Why do the vast majority of walkarounds look so boxy? Because a design that's efficient and practical is rarely pretty. Century's 3200 WA offers an exception to this rule. Although it practically screams "Fish me," its low, flowing lines of the cabin make it appear to be something other than a walkaround - a designation that's accurate but not obvious. In fact, this boat looks as good sitting in front of a chic waterfront eatery at cocktail time as it does in front of a bait dock at dawn.
DON'T BLINK. Luckily, its good looks are more than skin deep. Belowdecks, my 3200 WA test boat continued pleasing the eye, with the optional ($12,000) wood interior. It had an awesome finish-I felt as if I were stepping inside a custom fishing machine, not a production boat. If you want a little more cruisability than your typical hard-core fishboat offers but you like the versatility and practicality of the walkaround design, this upgrade may be just the thing. On the other hand, if you're the type to toss a bloody blackfin belowdecks…maybe not.
Although the wood-finished interior is optional, many other perks included on the 3200 WA are standard: a full galley with sink, hot water, microwave, refrigerator, and a hanging locker, for example. Even air conditioning is included at no extra cost - a rare treat in boats this size. But if you want to enjoy the chilled breeze when you're away from the dock, you'll need to spring for the generator, an $8,600 option. On shorepower, by the way, the air conditioning is virtually noiseless and dries the air as well as cools it, eliminating that clammy feeling you get in so many cabins. The V-berth features thick foam upholstery that makes overnighting comfortable. This area converts to a dinette by day and there's 6'8" of headroom. There's also added sleeping space in the aft bunk, which measures 6'8"-by-3'6". Headroom here is only 3'9", short for adults. Of course, in the real world, midcabins such as this usually become bulk stowage areas or playpens for the kids. The standup head includes an electric commode and sink, and the six-gallon hot water tank will be adequate for weekending so long as everyone aboard understands what a "boat shower" is.
Our test boat had the standard venturi windshield, which is a low-cut shield with a reverse flair designed to push air over the heads of those at the helm. It worked well enough for air flow but not for salt spray. I'd opt for the traditional aft-rake shield.
The 3200 WA is Century's beamiest hull at 10'6", and that extra beam adds a lot to the usable space both in the cabin and cockpit. It also adds weight: This is a heavy boat-10,800 pounds without power. Weight can be good or bad in an offshore boat, depending on how you use the boat. It makes any boat slower at a given horsepower, to be sure. But it also stabilizes the hull in bumpy seas and makes the ride more comfortable. Contender's 31 Fisharound ($97,000 without power) shares the same LOA but is 1'2" inches narrower and a whopping 3,400 pounds lighter. The result is a considerably faster boat that reportedly can run a mile a minute with the twin 300-hp outboards. However, you give up the creature comforts of the Century's luxury cabin, and the Contender's narrower beam means less space in the cockpit.
The 3200 WA is no weakling in the performance department: With the twin four-stroke Yamaha 250s, it managed a respectable 46.2 mph at top end. And the best cruise comes at 4500 rpm and 34.7 mph, when it consumes 23.9 gallons per hour for a 1.5 mpg. With a full load of fuel and two aboard, it took about 9.5 seconds to plane, longer than some, but at no point do you lose forward vision over the bow as long as you drop the tabs before takeoff. You'll also use the tabs to tweak the attitude of the boat when running beam seas-like most deep-V hulls (this one boasts 23 degrees), the 3200 leans into strong winds.
FISHIN' MISSION. Fishability is a strong suit, as is usually the case with any boat in the Century line. The transom livewell is a monster, holding 62 gallons. I liked the lockable rodboxes and admired the liftout tacklebox-offshore lures are too expensive to leave them lying out for light-fingered dock bums. This arrangement also means you can easily take your tackle home for freshwater rinses, detangling, and reorganizing.
Century builds the 3200 WA as it does the rest of its fleet, with structurally wood-free construction consisting of fiberglass stringers and a high-density foam transom that's rot-proof for the life of the boat. All through-hulls below the waterline are brass, and all hoses double-clamped. Above the waterline, through-hulls are solid stainless steel. Century uses chrome-plated stainless-steel screws throughout, and these fasteners are epoxy-coated. When they're power-driven home, the heat locks the epoxy in place and the screw never backs out. No, you can't see it with your eyes-but it's the details on this boat that make it so beautiful. Test Results Next Page...
The Highs: Liftout tackle box is a great idea. Tons of extras come with the standard equipment package. At 62 gallons, that's not just a baitwell, it's a bait tank. The boat's heft will help smooth rough sea bumps.
The Lows: The venturi windscreen doesn't block spray. The deep-V windward lean means you'll want to pay attention to the trim tab settings on breezy days. The boat's heft won't win it any races.
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Draft (max.): 3'3"
Displacement (lbs., approx.; w/o power): 10,800
Transom deadrise: 23*
Bridge clearance: 7'7"
Max. cabin headroom: 6'8"
Fuel capacity (gal.): 300
Water capacity (gal.): 30
Price (w/o power): $121,000
Price (w/test power): $163,600
STANDARD POWER: None.
OPTIONAL POWER: Twin outboards to 600 hp. Test boat power Twin 250-hp V-6 Yamaha four-stroke outboards with 204.6 cid, swinging 15¼" x 19" three-bladed ss props through 2.00:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT: (major items) Microwave; refrigerator; electric stove; AM/FM/CD stereo; a/c; electric commode; standup head w/shower; hanging locker; drop-down dinette; midcabin bunk; water heater; raw/freshwater washdowns; 62-gal. baitwell; hawse pipe; bow pulpit and roller; transom door; transom sink; locking rod lockers; trim tabs.