In a sloppy sea just outside the river mouth, SF publisher Dave Morel was able to safely stand on the foredeck, casting toward the rocky coastline for stripers. However, that was about the only real test for the 29 during our August trip. Maine produced glasslike conditions for our offshore sharking.
|Above: Tackle drawers and seating flank the livewell, aft of the helm. Top right: The console face easily accommodates twin 12-inch multifunction displays.|
Regardless, everything about the 29 says “comfortable” fishing, from the 10½-foot beam to the sunpad/coffin box forward, coaming pads throughout and the plush helm chairs that flip up for standing. Aft of the helm, a tackle console — with two cushioned bench seats and a 45-gallon livewell — stores boxes, leaders and valuables. A knife- and towel-holder to starboard also provides room to store loose sinkers or downrigger balls.
Along the transom, an insulated baitbox keeps your iced, prepared ballyhoo, and a sink to starboard lets you quickly wash up after rigging. Transom doors port and starboard give you easy access to walk a fish around the outboards. An aft in-deck, 38-gallon fish box, with macerator, pulls out for access to the bilge.
The outrigger-ready, standard hardtop holds six rods; six more rods can stand inside the console, six more in the gunwales, and another 10 rods can lie in horizontal storage below the gunwales fore and aft. That’s a total of 28 rods!
The sunpad/coffin box offers lounging comfort forward but also 157 gallons of insulated storage for fish or supplies.
Design and Construction
The 29 carries the exclusive C. Raymond Hunt Associates design signature. It features a Carolina bow, a continuously variable deep-V hull and a reverse transom with classic tumblehome aft.
In construction, Southport uses vacuum infusion to pull the vinylester resins into the fiberglass, making for a strong bond. Stringers are solid, pre-molded fiberglass, and the transom is composite.
Closed-cell foam is injected for flotation and strength. The hull, stringers and cockpit liner are bonded with Plexus adhesive.
The helm features an acrylic windscreen molded to follow the rake of the console. The console face accommodates twin 12-inch multifunction displays and a broad panel of lighted rocker switches.
Inside the console, a standard Thetford Tecma marine head and sink with a pullout shower offer family comforts. Over the sink, a mirror lifts up to offer access to the back of the dash-mounted electronics.
Southport even thought of the little things, such as storage bins on either side of the console for brushes, mops and sponges and an additional freshwater shower head at the transom.
Clearly, the 29 targets the hard-core fishing market, but it’s fully featured rather than stripped down, which makes it the best of both worlds for discriminating anglers.