Made the List Because: The 245CX combines runabout amenities with center-console seaworthiness. It’s a fish-boat-tough crossover with a hose-it-out self-bailing cockpit, a roomy head and convertible seats and lounges that make the transition from runabout to sportfisher seamless. Insulated boxes in the sole and deck and at the transom stow bait and fish or lunch and water skis. The blue-water hull eases the ride on a choppy ocean or a wake-roiled lake. The 245CX is rife with features all boaters need, such as sturdy handrails, big spring-line cleats and clear sight lines from the helm.
Yamaha’s F350 makes the 245CX fly to 53.4 mph, but the standard F250 hits 45 mph, with more efficient cruising speeds in the 30 mph range, while the list price drops by around $3,000. In all, this low-maintenance, comfortable pleasure boat impressed us as ideal for a family with diverse boating needs.
Lasting Test Impression: The 245CX inspired confidence, loping easily through two-to-three-foot seas at speeds in the mid-20s, throwing zero spray.