GLACIER BAY 2260 CANYON RUNNER, 360/794-0444 www.glacierbaycats.com
PERFORMANCE: These semidisplacement hulls have a reputation for riding more smoothly than their planing cousins. There was absolutely no pounding. The ride was spray free. But semidisplacement cats have a tendency to lean outward in a turn, and this boat heeled the most. Rigging is critical. If the engines aren't cocked out to the sides by four degrees, speed, fuel consumption, and ride are noticeably affected. Not all dealers do this.
FISHABILITY: This has the longest list of standard fishing features. The only option you'll need is the 30-gallon livewell ($1,761). Fishboxes are insulated and can handle a pair of 100-pound tuna, but they rely on pumps to drain-not the best method. Gutters and gaskets fit so well that if you kick a gas strut-assisted hatch shut, it will ease itself closed with a whoosh. Half of the bow fishing area is lost to the head compartment. Passengers will love this and the extra seating it provides up forward; die-hard anglers will curse the loss of deck space.
CONSTRUCTION: This is the hands-down winner for best finish. Structurally, it's also a winner, with bolts backed by washers, plates, and locking nuts. The hull-to-deck joint is bolted and glassed. Hull bottoms are lined with foam and glassed over for strength; bulkheads are glass-encapsulated, rot-resistant plywood; and all hatches are assisted by a gas strut. Every fitting is a cut above, from the chrome-plated stainless-steel fasteners to the tilt helm.
HIGHS: Best-looking feline in the fleet. Comprehensive standard features. Only boat with an enclosed head in a hull, which also creates extra seating in the bow cockpit. Hatches all shush shut and seal well.
LOWS: Costs significantly more. Speeds are a notch behind the rest. Enclosed head compartment eats into fishing space. Outward lean may take getting used to.
STANDARDS: $54,962 (w/115-hp outboards). Includes: 8 rodholders; leaning post w/backrest; bow cushions; coaming pads; 74-qt. cooler w/cushion; portable MSD; hydraulic steering w/tilt wheel; 2 fuel/water separators; dual battery switch; raw-water washdown; compass; 12v outlet; bow pulpit w/roller.