Contender Offshore Boats celebrates their 30th anniversary and few brands are more highly revered among kingfish and sailfish tournament anglers. For much of that time, the brand stood as a barely challenged defender of tournament championships. Even now, as new boats take a shot at that title, Contender owners stand as confidently by their platforms of choice as Contender stands by its work. Positive responses across all 20 attributes of our Builder Benchmark survey clearly established it as an admired boat.
Contender popularized the deep-deadrise aggressive hull that others soon copied. The new stepped hulls were warmly rewarded with high scores for top speed and fuel efficiency among the experienced.
Design, construction, style and appearance are also quality attributes owners recognized in our Benchmark survey. Not surprisingly, these are areas on which Contender has doubled down. Composite construction with completely fiberglass-encapsulated balsa coring in the running surface offers maximum strength. Strakes are reinforced from inside before the final hull lay-up, providing rot-proof -construction. Top-shelf vinylester resins and barrier coats behind a premium gelcoat assure that Contender’s mirror finish retains its luster for years. These methods have contributed to recent victories in the J.D. Power and NMMA CSI programs that recognize top-quality performance among outboard-boat manufacturers.
Contender owners give their boats high marks in safety — undoubtedly a nod to the proven construction, reliable power and intuitive design, which keep boaters out of trouble and focused on fishing.
Owners also highly commend Contenders for fishability, lavishing praise comparable only to a few other boat brands. Clean, one-level deck plans, easy access to livewells, cavernous fish storage and wide, unobstructed walkways around the consoles bolster these scores.
New for 2015 is the 24 Sport. This is the latest of Contender’s hard-core fishers built with family attributes needed for 360-degree fun on the water. Smaller in size, with the freeboard and draft for inshore and nearshore coastal waters, it’ll be popular up and down the East and Gulf coasts.
The livewell has a powerful water supply for its 26-gallon capacity. Rod holders on the gunwales are ready for action. Forward seating is built in. Tuck the cushions away if you plan to bloody the deck. Four large fish boxes hold the catch. Console space is plentiful for dual chart plotters. Rod storage abounds.
One of the beauties of -Contender is its build-to-order process, which gives -boaters the benefits of a proven production builder with the ability to personalize a boat to make their own statements. Dozens of color combinations are available. A head is optional, but ample room can be found for it under the console. We expect to see this boat draw many into the Contender fold as owners introduce their families to the excitement of serious fishing and the relaxation of beachcombing — or just hanging out on the hook.
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