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Sailfish 30 Review

My father always told me to watch out for what he called the "quiet ones."

April 19, 2006
Sailfish 30_06

Sailfish 30_06

My father always told me to watch out for what he called the “quiet ones.” He claimed that they – be they people or companies – often made the biggest differences by doing unexpected things. That certainly fits the dynamic of Seminole Marine. Never heard of it?

That’s the parent company that makes Sailfish Boats, and over the past 20 years or so, this quiet company has built Sailfish into a highly respected purveyor of excellent outboard-powered, offshore fishing boats. It offers some of the best bang-for-the-buck value on the market, a fact that the general boating populace is only now starting to perceive.

Performance I ran the new Sailfish 30 during the Miami International Boat Show. Though the offshore conditions proved quite moderate, getting to and from the ocean could not have been more challenging. The main shipping channel, Government Cut, closes down to all recreational traffic whenever a cruise ship docks (which is a lot of the time). That means every vessel undergoing prospective-buyer sea trials must bypass the cut through some narrow but wide-open-throttle channels. The wakes from competing 60-footers generate nightmarish conditions. A boat that handles this chaos well will handle simple offshore seas with no problem. So it goes for the Sailfish 30.

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With its pair of 250-hp Yamaha four-strokes, the Sailfish topped out at 51 mph turning 6,000 rpm burning a total of 43.8 gph. Cruising speed figured to be around 32.6 mph at 4,000 rpm. But more important than such concrete numbers are the subjective performance aspects.

For example, the 10-foot beam makes this an exceptionally stable platform for drift fishing or kite fishing for sails. With that said, the 24-degree deadrise offsets the wide beam enough to make it a smooth ride in a head sea. I also found it a stable ride at trolling speeds with a very clean wake.

Turning at speed causes the inside bow to dip, bleeding off enough speed so no one gets thrown around in the boat while carving a hard 180-degree turn in two boat lengths.

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Fishing Hard though it might be to imagine, the Sailfish 30 center console comes straight from the factory with 28 rod holders as standard equipment. Unbelievable. A long list of other innovative fishing features all come standard, too: down-rigger-ball holders under the gunwales; a spectacular tackle locker with built-in leader dispensers; hanging lure bags, storage drawers, etc.; a 30-gallon livewell in the transom and another in the leaning post, along with a bait-prep station; large insulated fish boxes in the bow; low-profile bow rail recessed into the gunwale; cockpit coaming pads; flush-mount cleats and bow light; and even a T-top complete with both fluorescent and spreader lights. The baitwells feature powerful circulation pumps for when you’re trolling; the effective high-speed pickups keep your baits fresh as can be underway. Additionally, gasket seals allow the baitwells to maintain a slightly positive pressure, which keeps the precious baits from sloshing around in the well. I expect you’ll rarely discard dead baits from these livewells.

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The console boasts a full 61¼2 feet of standing headroom, allowing you to install even more rod racks there if you choose. Interestingly, that 10-foot beam comes into play again when fishing. The extra width allows you to fight a fish through 360 degrees around the boat without getting caught up in vertical rod holders,
T-top legs or anything else for that matter. It’s a clear shot all around.

About the only downside I discovered from a fishing standpoint concerns chine slap in a beam-sea drift. It probably won’t bother offshore fish like it would snook or redfish and the like. But the noise might annoy the angler – a relatively small matter, considering all the great features that outweigh it.

Design and Construction
Sailfish installs what it calls “Sailtech” stringers in each hull. These foam-filled fiberglass ribs provide structural rigidity to the hull. The stringers tie directly to the high-density, urethane-foam composite transom. Each hull consists of multiaxial knitted fiberglass, premium gelcoats and specially blended resins. Sailfish bonds the hull, deck and liner with advanced polyester bonding putties, effectively creating solid one-piece hulls. But wise boating consumers don’t stop looking there. They stick their heads up under gunwales and inside the bilge and anchor locker. On the Sailfish, you’ll find completely finished surfaces in all those places and not an iota of raw fiberglass.

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Sailfish Boats’ list of options is short, and you’ll find the company subscribes to the Japanese auto manufacturer philosophy of putting just about everything that everyone orders anyway aboard as standard. I can’t think of many boats that roll out of the factory as completely equipped as this Sailfish 30.

SPECIFICATIONS
  LOA 33 ft.   BEAM 10 ft.   HULL DRAFT 1 ft. 10 in.   WEIGHT 7,200 lb.   DEADRISE 24 deg.   FUEL 300 gal.   MAX HP (2) 300-hp outboard    * *   Sailfish Boats **  Cairo, Georgia   229-377-2125   www.sailfishboats.com * ***  YAMAHA 250-hp Four-stroke   TYPE 60 deg. V-6   DISPL. 204.6 cid   MAX RPM 6,000   HP/LB RATIO .42   FUEL SYSTEM EFI   GEAR RATIO 2:1   WEIGHT 608 lb.   ALT. OUTPUT 45 amps   * * *  Notable Standard Equipment   • Electric trim tabs with indicator   • Dual-cylinder hydraulic steering   • T-top with lights and rod holders   • Tackle/Bait-prep center   • Fresh- and saltwater washdowns   • 28 rod holders
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