storage to port and starboard, and dedicated racks for four rods. Electric backrests convert the bow seats into forward-facing lounges, each with an ­integrated end table ­with drink holders, 12-volt and USB outlets and stereo remote, and storage underneath. A pair of removable pedestals support filler planks that bridge the gap between the seats, and are easily replaced by twin tables that turn the entire front of the boat into a social zone. A second social zone takes shape in the cockpit once you pull out the aft-facing bench and the folding transom seat, and set up the same removable table configuration.

A full-beam hardtop includes lighting, electronics-mounting surfaces and horizontal racks for four rods. It shades the two adjustable bolster helm seats and the entertainment center with sink and faucet, cutting board, cooler with Corian lid, refrigerator, dedicated storage, and a fold-down, aft-facing bench behind it. Two large, in-floor fish boxes offer plenty of capacity for the day’s catch, a portside door simplifies boarding and pulling in big fish, and a ­transom door with a telescopic boarding ladder makes hopping on board a breeze for swimmers and divers.

There are five flush-mounted rod holders on the transom, two holders on the starboard gunwale and two more on the opposite side, plus racks for six rods under the covering boards, a lighted 24-gallon livewell with an acrylic window on the hatch, and raw- and freshwater washdowns at the bow and the cockpit. With twin Yamaha F300s, the Pursuit S 328 hits 50 mph at wide-open ­throttle.


  • Length: 34’6″
  • Beam: 10’10”
  • Draft: 23″
  • Fuel: 300 gal.
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 12,160 lb.
  • Max HP: 600
  • Price: $315,495 w/ twin Yamaha F300s

Top new boats of 2017 - Regulator 31

Regulator 31

Regulator designed its new 31 with one purpose: to satisfy hardcore anglers. Courtesy Regulator Marine

The 31 has the ­classic ­Regulator look: flared bow, wide gunwales, nicely proportioned center console, lots of fishing room, and an Armstrong bracket to place the motors farther astern. Forward seating comprises three large, raised compartments with overboard drains, and flip-up backrests that convert the port and starboard seats to forward-facing loungers. A deck hatch between them provides access to the massive in-deck macerated fish box.

The console incorporates a cooler under the forward seat, and a head compartment with an electric toilet, composite counter with stainless sink, access to the electronics and wiring, and a foldout rack for three rods. The dash accepts two 16-inch Garmin LCD screens, a switch panel, digital gauges and more. The T-top incorporates a molded-in radio box, spreader lights, and Taco Grand Slam 380 lowerable outrigger bases. The plush helm chairs fold up for standing while running, and include fold-down armrests and four rod holders across the back to supplement the five on the aft edge of the T-top, which incorporates a molded-in radio box, spreader lights, and Taco Grand Slam 380 lowerable outrigger bases.

In addition to the standard livewell in the transom, there’s an optional above-deck livewell under the seat, and a comprehensive tackle station is available too. The roomy cockpit incorporates a side door to starboard, a wide bench-style seat concealed in the transom, and a bait/fish box alongside the standard transom livewell.

With twin Yamaha F300s, the Regulator 31 surpasses 50 mph at full throttle.


  • Length: 31’4″
  • Beam: 10’4″
  • Draft: 25″
  • Fuel: 300 gal.
  • Water: 35 gal.
  • Weight: 10,500 lb.
  • Max HP: 600
  • Price: $242,995 w/ twin Yamaha F300s

Top new boats of 2017 - Robalo R302

Robalo R302

The Robalo R302 offers lots of room, storage and modern conveniences on a quick, seaworthy and stable hull. Courtesy Robalo

The hardtop on the R302 integrates smoothly with the console and leaning post/seating module, and the underside houses built-in LED spreader lights and an electronics box. The console features a 38-inch-wide dash to fit twin 12-inch displays, switch panels and a nook to secure a mobile phone where you can still see the screen, and the glove box includes a 12-volt DC power outlet and a dual USB receptacle, while a pair of cubbies atop the console serve to stash small items like sunglasses.

The helm-seating module features a two-across seat with fold-down armrests and flip-up bolsters, with angled footrests at the base of the console. Abaft the seating module, you find a covered 20-gallon livewell, a stainless-steel bait-prep sink, and a freshwater pull-out nozzle. Below sits a slide-out 70-quart Igloo cooler, and tackle stowage drawers are built into both sides. A spacious step-down head compartment inside the console includes a porcelain toilet, a freshwater faucet and shower, a vanity with sink and faux-granite countertop.

There’s a 25-gallon covered livewell in the port quarter, undergunwale rod racks, stainless-steel toe rails, six flush-mounted rod holders, a transom door in the starboard quarter, and a pair of cavernous fish lockers flanking the aft deck. An interior transom bulkhead lifts to access pumps, valves or wiring, and there’s a fold-away 5-foot-wide bench on the transom. Bolsters stretch around the interior of the Robalo R302, and in the bow they double as backrests for the U-shaped seating with angled backrests creating forward-facing loungers. A removable table turns the bow into a dining area.

Powered by twin Yamaha F300s, the R302 achieves top speeds in the mid 50s.


  • Length: 29’2″
  • Beam: 10’6″
  • Draft: 21″
  • Fuel: 300 gal.
  • Water: 30 gal.
  • Deadrise: 21 degrees
  • Weight: 8,920 lb.
  • Max HP: 700
  • Price: $147,895 w/ twin Yamaha F300s

Top new boats of 2017 - Sea Hunt BX 25 BR

Sea Hunt BX 25 BR

Sea Hunt’s BX 25 BR is a 25-foot center console with superb inshore and offshore capabilities. Courtesy Sea Hunt Boats

The BX 25 BR draws only 15 inches, but it’s also designed to handle big water, with an aggressive ­50-degree bow entry, 20 degrees amidships and 15 degrees at the transom, making it a true inshore-offshore double threat.

A transition step on the forward casting deck opens to reveal tackle boxes and a segmented storage area. A 250-quart insulated bow storage box is forward, between dual rod lockers. There’s also a dedicated anchor locker with a cradle, and horizontal folding rod racks on both gunwales. The forward console seat lifts to access an 18-gallon livewell, and two larger wells rest behind the helm seats and in the aft deck, respectively.

An aluminum leaning post with a backrest and rod holders is the standard helm seating. The upgrade leaning post offers another deep bait tank, comfy bolster seats, footrest, a rocket launcher in back, and matching tackle compartments on each side. Inside the console, a step-down head compartment is large enough for an optional port-a-potty, and dons a curtained cover with access to helm rigging and wiring. On the aft casting deck, twin compartments hold 5-gallon buckets in convenient molded receptacles, while a center hatch holds a standard 20-quart K2 roto-molded drink cooler.

Other standard features include underwater LED lights, stereo, retractable dive ladder, fresh- and raw-water washdown­s, T-top with an overhead electronics box, LED lights and a vapor mist system is a welcome option for protection against the elements. During factory tests with a Yamaha F300, the Sea Hunt BX 25 BR reached top speeds of nearly 55 mph.


  • Length: 25’3″
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 15″
  • Fuel: 68 gal.
  • Deadrise: 15 degrees
  • Weight: 3,400 lb.
  • Max HP: 300
  • Price: Upon request

Top new boats of 2017 - SeaVee 270Z Twin-Powered

SeaVee 270Z Twin-Powered

On the twin-powered 270Z, SeaVee mounts the motors on a double hydraulic jack plate and extends the shafts to 30 inches for best performance. Courtesy SeaVee Boats

This multifaceted center console has all the requisites for inshore waters, but with minor tweaks and twin outboards, the SeaVee’s offshore pedigree really shines. A step, housing a 24-gallon livewell, provides a comfortable transition to the front casting deck, which ­accommodates an anchor locker, 75-gallon fish boxes, twin rod lockers, and a center compartment for large items such as tackle bags, dock bumpers and, under a false floor, trolling-motor batteries. Forward of the console, an in-floor hatch hides a chamber tailor-made for a 5-gallon bucket and wet items that require draining.

There’s a 68-quart drink cooler under the ­console seat, and 10 rod holders line both sides of the console. A leaning post with backrest sits two at the helm and includes a 4-rod rocket launcher and storage for tackle, leaders and a fillet knife. A hatch folds down to double as a cutting board, which comes to rests on a sizable Frigid Rigid pull-out cooler.

Along with a bench-style seat that hides under its fold-up backrest, the aft casting deck houses a 30-gallon livewell and dual insulated compartments that serve for storage or as supplemental fish boxes, and can be plumbed as release wells. A trolling motor, raw- and freshwater washdowns, twin Power-Poles, and a half-tower are among the many options available for the SeaVee 270Z Twin-Powered.


  • Length: 27′
  • Beam: 9’1″
  • Draft: 15″
  • Fuel: 116 gal.
  • Water: 9 gal.
  • Weight: 3,000 lb. (plus power)
  • Max HP: 400
  • Price: $135,800 w/ twin 200 Verados

Top new boats of 2017 - Scout 215 XSF

Scout 215 XSF

The Scout 215 XSF boasts ample seating fore and aft, and conquers a moderate chop with ease. Courtesy Scout Boats

The 215 XSF replaced Scout’s popular 210 center console, is rated for up to 250 horses, but reaches a top speed of 45 mph powered by 150 hp. The boat has an extra-large and deep coffin box forward of the console that drains overboard. Three storage compartments, including dual insulated 36-quart fish boxes, below the casting deck, plus a locker with an anchor rack and ample storage for ground tackle.

The test boat came equipped with the optional Elite leaning post with 65-quart Yeti cooler, plus four integrated rod holders, three cup holders, a fold-down bolster seat and backrest. There’s ample room for additional rods in the twin horizontal racks and flush-mount holders on the gunwales. A 21-gallon baitwell sits in the portside corner of the transom.

The console’s flush-mount panel accepts a 10-inch display, stereo and LED lighting also comes standard. On the dash, there’s 12-volt power for three USB outlets and a 12-volt plug. The port console door leads down to a roomy head compartment with convenient access to the helm wiring and battery switch. An optional Porta Potti can be added, along with a 10-gallon freshwater washdown system. The Scout 215 XSF is available in Sport package that includes an aluminum T-top, a rocket launcher, forward-seating backrests and a stowaway transom bench, and other options may be added.


  • Length: 21’6″
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 15″
  • Fuel: 82 gal.
  • Water: 10 gal.
  • Deadrise: 20 degrees
  • Weight: 2,776 lb.
  • Max HP: 250
  • Price: $46,495

Top new boats of 2017 -Viking 37 Billfish

Viking 37 Billfish

Viking’s new 37 Billfish is a modern-day classic game boat. Courtesy Viking Yachts

Viking now offers its new interpretation of the classic day boat, but more refined and with an array of modern enhancements. The hull sports a beam just shy of 14 feet and a slippery 12.8-degree deadrise at the transom, which features pockets to funnel clean water to the props and rudders, and reduce the shaft angle, resulting in a top speed of nearly 35 knots.

The house is topped with a compact flybridge that features a center-console helm station with seating for up to five. From the Release Marine teak helm chair, the skipper has an unobstructed view of the water ahead and the cockpit below. The console holds two 12-inch monitors, an engine-monitoring system, Seakeeper control panel, and single-lever controls with Glendinning synchronizer, along with a joystick control for maneuvering in close quarters. An overhead panel holds a pair of VHF radios and other electronics, and the door directly over the helm chair is the nesting place for a pair of teaser reels.

In true day-boat style, the new 37 Billfish**]( has a deck-level helm station to starboard inside the salon area. The aft side is open to the cockpit, an offshore angler’s dream, with 86 square feet of fishing space and only a rocket launcher on center stage. The transom has a molded-in fish box/livewell, and a door and gate to starboard. Twin mezzanine couches keep everyone comfortable and engaged while trolling, and hide a bait freezer underneath and a rigging station with freshwater sink. Fresh- and raw-water washdowns are located under the covering boards, and a pair of 30-foot Rupp double-spreader outriggers can easily be rigged for dredges and teasers.


  • Length: 37’8″
  • Beam: 13’10”
  • Draft: 32″
  • Fuel: 440 gal.
  • Deadrise: 12.8 degrees
  • Water: 66 gal.
  • Displacement: 29,329 lb.
  • Price: $730,000 w/ twin Cummins QSB 6.7 550 hp turbo diesels

Top new boats of 2017 - Wellcraft

Wellcraft 222 Fisherman

The 222 Fisherman has quickly become one of Wellcraft’s most popular models. Courtesy Wellcraft

When it comes to amenities, this 22-footer comes loaded. Seating comprises the forward console seat, a leaning post serving as helm seating, and a fold-down bench for two on the transom. Coaming pads to port and starboard, as well as optional cushions and removable backrests, turn the twin ­elevated storage ­compartments up front into comfortable lounges. A removable bridge panel closes the gap between them, turning the bow into a ­spacious sun pad. Remove that bridge, and an available pedestal table converts the front of the boat into an idyllic lunch spot.

The front compartments offer ample storage. The center console’s entire facade lifts to reveal a step-down head compartment with Porta-Potti and storage netting. Rod storage is enviable: vertical racks hold three rods on each side of the console, and horizontal racks cradle two more under each gunwale. The rocket launcher in back of the leaning post keeps another four rods, and there are eight flush-mount holders on the transom and gunwales. The leaning post includes terminal tackle storage, and a 72-quart ­cooler below. A generous livewell with a clear lid is located on one transom corner, and there’s a door on the other corner.

With a Yamaha F250 on the transom, the Wellcraft 222 Fisherman scoots at nearly 50 mph.


  • Length: 22′
  • Beam: 8’6″
  • Draft: 16″
  • Fuel: 103 gal.
  • Weight: 3,600 lb.
  • Max HP: 250
  • Price: $31,646 plus power and options

Top new boats of 2017 - Wellcraft

Wellcraft 302 Fisherman

Wellcraft’s 302 Fisherman is also available in the Scarab offshore package. Courtesy Wellcraft

The new 302 Fisherman boasts a revamped hull, with a broader beam but still sleek and with its signature sweeping sheer line, and powered by twin 350 Verados, it topped at 57.6 mph. The modular bow layout lets you choose between an open forward cockpit or twin seats with storage underneath that easily turn into an oversize forward lounge. The Scarab Offshore model we tested had the prior, with netting stretched below the bow coaming pads for holding tackle trays and loose items.

Just forward of the console, a large in-floor compartment drains overboard and stows buckets, bumpers, cast nets or other wet gear. Four in-floor storage compartments, insulated and macerated, drain overboard to double as fish boxes. The forward console seat accommodates two above a two-tier storage locker, and a portside door allows entry to the step-down head compartment, which offers a sink with freshwater faucet and additional storage.

The Wellcraft 302 Fisherman comes with a deluxe hardtop that provides shade for the dash, helm seats, and the food-prep station behind, which includes a second sink and a removable cooler on a pull-out slide, or the optional electric grill and fridge. The hardtop frame incorporates 10 vertical rod tubes, plus one to port and another to starboard angled — kingfish-style — for trolling. Rod storage is augmented by three flush-mounted holders on the transom, 10 combination rod-cup holders along the gunwales, and horizontal racks for three outfits under both covering boards. Just aft, on both sides of the ­cockpit, tilt-out hatches hold four large storage trays, twin 23-gallon baitwells with clear lids sit on opposite transom corners. for monitoring live baits, and a third hatch between them opens to a bait-prep station.


  • Length: 30’2″
  • Beam: 9’8″
  • Draft: 23″
  • Fuel: 268 gal.
  • Deadrise: 22 degrees
  • Weight: 6,700 lb. plus power
  • Max HP: 800
  • Price: $201,685 w/ twin 350 Verados

Top new boats of 2017 - World Cat 280CC-X

World Cat 280CC-X

World Cat’s 280CC-X boasts stability, an incredibly soft ride, and the sporty looks of a race car. Courtesy World Cat Boats

The big cat offers U-shaped lounge seating for seven at the bow, a recessed grab rail traces its contour, and coaming bolsters — that extend the length of the boat — serve as port and starboard backrests. Under the forward seats hide a 36-quart center cooler, a pair of 6-quart coolers, and two large, insulated compartments with overboard drains with 180 quarts of storage capacity each. Just forward, two hatches provide access to a sizable anchor locker housing a raw-water washdown, 300 feet of rode, and a through-hull anchor setup with a windlass, a first in a power cat of this size.

In the front of the console, seating with a backrest is attached to the door to access a step-down head compartment with a marine toilet, Corian counter, mirror, storage cabinet, and room to stash extra gear. A surfboard-style fiberglass hardtop with powder-coated frame and built-in glass windshield shades the skipper and a companion at the helm, where the seating module with dual adjustable bolster seats with fold-down armrests doubles as a leaning post complete with a rigging station, tackle and tool storage, and a 30-gallon livewell with a clear lid in back.

In the cockpit, raw- and freshwater washdowns are located under opposite covering boards, and twin 355-quart in-deck fish boxes stretch to port and starboard, both with foldout racks to double as rod lockers. Additional rod storage comes via eight flush-mounted holders on the covering boards and transom, plus an optional five-tube rocket launcher on the aft side of the hardtop. On the transom, a fold-down bench seats two to starboard, an adjacent door helps bring aboard trophy fish and welcomes returning swimmers.

With twin Yamaha F200s, the World Cat 280CC-X crossed the 50 mph threshold at wide-open throttle.


  • Length: 27’6″
  • Beam: 9’2″
  • Draft: 14″
  • Fuel: 220 gal.
  • Water: 17 gal
  • Weight: 7,300 lb.
  • Max HP: 400
  • Price: $199,999 w/ twin Yamaha F200s