Scout 262 XSF

Feeding Frenzy. Hook, reel, repeat.

Ever try to sit on those center-facing bow bench seats while a center console's underway? Good luck-the seats are bouncy, and every wave makes you feel as if you're going to slide off sideways. Scout has made that space more usable on its new 262 XSF.

As well as the usual benches, Scout adds slide-out backrests. Drop them in place, and two passengers can sit facing forward. When you get to the fishing grounds, pull the seat backs out, and fish unencumbered. There's a fishbox centered between the seats with a diaphragm pump-out, and the forward raised section tilts up to provide access to more stowage. Scout left the forward end of this compartment open, so if you ever need to reach the rope locker to untangle the rode, you can do it from inside. Smart move.

Another interesting innovation on the 262 XSF is its gunwale fishboxes. We've seen them done by Scout on a few models, but other builders haven't picked up on them yet. Too bad, because they work well. They might not hold 100-pound tuna, but they're just fine for stripers, trout, reds, and the like. They can serve as convenient drinkboxes, too. You want more unique features? Try this. You've seen electronics boxes in T-tops before, but when's the last time you saw a second aft box under the top? The styling of the 262 XSF is also one of a kind, with a retro look that starts at the curved transom and runs all the way to the bow.

Cool stuff, but it's all useless if the boat can't charge through whitewater and get you to the fishing grounds, post-haste. No problem at all. This is a three-piece boat, built with the two main longitudinal all-composite stringers passing through the transom and into the engine mount. This construction better distributes the load when you throw down the throttles and provides far more strength than more common methods. Now match this up with a convex, variable-degree deadrise hull that pounced through the chop without hesitation on test day, and you get a unique 26' center console that stands alone in a crowded marketplace. Or maybe it just sits there comfortably, even while underway.