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Contender 44 Fish Around Boat Review

A hardcore offshore fishing machine that sports a spacious, comfortable cabin for extended cruising and overnighting.

April 6, 2020
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Contender 44 Fish Around running shot
Contender’s 44 Fish Around rides on a twin-stepped hull that knifes smoothly through rough seas and handles with confidence-inspiring precision. The 12-foot beam provides excellent stability when fishing. Courtesy Contender Boats

First Impressions

Location: Miami, Florida

Timing: Late fall

Weather: Sunny, winds W 10-15 mph, 2- to 3-foot chop

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Load: Six adults, 350 gal. fuel, 100 gal. water

Contender’s 44 Fish Around offers features that bluewater anglers crave, along with a cabin and accommodations that enable multiday offshore-fishing trips.

Contender 44FA transom livewell
The 44FA can carry plenty of live bait thanks to twin pressurized 55-gallon transom livewells. You can also order the boat with an 80- or 100-gallon deck well. Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing

On the fish side, the 44FA comes with twin 55-gallon transom livewells with an 80- or 100-gallon deck well available as a custom option, a 300-gallon forward fish box, and a pair of 100-gallon fish lockers under the aft deck.

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Read Next: Contender Boats 44 ST Boat Review

Cabin amenities include a queen-size V-berth; galley with sink and freshwater faucet, refrigerator/freezer and electric cooktop; and enclosed head with a vanity, sink, faucet, electric marine toilet and stand-up shower.

Contender 44FA cabin
The 44FA cabin features 6 feet, 8 inches of headroom, a queen-size V-berth, galley, and enclosed head with an electric marine toilet and a stand-up shower. A Bowmar hatch above the V-berth ushers in light and cooling breezes. Courtesy Contender Boats

Triple Yamaha 425 XTOs rocket the twin-stepped hull to a top speed of 65 mph at 5,500 rpm, where the three engines burn 112.5 gallons per hour for 0.58 mpg. At 3,500 rpm and 36 mph, the 44FA achieves optimal fuel efficiency of 0.87 mpg, equating to about 450 miles of cruising range, based on 90 percent of the 575-gallon fuel capacity.

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Contender 44FA console cabin lounger
The forward-console cabin is topped by a lounger for two. The foot of the lounger features a 130-quart cooler beneath. Recessed handrails bracket the bow area. Courtesy Contender Boats
Cabin entrance on the Contender 44FA
A companionway on the port side of the helm leads to 44FA’s cabin. The dash offers enough room for a pair of Garmin 24-inch multifunction displays. Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing
Contender 44FA helm
Three-across Llebroc helm seats offer outstanding comfort. The 44FA is also available with second-row seating for three additional crew members. Courtesy Contender Boats
Contender 44FA freeboard
The 44FA’s freeboard height provides plenty of security for crew members, yet is also low enough to allow for an easy release of species such as sailfish. Scott Salyers / Sport Fishing
Amberjack caught on the Contender 44FA
Jordan DeLong of Contender Boats proves that the 44FA is also effective at wreck fishing. This amberjack was release after a few quick photos. Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing
Yellowtail snapper caught on Contender 44FA
Bob Rogers of Contender Boats proudly hoists a flag yellowtail snapper. He caught it as the 44FA drifted over a wreck off of the upper Florida Keys. Jim Hendricks / Sport Fishing
Three Yamaha 425 XTO outboards power the Contender 44FA
Powered by three Yamaha 425 XTO outboards, a fully loaded 44FA can gallop from 0 to 30 mph in 12 seconds and reach 65 at 5,500 rpm. Maximum cruising range is approximately 450 miles. Courtesy Contender Boats

Performance

Engines: Triple Yamaha 425 XTO outboards

Time to 30 mph: 12 sec.

Top Speed: 65 mph @ 5,500 rpm

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Best MPG: 0.87 mpg @ 36 mph (3,500 rpm)

Hull

LOA: 43 ft. 10 in.

Beam: 12 ft.

Transom Deadrise: 22.7 deg. DRAFT: 2 ft. 3 in. WEIGHT: 22, 500 lb. (ready to fish)

Fuel: 575 gal.

Max HP: 2,000

Base Price: $665,980 (base with triple Yamaha 425 XTO outboards)

Contender Boats

Homestead, Florida

contenderboats.com

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