Pathfinder 2600 HPS: 2018 Boat Buyers Guide

Built on the same hull as the dual-step Pathfinder 2600 HPS, the 2600 TRS boasts its own distinctive, family-friendly deck.

Pathfinder 2600 TRS
LOA: 26'2" | Beam: 8'10" | Fuel Capacity: 70 gal. | Dry Weight: 4,250 lb. with power | Max Horsepower: 400 | Certifications: NMMACourtesy of Pathfinder

Pathfinder Boats has a simple way to describe its approach to building its bay boats: angler-driven.

That’s the approach the company, part of the Maverick Boat Group, took when it helped launch the bay boat genre two decades ago, and continues today with its seven-model line.

The result is details such as sea-chest pickups for livewells/baitwells, drawing water for each well independently. Fed from both top and bottom, cornerless wells have no “dead zones.” Plexiglas-shielded standpipes drain from bottom to top to remove toxins, keeping fish and bait alive longer. Each well’s shut-off provides safety and easy maintenance or repair.

All Pathfinder compartments feature large openings topped by strong, light gas-shocked lids made in dual molds and finished on both sides.

Wiring harnesses designed on computers are assembled on jigs for each boat — not just each model, but each individual boat, with any special features. All wires are labeled. Survey respondents provided high ratings for the company’s brand reputation and customer service, all aimed at enjoyable, efficient (trouble-free) fishing.

“The further a company gets away from understanding what dedicated anglers want in their boats, the more underwhelming their products will be,” the manufacturer states. Clearly, Pathfinder has no interest in underwhelming.

PATHFINDER 2600 TRS

Just because a boat is built with angling foremost, that doesn’t make it unfriendly to family and other pleasure boating. Proof? The new Pathfinder 2600 TRS.

Built on the same hull as the dual-step Pathfinder 2600 HPS (High Performance Step), the 2600 TRS boasts its own distinctive, family-friendly deck.

Forward areas are cushioned, with a flip-up backrest that accesses generous rod storage. (There’s oversize compression-latched storage space, in fact, at nearly every turn in this boat.) At the front of the console is a seat that fits two adults.

A redesigned console features a dual-position leaning post so captain and passenger can take independent stances. Helm switches are LED-backlit, and there’s plenty of room for electronic gear. The finished console interior welcomes an optional portable head.

The TRS in the name? It stands for “third-row seating,” a bank of three flip-up seat backs that stretch the boat’s cushioned seating capacity to 10. Folded away, they’re part of a smooth casting deck.

Yes, fishing’s far from ­neglected. The boat’s wired for a 36-volt ­trolling motor, a hydraulic jack plate is standard and you can add single or dual Power-Poles.

Other options include hardtop, bow table or flush-mounted ski pole, further helping to mix fishing and family fun.