Carolina Skiff’s motto for its Sea Chaser line is to combine family, fishing and fun. With the new 26 LX, the company did exactly that, producing a center console bay boat that can handle hardcore fishing duty yet keep the family comfortable on a leisurely cruise.
On the performance front, the Sea Chaser 26 LX features a stepped hull that helps break the water’s resistance, increasing efficiency. While it’s rated to handle 350 horses, our test model did just fine with a Suzuki DF250 outboard on the transom. From an idle stop, it reached 30 mph in a mere 6.3 seconds en route to a near-50 mph top-end speed. Plus, at optimal cruising speed (28.1 mph at 3,500 rpm) it achieved a burn rate of 3.85 mpg.
The 26 LX is well-equipped for the angling set, with a 25-gallon livewell built into the forward casting deck in addition to the one in the aft deck, so anglers will have live-bait access front to back. The foredeck offers two built-in lockable rod lockers for your quiver and comes pre-rigged to mount a 36-volt trolling motor. There are also inwale rod racks that hold three rods per side, along with coaming bolsters that wrap around the boat. The optional T-top has four rod holders, and there are eight stainless-steel rod holders in the gunwale topsides. All cleats flip down into recessed position, so you won’t have to worry about snagging one while fishing.
The aft swim platform lifts up on struts to reveal incredibly easy access to the bilge area, a handy feature that all boat owners will appreciate when it’s time to conduct routine maintenance tasks.
When it’s family time, flip up the aft jump seats that seat three across, held up with compression hinges. A cushioned bench seats two passengers in front of the console. A cooler hides under the leaning post for ice and beverages. Anchor up or beach the boat for a swim, and you can easily reboard via the aft swim step to port of the engine.
* Fore and aft built-in livewells ensure bait is always in reach of any angler.
* Lockable rod lockers in the foredeck keep your gear secure at the dock.
* Jump seats for three passengers flip up out of the aft casting deck.
* The swim step to port of the engine makes for easy reboarding after a swim.
How We Tested
Engine: Suzuki DF250
Prop: 16″ x 18½” 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.29:1
Fuel Load: 35 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$37,695 (without power)
Sea Chaser by Carolina Skiff Waycross, Georgia; 800-422-7282; carolinaskiff.com