Homestead, Florida-based Contender Boats, Inc. celebrated their 35th anniversary, and has launched several thousand boats spanning the three and a half decades. The boats are recognized world wide as tournament winners, and are known to keep captain and crew “Always in the Game” when they are on the hunt for big fish.
Contender builds boats from 24-44 feet for fisherman and their families to explore the blue water, or just enjoy a day cruising around the bay to the sandbar.
Each boat is custom-built featuring different options for engine power, electronics, and upholstery. The list of options seems nearly endless with a variety of fishing, convenience, and other options available to every model. Front and rear seating are available on all models, but standard options traditionally keep the cockpit minimal and clean.
Contender Boats’ founder, president and owner Joe Neber is an avid saltwater angler who has been very active in marine-resource conservation, particularly the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).
The company proudly proclaims, “When adverse weather prevails without notice, people are confident in our product to get them home safely and comfortably.”
The 44FA, new for 2020, is built from the same hull as the game changing 44ST, with a fisharound cap that features queen-sized berth, an enclosed head with shower, a galley sink, refrigerator/freezer, and stovetop. Together they create a luxurious and comfortable setting for travelling offshore or to the islands. Compared with the 44ST, it’s more cabin than console, but doesn’t sacrifice walk around fishability for the cabin comfort.
The 44FA remains very much a fishing boat, and one that allows you to catch ‘em big: The 44FA has a 250-gallon forward fish box and a pair of 110-gallon aft fish boxes.
78 percent of walkaround boaters are satisfied with one livewell, but the 44 FA (designated by the Fish Around cap) offers two 55 gallon live wells for dividing baits between multiple tanks, a practice used by many tournament fishing crews.
The dash is massive, ready for two large multifunction displays. There is no lack of feature choices on the custom boats including triple Llebroc helm seating, second-row seating beneath the hardtop, bow lounge seating, and triple or quad Yamaha 425XTO Offshore outboards.