Boat Review: Sea Chaser 35 HFC Bluewater

Offshore fishability with generous standard features at a value price.

Sea Chaser 35 HFC Bluewater running shot
Carolina Skiff has introduced its largest Sea Chaser center-console to date: the 35 HFC Bluewater, powered by twin Suzuki 350s.Sea Chaser

The Sea Chaser boats team was just wrapping up a photo shoot in Pompano Beach, Florida, for their 2020 brochure this past August, when they pinged me to jump aboard the new 35 HFC Bluewater for a test run. The 35-footer lay nestled along the dock at Alsdorf Park when I arrived, making the surrounding boats look shabby and ill-equipped by comparison.

This test vessel bristled with standard features, plus a few options such as twin 16-inch Simrad evo3 displays rather than the standard 12s. I also found optional Optimus 360 joystick steering, as well as power steering and Fusion audio that come standard. On the transom hung a pair of Suzuki’s V-6, dual-prop drive, four-stroke 350 hp outboards.

The Way She Moves

Once offshore, those Suzies growled as I pushed the dual chrome-plated throttle levers to the dash. I had lowered the trim tabs to diminish bow rise—so I could accelerate quickly in a tight area—and the boat stepped to plane in about 5 seconds. Backing the tabs off to a minimal setting held the stem into the waves, cleaving a path for the 20-degree deadrise hull.

Light for her length, the 35 handled 3-foot rollers off the beach without difficulty. Power steering made the turns effortless, and the dual-prop Suzuki outboards delivered plenty of torque to keep a steady speed all the way through the turns.

Engine outputs to the Simrad -displays indicated a top speed of around 54 mph at 6,250 rpm in that hot, humid weather, with storm clouds spitting rain and threatening lightning. A cooler, drier day might have given those outboards an additional mph or so at wide-open throttle.

Proven Methods

In Sea Chasers, the layup begins with a tridirectional fiberglass stringer system, with bulkheads for a solid, rigid hull. Stringers are injected with closed-cell foam flotation, providing each vessel with what the company describes as a virtually unsinkable hull.

The hull easily supports a -portside boarding door, perfect for loading gear or people, and for hauling in a barrel-bodied tuna. For additional convenience, the transom platform features a stainless-steel -ladder, accessible from the water, a safety feature now demanded by -quality boat‑-building standards.

Fish Savvy

Two 50-gallon livewells, one in the -transom and one in the leaning post, plus a 64-gallon fish box in the bow create loads of space to hold bait and stow your catch. Sea Chaser installs a macerator to pump out the fish box on the water, but a second drain allows gravity to do its job on the trailer or hoist.

Mate Series cup-and-rod holders (six per side) along the gunwales bridge the gap between fishability and cruising comfort. Under-gunwale storage plus a rocket launcher on the hardtop keep rigged tackle handy and secure.

Fold-down transom seats
The 35’s transom features split fold-down bench seats.Sea Chaser

For bottomfishing or anchoring, I found a beefy electric windlass with an anchor-line storage spool capable of holding 30 feet of chain and 250 feet of 1/2-inch nylon rode.

The cockpit feels roomy despite the full-featured tackle station abaft the helm seats. A freshwater sink lies on centerline, with a refrigerator below, flanked by storage.

Forward, Sea Chaser hid two -compartments in the port and starboard bulkheads that serve as seatbacks to bow lounges. The port side holds tackle boxes while the starboard side features open storage and spool holders.

An electric switch elevates the console lounger, which is centered ahead of the helm station. Beneath the lounger, I found room for buckets, tackle bags and more.

Softer Side

That console chaise is wide enough for two riders and comes with armrests and nearby cup holders. The bow seating can accommodate four to six people sitting or two lounging. In the transom, dual benches fold down to form plush upholstered seating for four.

Coaming bolsters surround the inwales, protecting hips while passing along the console, and they also provide padding for anglers to brace themselves against the pull of big fish.

However, Sea Chaser reserved the most pampering for the captain and mates. The three-wide helm seat features armrests and footrests for comfortable standing (with the seat bolsters folded up) or sitting.

Transom cooler and livewell
The transom also features an overboard-­draining, insulated cooler/fish box, a 50-­gallon livewell, an aft tuna door and a portside boarding door.Sea Chaser

Leaving port in a 35-footer for -fishing or cruising means entertaining a crew often for eight to 12 hours. That necessitates a freshwater system on board, including dual 9-gallon tanks and a roomy head compartment for privacy and comfort. The area beneath the console can also be used to lock away rods.

I found battery switches near the transom, just ahead of the starboard-side tuna door. Helm and electronics wiring can be conveniently accessed from the head compartment.

Sea Chaser’s fishability and -comfort levels excel among its competition, thanks to thoughtful design and quality equipment. Their construction techniques have stood the test of time and many, if not most, of the boats that have rolled off the company’s assembly line are still registered and skippered today.

There’s not much more one could ask for in a value design—except a comfortable price. And the 35 is also a winner there.

Performance

Power: Twin Suzuki DF350AT V-6 outboards

Load: 110 gal. fuel; two crew

Top Speed: 54.1 mph @ 6,250 rpm

Time to 30 MPH: N/A

Best MPG: 1.7 @ 22.1 mph (3,000 rpm)

Hull

LOA: 35 ft. 8 in.

Beam: 10 ft. 8 in.

Deadrise: 20 deg.

Dry Weight: 8,261 lb. (w/o power)

Draft: 1 ft. 8 in.

Fuel: 255 gal.

Max Power: 900 hp

MSRP: $272,100 (as tested)

Standout Options

• Dual 16-inch Simrad display upgrade from 12-inch ($9,864)

• Optimus 360 Joystick Steering ($12,715)

• Sea Keeper 3 ($56,808)

Carolina Skiff

Waycross, Georgia

800-422-7282

carolinaskiff.com