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2008 Boat Show Preview
Dec 18, 2007
by Rob Pavlick

The Defiance 220 EX Pilot House shown here with a dealer installed tuna half tower and 50-gallon center mount bait tank.
If your New Year's resolution is to spend more time fishing, then a new boat might be in order. If your New Year's resolution is to spend more time with your family, then a new boat might also be in order. And if your New Year's resolution is to save money, then you should start looking at those boats now! The best place to start your search is at your local boat or fishing show. Starting with the NY Boat Show on December 29th, there is a boat or fishing show virtually every weekend in the northeast and the dealers, from the local rod maker to the boat dealer, will mostly give you a better "show price." Make sure that one of those shows to mark down on your calendar is the Saltwater Fishing Show, March 29-30 at the Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, New York. That's right, gear up with the best retailers, learn from Nor'east experts, and meet your fellow Nor'easters at our very own show! We hope to see you there.

To get you started on your search for a new vessel, here are some great boats to consider and where you can see them.

The Boat That's Still in the Water - Defiance Admiral 220 EX Pilot House

When I drive by marinas this time of year, besides the party boats, I always notice a few extra boats still in their slips. Not the huge yachts. I am talking about fishing boats. For the most part, these boats have one thing in common. They are pilot house boats.

If you pulled your boat out already, but wish you could fish a few weeks or even months longer, you should consider a pilot house boat. Plus, think about all those iffy days in the summer when you would have fished if you could have just stayed a little dryer. The Defiance Boats Admiral 220 EX Pilot House, manufactured by Palmer Marine, is a fishing machine designed to meet the needs of the foul weather angler. Palmer Marine, who manufactures the Shamrock boat line, hand builds every one of their boats to ensure the construction is uniform and structurally free of defects. That is one of the reasons the Defiance line is the most rapidly growing pilot house lines in the country.

The other reason Defiance boats are so popular is the fishability. Some look at a pilot house boat and say “But I can’t fish the front of the boat.” On a Defiance, you can. The extra tall stainless steel bow rails allow you to safely fish right around the cabin. The rail is also 1 ¼” thick, so it is sturdy enough to hold your weight. So, this boat has all the fishing advantages of a center console, with the extra advantage of a dry and wind protected pilot house. The back, called a fish cockpit, offers 7’ of length to fish from and tall gunnels so you feel secure fishing offshore. Additional options worth considering are a tuna half tower, which is great for sight fishing, and a 50-gallon center mount bait tank.

Defiance will be exhibiting at the Atlantic City Boat Show, February 6-10 2008. You can also by stop your local Defiance dealer, Sheltered Cove Marina in Tuckerton, NJ.

A Rugged Open Ocean

Center Console -

MAKO 284 Center Console

These days, center consoles are not just bay boats. Most center console manufacturers now have 25-foot-plus center consoles that are designed with offshore fishing in mind. Anglers who want a center console that can run out of the bay to fish deeper water should take a look at the MAKO 284 Center Console. The MAKO 284 is a sturdy fishing machine built to get out on the ocean fast, with twin 300 horsepower outboards as a recommended max power. Plus, the 284 has a variety standard and optional fishing features and tons of space.

The MAKO 284 Center Console.
Popular standard features on the boat include a bait prep station (equipped with a baitwell, tackle storage and a sink), a fiberglass leaning post at the helm, and 390 qt. port and starboard fish boxes. Rods are kept organized with gunwale-mount rod holders and rod holders on the baitwell.

The MAKO 284 is built for room and comfort. The boat features their Deep V hull, which keeps you dry when running outside and makes for a smooth ride. The 21-degree deadrise at transom also assists the smoothness of the ride. The 9'10" beam offers a bunch of fishing space and the oversized console seats two very comfortably, with headroom to stand up straight.

MAKO dealer Buster’s Marine will have boats on display at the NY Boat Show. You can also visit MAKO dealer New Suffolk Boat Sales.

Family Fishing In Style -

Grady-White 23' Gulf Stream

Grady-White makes a point to listen to their customers when making improvements to their models, and they have a lot of customers to listen to. In fact, there are several Grady-White owners clubs throughout the country to provide feedback and praise of this historic brand. The Grady-White 232 Gulf Stream is a perfect example of an already popular model that Grady continues to improve.

The newest 232 Gulf Stream is a 23-footer designed with fishing and the family in mind. Although a less glamorous feature than all the fishing amenities, the beam width of 9’3” is what stand out the most to me. A beam of this width is usually seen on 25’-plus boats. So, not only is there a considerable amount of room on deck for a 23-footer, but the wider beam also smoothens the ride. Notable fishing features include a big 297-quart insulated fish box with overboard drainage at the transom and a 36-gallon raw water live-well with a 1,100 gallon-per-hour circulating pump under helm seat. Another great feature that came as a result of customer demand is the side-mounted rod holders on the optional hardtop. Anyone who ever wanted to switch rods without climbing to get them from the top mounts will appreciate this.

The family has lots to enjoy too! A favorite feature for Grady owners is the folding bench seat in the transom area. The family can sit comfortably in this seat while cruising. The cabin has a butane stove top and plenty of storage for a whole day (or more!) on the water.

Grady-White's largest dealer in the country, Spellman’s Marine, is right on Long Island in Freeport and Hampton Bays. You can also check out the whole Grady-White line at the NY Boat Show, New England Boat Show, or Atlantic City Boat Show.

Grady-White 232 Gulf Stream.
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