The Finseeker 220 Center Console is the first of a new line of saltwater fishing boats by Crownline Boats of southern Illinois. Skeptics would query, “What does an Illinois luxury runabout-maker know about saltwater fishing?” Our tests revealed the company did its homework and developed a model that not only fishes well, but also incorporates everything Crownline knows about building luxury cruising features into a seaworthy machine.
The 220 CC possesses a look of its own. Not borrowing from low-slung fishers from South Florida and avoiding a copycat Carolina flare, the Finseeker’s designers gave the high bow a new look and lines that enable safe passage through rough inlets with the strength of a sumo wrestler and the agility of a martial-arts champion.
Both fishable and seaworthy, the Finseeker does not lack for style, another area of Crownline’s expertise well-incorporated into this model. The stainless-steel rub rail sweeps from the forward edge of the transom platform and angles sharply upward amidships, mirroring the abrupt rise in the sheer, before continuing toward the bow. That style point is not without merit; many boatbuilders avoid such handsome lines lest they struggle to bend the rail. The swim platform is wide, allowing passage from left to right, and its edges are protected by a second segment of rail beginning just below the forward rail. The untrained eye would ask, “What’s the big deal?” Well, in our opinion, it is the opening salvo in a nod to style and function over manufacturing convenience.
For the boater and angler, we see the designers have taken the road less traveled by forgoing manufacturing convenience and nodding to operator and owner convenience.
Take the wraparound coaming bolsters—not bolster. While many high-end center-consoles have a single or, at best, a pair of full-length bolsters running from bow to stern, Finseeker segments its bolsters to match the interior lines of the boat, adding more than just comfort. Should a coaming bolster become damaged while fishing, remove just that one for repair. Where stainless-steel grab rails are embedded in the gunwale on a beveled surface conveniently angled downward, that coaming bolster section is added below it, still protecting knees but allowing handier access to the rail. Amidships, on each side of the console’s leaning post—where your buddy, girlfriend or spouse is likely to stand—billet anodized aluminim grab rails are blended into the gunwales, adding another level of safety with style.
For a final example of form, style and convenience, check the entry to the head compartment. So many builders slap a starboard panel hatch on the console side, but Finseeker fashioned a forward door, broadening the access to the compartment below. And instead of just bolting on a seat, there’s a fold-down jump seat embedded into the door, leaving no knee-bashing protrusion when bottomfishers are working the bow.
Forward bow lounges boast thick, durable foam pads with supple UV-resistant vinyl. Stowable seatbacks add comfort for cruising. There’s also a transom seat that folds away with a one-handed slap.
EdgeWater Boats has one of the few competitive 22-footers. Its 230 ($132,985 with a Yamaha 250 and single Garmin GPS 8612) has a reputation for being a solid fishing boat without leaving family fun out of the picture. Its tempered-glass windshield and a vinyl rail offer a different but good look. The single fish box and livewell are in the transom.
The Finseeker’s helm showed insight to the needs of anglers, with space for dual 12-inch Garmin displays (two 7-inch units are standard) with a centered compass above. Flush-mounted push-button switches are lit brightly enough to see if they are on or off in daylight, and that type of switch makes wiping the dash after a salty day easy peasy. A glove box below the helm and a phone compartment keep loose items off the helm. And if, like us, you thought the near-vertical mounting of the throttle would be off-putting and inconvenient, don’t worry, we had ample control and driving comfort.
The standard T-top is overbuilt for a long, rugged life at sea, and the curved aircraft-quality acrylic windshield offered a clear view and good protection from weather.
Finseeker designers recognize the importance of live-bait fishing. The leaning post boasts one centered 12.5-gallon livewell, with another on the portside transom offering a 10-gallon capacity. Macerated fish boxes have guttered lips to channel deck water out, and the hatches are gasketed to keep icy water in. Tackle storage is conveniently located on both sides of the leaning post. Rod holders abound in the gunwales, with undergunwale horizontal rod storage and toe rails for secure footing when gaffing fish. Four stainless-steel rod holders on the T-top and four on the leaning-post crown its fishability.
Finseeker’s first entrée into the saltwater fishing market is a strong one that won’t disappoint anglers and will certainly appeal to family cruisers. It will be popular in coastal areas and carve a niche in the growing market for inland center-consoles.
- List of standards is long, including a slide-out Yeti cooler in the leaning post and a trailer.
- T-top, macerated fish boxes, and raw and fresh water are all standard.
- Standard windlass and bow pulpit for bottomfishing.
- Larger leaning-post livewell would be welcome but would eliminate the storage drawer below.
- Trim-tab switches on the vertical surface of the console are a bit awkward and have since been more conveniently located.
Price: $120,692 (as tested)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 225 hp four-stroke V-6
Drive/Prop: Enertia 16P 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 30 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 250 lb.
Finseeker by Crownline – West Frankfort, Illinois; 618-937-6426; crownline.com