At each and every test of a Scout boat, the attention to detail, the quality and the level of innovation in each new model just get better. No baloney, and speaking as someone who runs many different boats per year, this company and the boats it builds are just really good. The 235 XSF proved not to vary from that assessment.
This 235 XSF will be a perfect fit for those boaters seeking a boat that falls between two-size milestones. These folks want more than 21 feet in length for the additional space and enhanced ride quality yet need less than 25 feet for reasons pertaining to tow vehicles, dockage and economics. Our tester was rigged with big power, Scout’s maximum recommendation, in fact: the Yamaha F300 V-6. The Yammy provided a swift run up to nearly 55 mph with 600 pounds of me and crew plus 75 gallons of fuel. That speed was attained turning a Yamaha Saltwater Series II propeller with 18 inches of pitch. Conditions during our test were reasonably calm for Charleston Harbor, but we poured the coals to the Yamaha, and the Scout’s 3,655-pound displacement and its deep-V hull had no problem cleaving through big tug wakes and mushing pleasure-boat chop; it gave good feedback and a solid and smooth ride with nice landings and no rattles. Hard-carved turns and switchbacks were also executed well, with the 235’s power hydraulic steering providing a firm touch without torque feedback.
Fuel-consumption rates were stingy for a big hull with brute V-6 power; our best cruise was found at a strong pace, and 30 mph and 3.6 mpg get you out and back with no loafing.
The 235 features a new 30-inch transom height and no engine splashwell for maximum security in following seas. The thick motor board is molded to a boatwide swim/fish platform that uses a forward-positioned seat back to effectively block following seas and engine noise. That stern seat features a fold-up base to get it out of the way for more cockpit space. Amidships, the center console is all Scout: Digital console displays dominate the dash, with a stainless wheel and precise Yamaha binnacle for sure control. Lift any of the many hatches and access doors, and inside you’ll find smooth gelcoat finishes (no loose fiberglass strands to pierce fingers), finished edges and very clean rigging.
* Center console is enclosed with contoured safety glass, surrounded by engineered, sculpted T-top rails.
* Stowaway forward seat backs prove convenient and comfortable.
* All-digital dash gives Scout pilots all the information they can handle.
* Three-step recessed boarding ladder on transom platform is great, but we prefer the four-step models found aboard competitive craft.
Grady-White‘s Fisherman 236 compares closely in size, is rated for the same power (300 hp), displaces a tad more (3,900 pounds dry), and possesses more fuel capacity (115 gallons). Top speed is a bit off (48 mph). At roughly $135,000 similarly equipped, it compares well with the Scout.
Price: $108,619 (base with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F300UCA
Drive/Prop: Outboard/151/4″ x 18″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Crew Weight: 600 lb.
Fuel Load: 75 gal
Scout Boats – Summerville, South Carolina; 843-821-0068; scoutboats.com