Sea Pro 238 CC
When a winter cold front roars through, northern Florida re-sembles the mid-Atlantic much more than warm, sunny south Florida. Our test day felt the winds blowing out of the northeast at 15 with gusts higher. Luckily, we had one of Florida’s best inlets – St. Mary’s River – at the Florida/Georgia border in which to make our speed runs. Wide open to Cumberland Sound and the Atlantic, this inlet provides passage for vessels on the way to and from the King’s Bay, Georgia, submarine base. Needless to say, the channel is deep, wide and very well-marked.
The 238 rates for up to a single 300-hp outboard. Believe me when I say that’s probably too much for this boat. At 5,500 rpm, our single Yamaha 225 hit 42 mph burning 14 gph. Our 225 topped out at 48.5 mph at the factory max 6,000 rpm while using 21.9 gph. You can lug along at a respectable 30 mph, turning a mere 4,300 rpm while barely sipping 10 gph. Idle speed of 4 mph at 600 rpm created no wake turbulence at all. A 250 would no doubt exceed the magical 50 mph.
This Sea Pro demonstrated that it had an exceptionally dry, smooth ride even in a nasty chop outside the inlet. When the bow drops off a wave, you can feel it cut into the wave rather than pound. Down-sea, spray gets blown down and out perfectly when you run up on the back of the next wave.
Wheel hard-over turns represent a two-edged sword in the 238. At cruising
| AT A GLANCE LOA 23 ft. 8 in. BEAM 8 ft. 6 in. DEADRISE 18 deg. DRAFT 1 ft. 3 in. WEIGHT 3,000 lb. (w/o power) FUEL 121 gal. MAX POWER 300-hp OB MSRP $46,999 (w/225-hp four-stroke)Sea Pro Boats Newberry, South Carolina 803-321-5777 [email protected] Yamaha 225-Hp Four-stroke TYPE 60-degree V6 DISPL. 204.6 cid MAX RPM 6,000 HP/LB RATIO 0.39 FUEL SYSTEM Multiport injection GEAR RATIO 2:1 WEIGHT 583 lb. ALT. OUTPUT 45 amps MSRP $17,830Deciding between Yamaha’s four-stroke and HPDI takes a lot of thought. You get great performance, fuel economy and low noise on both. As far as I can tell, it boils down to whether you want to fill an oil reservoir ever again. Notable Standard Equipment ? Ten-year transferable hull warranty ? Hydraulic steering and tabs ? Freshwater and saltwater washdowns ? Lockable console and electronics box ? Recessed bow rail ? Rear seat with backrest**Impressions **This 23-footer offers remarkably good performance and ride for its size. |
speed in such a turn, the Sea Pro will reverse course in under two boat lengths – and you’d better be holding on. Though it bleeds off speed quickly, it also swings the stern around like a personal watercraft. Anyone not prepared for such a radical maneuver could easily get very upset with the helmsman. Launch the 238 off a wave and it lands slightly sternfirst.
Sea Pro mounts analog engine gauges on the dash. They may not be quite as accurate as Yamaha’s digital fuel-management system gauges, but they look much handsomer and cost far less. Yamaha’s gauges come standard only with twin-engine installations, and twin engines aren’t available on this boat. Drifting beam-to in the troughs, the 238 exhibited quite a short roll moment and slapped each time the chine rolled to meet the water’s surface. Fortunately, the transitions were gentle enough that the motion didn’t prove at all uncomfortable. All things considered, the Sea Pro 238 provides very good performance.
Sea Pro provides superb utility when combining running and fishing. For example, underway the leaning post and the cushioned transom seat support you with removable backrests. When you reach your destination, the backrests quickly disappear into the console, leaving a wide-open casting area.
Rod storage for two under each gunwale augments the spaces for two in each gunwale. Two more rod holders in the splashwell double as receptacles for the centerline transom-seat posts. A 20-gallon baitwell in each transom corner means you needn’t take the two steps across the cockpit to refresh your bait. Sea Pro meets security concerns while fighting a fish by installing a stainless toe rail under the gunwales.
Forward, a casting platform with storage beneath affords fish-chasing, cast-netting and lounging room.
One of the nicer standard features – an 18-gallon freshwater tank – lets you wash your tackle off on the way back to the dock, saving lots of time when you’re tired and ready to head home.
The 238 drifts slightly sternward of beam-to the seas and with such gentle transitions in the roll that you can easily fish without holding on in most conditions.
Design and Construction
Sea Pro employs all-composite construction, including a high-density composite transom, full foam flotation and a bonded, composite stringer grid, all of which inspires enough confidence to offer a 10-year transferable hull warranty.
An insulated box fits under the seat on the console front. A portable head and additional storage inside the console augment the storage in the forward casting deck.
Sea Pro has a few details that need to be addressed, however. At a quarter-way aft of the bow, the springline cleats are too far forward to be used for maneuvering if needed and should be moved to amidships.
Though it’s a massive undertaking requiring retooling, my final suggestion would be to enlarge the anchor locker. In its present configuration, it’s too small to handle the appropriate-sized anchor for this boat. I understand this is a tough row to hoe for a boat builder as there are so many different anchor sizes and styles. If you never anchor overnight or in storms, this item won’t concern you. Sea Pro provides excellent battery storage and bilge access through a centerline transom hatch, and any water that collects on the cockpit sole drains instantly through large, well-designed scuppers.
The Sea Pro 238 runs beautifully. It’s dry, stable, quiet and totally seaworthy. Sea Pro has yet to ignore issues in need of improvement. I fully expect the 238 to have reached its great potential by the time you read this.