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December 26, 2006

Right in the Middle

From the Forward Seat to the Leaning Post, Center-Console Builders Offer Tricked-Out Trends

Scout Boats
Larger boats seem to boast the most spectacular console-module innovations; however, Scout has designed some pretty fancy tricks even into its new 22-foot bay boat, the 221 Winyah Bay.

A brand-new "performance leaning post" highlights the vessel's streamlined, racy look. The seat features driver and passenger bolsters. When the seat folds up, the rider's back and buttocks are almost locked into the seating. "When you're going 70 mph, you need that," says Scout's Dave Wallace.

Of course, Scout's larger center consoles also incorporate special design details. Scout's T-tops are formed from distinctive D-shaped tubing that follows the contour of the console.

The 26-foot Scout 262 incorporates a 55-gallon livewell into its leaning post - one of the larger wells I saw. This well also features what Scout terms the "big sport-fishing look" - a vertical window along the front of the well so you can monitor the bait's condition and the bait can enjoy natural light, which some anglers argue keeps the fish healthier.

At the helm, Scout uses a smoke-glass face plate that moves up and down electrically to hide the electronics. The key that cranks the engines actuates the face plate, providing added security.

Scout also offers a tempered-glass enclosure for the console that's incorporated into the T-top frame. The glass functions like an isinglass enclosure, but also allows Scout to mount a windshield wiper for clearing a captain's view.

"I think the auto industry is really driving this trend. Everybody likes gadgets," Wallace says, adding that some Scout helm stations also provide places to plug in iPods. "We like to be a leader, not a follower. With our company being an independent small company, we can make decisions on the spur of the moment."