Carolina Skiff’s first mission is to get people fishing. But there are days when not everyone in the family wants to wet a line. On those days, you need a boat that can entertain the crew. Enter the Sea Chaser 26 LX, a center console bay boat that can get after the fish yet also keep the family comfortable while just having fun on the water.
Thanks in part to its stepped hull that helps break the water’s resistance to increase efficiency, the Sea Chaser 26 LX put up impressive performance numbers. While it’s rated to handle 350 horses, our test model did just fine with a Suzuki DF250 outboard on the transom. From an idle stop, it reached 30 mph in a mere 6.3 seconds en route to a near-50 mph top-end speed. Plus, at optimal cruising speed (28.1 mph at 3,500 rpm), it achieved a burn rate of 3.85 mpg.
Don’t forget about this boat’s core mission: The 26 LX is well-equipped for fishing, with a 25-gallon livewell built into the forward casting deck in addition to the one in the aft deck, so anglers will have live-bait access front to back. The foredeck offers two built-in lockable rod lockers for your quiver and comes pre-rigged to mount a 36-volt trolling motor. There are also inwale rod racks that hold three rods per side, along with coaming bolsters that wrap around the boat. The optional T-top has four rod holders, and there are eight stainless-steel rod holders in the gunwale topsides. All cleats flip down into a recessed position, so you won’t have to worry about snagging one while fishing, a welcome sight for fly-fishing and light-tackle enthusiasts.
The aft casting platform lifts up on struts to reveal incredibly easy access to the bilge area, a handy feature that all boat owners will appreciate when it’s time to conduct routine maintenance tasks. When it’s family time, flip up the aft jump seats that seat three across, held up with compression hinges. A cushioned bench seats two passengers in front of the console. A cooler hides under the leaning post for ice, food and beverages. Anchor up or beach the boat for a swim, and you can easily reboard via the aft swim step to port of the engine.
* Fore and aft built-in livewells ensure bait is always in reach of any angler.
* Lockable rod lockers in the foredeck keep your gear secure at the dock.
* Jump seats for three passengers flip up out of the aft casting deck.
* Swim step to port of the engine makes for easy reboarding after a swim.
Price: $37,695 (without power)
How We Tested
Engine: Suzuki DF250
Prop: 16″ x 18 1/2″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.29:1
Fuel Load: 35 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Sea Chaser by Carolina Skiff – Waycross, Georgia; 800-422-7282; carolinaskiff.com