Boat Test: 2024 Highfield Sport 800

The Highfield Sport 800 offers a smooth, stable ride that's also very sporty thanks to the excellent power-to-weight ratio.
Highfield Sport 800 running on the water
Handling matches the speed and acceleration.


Hit the throttles, and Highfield’s Sport 800 goes zero to 30 mph in 4.9 seconds. In fact, at 30, 35 or even 45 mph, the boat will firmly push you back into the leaning post when you lay on the gas. Do hold on.

Rigid inflatable boats—RIBs—such as the Sport 800 are up to 50 percent lighter than similar-size ­conventional boats. This superior horsepower-to-weight ratio is made even better in Highfield’s case because its aluminum hulls weigh even less. This is why the Sport 800 accelerates and attains the speeds that it does.

Highfield Sport 800 helm
The helm is protected from the elements. Courtesy Highfield Boats

Handling matches the speed and acceleration. With the wheel locked over, even approaching 50 mph, the boat never let go, tracking around sharper, and with more G-force, frankly, than any normal boating scenario you are likely to encounter. In more-sedate maneuvers, it’s a joy responding and ­recovering instantly to input at the wheel, trim and throttle. The Sport 800 delivers a slam- and ­bam-free experience in chop.

The Sport 800’s hull is narrow, with deep deadrise, more so in both respects than a conventional boat’s hull. This accounts for the smooth ride. Furthermore, the tube provides stability, and, when the boat comes off a wave, it ­attenuates vibration.

Highfield Sport 800 bow
The bow offers a sun lounge and a console seat. Courtesy Highfield Boats

Interior and Accessories

The layout and features should please those in the market for a center-console dayboat. Certainly, one can fish or dive from this rugged, seaworthy performer. Two swim platforms with boarding ladders, plus a transom shower and ski pylon, serve for watersports. The aft lounge converts to a sun pad, and a cockpit table and a standard drawer-­style refrigerator ensure entertaining prowess. In the bow, find a sun lounge and a console seat. The T-top provides weather protection, and a concealed anchor windlass hauls the hook.

Highfield Sport 800 console access
Wiring is tidy and secure throughout. Courtesy Highfield Boats

We noted many indicators of a quality build aboard the Highfield Sport 800. For instance, there’s a drip edge molded into the console to keep gear from sliding off. Hatches are finished on the underside, their hinges through-bolted, and gear stowed within kept dry by deep gutters. Wiring is tidy and secure.

Highfield Sport 800 cockpit
A cockpit table and a standard drawer-­style refrigerator ensure entertaining prowess. Courtesy Highfield Boats

Running a RIB such as the Highfield Sport 800 is a different experience than running a conventional boat. Book a demo ride and see for yourself.

Read Next: The Ultimate Boat

Highfield Sport 800 sun pad
The aft lounge converts to a sun pad. Courtesy Highfield Boats

How We Tested

  • Engines: Twin 150 hp Mercury FourStroke
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/15.3″ x 19″
  • Gear Ratio: 1.92:1 Fuel Load: 50 gal. Water on Board: 10 gal. Crew Weight: 450 lb.

High Points

  • Aluminum hull provides excellent ­power-to-weight for thrilling ­acceleration and performance (or ­leverage the same feature for economy by going easy on the throttle).
  • Planes using a single 150 hp outboard.
  • Comfortable aft cockpit makes lounging and entertaining as viable as fishing and diving.
  • Inflatable tube serves as a giant fender, while also adding stability and attenuating vibration, rattling, and banging.

Low Points

  • There’s no head in the console of this boat, which you would likely find aboard a similar-size conventional boat.

Toughest Competitor

Check Brig’s Eagle 8 ($153,450; single Suzuki DF350 with contra-rotating props). It’s a single-engine boat, whereas the Highfield can use single or twin power. Its large console houses a head.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$138,044 (with test power; excludes freight and prep)
Draft (max):2’11”
Displacement (approx.):2,469 lb.
Transom Deadrise:26 degrees
Bridge Clearance:9’2″
Fuel Capacity:66 gal.
Max Horsepower:400
Available Power:Single or twin outboards to 400 hp total

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Highfield Sport 800 performance data
Highfield Sport 800 Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Highfield Boats – Cadillac, Michigan;