Scout’s 231 XS is designed to deliver. Our tester featured a sleek black hull with cream topsides and richly appointed, leatherlike tan vinyl seating and cushioning. The “10-foot away” look is high quality, and close inspection of the fit and finish confirmed that appearance.
The robust custom black paint job of the Yamaha F300 outboard matched the hull and provided a coordinated but sleek and stealthy appearance. Topside, our test boat was fitted with the optional curved-cushion high-performance leaning post, which made our at-speed testing more secure and comfortable. Behind the optional long-shaft trolling motor mounted on the bow, the casting area is expansive — perfect for all-day angling. Within, there are huge rod stowage boxes on both sides of a large life-vest storage locker in the center with a standard 45-quart Yeti cooler. An in-sole 11-gallon baitwell sits just aft of the center box. All the lids are lockable and O-rings sealed dry.
The console is raked aft with a low, smoked Lexan windscreen and comfy console seat forward. There’s more vertical rod stowage on both sides of the console. Another 26-gallon baitwell and matching release well are ample for a day’s catch. A convertible seat is fitted just in front of the transom; the backrest folds flat, resulting in an aft platform.
The 231 XS is outfitted for performance, and standard features include a 6-inch setback hydraulic jack and electric trim tabs. The setback allows the engine to run with less drag, a result of less of the gear case being in the water. Since “clean” (nonaerated) water that flows past a hull will rise aft of the transom, the prop does not need to be as deeply immersed when installed on a setback. This reduces drag because the prop can run at a shallower depth in this clean water. This fact, in combination with the vertical adjustability of the jack plate, allows for powering across shallower water. Add in the dual-water intake inlets of the Yamaha outboard — one on one side of the gear case and one lower and forward on the torpedo — and you have completed the combination that, along with the hull of the Scout 231 XS, can truly help boaters exploit efficiency and shallow-water angling opportunities.
With the optional 300 hp Yamaha outboard upgrade, the Scout 231 XS delivered for testing hit nearly 64 mph in a driving rain. It planed quickly and handled smartly. While being pelted by drops at 60-plus mph, we mentally weighed the value of the standard layout’s fishability against the optional T-top and its protective canvas. The 60-gallon tank ensures range is well over 250 miles.
Comparable Model: NauticStar 244 XTS