2023 Scout 281 XSS

The 281 XSS combines performance with superb fishing abilities.

Scout’s new 281 XSS hybrid bay boat reflects a superb combination of bluewater angling chops and inshore fishing prowess. But that’s just the beginning. Its advanced epoxy-infused carbon fiber and E-glass construction throughout (including the hardtop super-structure that encloses the helm area) minimizes weight, ensures long-term durability and maximizes performance. When powered by a Mercury Racing 450R outboard, this sleek and stylish model with a double-step hull rockets to a top speed of nearly 63 mph.

Scout 281 XSS cruising
The 281 XSS combines bluewater angling chops and inshore fishing prowess. Courtesy Scout Boats

Under the aft casting deck of Scout’s flagship bay boat is a pair of voluminous fish boxes that can be optionally plumbed as livewells, dedicated fender storage and a fold-out bench seat. Lift the seat to access the bilge rigging and stowage for two 5-gallon buckets. You’ll find tackle -drawers within the side steps.

A cavernous storage locker and battery compartment resides under the elevated bow deck. An anchor windlass and in-stem anchor roller lie concealed under the bow hatch.  

Scout 281 XSS helm
The helm is available with a pair of Garmin 10-inch displays. Courtesy Scout Boats

An 18-gallon livewell is integrated into the leaning-post module, as is a slide-out 65-quart cooler, four rod holders, and storage lockers for fishing tackle.

Scout 281 XSS bow seating
Wraparound forward seating with backrests creates forward-facing lounges on each side. Courtesy Scout Boats

The 281 XSS cradles the captain and co-pilot in a pair of posh bucket seats with flip-up bolsters and fold-down armrests. A handy footrest at the base of the center console lets you brace yourself on long runs while ensconced behind the three-sided, full-height acrylic windshield. 

Scout 281 XSS tower speakers
The hardtop includes four of the Fusion Stereo system’s six speakers. Courtesy Scout Boats

The helm is available with a pair of Garmin 10-inch displays providing access to digital switching for onboard -systems, as well as a chart plotter and sonar. There’s an additional switch panel in the intricately crafted hardtop that also includes four of the Fusion Stereo system’s six speakers.

Yet this hybrid does not live by fish alone, as evidenced by the inviting forward console lounge for two with a -reclining backrest and fold-down armrests, as well as a huge storage locker underneath. There’s also wraparound forward seating with backrests that create forward-facing lounges on each side. 

Scout 281 XSS aft platform
Under the aft casting deck is a pair of voluminous fish boxes. Courtesy Scout Boats

High Points

  • Standard portable marine head in console interior.
  • Standard jack plate for shallow water. 
  • Synthetic nonskid on bow and aft decks.
  • Retractable washdown hoses.
  • Pocket transom boarding ladder.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$231,134 (with single Mercury 400 V-10)
LOA:28’1″
Beam:9’4″
Draft:1’2″ (engine up)
Dry Weight:5,457 lb. (without engine)
Seat/Weight Capacity:Yacht Certified
Fuel Capacity:126 gal.
Available Power:Single or twin outboards up to 450 hp total

Scout Boats – Summerville, South Carolina; 843-821-0068; scoutboats.com

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