NorthCoast Boats 280 CC Boat Test

A refined, fishable center console built in New England.

NorthCoast Boats 280 CC running shot
LOA: 28'0" | Beam: 9'1" | Draft (max): 3'0" | Displacement (approx.): 6,125 lb. | Transom Deadrise: 24 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 9'0" | Fuel Capacity: 182 gal. | Water Capacity: 38 gal. | Max Horsepower: 600 | Available Power: Twin Honda, Yamaha, or Suzuki gasoline outboards | More Information: northcoastboats.comCourtesy NorthCoast Boats

With the now-complete evolution of the center-console into a form of luxury cruiser, it’s important to remember this type of boat’s original mission statement: to go fishing. North Coast didn’t forget this and designed the 280CC to be a hardcore fishing vessel capable of both chasing inshore species with light tackle and running far outside the inlet in pursuit of the bite.

The 280CC’s deep-V hull tapers to 24 degrees of deadrise at the transom, helping it achieve an excellent ride while knifing through waves. We ran it through a confused chop due to excessive boat traffic, and the 280CC handled it with ease. It didn’t pound, shutter or rattle, or throw spray into the cockpit. The twin Honda 250s propelled the boat to a near 54 mph top-end speed, and cruised comfortably at 29.1 mph and 3,500 rpm. The hull proved predictable in hard-over turns to port and starboard with a nice inboard lean, and exhibited no blowout or slippage in both directions. It tracked straight at trolling speeds as well, and the Hondas were super-quiet in forward idle.

NorthCoast Boats 280 CC bow seating
Comfortable seating rings the bow.Courtesy NorthCoast Boats

Abovedecks, everything about the boat screams, “Take me fishing!” Every­thing is set up to make it easy to work your way around the boat and fish. Note the nonskid gunwale topsides around the entire length of the boat, as well as the recessed grab rail along the bow. Fly and light-­tackle anglers will appreciate all the pop-up cleats. The decks are clean and free of obstructions that could trip up anglers working fish from stem to stern.

More fishing features? Livewells in both the transom and leaning post ensure you’ll never run out of bait during a fishing trip. Coaming bolsters line the cockpit gunwales that hide recessed rod racks. The portside insole fish box is macerated and drains overboard, so it’s easy to clean after you clean your catch. There are plenty of rod holders in the gunwale topsides, on the back of the leaning post, and on the hardtop, so there should always be a rod within reach. With the 280CC’s sweet ride, most fishing grounds should be in reach too.

NorthCoast Boats 280 CC livewells
Livewells in both the transom and leaning post ensure you’ll never run out of bait.Courtesy NorthCoast Boats

High Points

  • Grab handles on the console and leaning post have Edson's ComfortGrip.
  • Dash can hold a 16-inch flush-mounted monitor.
  • Livewells have rounded corners and a light-blue finish to help keep bait alive longer.

Low Point

  • Swim ladder is on the starboard swim step, while the transom walk-through door is to port.

Toughest Competitor
The Cobia 280CC, which starts at $143,432 with twin 250 Yamahas, shows flatter deadrise (22 degrees) and fewer fishing features, but offers more standard creature comforts.

Price: $169,015 (with base power)

Available Power: Outboard

NorthCoast Boats 280 CC Performance Data
NorthCoast Boats 280 CC Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Twin 250 hp Honda BF250 outboards
Props: 15 1/2" x 17" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 100 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 580 lb.

NorthCoast Boats - Bristol, Rhode Island; 401-254-8978; northcoastboats.com