Even if fuel costs drop below $1.50/gallon by the time you read this, that probably won’t change the world’s intense focus on “going green.” Scout Boats founder Steve Potts embraces the new ecology – so much so that he began designing more fuel- efficient hulls several years ago.
“Like it or not, the world is going green,” Potts said in a letter to Scout dealers last year. “Scout Boats’ plan is to stay ahead of the trend by providing you with efficient, innovative products never before seen in our industry.”
The 245 XSF proves a prime example. This new hull – XSF stands for extra- forward-seating Sport Fish – replaces the 242 Sport Fish. Scout took the earlier conventional deep-V design and rebuilt it using NuV3 technology. (NuV3 varies the hull angle three times from the keel to the chine.) The resulting design increased the 24’s cruising range by 93 miles.
Running out of Charleston Harbor on a late-summer morning, we encountered choppy seas with a 10 mph north breeze. We carried four people and about 110 gallons of fuel – a heavier-than-usual load for a test run, but probably pretty indicative of the weight this vessel would ferry to the fishing grounds.
The single Yamaha 250 four-stroke pushed the 245 to plane in about five seconds. Subsequent testing by Yamaha – with two people aboard and 48 gallons of fuel – produced a time-to-plane of 3.79 seconds.
Max power for this vessel is 350 hp, but you’d have to balance any performance gain against any changes in fuel efficiency and the cost difference to buy and maintain a 350. Today’s choices often revolve more around sensibility than bragging rights.
Quartering into the building waves outside the harbor demonstrated a slightly wet ride until I trimmed up the engine and lifted the seaward side of the boat with the trim tabs. That produced a completely dry though slightly rougher ride. When I forced the vessel to land as hard as the seas would allow, it came down solidly – no creaking and no perceived flex.
Running in following seas proved extremely comfortable with the engine trimmed up slightly.
I throttled up coming back across the harbor, pegging the speedometer at 50.1 mph, burning 22.5 gph for 2.2 mpg.
The 245 offers a wonderful blend of fishability and family comfort. The forward seating area comes with a cooler and foldout table – perfect for picnics and games. But beneath the forward bench seats, Scout insulated the storage areas to serve as two 40-gallon fish boxes.
Beneath the foredeck, anglers can store cast nets or safety gear in another gasketed and insulated hold. Even the forward console seat hides a 165-quart cooler.
Our test vessel – sporting the Guy Harvey graphics package – featured a powder-coated hardtop with rocket launcher and a leaning post with rod storage. The total count for vertical rod holders came to 13 with horizontal storage for four rods under the gunwales. A base boat would include four in-gunwale holders and four across the leaning post.
The “sport” leaning post is Scout’s standard helm seating for this vessel. That configuration comes with flip-up bolsters and a tackle station, as well as the rod holders, two cup holders and a grab rail. The tackle station holds two spools of line and four plastic boxes.
The aft recirculating livewell to starboard comes standard and holds 10 gallons of seawater. Anglers may also choose an optional second well, either a 9-gallon system in the port aft storage compartment or a 25-gallon leaning-post livewell.
Between the aft compartments stretches a transom seat with a fold-down gate for easy access to the swim platform for fighting a fish around the engine.
On our bumpy September seas, the 245 exhibited a medium roll moment with gentle transitions. Cockpit bolsters reach to lower-thigh level on an average-sized man, allowing a short reach to the water for releasing fish.
Design and Construction
Scout says its NuV3 hull technology results in a smoother, more stable ride, excellent spray deflection, improved handling and better fuel efficiency. The design begins at the keel with the initial deadrise angle to the first strake.
That first – and lowest – angle allows the boat to plane more quickly and run efficiently. The second, slightly increased angle (by about 1 degree) carries between the first and second strakes and provides more stability in rougher conditions with better spray deflection. The third angle – and the steepest (an increase of 21¼2 degrees) – runs from the second strake to the chine and further reduces pounding in heavy seas.
Abovedecks, Scout takes great pains to properly finish its boats, using quality hardware with an eye toward the finest aesthetics. The helm’s leaning post features a very comfortable ergonomic design. Its bolsters, plus all coaming pads and cushions, offer super-soft comfort for those long hours anglers often spend in rough seas.
The helm console features an automotive-style gauge panel just below eye level. Mount a multifunction electronics unit with a 12-inch display or two smaller units side by side into the angled face of the console. A tilt steering wheel comes standard.
Scout’s 245 brings attention to detail, extra amenities and a fuel-efficient design together in a comfortable, offshore package. What more could you want in these volatile evolutionary times?
LOA……24 ft. 5 in.
BEAM……8 ft. 6 in.
HULL DRAFT……1 ft. 5 in.
WEIGHT……2,600 lb. (dry)
MAX HP……350 hp OB
MSRP……$73,133 (w/ Yamaha F250BTXR)
$86,436 (Guy Harvey edition)
_Scout Boats / Summerville, South Carolina / 843-821-0068 / _www.scoutboats.com