Blackwood’s 290 Open is a sporty, stylish, well-built center-console ready for fishing and family duty. But let’s first consider how much fun it is to run. A 24-degree deadrise and a sharp entry cut cleanly through chop and waves, delivering a soft, confident ride. That’s a must for family time. But jam the throttles forward and pile on the trim, and the twin-step hull comes alive, accelerating up to 58.5 mph with twin Yamaha 300s on the stern. Drop that trim and crank the knob on the stainless-steel steering wheel, and the boat does likewise, diving into a turn and holding with tenacity, no matter how hard it’s pushed.
OK, now let’s talk fish. Blackwood maintains a wide passageway around the console, allowing anglers to freely move about the boat. Coaming pads wrap the perimeter. No fewer than 19 combination rod/cup holders top the gunwale. A trio of 23-gallon clear-lid livewells, one forward of the coffin box and the latter pair at the transom corners, separate live bait and offer redundancy should a pump fail. A pair of 117-quart and 152-quart insulated fish boxes with macerators to port and starboard handle even the biggest catch. Add two insulated boxes for frozen bait at the tackle center. Below, dual cabinets, one with drawers and the other with tackle boxes, keep everything organized. I found bungeed undergunwale rod storage to both port and starboard.
Too fishy for the family? The same boat cruises the Intracoastal and stylishly chills at the sandbar. The richly upholstered 4-foot-long coffin box practically begs to be lounged on. Lift the seat bottoms to pile food and drinks in dual 120-quart insulated storage areas. A two-passenger bench folds out of its hiding place at the transom to accommodate two more passengers. The deluxe leaning post likewise features a plush, doublewide pair of seats with flip-down armrests and individual flip-up bolsters. The console itself offers three-sided protection and an overhead hardtop. A spacious head compartment within offers room to change, use the toilet or stow additional gear.
- High-pressure, direct-injected foam core adds strength and unsinkability.
- JL Audio sound system includes four 6-inch speakers, two 8-inch speakers, and two 10-inch subs with amps.
- Multifunctional forward seating can be used as coolers, fish boxes or dry storage, and provides lounging for two—with armrests.
- Fish boxes feature friction hinges and slam latches, making quick work of stowing your catch.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin Yamaha F300
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series II HP 15 ¼” x 19″
- Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 170 gal. Crew Weight: 375 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|$345,000 (with twin Yamaha F300s)
American Marine Sports – Groveland, Florida; americanmarinesports.com