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July 20, 2012

Scout 275 XSF

All features and Scout’s trademarked designs converge into a stable, beautiful fishing platform

South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor always impresses me, especially when I’m running a sleek new piece of fiberglass through the same waters where tall wooden ships and ironclads sailed.

Last fall, as I boarded the Scout 275 XSF at Patriot’s Point, I looked south toward the old city and its numerous church spires. The inside waters, calm and reflective, gave way to a rough chop toward Fort Sumter. With twin Yamaha F150s purring on the transom, I spun the Scout in graceful arcs — a classic boat on a historic bay.

Performance
The test boat I ran came with optional Teleflex power-assist steering, which made the 275 handle like a Cadillac. Sharp turns port and starboard felt incredibly stable with very little leaning sensation. I sensed no slide, and the boat only slightly decelerated.

Burying the throttles, with trim tabs deployed, brought the boat on plane in 3.7 seconds. Without tabs, planing took 4.7 seconds with minimal bow rise.

At 6,000 rpm, I found a top end of 54 mph, while achieving 1.6 mpg (with two adults, basic safety gear and half a tank of fuel). I found a sweet spot at 3,800 rpm, where the Scout ran 31 mph at 2.7 mpg. In a Yamaha performance test the same week, the captain rated the best cruise at 4,000 rpm and 32.6 mph, achieving 2.45 mpg.

While this 27-footer can handle 500 horsepower, I’d be perfectly happy running “only” 54 mph with that fuel economy.

A long, slow roll moment makes this Scout feel very stable drifting beam-to the seas. At slow trolling speeds, the alleys remain clear. Bumping up to 8 mph causes only slight subsurface turbulence.

Fishing
I would have enjoyed fishing this boat: The 275 features family-friendly comforts and all the right angling amenities, blended with superb fit and finish — as is Scout’s hallmark. But time did not allow a long run offshore or even any bay plinking.

However, a thorough inspection shows just how intently Scout thought about anglers. The deck is rimmed with plush coaming pads that make stand-up fishing comfortable. The 275’s transom features a wave gate that folds, extends and drops down for three different positions. Leave it folded to enlarge the cockpit, extend the bench seat while running, or completely drop the gate for swim-platform access to work a fish around the outboards.

Dual cylindrical 20-gallon livewells anchor the aft corners, allowing anglers to split up baits. Port and starboard in-deck fish boxes hold 25 gallons each and feature diaphragm pumps.

Store and stow up to 19 rods in horizontal and vertical holders located under and in the gunwales, aft of the helm module and along the standard powder-coated hardtop, which comes with a tempered-glass helm enclosure.

A forward 83-gallon in-deck box could double as a third fish box or as storage for cast nets and other gear. All boxes come gasketed and insulated, and feature rams that support the hatch lids when opened; boxes and lids are beautifully finished throughout. Anglers will also find storage under all forward seating.

Design and Construction
From the aft “systems room” that allows quick access to pumps and transducers to the fold-down helm to the electronically actuated, locking electronics panel, Scout has given the 275 a yachtlike feel.

Ditto for the helm seating: Scout crafted a cushioned leaning post for two with fold-down bolsters and arm rests. Forward, passengers can use pop-up backrests to turn bow seating into bow lounging. And how about that special locker with a hanger for dock lines? Can you say “built to impress”?

Structurally, Scout uses its NuV3 hull design in the 275. Company owner Steve Potts says this convex design, which uses variable angles along the length of the hull, softens the ride without the need for a sharp transom deadrise angle. Sharper hull angles also require higher horsepower.

Scout boats feature all-composite stringers and transoms. The stringers also pass through the transom, supporting the integral engine bracket.

Extra touches abound, including LED lighting throughout the vessel, a curved bulkhead aft of the bow seating that looks stylish and adds function as a shallow storage compartment, and friction hinges on the console door. Inside the console, Scout even provides a ­standard porcelain head.

All features and Scout’s trademarked designs converge into a stable, beautiful fishing platform for today’s demanding anglers, especially those who truly appreciate a classic.


LOA......27 ft. 6 in.
BEAM......9 ft.
DRAFT......1 ft. 4 in.
DEADRISE......22 deg.
WEIGHT......5,100 lb. (w/o power)
FUEL......175 gal.
MAX POWER......500 hp OB
MSRP......$134,511 (w/ (2) Yamaha F150TXRs)

Scout Boats / Summerville, South Carolina / 843-821-0068 / www.scoutboats.com