Advertisement

2020 Parker Boats 26 SH

This widebody, shallow-draft bay boat by Parker Boats also offers family amenities.

April 17, 2020
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Overview

Parker Boats has built shallow-draft boats for inshore guides for years. Now the Parker team has poured that experience into a sophisticated, versatile new offering—the 26SH (Sport Hybrid). At 26 feet, 6 inches length overall with a 9-foot-6-inch beam and 17-degree transom deadrise, the new boat matches very well with a jack-plate-mounted Yamaha F300 to produce a classy-looking shallow-water fishing machine that can also take a family to the sandbar.

Parker Boats 26SH running shot
The 26 SH is packed with fishing features and offers a stable ride. Courtesy Parker Boats

No, the 26SH is probably not the best choice to run offshore, but it’s plenty able to jig on nearshore wrecks and reefs. Add Taco Grand Slam outriggers to the T-top, and single or dual power poles for the flats.

Parker Boats 26SH helm
The helm easily accommodates a Garmin 8612 or 8616 and Fusion stereo. Courtesy Parker Boats

We liked the way this roomy hull rose onto plane and ran with its sharp forward sections just kissing the water to carve what swell we could find. It throws spray straight out to the sides. There’s plenty of speed when needed, but we also found that the 26SH could slow down to the teens and stay on plane if needed for truly nasty conditions. It comes standard with 10-by-14-inch Lenco trim tabs for fine-tuning the ride. On the drift, it exhibited great stability.

Advertisement
Parker Boats 26SH bow seating
The large casting platform at the bow can be converted to lounges with the Comfort Package. Courtesy Parker Boats

Interior and Accessories

Hatches are finished on both sides and bolted to stainless-steel friction hinges over properly gasketed gutters. Hardware throughout is fastened with bolts, washers, and locknuts. I found fantastic access to wiring, plumbing and the through-hull transducer (Garmin B60 or B150), as well as easy-to-reach bronze seacocks and electronics (Garmin 8612 or 8616 with VHF and Fusion stereo). There is plenty of room inside for a full-size human to sit comfortably on the portable toilet, and dedicated space for up to five batteries. Placing them in the console helps keep the hull well-balanced.

Parker Boats 26SH livewell
Twin livewells keep bait fresh. Courtesy Parker Boats

Parker’s new 26SH enters a growing field of high-quality 26- to 27-foot bay boats built to both fish and entertain families. Its stability, interior space and spirited performance will certainly satisfy the latter mission, but true to its heritage, its forte is fishing.

Parker Boats 26SH anchoring
Single or dual power poles can be easily outfitted. Courtesy Parker Boats

How We Tested

  • Engine: 300 hp Yamaha
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/15.5″ x 17″ Saltwater Series II SDS 3-blade
  • Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 40 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 400 lb.

High Points

  • Huge casting platforms bow and stern, plus twin livewells.
  • Tilt-out tackle boxes under the gunwales.
  • Large, cushioned seat with fold-down back under the stern platform.
  • Good access to neatly arranged wiring, plumbing and pumps.

Low Points

  • Rod stowage maxes out at 7 feet, 6 inches. Want fly rods? Hang them under the T-top.
  • Only head option is a portable toilet without pump-out.
  • Forward platform Comfort Package lounges are not secure if the boat is underway.

Toughest Competitors

Regulator’s 26XO ($139,995 with Yamaha F300) is similar in dimensions but about 1,000 pounds heavier, with similar fishing features, more seating, and forward lounges available for the bow platform. Pathfinder’s 2600 TRS (about $125,000 comparably equipped with a Yamaha F300) is narrower (8 feet, 10 inches) and about 800 pounds lighter, with a stepped hull, 18 degrees of transom deadrise, and lower fuel capacity (70 gallons).

Advertisement

Pricing and Specs

Price: $125,751 (with test power)
LOA: 26’6″
Beam: 9’6″
Draft: 1’3″
Displacement: 5,073 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 17 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 9’2″
Fuel Capacity: 97 gal.
Water Capacity: N/A
Max Horsepower: 400
Available Power: Single Yamaha F300 XCA

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Parker Boats 26SH performance data
Parker Boats 26SH Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Parker Boats – Beaufort, North Carolina; 252-728-5621; parkerboats.com

Advertisement

More Boats

Advertisement
Advertisement