Fishability Test: Pathfinder 2005 TRS

A standout bay boat with classic pedigree.

Pathfinder 2005 TRS running shot
The 2005 TRS permits shallow-water access yet handles a chop well.Courtesy Pathfinder Boats

The Pathfinder 2005 TRS delivers true bay-boat performance in a 20-foot package that’s simple to run, maintain, trailer and store, and endowed with 16 degrees of deadrise and the desired higher freeboard to safely and comfortably navigate and fish big water. And thanks to its 13-inch draft, the boat is quite capable of cruising the shallows and stalking redfish, bonefish and permit in tailing depths.

Designed for maximum convenience and fishability, the 2005 TRS sports a clean layout that places every purposeful feature within reach. Generous storage includes a dedicated anchor locker at the bow, a capacious center compartment bookended by twin stowage lockers (with foldaway rod racks inside) on the foredeck, and midway to the console, an in-floor box deep enough for a 5-gallon bucket and cast net, an anchor buoy, fenders or other sizable gear.

Pathfinder 2005 TRS foredeck
Storage on the foredeck includes a large center compartment and twin lockers with foldaway rod racks.Courtesy Pathfinder Boats

The spacious, self-bailing cockpit and raised casting decks fore and aft translate into ample fishing room for as many as four anglers, and the standard 11-gallon aft starboard livewell, augmented by an optional forward console well of equal size, holds a live-bait supply sufficient for the lot. Vertical racks keep three rigged rods ready on each side of the center console, and horizontal racks—with tubes to protect the tips—cradle four more under the covering boards. In addition, two flush-mount rod holders on the gunwales come standard, and buyers can request two more.

Pathfinder 2005 TRS console
The console’s front hatch affords tackle storage and access to electrical connectionsCourtesy Pathfinder Boats

The forward console seat provides the only dedicated bow seating; however, a bow-cushion package and forward-facing backrests are available options. A pair of flip-up jump seats hide storage underneath and accommodate two crew in the rear. Both fold flush with the aft deck when it comes time to fish. A deluxe leaning post provides helm seating for the skipper and a companion, offering the alternative to stand up for the ride. It has storage under the seat, a flip-down footrest, an Engel cooler nestled at the base, a pair of cup holders in back, and three flush-mount rod holders that turn into five when the optional backrest is stashed.

Pathfinder 2005 TRS leaning post
The leaning post has storage under the seat, five rod holders, and a cooler at the base.Courtesy Pathfinder Boats

The standard-issue windshield and grab rail on the console fold down to enable the boat to slide comfortably under low bridges or overhanging brush. The center console also includes tackle storage, and has forward entry for easy access to electrical connections. A compass on top serves as a reliable navigation aid to back up electronics on the dash, which provides enough mounting surface for dual multifunction displays and the standard waterproof switch panel with circuit breakers. Hydraulic steering comes standard, and tilt steering and an Edson steering wheel with power knob are available upgrades.

Pathfinder 2005 TRS helm
The console accommodates dual MFDs and racks six rods.Courtesy Pathfinder Boats

A T-top, with or without an electronics box, along with a bow-mount trolling motor and a hydraulic jack plate with blinker-style switch are popular options, as are a JL stereo with four speakers, trim tabs with indicator switches, raw and freshwater washdowns, and underwater lights.

With all features and amenities surveyed, we idled out to the Intracoastal Waterway in Vero Beach, Florida, to put the Pathfinder through its paces. Whitecaps kicked up by a sustained breeze created ideal conditions to test the boat in bumpy waters, which the 20-footer negotiated with ease, running stable despite the wind and waves.

Pushed by 150 horses, the maximum power for the 2005 TRS, the bay boat proved quick and nimble. It jumped on plane in a jiffy, accelerated from zero to 30 mph in just 7.7 seconds, and reached 45.5 mph at wide-open throttle.

Yamaha F150 outboard
With an F150 throttled to 5,000 rpm, the 2005 TRS scoots safely at 40 mph in a light chop.Courtesy Yamaha

Tight turns came easily. The boat banked to port and starboard with aplomb, and executed every curve with agility. Throttling up to 5,000 rpm and trimming up the motor slightly on the straightaways let the Pathfinder ride the crests, minimizing spray and avoiding jarring landings. Even at high speed, it felt safe and under control.

After experiencing what the Pathfinder can do, we feel confident it is a solid, well-designed boat, perfect for testing the limits of inshore fishing, with occasional ventures to nearshore patch reefs and wrecks. If you’re looking for a versatile yet affordable and incredibly manageable bay model, or a growing family or the desire to expand your horizons has you itching to step up from a flats boat, give the 2005 TRS a serious look.

Specs

Length: 20′5″ Beam: 8′1″ Draft: 13″ Deadrise: 16 degrees Fuel: 51 gal. Weight: 2,421 lb. (w/ Yamaha F115) Max HP: 150 Price: $47,722 w/ Yamaha F115 Pathfinder Boats: pathfinderboats.com

Test Conditions

Weather: Partly sunny Location: Vero Beach, Florida Wind: NNE 17 knots Sea State: 1- to 2-foot chop Test Load: Two adults, 20 gallons of fuel