by Chuck Warren
While center and dual console boats have been widely used for years in fishing hotspots around the world, they have only become common more recently in the Great Lakes.
Photos Courtesy of Sailfish
Much of that rise in popularity is due to an increase in features and performance improvements, turning fishing boats into comfortable, versatile pleasurecraft with plenty of creature comforts for family and friends.
In many “multi-use” models, features like rod holders and baitwells can often look like an afterthought meant to give marketing departments the necessary means to lure a wider variety of buyers to the table.
The Sailfish 276 DC does not fall into that category.
For those who want to chase steelhead and salmon or hit a favorite spot for walleye or perch, there is an abundance of traditional features that make the boat a great choice for fishing.
However, a flip here and tug there exposes seating options, hidden storage and extra comforts that turn the Sailfish into a terrific choice for tubing, anchoring up to enjoy the sun and sand, or sharing an evening of food and drinks while watching a gorgeous Great Lakes sunset.
On a trip up to northern Michigan, I was lucky enough to tour the new Sailfish 276 DC in beautiful Bay Harbor. Walking out from the parking lot, the boat was easy to spot on the crowded dock.
The Sailfish is an attractive boat with a little bit of a classic appearance and refreshingly simple lines. The boat can be ordered in several optional hull colors or a standard white, but our test boat was finished in an eye-catching ice blue.
Designed to do the job
One of the things I liked immediately is that all of the boat’s parts and pieces appear to have been designed to do their job very well instead of just made to look curvy and cool.
The hardtop that effectively covers the Sailfish 276 DC not only provides protection from the sun and rain, but it does so with plenty of headroom. The top also includes standard LED docking and spreader lights and storage for life jackets.
The walk-through windshield is tall enough to protect the captain and crew and make conversation possible while cruising, and the walkway between the consoles can be easily closed off when the weather changes without chasing around after loose covers or fillers.
For those who want more “fish” than “family,” options like rocket launchers and in-floor rod holders can create the perfect package. But, that goes both ways. The boat includes plenty of real, usable rod holders while also providing enough cup holders to accommodate 16 umbrella drinks.
A walk-through transom door makes both swimming and fishing more fun while other features are specific to each use. The 30-gallon baitwell and huge fish boxes meet the needs of serious enthusiasts, while the rear cooler — accessible from the water — keeps refreshments within easy reach for swimmers.
On the port side, the rear-facing seat converts to a comfortable lounge or lays completely flat with a simple flip of the backrest, and lifting many of the seat bases uncovers lots of finished storage compartments and insulated coolers.
Whether under a backrest, below a seat or in the floor, there is no lack of storage or coolers onboard the Sailfish 276 DC.
Aft, flip-down seating easily converts the spacious, unobstructed fishing cockpit into a comfortable social space with room to relax and interact. Lift the transom seat and you’ll find easy access to mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that makes maintenance and upgrades a breeze.
Nicely hidden behind the port console, a roomy, lockable head with electric toilet, 8-gallon holding tank and an opening porthole also provides room to change out of wet clothes. A 14-gallon freshwater tank feeds a transom shower and the bathroom sink, and also supplies the starboard-side galley sink in the cockpit.
The Sailfish 276 DC boasts incredible construction standards with no wood found anywhere in the boat. Products like Kevlar, carbon-fiber, closed-cell foam and fiberglass are used throughout the Sailfish, with a Coosa board transom and fiberglass-wrapped closed-cell foam stringers and Kevlar tying the important structural parts together.
The result is an incredibly strong, low maintenance boat.
Also available with Mercury power, our test boat was equipped with twin Yamaha 200’s giving us the maximum of 400 horsepower. Already impressed with the quality and features of the 276 DC, I was in for a real surprise when we took the boat out for a spin.
It was not the best day for a boat ride and the seas had begun to churn as we drove out into Little Traverse Bay. Although the boat handled beautifully as we cruised at 25 knots, the weather grew worse and we decided to head back.
The Sailfish’s VDS (variable degree stepped) hull was always incredibly soft and quiet — even when we were met with whitecaps topping 3-foot or better seas. The boat had no problem handling the bigger waves, and did so with none of the noise, shock or discomfort you would expect from a smaller boat in rough water.
The new Sailfish 276 DC can be a versatile day boat or a well-equipped fishing machine, and meets either need with great performance from one of the softest, smoothest hulls in the industry.
Anyone looking for the most use out of a single boat would have a hard time finding a better option.
The standard features
The aft cooler
The roomy head with an electric toilet
Easy mechanical access
- LOA: 27’
- Beam: 9’1”
- Draft (hull only): 18”
- Weight: 7,050 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 177 gals.
- Water Capacity: 14 gals.
- Max Power: 400 hp
- Price: Contact dealer
- Website: sailfishboats.com
- Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales
- North Shore Marina
- SkipperBud’s Marina Del Isle