Let me start by stating my bias: I have owned and run a 22-foot Pathfinder bay boat for the last three years. Despite the fact that I unabashedly love my boat, I feel my experience could offer a little deeper insight into the new 2200 XL.
Pathfinder developed the XL hull to provide a platform for larger four-stroke outboards. The XL weighs a little more and features an extended running surface as well as a bit more exterior freeboard – and it carries a Yamaha F250.
I run an F150 on my 22-footer, and its top speed pushes 50, so I blinked the first time I saw that number “250.” I was eager to put this beefier 22 to the test.
I normally love fishing the Indian River off Stuart, Florida, but the late-November day we chose to run these usually protected waters proved one of the roughest and windiest I’ve encountered. When the wind kicks up to 20 mph, I’m usually fishing from an armchair in front of the TV. But as in the best of times with this job: Somebody had to do it.
How rough was it? My co-worker, executive editor Dean Travis Clarke, donned his foul-weather gear. Turned out he didn’t need it: This XL ran smooth and dry even in 2- to 3-foot river slop.
That’s one thing I can readily attest to with Pathfinder bay boats: They run very well in their namesake open-water bodies. And as with my 22, this boat had plenty of options for trim.
Our host aboard – Capt. Brent Bowman – pointed us toward a lee shoreline so we could find calm-enough water to throttle up. After raising the recessed tabs, I floored the F250, and the XL popped up on plane in just three seconds. I kept the boat running straight as I adjusted trim to find a top speed.
The way our engine was propped and the boat loaded, we found 56.7 mph at 5,600 rpm with the wind and 53 mph into the stiff gale. Yamaha stats show a top end of 61.5 mph at 6,000 rpm for this model, with a fuel-consumption level of 21.2 gph, achieving 2.9 mpg.
We cruised at a comfortable 35 mph turning 3,500 rpm, while Yamaha hit 31.8 mph at the same rpm, burning 7.3 gph for 4.36 mpg.
In tight turns, the boat banked sharply but safely slid out, keeping everyone inboard. Flooring the XL from idle with the wheel hard over quickly spins up this relatively shallow runner.
One thing we did note while at speed: The rod in the console holder closest to the helm can turn with the vibration and bump the helmsman’s hand. We also felt the wheel and throttle might be a little too close together. But a compact console does allow more walk-around space.
To prospect fishy zones and find water that didn’t resemble a blended cocktail, we deployed the bow-mounted Minn Kota trolling motor. While the motor itself is not standard, Pathfinder wires every XL for a 24-volt system – a real bonus in my book.
Moving broadside to the wind, we noticed very little hull slap. And once we located some fishable docks and bulkheads, we found the three of us could stand on one side of the boat without creating instability.
When it comes to fishing, the folks at Maverick Boat Company, which builds Pathfinder, Maverick and Hewes, simply know what anglers demand. The XL’s bow casting platform offers ample room to throw a net without fear of stepping off. A transom platform offers plug- or spin-casting room for two. Flush bow, midship and stern cleats and recessed deck hardware keep fouling and tangling to a minimum.
A large bow dry-storage compartment uses a hydraulic ram to offer careful and quick access to all the necessary safety gear. An adjacent compartment to port provides more storage, and a locking box to starboard houses five rods in tubes measuring up to 9 feet long. A standard 72-quart cooler multitasks as a padded front console seat and more forward storage.
Pathfinder provides four vertical rod holders on either side of the console and two angled, in-gunwale holders, one on either side toward the stern. (Four more optional rod holders may be added across the back of the standard leaning post.)
Beneath the console, the XL features ample space for a trolling-motor battery and charger and access to wiring. Beneath the leaning post, Pathfinder installs a standard 100-quart cooler.
The 25-gallon elliptical livewell takes center stage on the aft platform. A starboard hatch offers access to the main battery, filters and pumps, and a port hatch can be used for storage or for an optional release well.
|LOA||21 ft. 10 in.||BEAM||8 ft. 6 in.||HULL DRAFT||11 in.|
|DEADRISE||15 deg.||WEIGHT||2,615 lb.||FUEL||60 gal.|
|MAX HP||250 hp OB||MSRP||$45,471 (w/ F250 Yamaha)|
|Maverick Boat Company Fort Pierce, Florida 888-SHALLOW www.pathfinderboats.com|