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July 14, 2005

Triton 351 CC

Handy design features happen to come wrapped in a beautiful, aggressively styled package, too. It's a complete package, from stem to stern, a serious boat built for serious fishermen.

When you step aboard Triton's new 351 Center Console, it becomes immediately obvious that fishermen designed the boat. Subtle but important touches abound in the 351, things that a nonangler might not even notice. But for those of us who live and breathe for our time spent fishing, these things make all the difference in the world.

These handy design features happen to come wrapped in a beautiful, aggressively styled package, too. It's a complete package, from stem to stern, a serious boat built for serious fishermen.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA 34 ft. 10 in.
BEAM 10 ft.
MAX HP (3) 300-hp OB
DEADRISE 24 deg.
DRAFT 24 in.
FUEL 355 gal.
WATER 18 gal.
WEIGHT 8,000 lb.
MSRP $174,225
 (w/triple 225-hp Honda outboards)

Triton Boats
Ashland City, Tennessee
888-887-4866
www.tritonboats.com

Performance
Triple 225-hp Honda outboards powered our profile boat. The three four-strokes provide exceptional acceleration, and when I pushed the three zero-effort throttles forward, we were soon moving along briskly at a 4,000-rpm cruise of 36 mph, while burning a shade less than 29 gph. We ran the boat during the Miami Boat Show, and as we left Government Cut heading east, we all had the same thought: Anybody up for lunch in Bimini? This boat would make it easily.

But as reality settled back in, we turned our attention to putting the boat through its paces in a somewhat confused 3-foot chop.

The boat ran softly and tracked well at every angle to the seas, with minimal spray.

HONDA 225 Four-stroke

TYPE 60 deg. V-6
DISPL 212 cid
MAX RPM 6,000
HP/LB RATIO 0.38
FUEL SYSTEM Programmed fuel injection
GEAR RATIO 1.86:1
WEIGHT 599 lb.
ALT. OUTPUT 60 amps
MSRP $18,815

When we stopped to drift in the chop, the 351's 10-foot beam allowed the boat to drift in a stable and predictable manner.

When we opened her up, the triple Hondas pushed us to a top speed of 56.6 mph at 6,000 rpm, burning 62.4 gph. These are impressive numbers when you consider that the 351's hull has a steep 24-degree deadrise and weighs 8,000 pounds. This is no lightweight go-fast boat, but is instead a boat built to fish hard in rugged conditions and stay together.

NOTABLE STANDARD
EQUIPMENT
? T-top with fiberglass hardtop
? Removable cockpit bolsters
? Head with holding tank
? Hydraulic steering
? Mercury K-Plane trim tabs
? Dual bilge pumps

And it will run well with a pair of large outboards, too, for those of you who don't require triples and maximum speed.

Fishing
The transom bulkhead on the 351 contains a 35-gallon insulated fish box on the centerline that comes with a divider and drains through a macerator pump. To starboard, I found a 31-gallon livewell with built-in, removable tuna tubes recessed into the well.

IMPRESSIONS
Triton has combined intelligent fishing features with solid construction, producing a boat that will fish well and look good, too.

How many boats have you seen with standard tuna tubes? A second livewell with a 50-gallon capacity sits in the aft end of the leaning post/ rocket launcher.


Triton provides another thoughtful touch in the large lazarette just forward of the transom bulkhead. A removable storage box allows inner hull access, but it also contains circular recesses just the right size to accommodate a couple of 5-gallon buckets.  This ingenious approach enables you to store cast nets, or whatever else you carry around in a bucket, securely but within easy reach.

Tackle drawers on either side of the leaning post provide good storage for your loose gear, and rod storage abounds as well. Multiple rod racks hold quite a few outfits; the center two storage compartments, located amidships, are lockable. You can also store four rods vertically beneath the console, and the forward racks under the raised passenger seating can be removed when you need that space for dry storage. Triton also offers an optional rocket launcher that sits on the aft edge of the transom bulkhead.

Forward of the console, a second fish box beneath the deck provides an additional 125 gallons of storage, and it also drains through a macerator. Another subdeck hatch aft of the well opens to provide access to the boat's holding and freshwater tanks, plus it holds two more bucket recesses.