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October 09, 2013

Sea Born FX25

The FX25 takes you to fish any waters, with all the fishing amenities you need.

I don’t know when the term “crossover” joined boating’s word-stock. But it nobly attempts to describe a vessel that blends the best elements of two worlds. We’re all conflicted: Do we want to fish offshore or inshore? Do we want adventure or security?

Sea Born’s FX25 — like similar behemoth bay-boat hulls introduced in the past two years — offers anglers choices. Its 8-foot-9-inch beam, fully enclosed transom and 22 inches of cockpit freeboard create family-friendly stability. But its 25-foot length, standard 10-inch jack plate and 11-inch draft make it a fish-just-about-anywhere boat.

Skimming the chop in Miami’s Biscayne Bay this past winter during that city’s massive boat show, the FX25 also proved enjoyable to run and quick — powered by a single Mercury 300 Verado.

Performance

On as flat a section of chopped-up water as I could find, I throttled up to plane in an average of 5 seconds — measuring both against and with the wind. But since the FX25 demonstrated only slight bow rise, time to plane became a difficult judgment call. The vessel reaches 30 mph in 8.2 seconds, according to Mercury’s tests.

With three adults, 75 gallons of fuel, and the optional hardtop, the FX25 hit a top speed of 51.4 mph, achieving 1.7 mpg in my run. Factory runs show the hull with the 300 Verado can reach 58.1 mph (and 61.3 with the Mercury 300 Pro FourStroke). I found a comfortable cruising speed at 3,800 rpm, running 27 mph with 3 mpg fuel consumption.

The power steering that Mercury incorporates into its Verados created tightly arced turns for the FX25. You can moderate that turning radius by raising and lowering the jack plate. The standard trim tabs give helmsmen further opportunities to tweak the already smooth ride.

The full transom means that spray deflects during rapid backing, and your feet stay dry in the cockpit.

Fishing

While I was unable to wet a line aboard the FX25, I could quickly see that the vessel is well suited for all kinds of fishing. Sea Born had sent its Bravo package to the Miami show, and that version comes with a 65-gallon bow release well and the leaning-post/livewell seating option. The 50-gallon oval well in the leaning post features an acrylic front window and a gasketed lid.

The bow offers an expansive casting deck with a shallow-but-cavernous anchor locker for avid bottomfishermen, and an 18-square-foot storage box. Just aft of that deck, a short step-down leads to a U-shaped lounge with three more compartments, including locking storage for eight rods, all wrapped by a removable coaming bolster. Aft of that — and a larger step-down to the main deck — Sea Born dropped in a cast-net locker.

The forward console face features a four-box tackle locker behind the passenger-seat cushion. Beneath that seat lies a 9½-gallon insulated well.

Flanking the center console, six stainless vertical rod holders combine with the four flush, in-gunwale holders and the eight horizontal holders under the gunwales to host a combined 26-rod arsenal. Holders in the optional hardtop further increase that capacity.

A raw-water washdown comes standard, so you can quickly hose off fish blood or bait slime. Standard aft coaming bolsters make fighting fish at the rail more comfortable.

Design and Construction

The FX25 hull features a single step. Steps can reduce friction along the running surface and increase speed and fuel efficiency. The FX25 also sports a full forward flare and a molded engine bracket.

Sea Born uses a molded-fiberglass stringer system that defines rigging tracks, tank wells and support structure in a semimonocoque design. Hull, transom and stringer laminates are biaxial-knit glass over high-density urethane cores. Decks are biaxial sandwich construction over PVC cores with aluminum backing plates under deck hardware.

The FX25’s console features ample room for a 12-inch electronics display. The boat I ran also came with Mercury’s new Vessel View display, a robust engine-information unit that lets you track systems data.

An optional, folding bench at the transom offers crew members a comfortable ride to the fishing grounds, whether you’re headed to a shallow bay or to nearshore reefs and wrecks.

With these and many more features, Sea Born has crafted a crossover without compromising comfort or fishability. So go ahead, remain conflicted. 

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA 24 ft. 11 in.
BEAM 8 ft. 9 in.
DRAFT 11 in.
DEADRISE 17 deg.
WEIGHT 2,600 lb. (w/o power)
FUEL 75 gal.
MAX POWER 300 hp OB

Mercury 300 Verado
TYPE In-line 6
DISPLACEMENT 158.6 cid
MAX RPM 6,400
HP/LB RATIO 0.47
FUEL SYSTEM Sequential, multiport EFI<
GEAR RATIO 1.85:1
WEIGHT 635 lb.
ALTERNATOR OUTPUT 70 amps

MSRP AS TESTED $69,947

NOTABLE STANDARD FEATURES

> Hydraulic jack plate
> Trim tabs
> Forward 65-gallon release well
> Aft coaming bolsters
> Sea chest for water pickups

Composite Research
Blackshear, Georgia
912-449-0033
seabornboats.com