There are good reasons why sales of larger bay boats are shooting higher than a mackerel after a lost pilchard. This popular style provides access to a range of waters, from tidal creeks to nearshore reefs, plus the layout and storage for multiple types of fishing. South Carolina-based Sea Hunt Boats is the latest to add to this genre with the launch of the BX 25 BR, which replaces its 24-foot predecessor. There’s plenty to like about this new ride.
The size of this bay boat made a strong first impression. With the clean layout and seemingly endless bow, it looks much larger than its advertised 25-foot length. However, it only draws 15 inches, so plugging a shoreline with an optional trolling motor (the wiring harness and bow plug for it come standard) is a realistic endeavor. And it didn’t take long to determine that the BX 25 BR could handle big water too.
Daniel Seel of Seel Outboards, a Sea Hunt dealer in Charleston, South Carolina, came with me to launch the boat at an Intracoastal Waterway ramp into a ripping current. In typical Sea Hunt fashion, this boat was solidly built, with no scrimping on fiberglass and resin. Weight is not a bad thing, especially when you’re 10 miles offshore and the afternoon sea breeze picks up. With an aggressive 50-degree bow entry matched to 20 degrees amidships and 15 at the transom, the 25-footer’s ride proved both soft and smooth. You won’t feel any unexpected shutters or shimmies punching through waves either. The stern held fast in a hard turn, and the overall handling was sure and responsive.
The test boat was equipped with a Yamaha F300, the maximum allowable power and an ideal match. The hole shot was snappy, and the bow rise was negligible. The boat responded well to tab adjustments yet remained rock solid at rest. Factory tests with the same horsepower produced top speeds of nearly 55 mph.
Multispecies anglers will appreciate the many standard features on this model, which include SeaStar hydraulic tilt steering, Yamaha Command Link gauges, and recessed trim tabs. A transition step on the forward casting deck makes access easier, plus it opens to reveal tackle boxes and a segmented storage area. A 250-quart insulated bow storage box is forward, sandwiched by dual locking rod boxes. There’s also a dedicated anchor locker with a cradle. Folding horizontal rod racks are located under each gunwale. The forward console seat lifts for access to an 18-gallon livewell. Two larger wells rest behind the helm seats and in the aft deck, respectively.
An aluminum leaning post with a backrest and additional rod holders is the standard seating arrangement. Twin folding jump seats aft will accommodate more crew. The boat we tested was equipped with the optional leaning post with another deep bait tank, comfy bolster seats, a footrest and a rocket launcher. Matching tackle compartments on each side hold several boxes and tools.
The console on the BX 25 BR is thoughtfully arranged with port steering, a locking glove box, recessed drink holders and a cushioned footrest. The large mounting panel accommodates up to a 12-inch display and VHF radio; Simrad electronics packages are a factory option. The console door to port steps down into the head compartment with a curtained cover to access the helm rigging and wiring. Though a little tight, the space is large enough for an optional port-a-potty.
Across the aft casting deck, twin compartments rack 5-gallon cast-net buckets in convenient molded receptacles. The center hatch holds a standard 20-quart K2 roto-molded drink cooler.
Other standard features include underwater LED lights, an Infinity waterproof stereo system, a retractable dive ladder, plus fresh- and raw-water washdown systems. A powder-coated fiberglass T-top with LED lights and a vapor mist system is a welcome option for protection against the elements. It is designed with the durable D-shaped tubing and comes with an overhead electronics box. Weather curtains, a SeaStar hydraulic jack plate and a kingfish rod package can be added as well.
Like most, I subscribe to the axiom that a single boat can’t do everything. But for buyers looking for an option that lets you fish the shallows and big water in the same day, Sea Hunt’s BX 25 BR certainly deserves careful consideration.