Before I even turned the key on the Tidewater 2700 Carolina Bay, I was intrigued by its possibilities. The optional SeaDek flooring no doubt enhanced its curb appeal, but it had so many other visible creature comforts that I could envision families using this bay boat for activities above and beyond its primary fishing mission.
Start with the aft casting platform and the three flip-up jump seats that make riding there comfortable. The array features a double-wide center seat flanked by two single riders. The molded-in armrests with stainless-steel cup holders round out the comfort and style. The seating continues forward of the console with a cushioned bench over the livewell as well as wraparound cushions with backrests on the stowage steps up to the bow casting platform. Slide-in backrests convert the seating to forward-facing lounges.
The helm also had an eye-catching design, with black piping for the T-top as well as a molded black dash with space to mount flat-screen multifunction displays. The helm seats feature flip-up bolsters if you want to stand while driving, as well as a fold-down toe rail. (The helm features a molded-in footrest as well.)
Once I did turn the key, the 2700 Carolina Bay opened my eyes in other ways. With the twin Yamaha F250s, this twin-stepped hull proved a little rocket ship, hitting 67 mph during our test runs. It also delivered an excellent attitude in a small bay chop, and the Carolina flare at the bow helps knock spray down and away from the cockpit. If you’re looking to use this boat in skinny water inside the inlet, both the single and the twin power choices come with a standard Bob’s Machine Shop jack plate. As of press time, Tidewater was testing the boat with the new Yamaha 425 XTO and reporting excellent results. (Last year, it posted speeds in the mid-50s with a -Yamaha F300.)
Serious anglers will love the massive bow casting platform, the fore and aft livewells, and the fact that the pull-up cleats and the understem anchor keep the decks free from obstruction.
- Stepped hull gives it a great running attitude and improves efficiency.
- Excellent seating arrangements to keep the family happy.
- Huge bow deck is a stable casting platform.
- Helm leaning post could use an aft grab handle.
The NauticStar 265 XTS ($111,685 with a single Yamaha F300) is another bay boat with creature comforts to please the family.
Price: $141,000 (with test power)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engines: Twin 250 hp Yamaha F250 four-stroke outboards
Props: 15″ x 21″ 3-blade Saltwater Series II stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 100 gal.
Water on Board: 0 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
Tidewater Boats – Lexington, South Carolina; 803-732-7300; tidewaterboats.com