The new 262 Fisherman center console model from Wellcraft boasts a remarkable amount of tackle stowage, including a row of six rod holders across the transom, two holders abaft the helm seat, and five vertical holders across the back of the optional hardtop.
Horizontal racks for rods, gaffs, boat hooks and deck brushes reside under each gunwale. The bow deck offers lockable rod stowage and cavernous dry hatches.
Tilt-out compartments for tackle boxes are nestled within both inwales, and additional tackle stowage is found on each side of the optional 25-gallon main livewell (behind the deluxe helm seats), which includes a window for viewing baits. A 17-gallon livewell is located in the starboard quarter, and another 23-gallon is in the port quarter. An Orca 40-quart cooler slides back and forth on tracks on the foredeck to serve as a seat forward of the console (when slid aft) or as a step up in the bow (when slid forward).
Our test boat featured the Family Package, which includes bow seating, side-mount table and removable forward-facing backrests. A fold-down transom bench seat grants additional seating, but it folds away quickly. The front, upward-opening door provides access to the interior of the center console. A permanent marine head with electric flush and holding tank is optional.
Two helm chairs come with flip-up bolsters and fold-down armrests. Two tiers of footrests at the base of the console let you brace your legs. An optional Garmin GPSMAP 7610xsv multifunction display flush-mounts nicely on the helm panel. An optional inward-opening dive door on the port side helps you land big fish or just board more easily. Our 262 came with the Scarab Offshore Package, which includes MarineMat decking at the helm, in the forward rod locker and at strategic points along the gunwales to protect fishing reels. You also get a tri-tone gelcoat scheme and special graphics. Powered by twin Mercury 275 Verado outboards, the 262 Fisherman achieved a top speed of 57.4 mph. Cornering at high speed proved predictable, the deep-V hull rode smoothly, and close-quarter maneuverability was superb thanks to the Mercury power steering and digital throttle and shift.
* Plenty of places to stow rods, tackle and gear.
* 65 gallons of livewell capacity ensures that you have plenty of bait.
* Lounge seats and dining table in the bow let you take fun cruises.
* Front-opening center console is easy to access.
How We Tested
Engine: Twin 250 hp Mercury 250 Verados
Drive/Prop: Outboard/14¾” x 21″ Mercury Mirage Plus 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 106 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$164,409 (as tested)
Wellcraft Boats Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; wellcraft.com