SportCraft 31 SF

Easy prey.

They Say: SportCraft's 31 SF includes a well-appointed cabin for overnighting, a deep cockpit packed with fishing features, and a standard hardtop.

We Say: The 31 SF has a lot to offer the offshore angler looking for an overnighter. The cabin is a highlight on this 31'3"-by-11' boat, with plenty of natural light flowing into the 6'4"-deep space. It features a head with 6' of headroom, dinette with a fiddled faux-granite counter, galley, and V-berth. (Lift the cushions for access to the anchor locker.) A 12,000-Btu air conditioner and 31" flat-screen TV come standard. Our test boat came with twin 370-hp MerCruiser 8.1 gasoline inboards, my least desirable power choice because it precludes putting in the optional midcabin. I'd prefer to have the extra bedding and go with the twin stern drive or outboard packages -- either option also ups the fuel capacity to 318 gallons. To keep the cockpit spacious, twin outboards would be my first choice. At times it seemed the boat had a high running angle but a little touch from the standard trim tabs flattened the ride. Plus, the dB-A numbers at the helm ran high. Abovedecks, the layout is practical and functional. The high bowrail reaches safely above the knees. The cockpit has deep freeboard to keep anglers secure while fighting fish, with coaming bolsters around the inwales. The hatch for the giant insulated insole fishbox opens abeam on gas struts.

Other Choices: The Pro-Line 32 Express is comparable, but it's offered only with outboards.

The Numbers: $197,319.

Contact: 954/ 566-6320, www.sportcraftboats.com.