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Contender 35 ST

The Contender 35 ST is a serious fishing machine.

October 13, 2016
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Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats

The boat we used in photos and videos for the 2017 Guide to Towing is a 35 ST from Homestead, Florida-based Contender Boats. This big center console fishing boat helped showcase the towing capability of our 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 truck. Together, the boat, trailer and truck garnered lots of admiring looks and comments from bystanders during our shoot on location in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats
Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats
Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats

The 35 ST is a serious saltwater fishing machine. Like all Contenders, nearly everything within its 32-foot-8-inch hull is optional. You can have a 35 ST customized just the way you want it. Rigged out, it weighs 11,560 pounds (excluding the aluminum-frame, triple-axle trailer), so you’ll need a vehicle like the Ford Super Duty F-350 for towing this Contender.

Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats
Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats

As with all Contenders, the 35 ST features a foam-cored fiberglass stringer system, and the hand-laid fiberglass construction uses multidirectional fabric. You will also find foam flotation throughout. Above deck, there’s a heavy-duty rub rail and nothing but stainless-steel hardware. Our boat featured triple 300 hp Yamaha Marine outboards on the transom.

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Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats
Contender 35 ST
Contender 35 ST Contender Boats

Thanks to a pair of steps built into the running surface, the hull is very efficient. The steps serve as vents to usher a cushion of air under the hull to reduce drag and boost efficiency when underway. While improving performance, steps also require special considerations when selecting a trailer. If you’re considering a stepped hull, make sure the trailer is designed and carefully fitted to the boat for proper support and to facilitate launching and loading.

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