Popularized by the growing number of king mackerel tournaments, these super-fast offshore sportfishers are the Ferraris of the saltwater angling world.
Donzi Marine recently unveiled the 23 ZF, a high-performance offshore fishing boat that fits perfectly into the Southern King-fish Association’s new 23-foot-and-under division. According to Donzi, the twin-step Z-Tech hull provides more positive lift, creates less wetted running surface and tracks straighter than traditional deep-V hulls. This result is faster planing and higher top end speeds — very important considerations for tournament fishing.
The high-performance driving experience is enhanced by the presence of an aerodynamic console, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Gaffrig gauges.
The 23 ZF is equipped for serious fishing, with a 35-gallon bait tank, non-skid deck surfaces, two in-floor fishboxes, leaning post with a built-in bait prep station, storage for eight rods, and more. A collapsible rear bench seat can fold out of the way for additional fishing room.
The 23 ZF measures 24 feet, 5 inches in overall length (with bow pulpit) and has a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches. She carries 141 gallons of fuel and is rated for outboards up to 300 hp. Approximate price with a single 225hp outboard is $48,429, excluding trailer.
Fountain’s 25 Sportfish Center Console is the smallest boat in the Fountain line, and it’s designed to give anglers high-speed performance in a smaller, less expensive single-engine package. This 25-foot, 3-inch Fountain with an 8-foot, 2-inch beam is no slouch on the radar gun, topping 53 mph with a 225hp outboard.
Construction is high-tech, with hand-laid stitched multi-weave fiberglass, Klegecell coring and premium vinylester resins. The hull, deck and liner are laminated with fiberglass, then pop riveted, through bolted, screwed and sealed together, so it won’t come apart at the seams when the going gets rough.
Just behind the contoured seat/leaning post is a 50-gallon bait tank with a cushioned lid to serve as extra seating. The center console features an electronics box and large storage area (a console step-in head is optional). For holding the day’s catch, there’s a 330-quart draining fishbox in the bow.
The 25 Sportfish weighs 3700 pounds with engine and carries 135 gallons of fuel. With the standard 200hp Mercury outboard, the base 25 Sportfish sells for $51,328, excluding trailer.
Pro-Line claims the 3000 Super Sport Cuddy (SSC) is “not your father’s Pro-Line,” and it couldn’t be closer to the mark. This new 29-foot, 6-incher has classic performance fishing boat lines, with an 8-foot, 6-inch beam and deep-V design.
Powered by twin outboards up to 600 hp on an integrated bracket, the 3000 SSC’s hull is designed for speed and stability. Standard features include hydraulic steering, a stainless steel wheel with special molded grips, and hydraulic trim tabs to fine tune the ride.
Inside you’ll find 112 square feet of open fishing space with plenty of amenities, thickly padded cockpit bolsters, leaning post/bait station, built-in tackle storage, a live baitwell and a raw-water washdown system. Forward there’s a low-profile cuddy cabin with a 6-foot V-berth and portable marine head. A freshwater cockpit shower with 21-gallon capacity is also there if you want to look your best before the big weigh-in.
The 3000 SSC hull weighs 4300 pounds dry and carries 200 gallons of fuel. Approximate price with twin 225hp outboards is $76,159, excluding trailer.
HOME ON THE RANGE
If you’re hardcore saltwater fisherman, range is one of the most important factors when considering a fishing boat. How much fuel your carry — and how much you burn — affects where you can fish, what you can fish for and how long you can stay out.
Obviously, you need to get a general idea of a boat’s cruising range to know if it will match your fishing needs. Manufacturer specification sheets are a starting point, but need to be taken with a grain of salt. Reviews in Trailer Boats include actual fuel consumption (gallons per hour) readings at various rpms, including most efficient cruise speed. It’s a good rule of thump to calculate your range using 75 percent of your tank capacity. This provides a safety cushion and helps compensate for weather and other factors.
Once you’re on the water, it’s important to figure your actual fuel consumption and range. You can estimate this by keeping track of hours and checking fuel consumption when you fill the boat up. For a more accurate reading of your boat’s fuel consumption, you can install a fuel management system, from a company such as Standard of Flo-Scan, which will tell you how much fuel you’re burning at any given speed and how much you have used.