Bay boats have turn out to be the boat of selection for inshore anglers lately. They supply extra space and freeboard than traditional flats boats, and at the same time they’ll run in far shallower water than true offshore boats. They’re also lighter to tow than deep-Vs, but have just as a lot family house topside. And one of the vital spectacular in the sector is the NauticStar 2400, an upscale bay rig that comes completely loaded with all the fishing essentials, appears to be like nice, and is constructed to final for many years.
I examined the boat on rock-bound Lewis Smith Lake, southeast of the company’s plant in Amory, Mississippi – a terrific venue for chasing striped bass, which the boat is ideally suited to do. The first notable reality was the smoking acceleration; due to a weight of just 2500 pounds. The hull bought on high in underneath 4 seconds, and hit 30 mph in 6.6 seconds – that’s sportboat efficiency, especially with an enormous four-stroke 250 on the transom.
In fact, generally a smoking gap shot means much less high speed because of a lower-than-wanted pitch on the prop. But the 15 1/4 x 21-inch Powertech! stainless three-blade pushed the boat to fifty four.2 mph at 6300 rpm – it will not take lengthy to get to that distant honey hole on this rig, and it is rated for 300 horses. It is probably close to a 60-mph boat with 50 extra horses and the next-pitch wheel.
Fuel economy was superb, peaking at three.5 mpg at 3500 rpm and 26.7 mph. With an 80-gallon tank, even those wild redfish tourney guys will find the vary adequate – 252 miles at cruising speed.
THE Finish Suits
I’ve run lots of bay boats over time, and I might rank the NauticStar within the upper 10 p.c by way of high quality of fit and end. You get nice touches like RTM hatch lids that look nearly as good on the inside as out. Plus these hatches are gentle, however very stiff – there isn’t any flex while you step on them. And all have high-grade locks that can keep your fishing stuff secure. They’re also guttered and drained to forestall water construct-up inside.
There’s an enormous quantity of storage in this boat. The twin rod packing containers hold 10 rods in racks that can keep them separated – an enormous plus for these who have dealt with the tangled mess in bins without racks. There are additionally six vertical rod racks on the console in your working gear, plus area for 10 more underneath the gunwales. And the two deal with hatches sunk into the again deck come equipped with ten Plano sort out boxes standing upright – this makes preserving observe of all your lures a breeze.
For anglers who use a castnet to capture sardines or finger mullet, the belowdecks storage for a 5-gallon castnet bucket is a good idea, as is the adjoining uncooked water washdown to scrub up the mess after you’ve got tossed the online a number of occasions. The rear livewell holds 47 gallons and is fed by both a 500 gph provide pump and an 800 gph aerator pump. It additionally includes a LED mild and a stand-pipe for flow-through bait pampering.
The anchor locker within the bow peak not only has a hanger, but also contains a couple of shank locks that can keep the anchor from leaping around in rough going. Also standard is the bow plug for your trolling motor, plus a tilt management for the outboard in the same panel. An enlarged part of the gunwale is designed to fit the foot of your bow-mount troller. There’s plenty of room up there so as to add a second fishfinder, too.
There are padded jumpseats in the aft corners of the cockpit, and the backs of these seats fold down flush so as to add extra fishing area for the aft casting deck. Swivel chairs can be found for both front and rear fishing.
I like the removable console rail and Plexiglas windshield too; this might will let you get the boat on a trailer via a low garage door, and it additionally gives area to stand atop the console to sight fish on the flats, should you so need.
Belowdecks, the boat is all enterprise, with a fiberglass, foam-stuffed stringer system, excessive-density composite transom, and a vinylester barrier coat to stop blistering. All pumps and hoses are easily accessed through the large hatch subsequent to the aft well.
Huge OPEN Areas
Possibly essentially the most notable design component within the 2400 is that it carries the eight 1/2-foot beam well ahead, giving a really feel nearly like Kenner’s venerable SkiBarge, which was form of the primary bay boat, before the time period had been invented. You lose just a little in top pace by broadening the bow of a performance hull, however you get so much more useful space on the entrance casting deck that the tradeoff is effectively price it. And, more quantity up front means more buoyancy there, do you have to selected to take this boat offshore occasionally.
It is true that every boat is one thing of compromise, and this true of the 2400, as nicely. For example, you can’t pole this large bay boat practically so easily as you may a flats boat, and most float somewhat deeper than devoted flyweight flats rigs. The NauticStar, however, does well in this department, with a draft of solely 13 inches, drive up.
It takes a bigger trailer and tow automobile to haul a bay rig than it does to haul a flats boats, and a much bigger garage to store it. And compared to a real offshore boat, it’ll be wetter and rougher riding.
But for an important many anglers, the positives of a utility participant at the precise worth far outweigh these points. Bay boats are a scorching purchase these days all alongside the coasts, and so they’re showing up on a lot of large freshwater lakes, as effectively.