Century 2901 Review

This all-new 2901 replaces the old 29s, and the differences are legion.

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02century

Since Yamaha purchased the company, I have often thought that the quality of both design and construction of Century boats has steadily improved. Recently, Yamaha spun off Cobia, allowing Century the luxury of focusing strictly on one line instead of two. Has it made any difference in the pace of advances in the model line at Century? You bet! This all-new 2901 replaces the old 29s, and the differences are legion.

Performance
The oceanside waters off Key Largo, Florida, surprised us with their serenity. We had no problem making speed runs in the flat calm we found inside the reef. Outside, seas of 2 to 3 feet let us examine the 2901's stability and seakeeping ability.

At wide-open throttle (6,100 rpm), the twin 250 hp four-stroke Yamahas pushed us along at 50 mph, using a total of 41.2 gph. A more conservative cruising speed of 35 mph cut that by more than half to 18.9 gph. I found that trolling on one engine worked really well, with the 600 rpm idle speed moving us at 2.5 mph. What this boat won't do is get up on plane with one engine. It's too husky for that. However, remember, in a nasty head sea, you'll appreciate that huskiness.

It took three seconds to plane with no tabs. And speaking of tabs, the 2901 proved quite sensitive to trim-tab adjustment. You need only tap the button for response.

Drifting for sails outside the reef, I found the 2901 provided a short roll moment with moderate transitions. Down-sea, it tracked beautifully, and the spray exits down and out to the sides very nicely. The 9 1¼2-foot beam makes for a more stable platform and smoother ride than provided by Century's previous 29s.

With the wheel hard over, the 2901 leans into the turn, bleeds speed off quickly and reverses course in two boat lengths.

Fishing The cockpit boasts loads of room to move as well as a ton of tackle and rod storage, including lockable rod storage for three rods in each side. I particularly liked the additional rocket launcher with three rod holders across the back of the transom. It allows you to run two center-'rigger lines - a long and a short.

The 2901 has large fish boxes, but the amidships fish boxes need to open wider for easier access. The huge, 66-gallon transom livewell has a divider.

I like the low-profile (though not recessed) bow rail. It gives security for holding on, yet keeps your foot from inadvertently sliding over the edge when standing on the foredeck throwing a cast net.

Century provides a sink and rigging station in the transom. It comes standard, but because it's down around knee level, your back will let you know when you have enough ballyhoo rigged.

You'll also appreciate that Century mounts three rod holders in each gunwale rather than the industry standard two.

Our boat sported the super-deluxe helm-seat configuration, which has two seats with arms, five rod holders and four polished drink holders, as well as a handrail across the back of the seats. Century also included tackle storage beneath the seats with access from the cockpit. And it's all sheltered by the standard hardtop with four more rod holders across the back. Factory-installed outriggers are an option. I mention the helm seat because the entire module accompanying the seats has myriad fishing features to spice up your cockpit.

Design and Construction
Century's V-Tech hull system uses multi- directional fiberglass and transverse bracing in the bilges for stiffness. Foam injection helps make the ride even quieter. Standard ingredients also include high-quality Armorcoat gelcoat and a urethane-composite transom. Such quality construction allows Century to offer a 10-year, 100 percent transferable warranty on the hull and deck of every boat.

Another feature Century never skimps on - drink holders. They're particularly rife around the helm, where the super-deluxe helm seats seem to be truly worth the extra cost.

Belowdecks, even a full-grown man can comfortably fit in the berth, and if you don't store all your extra gear in the console, the electric head with macerator and holding tank can add a welcome touch of luxury and satisfaction.

The helm console offers enough room for a single, 15-inch navigation display or two smaller units, side by side. In addition, you get two separate lockable boxes: a larger one to house your radio(s) and a smaller catchall glove box.

Overall, this 2901 turns out to be a pretty advanced, loaded, well-thought-out center console that you can use for serious fishing and yet still assure your family will enjoy cruising in comfort.

LOA  29 ft. 4 in.    BEAM  9 ft. 6 in.    DRAFT  22 in.
DEADRISE  23 deg.    WEIGHT  7,000 lb.    FUEL   300 gal.
MAX POWER (2) 300 hp OB MSRP $140,692 (w/ T Yamaha F250s)
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Century Boats Panama City, Florida 850-769-0311 www.centuryboats.com