When Belzona introduced its first center console a few years ago, its slide-to-open boarding doors proved to be one of the most intriguing innovations we’d seen. Today, with the 325 Center Console, that still holds true. To really appreciate the boarding doors, you need to see them in person at the dock. The gunwale doors slide aft rather than swing open as dive doors would on other boats. The doors slide on stainless-steel trolleys that mate with the self-lubricating track. Both doors proved rattle-free and watertight. Not to mention, they are much wider than the traditional hinged dive door; they are built wide enough to make this boat wheelchair-accessible — 40 inches fully opened. During rigorous testing on our sea trial, the boarding doors held tight.
The doors are just two of the 76 molded parts on this boat. Another standout is the cockpit drainage system of molded-in slits on the transom in lieu of scuppers. The hardtop is impressive, too, supported by the windshield frame and a stout fiberglass beam that’s built into the leaning post. The windshield rakes forward, providing protection from the elements at the helm. The captain and first mate have separate seats with independent flip-up bolsters and flip-down footrests.
Want more cool features? The plush wraparound seating in the bow area creates a great tanning lounge or conversation pit. In the main cockpit, a transom bench folds away when it’s time to fish. Add the optional mezzanine seat, too. Overall, the 325 can be tailored to suit the owner’s needs, with a cruising adventure or tournament edition to choose from, each providing different amenities based on boating preferences.
What about the ride? The 325 has 22 degrees of transom deadrise, but it benefits from a flat delta pad similar to a bass boat’s. This helps it both plane quickly and hold plane at low speeds (15.7 mph on test day) and exceed 53 mph on the top end. It handled confused seas and a light bay chop without pounding or taking any appreciable spray over the bow, and it did well in following and quartering seas outside the inlet. Twin Mercury 300 Verados complete the standard power rig for the 325; the boat can also be outfitted with twin 350s if you desire a little more juice on the transom.
* Head in the console has four fixed windows and a pump-out toilet with a 10-gallon holding tank.
* Stainless-steel trim tabs come standard.
* Fusion stereo system with two speakers comes standard.
* Padded coaming bolsters keep anglers comfortable.
How We Tested
Engine: Twin Yamaha F300s
Drive/Props: Outboards/15¼” x 19″ 3-blade Saltwater Series II stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.751:1
Fuel Load: 250 gal.
Crew Weight: 650 lb.
$277,428 (with twin Mercury 300 Verado outboards)
Belzona Marine Miami, Florida; 305-512-3200; belzonamarine.com