Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test

Wellcraft’s flagship 35-footer blends serious fishing features with comfortable places to relax when angling is not a priority.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
LOA: 35'6" | Beam: 10'8" | Draft: 2'2" | Displacement: 13,510 lb. (with engines) | Transom Deadrise: 23 degrees | Fuel Capacity: 376 gal. | Bridge Clearance: 15'10" (with tower) | Max Cabin Headroom: 6'0" | Max Horsepower: 1,275 | Available Power: Mercury or Yamaha outboards to 1,275 hp total | More Information: wellcraft.comCourtesy Wellcraft

The 352 Fisherman represents the new flagship of the Wellcraft fleet, but it’s the blend of fishing features, luxurious comforts and performance of this triple-outboard-powered center-console that really impresses. It’s designed for serious angling on Saturday and cruising with family and friends on Sunday.

Looking to kick back and soak up the sun? Step aboard through the inward-opening portside dive door and check out the wraparound bow seating. Twin loungers with removable backrests invite you to stretch out. Set the bamboo bow table at seating level and add a filler cushion to create a sprawling sun pad. When it’s time to eat, put the table on its twin pedestals to feast. Below the bow seat resides a slide-out Orca cooler to keep refreshments handy.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
The forward console seat for two offers a comfortable ride.Courtesy Wellcraft

The forward console seat for two offers an angled backrest, full legroom, fold-down armrest, and a built-in cooler underneath to join festivities on the foredeck. While the diamond nonskid deck is perfect for maintaining traction while fishing, the optional snap-in reed mat makes barefoot cruising comfy.

Speaking of comfort, our 352 came equipped with an optional Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilization system ($51,333) to eliminate roll and stave off mal de mar, whether cruising or fishing.

Seating choices don’t stop in the bow. A pair of foldout bench seats stretch across the transom, save for the transom door in the starboard quarter that leads to the integral swim platform. A covered 32-gallon livewell is nestled abaft the transom seats, but it can also double as an insulated cooler. The well on our boat was equipped with an optional 12-volt DC chiller ($7,667) that minimizes the need for ice. On the port side of the transom is a covered sink with a freshwater faucet for washing up.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
A pair of foldout bench seats stretch across the transom.Courtesy Wellcraft

Abaft the helm seating is a covered prep station with a cutting board set within the faux-marble countertop, but this can be upgraded to an electric grill. A slide-out fridge resides below the countertop for beverages and perishables. A 35-gallon livewell built into the port side of the station features wraparound tempered safety glass, an aquariumlike window for keeping tabs on your bait.

On days when you’re lucky enough to catch a bunch of fish, you will appreciate the twin 320-quart insulated fish boxes under the aft deck, both macerated to evacuate blood and gruel overboard. There are also tilt-out inwale lockers for stowing tackle items and undergunwale racks for fishing rods and gaffs.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
Abaft the helm seating is a covered prep station.Courtesy Wellcraft

The 352 offers a surprisingly roomy console interior. The portside door, tempered-glass side window and a section of the console top open all at once for easy access. Inside is a freshwater faucet and sink, flushing marine toilet and a forward berth. Our boat had the optional air-conditioning system ($4,267), powered by a Westerbeke 3.5 kW marine gas generator ($17,000). An AC/DC electrical control panel filled the aft bulkhead, while the Seakeeper 3 was installed just under the panel.

The helm featured Mercury Joystick Piloting, two Garmin flush-mounted 22-inch multifunction displays for accessing the chirp fish finder, an xHD2 open-array radar, FLIR thermal-imaging camera, chart plotter, engine instrumentation and more.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
The helm features two Garmin flush-mounted 22-inch multifunction displays.Courtesy Wellcraft
Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
The three-across bucket helm seats each feature flip-up bolsters and fold-down ­armrests.Courtesy Wellcraft

Toggle-switch panels are crafted from machined billet aluminum, not plastic, and the entire helm features a black finish to help reduce glare. Our test boat was equipped with a Fusion stereo control head, Seakeeper display and a pair of air-conditioning outlets. An overhead electronics box integrated into the hardtop featured the Mercury VesselView engine display, VHF radio and glove box.

The centrally located tilt steering wheel puts the skipper in the middle of the three-across bucket helm seats, each featuring flip-up bolsters and fold-down ­armrests. The center seat also drops away at the pull of a lever so you can stand and drive with your back braced against the seat padding.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
An optional tower station is accessible via a central ladder.Courtesy Wellcraft

An optional tower station ($25,833) is accessible via a central ladder leading from the prep station. The helm aloft featured most of the functions that exist on the main helm, including a Garmin 12-inch MFD, VesselView display, stereo control, joystick control and more.

Swinging Merc Revolution 4 18-inch pitch (19-inch pitch on the center motor) propellers, the triple Mercury 400R Verado outboards propelled the big center-console from zero to 30 mph in 8.6 seconds, en route to a top speed of 57 mph at 6,800 rpm. All the while, the 352 sliced smoothly through waves and carved turns with precision. Merc power steering made cornering fingertip-easy.

If you're looking for comparison points in the 35-foot center-console category, the Scout 355 LXF carries a base MSRP of $357,540 with triple Mercury 350 Verados, and Boston Whaler's 350 Outrage starts at $404,000 with triple 350 Verados. None of those prices include options such as towers, air conditioning, generators or Seakeepers.

With a brand heritage that spans 63 years, Wellcraft is a name that’s indelibly etched in the memories of generations of boaters. The new 352 Fisherman — now the largest model in the Wellcraft lineup — more than lives up to those memories.

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
Inside the console is a freshwater faucet and sink, flushing marine toilet and a forward berth.Courtesy Wellcraft

High Points

  • Optional tower and second station are great additions for offshore fishing.
  • This boat rides smoothly, responds quickly, and handles well in tight quarters.
  • Non-anglers will love the versatile bow seating and forward console seat.

Low Points

  • Using the console door is a bit awkward, and it blocks the walkway when open.
  • Rigging station cover needs to be closed in order to ascend or descend the tower.
  • We would like to see the windshield extend all the way to the hardtop.

Price: $366,667 (base with triple Mercury Verado 400Rs and joystick piloting)

Available Power: Outboard

Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Boat Test
Wellcraft 352 Fisherman Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engines: Triple 400 hp Mercury 400R Verados
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Revolution 4 14 5/8" x 18"/19"/18" 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 350 gal.
Crew Weight: 630 lb.

More Information
Wellcraft Boats - Cadillac, Michigan; 231-775-1351; wellcraft.com