Offshore center consoles usually fall into one of two categories: wide ones that are not fast, and fast ones that are not wide enough to offer much fishing room. Scout’s latest development, the 280 CC, bridges this divide nicely with a 9’5″ beam that provides lots of space and a top end that breaks 50 mph. Powered by twin Yamaha 200-hp HPDI outboards, well short of the maximum 500 hp this boat can handle, our test boat topped out at 51 mph and cruised in the neighborhood of 40 mph with three angling-happy crewmembers onboard.
There are lots of high-end touches on the 280 CC, too. The fuel fill caps are Orca Twist-Locks, which seal tightly yet can be removed easily by hand. Fishboxes have diaphragm pumps, which are much less prone to jamming on fish scales and moss, rather than impeller pumps. The lockable rodboxes are hidden in the step up to the bow, and the hatches are supported by gas shocks. There’s a built-in battery charger that feeds the triple battery bank. The T-top, radio box, and spreader lights are included in the 280 CC’s list price-they add $3,000 to $5,000 to the cost of most competing boats. About that T-top: It’s wider than most, spanning gunwale to gunwale for extra sun and rain protection. You want tricked-out features? This boat has them, too. Check out the electronics flat in the dash, for example. It’s hidden from view at the press of a button, as an electrically powered cover locks away your expensive goodies.
How can a boat with so much room be faster than similar boats? Weight is key. The 280 CC weighs 4,100 pounds. Compare that to the Wellcraft 29 Scarab Sport, which weighs 5,600 pounds and costs $96,120 with twin 225-hp Mercury outboards. Fuel consumption? At 3000 rpm, the boat comes close to breaking 2 mpg, remarkable for a boat over 28′ with 400 ponies on the transom. Holeshot was also impressive, and the 280 CC tracked nicely and felt light on its feet. Max out the trim at top speeds and it’s a bit touchy, but those familiar with driving high-speed boats will find no surprises.
A boat that goes so fast and weighs so little needs to be strongly built. The Scout starts with an all-fiberglass stringer system, which ties into the integrated transom. The multidirectional fiberglass layup in the hull gives the boat plenty of muscle without adding weight. Scout also leaves the hull in the mold until the deck is glassed in place. The result? Warping isn’t likely.
You can also compare the 280 CC to the Hydra-Sports 3000 Vector, which is longer at 29’5″ but has a beam of just 8’7″. Quality, fit and finish, and equipment are close on these rigs, as is price, about $90,000 for the 3000 Vector, with a pair of 225-hp DFI outboards.
LAST WORD. Speed and space, plus all the fishing goodies-what’s not to like?
Beam…..9’5″ ** **
Draft…..2’4″ ** **
Displacement (lbs., approx.)…..4,100
Minimum cockpit depth……….2’3″ ****
Max. headroom…6’5″ ****
Fuel capacity (gal.)……….208 ****
Water capacity (gal.)……….20 ****
Price (w/o power) ……….$61,000 ****
Price (w/test power) ……….$88,000
STANDARD POWER: None.
OPTIONAL POWER: Twin outboards to 500 hp total.
TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 200-hp Yamaha HPDI V-6 outboards with 158.4 cid, 3.54″ bore x 2.68″ stroke, swinging 15 1/4″ x 19″ three-bladed ss props through 1.86:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): T-top and radio box; spreader lights; hydraulic steering; coaming pads; 30-gal. aerated, lighted livewell; bait sink w/transom shower; locking rodboxes; console head compartment; battery charger; 3 batteries; electric security panel over electronics flat; leaning post w/backrest and rocket launchers.