Scout 320 LXF

Scout's 320 LXF is a rare combination of rugged and luxurious.

Scout 320 LXF

LOA: 32'3"
Beam: 9'10"
Draft: 1'10"
Displacement (without power): 7,100 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 23 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 7'7"
Max Cabin Headroom: 5'11"
Fuel Capacity: 262 gal.
Water Capacity: 20 gal.
Max Horsepower: 700
Available Power: Twin Yamaha outboards to 700 hp

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Scout 320 LXF

Ever since fishermen (and their families) wanted more creature comforts, cruising features became more common on fishing vessels. Today, Scout Boats carries that trend one step further. The new line of LXF hulls — like this 320 — are doing triple duty as luxury yacht tenders in addition to fishing and cruising. Megayacht owners want boats that look as rich and stylish as the yachts themselves, and the 320 LXF meets that parameter in spades. The finest upholstery, gorgeous trim, powder-coating on all metal that isn’t polished stainless steel, and unique design features elevate Scout into a rarified niche.

In the bow, removable modular pods aft of each forward seat provide space for a sink, stowage and tackle drawers portside. An optional Kenyon grill that runs off an inverter hides in the starboard module along with more stowage. Aft backrests on both seats rise on electric rams. Control the through-stem anchor and windlass with foredeck buttons or from the helm. We found copious stowage under all forward seats and inside the foredeck sole.

Scout’s D-shaped structural console and T-top framework add sleek style that lowers wind resistance. The helm seat comes in your choice of a 60/40 split with pop-up bolsters or a bench. Another signature Scout design element is a shallow stowage locker on the side of the console that houses mops, gaffs, hanging line coils, brushes, etc. Inside, Scout provides a fixed head, an electrical distribution panel and a single berth. Scout also offers a gorgeous upholstery upgrade called the Cayenne package.

The helm module contains tackle drawers, a catchall, tool storage, a sink, a baitwell and four rod holders. Add five more across the back of the T-top, two more under each gunwale and the standard four in-gunwale holders, and your fishing armory is potentially extensive.

The two fish boxes have diaphragm pumps rather than macerators — a trend I am very glad to see. Macerators are forever clogging up with fish scales and detritus, causing them to burn out. Diaphragm pumps can move a whole baitfish overboard with impunity. I also love how accessible all the wiring, plumbing and valves are in the surgically clean lazarette.

A construction element unique to Scout is the way it bonds the hull and deck. Most builders cover the hull with the deck like a shoebox top fits the bottom. Scout reverses that with the deck inside the hull flange, based on the philosophy that in heavy seas water is less likely to get through that hull-deck joint with its method than with the standard shoebox joint.

Our Scout 320 LXF carried a pair of Yamaha F300s. Scout brilliantly runs the longitudinal stringers all the way through the transom and to the outboard end of the “Scout Strata-Mount” (the engine bracket making for a very strong engine mount that transmits the torque from the engines through the entire hull rather than just against the transom bracket).

During my test, seas off Key Largo were running about 2 feet in 25- to 30-knot winds. Drifting beam-to the seas, the Scout exhibited a short roll moment with very gentle transitions. Drift-fishermen will also appreciate that the 320 drifts very close to right angles to the wind and seas.

Generally, the 320 needs little to no tab when running. However, the head-sea ride smoothed nicely when I dropped the bow and the beam-sea ride improved by lifting the upwind side. Down-sea, the 320 ran true with no swerving or lagging on the backs of waves. I noted a bolstered sense of security when I discovered that the Scout 320 planed and ran at 32.1 mph on one engine. If you lose one offshore, you won’t be idling home.

Cruising at 35 mph with no tabs, the Scout 320 executes a wheel-hard-over turn by leaning steeply, bleeding off speed and letting the stern slide just enough to keep everyone safely inside the boat. The highest compliment I can pay any boat is to say that it has no idiosyncrasies. It responds to every helm command exactly as you hope and expect it should.

With three people aboard, full fuel and an empty water tank, the Scout 320 LXF reached 59 mph at 6,000 rpm while burning 53.7 gph. The sound level reached 94 decibels. Trolling at 7½ mph, the wake foamed slightly on the surface and showed modest subsurface turbulence on centerline.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association requires some sort of step to get out of the water, and Scout has the minimum requirement. I would prefer to see a real ladder deployable from the water, like the one aboard Pursuit’s C310 ($227,580, powered like our test boat).

Scout offers the 320 in a host of hull colors, including several pastel hues. I believe this to be a distinctly Carolina sport-fisher fashion preference. Just walk around the docks anywhere in the Outer Banks and you’d swear Lilly Pulitzer was involved in the exterior styling.

This Scout is elegant and sophisticated yet utilitarian and completely functional. Show up at any dock or fishing hot spot and observers will immediately know you are possessed of boating acumen as well as impeccable taste and style.

Comparable model: Pursuit C310

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