SARASOTA, Fla.,-Wellcraft® boats continue to make their impact known on the prestigious kingfish tournament trails-especially with the recently launched 352 Tournament model. The combination of a high-performance hull, 360-degree fishability, capacity for up to 900 HP on the transom and other pro features are making this boat popular with a growing number of tournament fishermen.
In late April, Georgia's Rick Smith, along with his crew of Tim Ellis, Carl Alexander and Jimmy Mancil, won the 2005 Southern Kingfish Association championship in Ft. Pierce, Florida, in Smith's "Wild Turkey" Wellcraft 352 Tournament powered and sponsored by Evinrude. Smith's crew weighed in with 55.66 lbs.
Last October, team "Early Riser" headed by Captain John Parks of Jacksonville, N.C., and crew members, Willie Humphrey and Robert Daugherty caught a two-fish total weighing 58 pounds, 2 ounces to win the inaugural 2005 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour Championship in Morehead City. Parks won this event in his Wellcraft 302 Scarab and has since upgraded to a 352 Tournament powered by Yamaha.
"Wellcraft has a long heritage of success in competitive tournament fishing, and we're extremely proud of what these guys have been able to accomplish in our boats," said Wellcraft president Dean Samuelson.
Last year, the third Wellcraft 352 Tournament delivered from the factory, "Reel Krazy," sponsored by Kellogg's, and her crew, Captain Bryan Edwards, Mike Glover and Joan Meyers, won the prestigious Greater Wilmington King Mackerel Classic with a 46.74-pound fish. The second 352 delivered took second place in the FLW Kingfish Tour Event three weeks earlier. Both boats were competing the day after delivery.
"Our 352 Tournament rounds out our line up with an ideal design for the kingfish circuits. It's practically ready to fish right out of the shrink wrap," said Samuelson.
The 352 Tournament is well-equipped for offshore running with a 35' 9" L.O.A., 9' 11" beam, 8,600-pound dry weight and a 400-gallon fuel capacity. Fishing amenities include a spacious rigging station with wash-down sink and cutting board, two large self-draining accessible fish boxes, an 84-quart lighted baitwell, plenty of rod storage and ample room for the latest flat-screen electronics at the helm. The 352 also boasts a stand-up head compartment and a premium fiberglass T-top.
A subsidiary of Genmar Holdings, Wellcraft produces center console, dual console and express-type fishing boats ranging in length from 18 to 36 feet. Each model features a foam-filled fiberglass stringer system for structural integrity and long service life, and offers a ten-year structural hull limited warranty. The company, whose products are sold at dealerships throughout North America and in 20 countries worldwide, is a unit of the Sarasota, Fla.-based Genmar Saltwater Fishing Boat Group.
For more information contact Wellcraft, 1651 Whitfield Avenue, Sarasota FL 34243, 941 753 7811, www.Wellcraft.com.