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October 25, 2001

Sea Pro 255

"With both Evinrude Ficht 150 Ocean Pros running, time to plane - at a hair under two seconds - was the fastest of any boat I've ever been aboard."

I can hardly imagine a day less enticing for offshore fishing, when you know you probably should be someplace else and you're the only boat visible. The waters off Jacksonville were sporty indeed, with a north wind at 20 mph pushing cold air to create a wind chill of 25 degrees. Seas 3 feet high and four seconds apart made for a good, if frigid, challenge.

Performance
I knew this Sea Pro 255 promised extraordinary performance when I decided to try it on just one engine. It got up on plane on the single engine faster than most other 25-footers get up with twins. And if you ever have to, you can run home that way at an amazing 33.9 mph. With both Evinrude Ficht 150 Ocean Pros running, time to plane - at a hair under two seconds - was the fastest of any boat I've ever been aboard.

In the agitated sea conditions, 3,500 rpm at 24 mph proved a very comfortable speed to take the waves head on. Top speed in calm water with a half-load of fuel was 49.9 mph at 5,500 rpm. I appreciated the substantial bow flare that kept the spray from curling up onto the windshield quite nicely - since wind chill has a way of feeling even colder when you're wet.

Many boats capable of turning sharply toss passengers across the boat in the process and still take four or five boat-lengths to complete the turn. The 255 CC can reverse direction in an astonishing two boat-lengths by reacting very much like a jet boat. Turn the wheel hard over at speed and the rear end slides around - all perfectly controlled and efficient. This ability may be due to a modest 18-degree deadrise at the transom and the deepest lifting strakes terminating halfway back from the bow.

The 255 lands nicely stern-first after launching off waves at high speed. But I sensed the boat much preferred to take seas in non-airborne fashion.