2018 has brought a slew of hot new fishing boats to the water, and we’ve checked out so many it makes our head spin. That said, there are three stand-outs we’re sure you’ll want to know about: the Ranger Z520CI, the Blackfin 272cc, and the Grady-White Canyon 456.
The Ranger Z520CI is an unusual platform that’s designed on the hulls of bass fishing boats but has a deck and fittings that are all up to use in the salty brine. Instead of the usual carpet you’ll be standing on a “soft touch” closed-cell foam decking. Meanwhile, items like hardware and fittings are all stainless-steel. Rigged with a 200 hp. Yamaha outboard the boat performs like its bass boat brethren, hitting speeds in excess of 60 mph. Batten down the rods, and hold on tight!
The Blackfin 272cc is an all-new boat that revives an old name in fishing boats. It bears little resemblance to the old Blackfins, however, and is a completely modern design. Bow seating has removable seat-backs that vastly improve your comfort level, a Yeti cooler sits under the leaning post, and rod holders line not only the soft top and the gunwales but also the transom. Other fishy features include a 30 gallon livewell, 54 gallon insulated fishboxes, and a tackle station integrated into the leaning post. A pair of Yamaha F250 outboards take the Blackfin up to an eye-watering 56.5 mph top-end.
Grady-White fans rejoice, the all new Canyon 456 is the largest Grady-White ever to float on the ocean. Let’s get the tough part out of the way right up front: this is not exactly an inexpensive boat, with a cost of about $1.2 million dollars. If you can leap over that hurdle, however, you’ll be on a boat with a rather large cabin inside the console (including a full sized berth, a stand-up head, and a full galley). You’ll find that the passengers sitting on the aft-facing bait-watching seats in the cockpit are bathed in air-conditioning. And the bow has both a massive a lounger and a dinette with seating for four. But the most mind-blowing feature is found at the transom, where 24-inch multifunction display projects the fishfinder/chartplotter, underwater cameras, or whatever other sort of video feed you think it would be fun to watch.
Have we spotted other cool hot new fishboats this spring? You bet. But these three stand out among the crowd – and left us drooling at the docks.