A veil of fog hung over Florida’s upper Sarasota Bay as I stepped aboard the new Jupiter 25 Bay to join Mike Adams, national sales manager for Palmetto-based Jupiter Marine, and local guide, Capt. Justin Moore, for a day of inshore fishing. I stood on the deck surveying, impressed with the wide-open layout. The deep cockpit, level deck, proud bow, and tower give the 25 Bay a different look from other bay boats.
Designed in-house by Craig Herndon (son of legendary boatbuilder Carl Herndon), this Jupiter reflects different thinking when it comes to bay boats, Adams admits. “The deep cockpit is the result of listening to what customers wanted and surveying available products,” he says. Moore adds: Guides like relatively high gunwales to keep guests secure on rough days.
“We also wanted to give customers a smooth ride,” Adams says. A sharp entry widening to 15 degrees of deadrise at the transom knifes the seas to pamper crew in choppy conditions.
Running up-sea in 2-foot waves at 32 mph, the 25 Bay rode so gently that I could sit comfortably in the forward-console seat. The wave-taming hybrid hull also grants access to offshore waters on mild-weather days, Adams points out.
Shallow Draft to Fish Flats
The real test lies in how well it adapts to shallow waters when pursuing species such as redfish, seatrout and snook, as we did on this Fish Trial in early January. As the fog lifted and the sun illuminated the shallows, Adams intentionally ran across some of the skinniest sand flats, proving that the 25 Bay could easily traverse the shallows on plane. Such shallow-water capability is made possible by a running surface that tapers upward for the last 2 feet as it approaches the full transom. This ushers water up toward the prop when the Yamaha F300 outboard is elevated by the Porta Bracket hydraulic jack plate. The big bay boat floated in 14 inches. For stealth, Jupiter offers an optional bow-mounted trolling motor.
The 25 Bay jumped on plane in a 4-foot-deep pocket that was less than 50 feet wide. Also, even with all three of us on one side, the boat listed minimally. Stern platforms complement the Euro-style transom, provide a place to mount swim ladders underneath, and enhance stability in rough seas or when dropping a shallow-water anchor such as a Power Pole.
The full transom fends off waves from the stern — an advantage when using stern-mounted shallow-water anchors. While my boat was not equipped with this option, Moore proved the point by dropping an anchor off the stern. The 2-foot seas didn’t even come close to breaking over the transom.
Wide-Open Deck Design
The wide-open bow deck of the 25 Bay, with its 25-inch-high gunwales and optional padded coaming bolsters, is a great place to fish. The hardtop does not protrude over the forward cockpit, so you don’t have to worry about snagging your backcast.
The 40-gallon pressurized livewell built into the helm seating module was loaded with wiggling pilchards that Moore had netted earlier that morning. On our first stop off the bayside shore of Long Boat Key, the captain chummed the waters heavily.
The trick worked because Moore hooked up almost instantly — a 30-inch-long snook took to the air several times as he played the hard-fighting fish to the boat before releasing it. A cast by Adams produced a second nice snook. Quality spotted seatrout moved in on the chum, resulting in a fish on virtually every cast — all released.
An optional teak sole offered great traction. Jupiter offers a diamond nonskid sole, which also covers the rail caps, as a standard feature. The 23-inch-wide walkways aside the console let us move fore and aft easily while fighting fish.
Once the bite died out, Moore moved us to fish the mainland shore. Twin Garmin 7612 GPSMAP displays on the 33-inch-wide helm panel helped guide the way, while the optional SeaStar Solutions Optimus power steering made it easy to weave through the crab-pot buoys.
CZone digital switching eliminates the need for a switch panel; accessory controls, as well as engine instrumentation, are accessed via the touchscreen displays.
Shielding the helm from the January chill was an optional wraparound polycarbonate windshield, while an optional Taco Marine Capri Deluxe bench seat with flip-up bolsters and fold-down armrests offered a posh perch for two.
Optional Tower and Extra Livewell
The optional tower for the Jupiter 25 Bay features an anodized-aluminum frame with steps on both sides. The tower height is highway compliant when the boat is on a trailer, so there’s no need to fold down the upper station. A Garmin GPSMAP 7608 lets you navigate, monitor and control all systems while aloft.
As Moore scouted for fish from the tower, Adams pointed out that additional live-bait capacity is available in the form of an optional 20-gallon transom well that can double as a second cooler. In addition, the 135-quart cooler under the forward console seat can be plumbed to serve as a livewell.
When it comes to stowage, the 25 Bay accommodates in spades with two massive lockers — 705 and 330 quarts — under the foredeck, as well as pair of 220-quart in-sole fish boxes flanking the aft cockpit. Cabinets on both sides of the console hold five large tackle boxes in each.
The veteran guide spotted a school of redfish, and this time we anchored the boat from the bow, allowing us to cast to the fish from the aft cockpit. The 20-inch-high gunwales met my legs just below the knees. The redfish pounced on the baits immediately, and we enjoyed nonstop catch-and-release action for 45 minutes.
Running the Numbers
We eventually had to leave the hungry redfish to gather performance numbers on the 25 Bay. Turning a 17-inch-pitch Yamaha Saltwater Series II three-blade stainless propeller, the F300 vaulted to plane in three seconds, reaching 30 mph in 8 seconds. Average top speed was 46 mph at 5,800 rpm, where the engine burned 26.5 gallons per hour for 1.73 mpg.
Best fuel efficiency came at 31.2 mph and 4,000 rpm, where the burn rate was 12.1 gph for 2.6 mpg. That equates to a cruising range of more than 230 miles based on the 91-gallon fuel capacity.
Jupiter’s first bay boat sets itself apart with a spacious, deep and versatile layout. Boasting a superbly designed running surface and quality that boating anglers have come to expect from the Jupiter brand, the 25 Bay is a boat that will surely turn heads — and quite possibly influence the future of bay-boat design.
Jupiter 25 Bay Performance Specifications
Power: Yamaha F300
Load: 45 gal. fuel, three crew
Top Speed: 46 mph @ 5,800 rpm
Time to 30 mph: 8 sec.
Best MPG: 2.6 @ 31.2 mph (4,000 rpm)
Jupiter 25 Bay Hull Specifications
LOA: 26 ft. 1 in.
Beam: 8 ft. 6 in.
Deadrise: 15 deg.
Dry Weight: 3,700 lb. (w/o engine)
Draft: 1 ft. 2 in.
Fuel: 85 gal.
Max Power: 300 hp
MSRP: $167,955 (as tested)
To see more new boats on the market, check out the gallery below of center consoles over 30 feet at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show.