SECOND OPINIONS. From the day we got the 2301 CC, it rattled and clattered (most of which could be fixed with thick gaskets and hatch clasps). But on the flip side, even after hard use the cacophony never got any worse. Being light - and relatively wide forward - the boat hits the waves hard. But its construction holds up to the abuse, which included being smashed against pilings by tugboat wakes at our dock. The light weight also makes the boat a flier. The twin 150s were fun in flat water, but even in a small chop they were more powerful than we needed. If you're going offshore - which is the 2301 CC's intended venue - it will get rough. Slow down and you're fine. To save gas and your spine, many of you will want to opt for a single 200. The one thing you can't change is the lack of toe recess along the inwales forward of the console. The cockpit may be deep, but there's no way to get close to the side for fishing or line handling forward and still feel secure.
I'll say this: With its twin 150-hp Evinrudes, the 2301 CC has some serious giddyup out of the hole. And don't worry about that 4 a.m. run to the canyon, you'll be able to get there in a hurry. If you're not blessed with a day of flat water, however, hold on to the grabrails because you're going to catch some air. As we headed out in a two-to-three-foot chop, there were some rattles but not a bolt or screw rolled to the floor. That's a good sign in my book. What's more, the sole was completely flex-free.
I had no problems fishing this boat. There were no hazards to my flying bucktails on the way out, and it was smooth swimming to get the blues back in. When I could get to them, that is. One option I would gladly pay for is a fishfinder with a depthsounder. To see crashing blues on the surface and not be able to reach them for fear of a damaged lower unit will ruin your day. You never want to hear the words "I wish I was surfcasting" when on a fishboat.
LAST WORD. A good, stable ride for a good price.
Displacement (lbs., approx.) .....3,450
Minimum cockpit depth.....2'2"
Fuel capacity (gal.) ..........105
Price (w/standard power) ..........$31,725
Price (w/test power) ..........$47,540
STANDARD POWER: Single 200-hp Johnson V-6 gasoline outboard.
OPTIONAL POWER: Single or twin Evinrude or Johnson outboards to 300 hp total.
TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 150-hp Evinrude Ficht Ram V-6 outboards with 158 cid, 3.60" bore x 2.58" stroke, swinging 14 3/4" x 17" three-bladed aluminum props through 1.54:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Recessed under-gunwale rodracks; 4 flush-mount ss rodholders; ss steering wheel; 30-gallon aerated livewell; molded-in anchor rode channel in pulpit; dual batteries and switches; padded coaming bolsters; raw-water washdown; 3-step telescoping swim ladder; remote oil fill; navigation lights; bilge pump; six 8" cleats.