What we think: Pro-Line’s sole bay boat model, the 23 Bay, is a worthy representative of the brand. Its fishability was evident as soon as we stepped on board. The XS package — which adds features like a hydraulic jack plate, trim tabs and trolling motor pre-rigging plus the optional T-Top and raised casting platform — made our test boat one sweet, tournament-ready ride.** **
A big, black Verado 300 sat on the transom, daring us to put the 23 Bay through its paces. Acceleration was thrilling, especially in the upper end of the power curve; we’d cruise this boat at around 4,000 rpm, which generates a speed of 35 mph while burning 11 gallons of fuel per hour. We maxed out at nearly 54 mph, but we’d save those types of runs for times when we’re trying to beat the weather. Though we tested the boat on a calm lake, its 15-degree-deadrise hull is designed to take serious chop in stride.
The 23 Bay gives a nod toward the current trend to put family-friendly features on fishing boats, like the hideaway rear seat that opens like a hatch in the aft casting deck. Even with comfort features there is still plenty for sportsmen. On the XS model, fishing features are legion, including two 38-gallon baitwells; wait, make that three — there’s a 15-gallon mini-livewell inside the bow cockpit seat. The 10-gallon fish box beneath the forward casting platform has a macerator that pumps out overboard. The high dashboard has room for one, maybe two 12-inch screens, and the leaning post puts you in perfect position to view them.
Who should buy it: Hard-core anglers who want to be able to sneak up on snook inshore or troll coastal waters for tarpon, then take the family to the beach or sandbar for a day of sun and fun.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 23′ * Beam: 8’6″ * Dry Weight: 3,450 lb. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 8/1,150 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 80 gal. * Max HP: 300 * MSRP: (test boat w/ 300 hp Mercury Verado): $66,846 * NMMA certified: Yes
* Suzuki 225 — $57,869
* Mercury 225 OptiMax — $58,169
* Suzuki 300 — $63,523
Max HP: 300
The basic 23 Bay model provides the same stable platform and versatile performance without all the bells and whistles.
Max HP: 300
Higher gunwales and an enclosed head in the console make this 23-footer a little more family-friendly without losing fishability.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Mercury Verado 300 hp * Test Prop: 15.25 x 19 PowerTech * Test Load: People (405 lb.); Fuel: (70 gal.) * Top Speed: 53.8 MPH @ 6,000 RPM * Time to Plane: 4 sec. * Time to 30 mph: 8.5 sec.