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October 25, 2001

Century 3000 Walkaround

Century 3000 Walkaround

The Century 3000, like the rest of the line, impresses me. In fact, I have been impressed with Century boats since - as a young teenager - my very first boat was a 22-foot Century Raven.

Through no fault of the boat, testing it took three tries, one canceled by a hurricane and the other by an inept navigator (not me) running up on a sandbar before I managed to get aboard. But the third time's a charm, and I finally got to fish the Century 3000 Walkaround out of Sanibel Island on Florida's southwest coast.

Performance
While not the conditions to truly test the mettle of such a boat, the foot-high, widely spaced waves allowed me to see the attitude at which the boat landed after it launched off a wave at high speed. At the 56 mph top speed delivered by twin Yamaha 250 EFIs, the 3000 Walkaround lands comfortably and softly stern-first.
Idle speed (5 mph) will be too fast for live-bait trolling, but with one engine shut down and the other turning at 500 rpm, you'll get a perfect live-bait speed. And you have the insurance of being able to get up on plane and run at 30 mph with only one engine.

Close-quarters handling, both docking and spinning on a fish, proved nimble and responsive.

Certainly the top speed is impressive, but you won't want to run that very often considering that 56 mph burned a considerable 55 gph at 5,500 rpm. A more rational (and fiscally responsible) 49 mph at 5,000 rpm decreases consumption to 37 gph - a substantial difference. Optimum cruising speed works out to be 35 mph burning a scant 18.7 gph total. At this speed, you can expect an effective range of almost 500 miles from the 270-gallon tank - most acceptable for an outboard boat.

An interesting side note: The Yamaha speedometer agreed with my Magellan 3000 hand-held GPS within less than 1 mph throughout the test - unusual and most impressive.

Fishing
We chose to troll the slicks of several shrimpers on test day and I discovered the new 3000 Walkaround to be stable and quiet in every sea direction. Unfortunately, it happened to be one of those perfect days when birds worked, chum slicks spread, seas proved extremely comfortable, the sun shone - everything but the fish cooperated. I had really hoped to try out one of the two very large fish boxes.