They Say: The Defiant M450's V forward hull tracks like a missile, prevents plunging, and makes for a dry ride; its catamaran aft provides efficiency.
We Say: Let 'er rip. Triple 300-hp Suzuki DF300 outboards powered us through inlet slop at 50.1 mph, landing with a whisper every time. Handling is sporty and the ride is dry, even when turning in a crosswind. My prototype tester's engines turned 550 revs shy of their maximum 6300 rpm output. Defiant claims higher speeds now that the props are dialed in. The M450's layout shines just as bright. A center cabin, complete with deckhouse, head, and two cuddies, provides climate-controlled comfort and weekendability to this high-performing do-it-all. I'd like to see a skylight or hatch in the overhead near the helm, though. On deck, finish is superlative -- try to find a seam! Its 130-square-foot cockpit boasts a side-entry tuna/boarding door, a second control station, and a transom livewell. Circumnavigate the cabin via wide sidedecks running all the way to the bow. Neat, recess-molded steps make climbing the cabin trunk easy. Also cool -- the forward cabin entry is from the starboard sidedeck rather than the cabin proper, enhancing privacy.
Who'd Want One: Those seeking a versatile boat that provides thrills, ease of ownership, and shallow draft of outboard power.
Another Choice: Contender's 36 Fish- around, a smaller but able center cabin.
The Numbers: $389,000.
Contact: 941/504-8879, www.defiantmarine.com.