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Well OK, I didn’t get a chance to post over the week-end as promised. By the time I finished at the show and had dinner I was just to exhausted to type. I’ll try to make up for it with this post.

First, I did get a chance for a personal interview with Sponge Bob. Great guy, and he really likes boats. That’s us on the show floor:

On a more serious note, I said I’d report on the five boats I’d pre-selected to look at while at the show. As a reminder they were the 230 Pursuit, 240 Bay Scout, 223 Everglades, 236 Key Largo and the 23 Hydrasport. What’s interesting here is that my favorite at the show turned out to be a boat not on my original list, the 220 Sea Hunt Triton. Read on and you’ll learn about my selection process and more.

First of all, I won’t even consider a boat that does not participate in the NMMA’s Boat & Yacht Certification program. To learn more about that, you should get over to:http://www.nmma.org/certification/ . So, with that in mind I was able to eliminate the 236 Key Largo. The company does not participate in the program and that in itself knocks the boat off my list.

Why you ask? The certification implies a certain level of construction quality and standards compliance. Its someting you should look for if you are buying a new boat. US Coast Guard compliance is a legal requirement and so don’t let somebody tell you that “all our boats meet USCG requirements” and think that is any big deal. The requirements are MINIMAL! Go to the website above and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

OK, so that’s one down. Next came the 240 Bay Scout. This is a really nice boat, but after seeing it in the flesh I had to rule it out for my use. It’s just too shallow on the free-board for my intended use, which would put me out of Narragansett Bay and out into open ocean from time to time. If I were running in Florida Bay all the time, I would definately put this boat back on my list. The Hydrasport 23 had the same issue. For me, these two boats would be super for saltwater flyfishing Florida Bay, or similar waters, but I’d just be a little uncomfortable out in the open ocean with them and frankly I don’t think the builder’s really had open ocean use in mind anyhow.

Next came the 223 Everglades. Again, nice boat but it had one glaring fault that I decided at the show was going to be a major priority for me. I’m referrring to a walk in center console here, and the luxury of an enclosed head. This is super important if I’m going to be able to talk my wife into 1. Liking the Boat 2. Going with me from time to time. The Everglade doesn’t have this feature so I had to knock it off my list.

Next came the 230 Pursuit. I did not actually see one at the show, but after a little further research, I’m going to have to knock it off my list. Not because it isn’t a super boat, because it is. Plain and simply I can’t afford it. It’s heavy and requires a 250 HP engine to maximize things which adds considerable cost in many ways. Bottom line? It’s just out of my range moneywise.

Well, then I sort of tripped over the Sea Hunt, which is a boat brand I have little experience with but am just beginning to see up here in New England where I live. Specifically the 220 Triton model from their line got my attention. This is a really nice looking boat that does participate in the NMMA program and I think could meet my multi-use needs. It’ll do over 40 mph with just a 150HP Yamaha strapped to the back, and gets impressive fuel economy at 25 mph (about 5.3 GPH) With that I can get to Block Island, RI in an hour from my house for about $15, well within the affordability range.

The 220 Triton does have the head enclosure in the console and a variety of excellent features. I love the hull. Deep V with a slight Carolina flare up front. In the power boat arena, this boat is just the style I like. So, what’s next? Over the winter I need to try and sea trial one during one of my forays to Florida. If this boat runs and handles as good as it looks, Fly Zone could end up with a for sale sign on it next spring. I’ll keep you posted. To check out the Sea Hunt line, go to:http://seahuntboats.com/

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