It doesn’t matter how hard-core an angler you are or desire to be; when family is involved in the boat-purchasing decision, they are going to want amenities. Center-console builders have wised up to that, building serious fishing machines with actual places to sit, tan and socialize. The new Sea Chaser 22 HFC, built by Carolina Skiff, provides just such a platform — the HFC in the name fittingly stands for Hybrid Fish and Cruise.
For cruising, the family will like the bench that runs almost the entire length of the transom, save for the area to port where the 25-gallon livewell is installed. The bench features two separate cushions over hatches. The cushion to starboard lifts to reveal an insulated built-in cooler. The larger hatch to center opens for access to the batteries, bilge and other ship systems. An added backrest extends above the transom topside to provide more passenger comfort.
Cruising passengers can rest a cold beverage in one of eight LED-lit cup holders placed throughout the boat, including two in the bow area. The bow features snap-on cushions to easily convert the boat from fishing to lounging duty. Removable backrests slide in to create twin forward-facing loungers. There’s a pedestal base for a cockpit table on the hatch opening to the insole 32-gallon fish box. There’s another 52 gallons of storage capacity under the U-shaped seating. There’s also a removable 100-quart cooler under the helm leaning post.
Fishing features? Besides the aforementioned livewell and fish box, there’s rod storage built into each gunwale, with room for three rods per side. There’s a raw-water washdown, plus four rod holders built into the topsides, four more in the leaning post and four on the T-top.
Underway, the boat climbed onto plane fairly quickly with no real squatting or loss of visibility at the helm. With the 200 hp Suzuki test power, it accelerated to 30 mph in about seven seconds on its way to a 44.7 mph top end. The top of the swim step corners dipped a little too low to the water during hard-over turns at 30 mph, causing drag and throwing spray, but otherwise the boat performed well in a light bay chop.
Comparable Model: Sea Fox 226 Commander