Pioneer 222 Sportfish

The 222 Sportfish is a top-quality center console that's easy to trailer.

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

Pioneer 222 Sportfish

As I stepped aboard and nosed around, I realized that the Pioneer 222 Sportfish is a serious fishing machine of uncompromising quality. The fiberglass work is pristine. Joints fit tightly. The undersides of hatches sport gelcoat. The bilge and console interiors feature full liners. Its all-composite, hand-laid fiberglass construction with foam-injected flotation impressed me just as much.

Ideal for blue water, bays or even big lakes, this 22-footer won't drain your wallet. Propelled by Suzuki's DF300AP, the Pioneer 222 attained 4.25 mpg at about 31 mph. Our test boat hit a top speed of nearly 53 mph, leaving little doubt that this boat can get to the fish quickly.

Four rod holders adorn the backrest of the leaning-post-style helm seat, and the seat base houses a 32-gallon livewell. Pioneer offers a T-top with a hardtop, an electronics box, seven rod holders and twin spreader lights. You’ll find room on the console to flush-mount a 15.5-inch multifunction display. Forward of the console, the removable cooler with cushion increases seating capacity. Inside the console is a standard portable marine toilet.

With a fairly compact motorwell, the 222’s transom design maximizes cockpit space astern for fishing, yet retains a full bulkhead to keep following seas at bay. A recessed stainless-steel bow rail and two forward pull-up bow cleats that stow flush minimize snag points.

The Pioneer 222 Sportfish’s hull, sporting 20 degrees of transom deadrise, knifed cleanly through two- to three-foot head seas, and we took nary a drop of spray. It responded smartly to the Teleflex SeaStar hydraulic steering and Suzuki digital throttle-and-shift controls. I found the boat very sensitive to trim-tab adjustment — you don’t need much tab to influence the attitude or balance.

If you’re an angler at heart and looking for a top-quality center-console boat that you can easily trailer, add the Pioneer 222 Sportfish to your short list. It might not be a name you quickly recognize, but after stepping aboard, it’ll be one you won’t quickly forget.

Comparable model: Scout 225 XSF

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