Sport Fishing - - SF BOATS -

The 26-foot LOA seems to be a cut­off for sin­gle-engine power be­cause “cus­tomers al­ways want more speed and more re­li­a­bil­ity,” says Jor­dan De­Long, Con­tender’s di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing. “It used to be cruis­ing at 30 knots was fast. Now it’s 50-plus. The 28, although avail­able with a sin­gle 350, is most pop­u­lar with twin 300s — which is a huge dis­par­ity in per­for­mance.”

One of the most im­por­tant con­cerns when de­sign­ing a larger sin­gle-out-board boat in­volves prop torque mak­ing the boat lean while un­der­way, De­Long says. “Although you can rem­edy that with trim tabs, we at Con­tender have placed the livewell on the port side to com­bat this is­sue and help nat­u­rally bal­ance the boat.”

Con­tender’s 28S, as well as its 25T, can be equipped with sin­gle or twin power. “For twins, I think the biggest draw is re­li­a­bil­ity, although mod­ern out­boards are ex­tremely re­li­able. For sin­gle power, it would be cost. You can save quite a bit.”

With the grow­ing size of out­boards, though, would larger sin­gle-out­board boats be mar­ketable? “I think the larger boats will al­ways want the safety and re­dun­dancy of mul­ti­ple en­gines when ven­tur­ing far off­shore,” De­Long says. “Look at big yachts and com­mer­cial boats and it’s pretty rare to have a large sin­gle-engine-pow­ered boat.”

Con­tender’s 28S can be pow­ered by one engine, but most buy­ers choose twins. The com­pany po­si­tions the livewell for bal­ance.

SPECS: LOA: 28 ft. • Beam: 8 ft. 10 in. • Tran­som Dead­rise: 24½ deg. • Draft: 1 ft. 8 in. Dry Weight: 4,700 lb. (w/ en­gines) • Max Power: 600 hp • MSRP: $125,531 (w/ Yamaha F300)

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