No matter what kind of boat you’re setting out to purchase, you ideally want one with easy boarding access either from the water or the dock. There is no boat with a better setup for that than the Belzona 325 Center Console. From afar the 325 looks like any other in a line of rugged and well-built center-consoles coming out of Florida. But closer inspection reveals its truly unique boarding/dive-door system. On test day, we stepped aboard through the gunwale doors that 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. Also, they are much wider than the traditional hinged diver door; they are built wide enough to make this boat wheelchair accessible — 40 inches when fully open. Underway, the doors are watertight and rattle-free, an attribute we confirmed during rigorous testing through manufactured confused seas.
The doors are just two of the 76 molded parts on this boat. Another standout is the cockpit drainage system made of molded-in slits on the transom in lieu of scuppers. The hardtop is also impressive, 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. Comfortable seats abound, and a transom bench folds away for fishing. Wrap-around seating in the bow provides comfort while allowing acesss for anglers. A Fusion stereo system with two speakers comes standard for entertainment.
The 325 has 22 degrees of transom deadrise, but it rides on a flat delta pad similar to a bass boat. This helps it to both plane quickly and hold plane at low speeds (15.7 mph on test day), and also to exceed 53 mph on the top-end speed. Adjust the standard stainless-steel trim tabs to help keep the boat at a level attitude when underway. While we originally tested the prototype with twin Yamaha F300 outboards, Belzona now exclusively offers Mercury power. The standard rig comes with twin 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards that are mounted on the transom.
*Head in the console has four fixed windows and a pump-out toilet with a 10-gallon holding tank.
*Transom bench folds away for cockpit fishing duty.
*Padded coaming bolsters keep anglers comfortable when fighting fish from bow to stern.
How We Tested
Engine: Twin Yamaha F300s
Drive/Props: Outboards/Saltwater Series II 15¼” x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.751:1
Fuel Load: 250 gal.
Crew Weight: 650 lb.
$274,788 (with twin Mercury Verado 300s)
Belzona Marine Miami, Florida; 305-512-3200; belzonamarine.com