The M-16 automatic rifle is a weapon of war, much like the new Pathfinder 2500 Hybrid. The only difference is the Pathfinder is waging war against fish. This is one serious fishing machine.
It’s labeled Hybrid because it’s equally at home in the bay, in the pass or offshore and, as a crossover platform, it does all of them well. The first Pathfinder to be fully infused with foam coring, it has a double-stepped hull for speed; hammered down, we hit nearly 60 mph.
Beautifully built and designed by anglers, the spacious forward casting deck conceals three oversize lockers with gaskets for waterproofing, plus an anchor locker. The full-width step that makes foredeck access easy also hides a 47-gallon fish box that’s big enough to ice down a trophy wahoo or a smoker kingfish.
Room has been left behind the helm (either seat or leaning post) for anglers to fish safely offshore without losing casting platform space. The rear deck conceals a midship 36-gallon livewell, plus a pair of flip-up seats that add a family-friendly side to the 2500 Hybrid and also conceal stowage large enough for 5-gallon buckets. Rod storage? We lost count at 20 rods — upright, underdeck and in the coaming racks.
Power for our test boat (and most 2500s) was a Yamaha F300XCA that gives this Pathfinder square performance numbers. At 3,000 rpm, you’re going about 30 mph; at 4,000, about 40; 5,000 is 50ish, and flat out at 5,800 is 58 mph. Square.
Pathfinder is impressive in the details, from the standard 6-inch Atlas jack plate to the dashboard arranged to accept a 12-inch monitor plus the engine monitor. Inside the console, a Lucite panel covers the batteries for visibility without zapping them when you toss gear inside. Trolling motor wiring is standard, as is a saltwater washdown. Our boat had the optional tower with beautiful fiberglass hardtop that incorporated vented life-jacket lockers.
Want to take war to the fish? The Pathfinder 2500 Hybrid should be your weapon of choice.
Comparable Model: Hell’s Bay Estero