For the sake of sea grasses and benthic organisms, as well as the desires of competitive anglers, boatbuilders consider the hole shot when designing many of their new center console boats. Accelerating quickly to plane matters in a wide variety of applications when fishing shallow water, of course, but also offshore.
Out of curiosity, we decided to unscientifically scour performance numbers for many popular boatbuilders to identify their quickest hulls. We soon saw that finding boat models capable of accelerating to 30 mph in 6 seconds or less proved fairly difficult.
Here are five that did just that — in testing (trim tabs up, engines trimmed in) by outboard manufacturers and in archived tests by Sport Fishing editors — whose builders agreed to answer our questions. Most are bay boats or hybrids, though Contender’s tournament-edition 25-foot center console proved to be the top sprinter in that company’s lineup.
To find out how they built these speedsters, I asked each manufacturer to explain the design. (Boats are listed alphabetically.)
Contender’s tournament-edition 25-footer tops 30 mph in a blistering 5.2 seconds when powered by twin Yamaha F200s. Its 24½-degree deadrise allows the boat to cut through water with less drag than a flatter-bottom boat, says Nick Miller, Contender spokesman. “This hull also features intense reverse chines that act as lifting strakes to get the boat on plane incredibly fast.”
Strong but lightweight materials, the center of gravity, the outboard height and the hull-bottom design must all combine to create the proper setup for acceleration. With 32 years as a fishing-tournament competitor, Contender founder Joe Neber has seen what works, Miller says.
“Years ago, most boat companies, captains and owners would change props to get on plane quicker. Or if they wanted to cruise at a faster speed, they’d use a different pitch prop. Therefore the trade-off was tremendous,” he says. “But with our years of building tournament-winning hulls, we constantly honed and perfected them so the consumer can purchase a water-ready Contender and doesn’t have to be concerned with adjusting anything or giving up anything in exchange for the quick hole shot along with some better overall performance.”
With twin Yamaha F150s, the 25 T still takes a mere 6.64 seconds to reach 30. That configuration also produces a top speed of 52.2 mph at 6,000 rpm for 1.58 mpg. The boat cruises at 26.4 mph, turning 3,500 rpm and achieving 2.47 mpg.
Feature highlights include a 50-gallon livewell aft, a 140-gallon insulated forward fish box, a 76-gallon insulated aft fish box, and a walk‑through transom door.
Specs: LOA: 25 ft. 3 in. • Beam: 8 ft. 6 in. • Transom Deadrise: 24.5 deg. • Draft: 1 ft. 6 in. Dry Weight: 4,200 lb. (w/o engines) • Max Power: 400 hp • MSRP: $94,690 (w/ Yamaha F250)
A Sport Fishing trial of this new hybrid boat in 2016 yielded a 5.7-second sprint to 30 mph with twin Yamaha F250s. “A combination of the variable-deadrise hull and the amount of horsepower aboard” makes this model jump out of the hole, says Shane Kwaterski, Everglades marketing specialist. “With more planing surface aft, she pops up and gets on plane quickly.”
The 273CC features 20 degrees of deadrise aft, which enhances that planing surface and provides more stability at rest than a sharper-angled boat, in general. Lesser deadrise, though, can mean a slightly rougher ride in big seas.
Clearly Everglades built this boat for inshore and offshore fishing. In a nod to bay anglers, Everglades lowered the gunwale height. But the boat features a proud bow with adequate flare to deflect waves, and it can be powered with twin outboards. The 18-inch draft…