We Say: For a fish-away price of $50,000, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better-riding, better-equipped center console than Pro-Line’s 23 Sport. No, we didn’t like that the rod holders drained to the bilge. But we applauded features like the gasket on the illuminated livewell’s lid that kept the water in while we cruised, and the way the low-profile bow rail provided security without impeding our ability to jig, cast and use a gaff from the bow.
Specialty latches dog the hatch lids down, refusing to let them rattle. Hinges and hardware are through-bolted, and bilge crawling revealed a robust electrical system with neat, labeled, well-supported wire runs.
A Suzuki DF225 pushed us to 44 mph and delivered an efficient rough-water cruising speed of 24 mph. The 23 Sport is as economical to own as it is to buy. Those numbers might improve if you swap the 20-inch pitch wheel we ran for the 18.5-inch prop: Our test engine turned up 500 revs less than its rated maximum. Or maybe the engine needs to be mounted higher.
Livewell, washdown, six horizontal rod racks … a minute aboard and anyone can see that the 23 Sport is bred to fish. But we also cheered amenities like the integral dive platform and the three-step boarding ladder, and options like the transom bench seat and bow cushion set. These help the 23 Sport turn a triple play: It’s family-friendly, all-out fishable and easy on the budget.
Who’d Want One: Anglers seeking a rugged, affordable, blue-water CC.
Another Choice: Edgewater’s 228 CC ($76,263 with a Yamaha F250).
Bottom Line: $51,923 (base, 2011 pricing); prolineboats.com