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April 19, 2011

Glacier Bay 2740

Glacier Bay worked hard to make the 2740 a stylish boat with more family appeal.

On a past tuna quest out of Ocean City, Maryland, I made a run aboard the old Glacier Bay 2665 Canyon Runner out to Baltimore Canyon. We ran in a lumpy head sea, and from the moment we left the inlet, I noticed we were outpacing all the other small boats that left around the same time. We saw a few of them out on the tuna grounds about 45 minutes after we arrived.

The new 2740 is an extended version of that hull, so I have full confidence it has the same sea-keeping abilities, only with some updated construction techniques and a deck layout designed with greater appeal to fishermen and their families.

On test day, we had to create our own sea conditions. The waters of Sarasota Bay, Florida, lay glassy, and the Gulf of Mexico outside the inlet had but a slight chop. To manufacture some confused seas, I turned the wheel hard over at 30 mph and worked in ever-tightening circles.

The first thing that struck me: The 2740 exhibited none of the outboard lean often associated with cats, a feeling that can be initially disconcerting. Glacier Bay added Doel-Fin hydrofoils to our twin Yamaha outboards to help the hulls make more graceful, smooth turns. The cat still turns flat compared with an inboard-leaning monohull, but the sensation is mitigated.

I firewalled it through the wakes straight ahead and at a quartering angle, but the boat absorbed the turbulence. Glacier Bay's trademark semidisplacement hulls have wide, oval-shaped running surfaces that promote lift and buoyancy, and the twin-hull ­configuration helps slice through waves while reducing pounding. The wide-beam twin-hull format also provides great stability, particularly for bottomfishing or while trolling. In short, the 2740 represents a true blue-water boat.

Running the numbers, we hit a top speed of 41.7 mph at 5,900 rpm, burning a combined 33.1 gph. The most efficient cruising speed fell at 19.6 mph at 3,500 rpm, where we recorded 9.9 gph for an efficiency of 2.0 mpg, giving a 324-mile range. The vessel carried three people on board and 100 gallons of fuel.