Scout Boats based in Summerville, South Carolina weathered the economic recession that blew winds of change into the boat manufacturing business. Scout is gathering a head of steam in 2014, celebrating 25 years of excellence by announcing a facility expansion and adding 300 new jobs. On September 24, three new boat models were available for inspection on nearby Charleston Harbor.
With the air temperature hanging in the low 60s and a northerly wind of 20 knots, the conditions on the water were sporty. The Scout boats we rode in were the 255 LXF, the 275 Dorado and the 300 LXF, each providing a dry ride for the conditions. Normally, the larger the boat the more stable the ride in choppy seas, however, the 27-footer provided a noticeably bumpier ride than the other two models, causing me to hold tight.
Dotson Guice with Scout noted that the 255 LXF is a luxury fishing boat that replaced a similar 24-foot model. This model had two bench seats in the bow equipped with forward-facing backrests that are removable. Amenity choices include a T-top with tempered glass enclosure, fusion stereo with iPod and USB jacks, in-floor fish box and fiberglass leaning post. A special silver boat hull color is available for the 255LXG in honor of the company’s anniversary.
The 275 Dorado is a family friendly boat that can be used for fishing too. The bow offers two comfortable bench seats and a unique entertaining table that folds down out of the way. Included stereo speakers and an anchor locker make the Dorado bow a very usable space. Aft has a fold down bench seat with twin 25-gallon storage wells in the back corners. The in-floor fish box and flush-mounted rod holders complete the transom.
Scout’s warranty manager George Douglas sat behind the dual console of the 275 Dorado and shared that the twin Yamaha 200s can simply cruise along when fishing is not part of the plan. Equipped with a head, she does not have to return to the docks for pit stops. The fiberglass hard-top creating lots of shade provides handrails underneath similar to what one might find in the salon of a sportfisher. Douglas said customer demand for their Dorado style vessels keeps the production line busy.
The 300 LXF is a deep-V sportfishing model which debuted at the Miami Boat Show in February. Scout’s Product Specialist, Josh Slayton, pushed the twin Yamaha 300s forward until we were screaming across the frothy water at 57 miles per hour. Scout’s Nu-V3 high performance hull design performed remarkably well here, and we were quickly comparing notes about how this boat could deliver you to the fishing grounds on demand.
Dual helm chairs with folding armrests kept us locked in behind the center console equipped with the new C-Zone digital electronics system. Plenty of standard features come on the 300 LXF including dual swim platforms, transom door, starboard center console storage closet for a brush or gaff, and a marine head inside the cushioned berth down below.
Two options on the model Slayton showed me included an upgrade to the new Brisa cushion fabric that is durable but plush. And of course the optional tackle drawers on the back of the center console make for the perfect place to store loads of lures to tempt the fish. The console on the 300 LXF also includes rod holders and beverage holders with a large cooler underneath, making it the place anglers want to be.
Jeff Dennis is an outdoor writer and photographer who grew up on a creek in Charleston loving the saltwater, and he contributes regularly to All At Sea Southeast. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com