Are you convinced that family-style luxury requires trade-offs in fishing performance? Scout isn’t, and its 300 LXF reflects that viewpoint. As we ripped against the current into a gusting 25 mph headwind, we had to admit being immediately impressed with the speed, comfort and dual utility of this, the only 30-foot center-console we’ve tested that sports a cabin.
Known for combining innovative design with super functionality and plenty of style, Scout has enhanced its reputation with the 300 LXF. A sharp and aggressive, forward-seating center-console that handles cruising daytime to light overnight, along with hard-core piscatorial pursuit, our test boat seemed determined to make a statement. In conditions that bordered on snotty, we chewed the chop, cut on a dime and tore through our paces without a flinch. It ran fast, tight, tough and dry while handling a demanding series of tight turns, circles and crosswind maneuvers in fairly sloppy seas that might have caused lesser rides to spit the bit. It popped smoothly out of the hole with sufficient visibility over the bow and accelerated quickly, and we discovered a sweet spot at 33 mph with a burn rate of 16.4 gph. Top speed? A brisk 62 mph.
That the boat performed with gusto wasn’t a surprise. What raised our eyebrows was how the 300 LXF pulled it off so smoothly. This boat runs larger than life and lacks for little in the way of primary family amenities and fishing configuration. Its deck is clean and well conceived while attention to detail, access to controls, panels and wiring, plus dry storage rate superior in most regards. With Scout’s NuV3 “convex” hull design incorporating variable-degree angles that provide improved fuel efficiency, the 300 LXF is also reasonable at the pump.
At the helm, the double-wide station stands tall and within easy reach of all dashboard components while the large Garmin displays are perfectly angled for viewing at speed. A convenient digital switching system allows programming of a remote key fob to power on or off selected components, and the system is easy to service. The T-top/hardtop enclosure supports are integrated right into the console, making this patented setup as solid as they come — and choosing tempered glass over plexiglass windows was a smart move.
Up front, our test boat’s optional Italia lounge upholstery hints at luxury while housing spacious, self-draining stowage. The wraparound cushions are easily removed to reveal a serious casting platform with plenty of dry stowage to complement fish boxes in the sole. A padded bolster runs the length of the vessel and is positioned perfectly for bracing against while putting the screws to a trophy — and you’ll appreciate the 40-inch maximum freeboard in the flared bow. An electric windlass and a “broom closet” for stowables such as brushes, gaffs and lines are nice touches.
Below deck, a fully cushioned berth accommodates two adults and folds up for additional space. There’s a stainless-steel sink with a Corian vanity and mirror, while the head has a china vacuum-flush toilet. Circuit breakers, individually labeled, are accessed from the cabin panel. There’s also room for rod stowage beneath the berth.
Aft, a solid leaning post hosts a livewell with a see-through top so you’ll know if your baits are still swimming. Bait stations and tackle storage are set to each side of the well. A Yeti cooler on a sliding tray resides in the base. Horizontal rod stowage is along each gunwale, and there’s a tuna door in the port stern providing access to the generously sized dual swim platforms. Need a break? Flip out the transom chair and relax in comfort until the bite begins to simmer.
Scout generally does the little things nicely, and our test boat was no exception. All cleats and gunwale rod holders are stainless steel and recessed, hatches are hand-finished for a tight fit and clean look, and the box hinges on this model have a stiffness that subtly reinforces a high-end theme. Additionally, all cup holders, rod holders and even small stowage boxes are plumbed. Scout uses no wood in stringer construction, so rot is not an issue.
On the luxury end, we’d like to see a fold-away bow table instead of an optional insert, and we’d like the optional Brisa cushion package offered in a wider selection of colors. Fishingwise, the catch boxes are small for serious offshore action, and adding a toe rail to the flared bow would have been a good idea since it’s necessary to lean into the side to grab lines and net fish. Our test model could have also used more rod holders along the gunwale. Opt to double the standard sets if you carry several outfits and like to keep both net and gaff handy. Lastly, we wish the bait station had a little more depth, but that would negate personal space around the transom chair. Alas, those trade-offs.
The top-end Scout 300 LXF is a powerful, smartly designed option for fishing families who demand comfort when the rods are stowed. Grady-White‘s 306 Canyon CC is more fish-focused with larger boxes, toe rails and a stowable table but has no cabin and offers a helm windshield instead of a wraparound enclosure for a comparable $221,145.
Comparable Model: Grady-White 306 Canyon CC