The Blackfin name means hardcore offshore fishability and maximum seaworthiness. The new Blackfin has all that, plus luxury seating for your crew.
The 302CC is all-composite, with no wood from stem to stern, and major parts are bonded in a unitized system that ensures each Blackfin not only makes it through the warranty period, but also lasts for years after. Our experience with these boats supports the company’s claim. Fuel and water systems were pressure-tested not just once or twice, but three times as we watched on a visit to the factory. Each boat spends an hour floating in a test tank, showered heavily from above, and if on the rare occasion a leak is found, they stop the test, repair the problem, and restart the clock on the test.
What rolls off the line is a superb boat with a luxury flair, plenty of elegant seating, and some serious features to put fish in the large macerated fish boxes. Twin Mercury V-8 Verado 300 hp outboards push it to 55 mph and a generous 37 mph cruise speed, making 1.4 mpg for a range of 300 miles, leaving a 10 percent fuel reserve.
You could opt for dual Verado 400s to hit maximum horsepower, but we think Blackfin has it right with the 300s. Why? Because in the tight quarters of our test, we were able to jump out of the hole quickly to get to cruising speed in just a tad over 10 seconds and, if we wanted to, make sharp 180 turns without dumping off plane and while retaining plenty of power and control when returning to a straight course. This is an area where the Michael Peters SVVT hull really shines.
The SVVT boasts dual steps paired with a notched bottom that is about 2 inches deep from just behind the steps to the transom, and spreads abeam midway between the chine and keel from port to starboard. A step hull is like two hulls. A dual-step hull might be looked at as three, but with the SVVT system, the notched bottom is a fourth element, giving the boat its characteristic speed, efficiency and stability in turns.
Interior and Accessories
To ready your gear, there is a tackle-rigging station aft of the helm seating, with a slide-out cooler beneath it. I found a sink, tackle compartment and tool holders conveniently at hand.
If you’re soft on fishing and serious about comfort, the rigging station can be swapped for mezzanine seating facing the transom, ready to pair up in the roomy cockpit with the foldaway transom lounge.
We found eight Gemlux cup/rod holders on the gunwales and four shotgun rod holders on the transom. Those are flanked by a 30-gallon livewell to port (fed by a high-capacity pump) and a transom door to starboard. Another entry—or fish-hoisting area—is the standard portside boarding door. An optional removable ladder will make it handy for diving or swimming. There are six undergunwale rod racks for stowing your arsenal.
While serious angling is the foundation of a Blackfin, luxury is its hallmark, and that is apparent in the helm, the console compartment beneath and the forward seating.
The hardtop underside is optionally gelcoated to match or contrast the optional powder-coating of the hardtop structure. It’s a great look and serves to absorb reflected light, improving visibility of electronics displays. Atop the helm, a surf-mat finish keeps phones and keys from sliding about, and a 6-inch window vent at the top of the windshield opens electrically for ventilation. The dual helm seats are BMW-crisp, and that style goes through all the cushions, such as the bow lounges and the stowable forward seatbacks (which merge with the coaming pads when fishing). A dual couch on the front of the console has cold storage beneath the flip-up cushion. Wraparound bow lounges have removable forward-facing lounge backs that can be stowed quickly by pressing their mounting rods into the gunwale, where they join with the thick bolsters that wrap completely around the boat.
Scout builds its 305 LXF ($302,394 base price with dual Mercury V-8 300s) with a nod to luxury cruising. Its lines are similar to the Blackfin, with high bows and a sheer for seaworthy cruising in inclement conditions. The transom seats are fixed in place, however, perhaps adding comfort at the expense of fishability.
The 302′s standards list is impressive, with the bow thruster and windlass at the top of it. Cosmetic options include SeaDek platform covering, colored hull sides, and white rub rails instead of black. The Blackfin factory installs optional Garmin navigation suites including radar and chirp sonar.
Blackfin’s talent is combining durable construction techniques with superior fishability and outstanding comfort. The all-composite hull has no wood, features premium stainless-steel hardware, durable weather-resistant vinyl, and all the fishing accommodations required for serious coastal and offshore fishing. The 302CC is the builder’s latest bull’s-eye in that endeavor.
How We Tested
- Engines: Twin Mercury V-8 Verado 300 hp outboards
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Enertia Eco 16″ x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.85:1 Fuel Load: 240 gal. Water on Board: 50 gal. Crew Weight: 350 lb.
- Factory-installed bow thruster makes docking easier for any skipper.
- Custom hinge hardware on the console side door opens without blocking passage along the gunwale.
- Three raw-water washdowns make it easy to clean the boat after getting bait or bloodying the deck.
- High bow deflects seas and all but prevents stuffing a wave. Although, short captains might need the fold-down step to see over the bow on acceleration.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$318,566 (base price with test power)|
|LOA:||32’8″ (with engines)|
|Displacement:||9,000 lb. (plus engines)|
|Transom Deadrise:||23 degrees|
|Bridge Clearance:||8’9″ (with hardtop)|
|Fuel Capacity:||240 gal.|
|Available Power:||Twin Mercury outboards to 800 hp total|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Blackfin – Williston, Florida; 352-525-2411; blackfinboats.com