Wellcraft Scarab 35 Sport: The Bite That's Right

The competition eats wake.

If you like a boat that looks like it's doing a mile a minute tied to the dock, the Wellcraft Scarab 35 Sport may be your next ticket to ride. This center console is a hardcore fish chaser but clearly shows its racing heritage in its lines. The difference between this and its 80-mph siblings, however, is that you enjoy a much wider beam - 9'9" to be exact - which provides lots more fishing space and stability than you'd expect in a go-fast fishboat.

That's not to say the 35 Sport is a slouch speed-wise. With twin 225-hp EFI Mercury outboards, it cranked out 52.7 mph despite the T-top. And if you must have more speed, you can get it - the 35 Sport is rated to handle triple 250-hp outboards, provided your wallet can handle the cost.

For those who hate claustrophobic console heads, the 35 Sport features a front entry, which lifts at the press of a button on nitrogen-filled pistons, making it easy to visit this comfort station. The head also includes a sink and a handheld shower. Watch out for the Clarion stereo, though, because it's also in the console, and if you're not careful, it will get wet. Two watertight hatches provide access to the helm wiring, but if major surgery is necessary, you can flip the entire console open, too.

A foldaway lounge at the transom will be a popular riding spot when it's rough. Comfort underway is always greatest the farther aft you sit. Kiekhaefer racing tabs allow you to drop the sharp entry at the bow for an easier ride. The helm drop-seat bolster is also designed to be comfortable on high-speed offshore runs. This racing-style bolster is far more comfortable than a typical center console's leaning post. It also includes a tackle rigging station with a removable 68-quart cooler underneath. The 37-gallon livewell is located in the transom, and it's lighted to help out nightfishers.

Acceleration is bassboat quick, and when the drives are trimmed high, the wheel gets that light, sensitive feel. But the hull hangs tough in turns and ships no water when backing down. One anomaly: If you chop the throttles at full speed, as though you were making an emergency stop, the stern tends to hop sideways as the boat settles. Again, that's a trait we've seen in bassboats, but it's something to be aware of.

Compare the 35 Sport to the Contender 36, which is slightly wider at 10'0" and has more deadrise at 24.5 degrees. Fit and finish are similar, but the Contender 36 is pricier at $99,000 without power.

LAST WORD. Runs good, looks good, and fishes good - what's not to love?

LOA..........34'10" ** **

Beam........9'9" ****

Draft........2'8" ****

Displacement (lbs., approx......7,000

Transom deadrise..23°

Bridge clearance...6'0" ****

Minimum cockpit depth ................2'6" ****

Max. headroom..5'9" ****

Fuel capacity (gal.) ................300

Water capacity (gal.)........40

Price (w/o power) ................$91,000 ****

Price (w/test power) ................$119,000

STANDARD POWER: None. ****

OPTIONAL POWER: Twin or triple outboards to 750 hp total.

TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 225-hp Mercury EFI V-6 outboards with 185 cid, 3.63" bore x 3.00" stroke, swinging 14" x 19" three-bladed ss props through 1.75:1 reductions.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Anchor roller and deck pipe; transom seat and door; dive ladder; bow and cockpit coaming bolsters; 5 insulated fishboxes w/pumpout; 37-gal. livewell; rigging station; leaning post; 68-qt. cooler; compass; hydraulic steering; AM/FM/cassette stereo; K-Plane trim tabs.