TIDEWATER

2700 CAROLINA BAY

Boating - - CERTIFIED TESTS -

Be­fore I even turned the key on the Tidewater 2700 Carolina Bay, I was in­trigued by its pos­si­bil­i­ties. The optional SeaDek floor­ing no doubt en­hanced its curb ap­peal, but it had so many other vis­i­ble crea­ture com­forts that I could en­vi­sion fam­i­lies us­ing this bay boat for ac­tiv­i­ties above and be­yond its pri­mary fish­ing mis­sion.

Start with the aft cast­ing plat­form and the three flipup jump seats that make rid­ing there com­fort­able. The ar­ray fea­tures a dou­blewide cen­ter seat flanked by two sin­gle rid­ers. The molded-in arm­rests with stain­less-steel cup hold­ers round out the com­fort and style. The seat­ing con­tin­ues for­ward of the con­sole with a cush­ioned bench over the livewell as well as wrap­around cush­ions with back­rests on the stowage steps up to the bow cast­ing plat­form. Slide-in back­rests con­vert the seat­ing to for­ward-fac­ing lounges.

The helm also had an eye-catch­ing de­sign, with black pip­ing for the T-top as well as a molded black dash with space to mount flat-screen mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays. The helm seats fea­ture flip-up bol­sters if you want to stand while driv­ing, as well as a fold-down toe rail. (The helm fea­tures a molded-in footrest as well.)

Once I did turn the key, the 2700 Carolina Bay opened my eyes in other ways. With the twin Yamaha F250s, this twin­stepped hull proved a lit­tle rocket ship, hit­ting 67 mph dur­ing our test runs. It also de­liv­ered an ex­cel­lent at­ti­tude in a small bay chop, and the Carolina flare at the bow helps knock spray down and away from the cock­pit. If you’re look­ing to use this boat in skinny wa­ter in­side the in­let, opt for the sin­gle en­gine so you can mount it on a stan­dard Bob’s Ma­chine Shop jack plate. As of press time, Tidewater was test­ing the boat with the new Yamaha 425 XTO and re­port­ing ex­cel­lent re­sults. (Last year, it posted speeds in the mid-50s with a Yamaha F300.)

Se­ri­ous an­glers will love the mas­sive bow cast­ing plat­form, the fore and aft livewells, and the fact that the pull-up cleats and the un­der­stem an­chor keep the decks free from ob­struc­tion. —Pete Mc­Don­ald

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