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Opinions on Center Console style for Great Lakes use?


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Hey all,

I've recently come across a great deal on a 27' foot Center Console Robalo and was pondering the idea of purchasing. My current boat is a 19' foot walkaround style and I was curious to know your opinions on CC's. My current boat has a full enclosure which will keep you out of the elements, not to mention a cuddy that will easily sleep two. The boat I'm currently looking at has tons of storage, a T-Top with tons of rod storage, and way better electronics. But, I'm afraid the Center Console style boat will leave me too exposed to the elements the lake may kick up. Does anyone have a Center Console style boat that would happily share their opinions on the way they ride, how they handle and how comfortable they are?


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This is what I have. It is 22 feet on the running hull, 8.5 beam but overall is 24 feet with the dive platform and pulpit. It is an Aquasport tournament edition and it has the T top as you mentioned is on the Robalo. I had a 19 ft center console before this one and liked it but it wasn't enough hull for the rough seas that can come up on the lake. This 22 foot boat is good on the rough stuff and I feel very confidant in going out in rough water with it when others are coming back off the water with comparable rigs. If you can see by the pics here I have a winter front on the T top and it is a good option to stay out of the wind when it is cold. The Aquasport has a sharp entry in the bow and it does cut the waves well but it also has a fair amount of spray that comes over in a cross wind and the front keeps me dry behind it. The Robalo that you are looking at is a very seaworthy boat and has a little less of an aggressive entry and will probably yield a drier ride in the rough. Also I believe the best length is the 27 foot hull that you are looking at. It should be able to bridge the wave action that Lake O sets up very well and should be able to give you good speed in the rough. I can cruise at 28 mph in three to fives if the set is predictable without too much cross chop.

27 foot will or should require a twin outboard power option unless being powered by a 300 or 350. As far as being in out of the elements, well if it is ok to stay under the T top and you have the winter front you will be able to stay dry. If it is cold well you will have to dress for it but you would anyway if you plan on being at the back of the boat tending riggers and such. Two people fit well under the T to stay dry...three maybe if you turn the bow into the wind.

Hey if it is a good deal I would go for it. A Robalo is a great boat, and the center console is the race breed of fishing vessels if you are looking for speed and agility. I like the wide open air feel of the boat as well. The ability to walk forward a long way and get that dipsey up close to net the fish is a plus. It's a matter of preference in boat style. If it is raining all day and you can sit in the cabin of a sportfisherman then that is a comfort that you will have to give up when the bite starts to get hot cause you will be out there anyway at the back of the boat..........I have a good rain suit and I'm not afraid to wear it if it rains or to just break the wind if necessary. I would go for the Robalo if it has all the bells and whistles and has a great price and you aren't afraid of some inclement weather now and then. They do trailer very easily too I might add. If you need any more answers shoot me a PM, I have extensive experience with this style of fishing vessel. I see more and more out there all the time.


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I made the move end 2008 we downsized to a 19' maycraft cc with t-top we have fished early spring tru fall, weather affects you about the same on any boat when your fishing, good rainsuit helps battle the elements, for the most part the weather is not an issue. We do have a curtain on 3 sides which helps keep a light rain and wind off us at times. what is good is fuel economy, ez in trailering, a lot more fishing options, for the most part they are strickly fishing boats, and not designed for alot of pleasure, but for me it was the best move i ever made. I have a 115 Yamaha fuel injected 4 stroke burns 4 tenths of a gallon of gas an hour trolling. a lot less matainence, the list just goes on . but like everything else they all have pros and cons, I just wish I went a few feet bigger for storage, but other then that Im loving the boat.

I included an old pic we have done several upgrades since pic was taken.


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For my tastes I won't buy another CC that doesn't have tons of storage. We just got rid of an 18' Welcraft that looked nice, but once we tried loading gear in it it sucked. We couldn't fit any of our tackle boxes in any of the compartments and it didn't have any rod lockers. As a result the cooler and tackle boxes rattled around on the floor while running. They are great fishing boats, just watch out for the features that they have.

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Wow, thanks everyone!

That's way more information than I was expecting to get. Mark, the boat I'm looking at is powered by twin 225's. I think it'll hold up much better in the crap that the lake can kick up in an instant. There is a lot more storage, and I think the fact that I can get around the boat to set up lines is a huge advantage. Thanks for the input.


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Dee de de. :P

I didn't pay attention that you were going to a 27 footer. I saw 19'.

You are right, they are a lot nicer to fish out of being able to walk around the whole boat. Ours sucked, bad hull design, crappy motor(125 Merc ELPTO, look it up) and, as I mentioned, zero storage. Those are a nice looking boat. Good luck.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We fish out of a Scarab/Wellcraft 25'; 8'6" beam with Twin 115 yamaha 4 strokes....no problems at all, we have fished in 5'+ waves without problem

No storage problems; holds 6 rods under the side rails, plenty of storage under the center console(5'1" headroom), ; 2 in floor fish boxes; 180qt in floor cooler

We have been toying the idea to replace her with a 35' Scarab Tournament CC

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