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February 25, 2010

Andros 32 Center Console

The Andros 32 can honestly claim to be one of the most unique recreational boat designs in America. That it is handsome and performs superbly offshore only adds to its cachet...

At first glance, the Andros line of boats resembles perhaps the most ubiquitous vessel on the planet - a panga or throughout much of the Caribbean, a pirogue (pee-rohg.) It's an inherently efficient and stable hull design. However, in its third-world form, it's not the smoothest-riding boat in existence. Andros has dramatically improved the concept, making this a smoother, drier ride while retaining efficiency and stability. It qualifies as an exceptionally able offshore fishing boat.

Performance
Our day at sea dawned over Sarasota, Florida, with a frigid north wind blowing 20 to 25 mph. Running faster than 50 miles per hour (and with the windshield yet to be installed) lent all-new meaning to windchill. The biggest seas and roughest water were right at the sandbar between the shore and the Gulf of Mexico. Laying the Andros 32 beam-to those seas, I found it to be extremely stable. And interestingly, it didn't like drifting beam-to the seas but rather preferred to present its stern quarter or transom to the seas. Instead of being a negative, having the ability to steer your way down-sea while in neutral is a wonderful advantage.

Heading into the seas as we crossed the bar through occasionally breaking surf, we managed a reasonable 25 mph with a pair of 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards on an integral bracket. Having run native pangas around the world, I must tell you that the only thing this Andros boat has in common with those third-world models is appearance. The ride and performance of the Andros are infinitely superior. If you should happen to launch this boat off a wave, the landing is solid and gentle. Turning, docking and time to plane all proved completely satisfactory. We topped out at 58.7 mph pretty heavily loaded. At that, we turned 6,200 rpm while burning 59.6 gph. A reasonable cruise of 34.1 mph sipped a mere 18.7 gph at 4,000 rpm.

At a 9 mph trolling speed, the Andros 32 exhibits minor subsurface turbulence on centerline and equally minor surface turbulence. This is a gorgeous, clean wake for fishing.

Fishing
For its first venture into offshore boats (Andros has always made terrific skiffs), the company has hit a home run with both performance and fishing features. You'll find precious few center-consoles with a 275-gallon insulated fish box with a split hatch for convenience. The fish box also comes with a high-pressure, self-washing, raw-water washdown built in to facilitate cleaning. Two more 72-gallon fish boxes forward double as lockable rod storage, while another pair of 80-gallon boxes aft can double as dry storage.

Open rod storage includes nine holders on the leaning post and 12 along the sides of the console with cutouts through the hardtop for the rod tips. The boat comes standard with four holders in each gunwale too.

There's even a dedicated lift-out chum/dead-bait box. Twin 150-gallon lighted livewells (one in the transom, the other in-deck) do a great job of keeping baits fresh. To help with that, custom high-speed pickups recessed into the transom maintain livewell efficiency without clogging in shallow water.

Design and Construction
Andros builds a solid fiberglass bottom with Divinymat-cored topsides, cored stringers and bulkheads, biaxial fiberglass and a high-density foam-cored transom, all held together with vinylester resin. All hatches and boxes are finished and gelcoated inside and out. Andros installs shut-off valves on all underwater thru-hulls. The spacious console boasts more than six feet of headroom with a front-opening door.

Andros qualifies as extremely conscientious when it comes to safety. In addition to Garelick tube ladders in the transom that you can easily deploy with one hand while in the water, the company also puts handholds and nonskid everywhere they should be. For example, when you walk around on the hardtop to clean or service something, you'll be walking on nonskid.

I always appreciate a company that pays attention to detail. Each hatch has a separate drain in the lip, so you won't find any gutters on deck. Andros cants the deck in places such as by the amidships wiring posts in the bulkheads. Water runs from the bow to stern freely rather than collecting. You'll also find a lot of radius curves on this boat. Yes, it always makes a boat look better than a sharp angle or corner, but it's also much harder to execute in the molding process.

LOA......32 ft. 7 in.
BEAM......9 ft. 10 in.
DRAFT......1 ft. 7 in.
DEADRISE......24 deg.
WEIGHT......8,500 lb. (dry)
FUEL......300 gal.
MAX POWER......Twin 350 hp OB
MSRP......$158,000 (w/ twin 300 hp Mercury Verados)

Andros Boatworks / Sarasota, Florida / 877-263-7671 / www.androsboats.com