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Sea Born LX26 XLT Boat Review

This 26-footer offers stepped-hull performance as well as tournament-ready fishability.

September 11, 2020
Sea Born LX 26 XLT running near shore
LOA: 26 ft. 6 in.; Beam: 11 ft. 6 in.; Deadrise: 21 deg.; Dry Weight: 5,500 lb. (w/ power); Draft: 1 ft. 8 in.; Fuel: 135 gal.; Max Power: 500 hp; MSRP: $130,000 (base boat with twin Suzuki 250s) Courtesy Sea Born Boats

My test of the Sea Born LX26 XLT fell on a cool, sunny day in February with a moderate wind and chop on the Intracoastal Waterway in Stuart, Florida.

Although seas offshore appeared too bumpy for optimal performance testing, the ICW gave us a good combination of protected waters — to investigate speed, efficiency and onboard features — as well as rough bay chop to experience the solidity of the Sea Born’s construction.

Fishing First

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As an angler, I immediately dug into the vessel’s many well-designed fishing features of this crossover vessel. The transom was the first pleasant surprise. Its design puts anglers as close to the fish-fighting action as possible.

Instead of finding fish boxes and livewells built into a typical 12- to 18-inch bulkhead, I found the main 22-gallon livewell set in the port corner of the cockpit. That left the transom bulkhead wide enough to host five rod holders.

Fixed seats offered a step up off the deck inside the transom. That got me a foot closer to the motor mounts, making it easier and more comfortable to fight fish over the twin Suzuki 250 outboards.

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The dive door on the LX 26 XLT
The starboard dive door opens inward and comes with a boarding ladder. Courtesy Sea Born Boats

The LX26 features both a transom door for dragging big fish aboard and a starboard dive door that opens inward and comes complete with a boarding ladder. Drag your catch through either door and flop them into fish lockers — that double as dry storage — under the bow seating bulkheads.

For stowing rods, three under-gunwale racks on each side complement six holders in the hard-top rocket launcher and four more in the leaning post. When fishing, you can deploy rods in any of three holders in each gunwale and in the five transom holders.

Sea Born offers three more optional livewells: One under the transom seat and another in the leaning post can add another 22 gallons each, and the forward console seat base can be plumbed for 20 more. Castnet bucket storage lies beneath the deck ahead of the console seat.

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A Comfortable Relax

Seating is comfortable and ample for a full crew on this NMMA-certified vessel. The leaning post features a pair of custom buckets with flip-up bolsters and arm rests. The curved bolsters cradle the hips for driving while standing—normally the only comfortable position in most center consoles. Ergonomically, the helm, wheel and throttles lie within easy reach for a seated captain, and a footrest is ideally positioned for security.

The hardtop features numerous rod holders
The standard hard top features a tempered-glass windshield. Courtesy Sea Born Boats

The dark, tinted hard top and tempered-glass windshield further enhance comfort and security for the helmsman.

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Operating everything on my test vessel was also easier thanks to the touchscreen digital switching on the Simrad electronics displays. Simrad calls the Sea Born’s glass-cockpit design IDS for Information Display System. It lets the displays double as full instrumentation for the Suzuki outboards and makes possible the Simrad Naviop digital switching.

Bow comforts include a dual lounge ahead of the console plus wrap-around seating with removable cushions and backrests. Dual seats aft can hold three.

Sea Born’s wiring system looks logical, well secured and easy to trace. That’s one of the benefits of Naviop designs but also the mark of an experienced saltwater boat builder.

Under the leaning post lies a single, standard house battery, but there’s space to add three more for an optional trolling motor. The NMEA 2000 backbone is easily accessible inside the console. For access to the plumbing, starter batteries and fuel filters, lift the stern seat assembly for a wide opening.

Sea Born LX 26 XLT helm
The XLT helm houses twin Simrad displays that come with that company’s Naviop digital-switching technology. Courtesy Sea Born Boats

Offshore and Inshore

I pushed the twin 250s to a top speed of 58.5 mph at 6,000 rpm. With a different prop, breaking 60 miles per hour might be achievable.

The LX26 XLT hull features two steps and rides well with its bow down. Trimming the boat to ride on its full keel while lifting the stem gave me the best ride and performance.

Stepped hulls can be squirrely, but not this one. We banked into hard turns and it held all the way through without slipping out or chine tripping.

The hull is all composite with a fiberglass stringer system bonded to the hull with plexus adhesive. The deck caps that, and the effect is a single unified hull structure strong enough to last a lifetime. The 26 comes with a manufacturer’s 10-year limited structural hull warranty.

Read Next: Sea Born LX26 XLT: 2020 Boat Buyers Guide

The 26 gave me the wave-crushing feel of an offshore vessel, but the nimble handling of a crossover capable of chasing inshore fish where they live. It lacks nothing for serious angling in coastal and offshore waters. And it has all a family needs to enjoy a quiet Saturday on the sandbar.

Performance

Power: Twin Suzuki 250 hp outboards

Load: 600 lb. of crew/gear, 50 gal. fuel

Top Speed: 58.5 mph @ 6,000 rpm

Time to 30 MPH: 7.3 sec.

Best MPG: 2.9 mpg @ 33.3 mph (3,500 rpm)

Hull

LOA: 26 ft. 6 in.

Beam: 11ft. 6in.

Deadrise: 21 deg.

Dry Weight: 5,500 lb. (w/ power)

Draft: 1 ft. 8 in.

Fuel: 135 gal.

Max Power: 500 hp

MSRP: $130,000 (base boat with twin Suzuki 250s)

Sea Born Boats

Blackshear, Georgia

912-449-0033

Seabornboats.com

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