2016 Fishing Boat Buyers Guide: Avenger Bay AV-26

Distant hot spots are in reach, with an 89-gallon fuel capacity and a max power rating up to 400 hp.

Bill and Mike Butler and Lenny Stevens of Venice Marina in Louisiana watched experienced local guides drive low-profile 1980s Avenger boats season after season, some boats still in use after nearly 40 years.

They wanted someone to build a new one, but it needed updated. They turned to Carolina Composites LLC. With decades of boatbuilding experience, they researched what guides loved so much about the Avenger, and they improved it.

An offset transom set back created more aft fishing room. They stepped the transom, too, to help boost performance and to avoid the squat for safer shallow hole shots. A jack plate and trim tabs come standard. Avenger’s new AV-26 offers a 260-quart insulated box with pump-out forward; a 180-quart in-floor insulated fish box aft; a pair of livewells aft and a crustacean well forward. A 96-quart cooler is built within the step up to the front deck.

Distant hot spots are in reach, with an 89-gallon fuel capacity and a max power rating up to 400 hp.

The helm is served by a pair of flip seats with ­bolsters; lean back or sit and steer in more comfort. A flip-up transom seat accommodates more crew. Rod holders are found throughout, Then come options: seven hull-color choices, T-tops and canvas, casting-chair kits, additional circulating livewells, audio systems, underwater lighting, power steering and more.

Carolina Composites redesigned it with the guide in mind, but it’s still family- and ­recreational-angler friendly. The company plans 22- and 24-foot versions, too.

LOA: 26'2" | Beam: 8'6" | Fuel Capacity: 89 gal. | Dry Weight: 3,100 lb. plus power | Max Horsepower: 400