We Say: The Calcutta 263 is a sweet ride with plenty of stability in rough seas for bottomfishing and trolling. Its skinny 14-inch draft makes it a great bay boat as well. Next, its fuel economy with test power is likely unbeatable: 3.5 miles per gallon at 26 miles per hour. Even at 35 miles per hour, though, it clocks 2.4 miles per gallon, getting you on the fish fast for minimum dollars. While many cats tend to heel outboard in turns, this one behaved much better than most, holding near level footing with the wheel hard to port or starboard.
With livewell options and plenty of rod stowage, it’s clearly a hard-core fisher, but the beefy boarding platform steps makes it a great dive platform too. The folding transom can lie flat, giving divers clear egress from sole to ladder. If you want to just hang out on the hook, add sun pads for the bow deck. Added convenience comes from the space inside the roomy helm station. A head is an available option ($1,200).
It’s clear from visiting the factory that this boat is well crafted. Of particular note is the extremely organized layout of wiring; however, the batteries were uncovered, leaving the terminals vulnerable. The upper station with UFlex electronic controls adds $20,000 with hardtop but makes it ideal for hunting fish. Each Calcutta is custom built to order so you can have it your way.
Who’d Want One: Anglers weary of compressed disks from pounding seas.
Another Choice: Prowler 25 ($86,000 base with dual 140s, plus $7,000 for the upper station).
Bottom Line: $109,900 (base with test power); calcuttaboats.com