FISH TRI­ALS

A Mega Cen­ter Con­sole with Se­ri­ous Fish­ing Chops

Sport Fishing - - CONTENTS -

AAll the weather-fore­cast­ing tools our crew con­sulted called for the wind to lie down and the seas to sub­side. Even the best weather apps, it turns out, can be wrong.

When we pointed the Buddy Davis 42 CC out a south­ern New Jersey in­let in mid-Septem­ber, we faced steady 20-knot winds and tightly stacked 4-foot swells with the oc­ca­sional 6- to 8-footer rolling through. While the con­di­tions proved less than ideal for fish­ing, they proved per­fect for test­ing the big cen­ter con­sole’s off­shore met­tle. How did it fare? The short an­swer: The Buddy Davis 42 Cen­ter Con­sole passed with fly­ing col­ors. There are many rea­sons why.

FIT TO FISH

The man re­spon­si­ble for show­ing me the full ca­pa­bil­i­ties of this 42 turned out to be Frank Crescitelli, a well-known cap­tain in New York and New Jersey fish­ing cir­cles. He planned to run about 14 miles off­shore to fish some local lob­ster pots that had been hold­ing plenty of mahi.

Be­fore we left the dock, he found a gi­ant school of juvenile men­haden and filled one of the twin 40-gal­lon tran­som livewells to ca­pac­ity with a sin­gle throw of his cast net. We had all the

bait we needed, and all the rods too; the 42 fea­tures six flush-mount hold­ers in the gun­wales and nine welded into the hard­top pip­ing.

We filled the 156-gal­lon in­su­lated fish boxes in the cock­pit with ice to chill our an­tic­i­pated catch — two ad­di­tional in­su­lated fish boxes re­side in the sole at the bow. I also found an en­ter­tain­ment cen­ter/bait-prep sta­tion be­hind the helm lean­ing post, com­plete with the req­ui­site tackle draw­ers.

With Crescitelli and his mate, Adam Fried­man, load­ing ev­ery­thing we could pos­si­bly need into a 73-gal­lon in-sole box, lock­able gun­wale lock­ers and the con­sole cabin, I knew we would not ar­rive at the pots un­der­gunned. Gary Ca­puti, a fel­low out­door writer, joined us as we pulled away from the dock, Crescitelli deftly ma­neu­ver­ing out of the tight canal with the help of the Yamaha Helm Mas­ter joystick sys­tem.

RID­ING RIGHT

With a higher-than-av­er­age 3.3-to-1 length-to-beam ra­tio and a sharp en­try that ta­pers to a 24-de­gree dead­rise at the tran­som, this 42 is de­signed to slice through waves. But there’s more to it than that. Frankly, it’s built like a brick you-know-what.

As soon as Crescitelli ma­neu­vered us around the ragged break­ers in the in­let, we started charg­ing through swells that would have caused lesser builds to shud­der and groan. The Buddy Davis felt solid through­out, mush­ing the waves and de­flect­ing any spray with its wide Carolina bow flare.

As soon as we found our head­ing, Crescitelli buried the throt­tles for the quad F350s to find the sweet spot. We all noted that the deep-V hull per­formed bet­ter at faster speeds — set­tling into a com­fort­able rhythm at around 36 mph at 4,500 rpm. De­spite the sporty con­di­tions, we knew we’d have the lines in sooner rather than later. Once we found the line of lob­ster pots and set up a drift, Crescitelli re­vealed an­other sur­prise that turned out to be an off­shore game changer.

IN­STANTLY SMOOTH

If there’s a com­pro­mise to the carv­ingknife model of long, skinny boats with steep dead­rise an­gles, it’s that they rock and roll on the drift. A boat like the Buddy Davis would be sub­ject to snap-rolling while adrift in a beam sea. And be­fore Crescitelli pressed a magic but­ton on the helm, this proved true. Once the Sea­keeper 5 gyro de­ployed, the boat ceased rock­ing and in­stead gen­tly rose and fell with the rhythm of the swells.

In­stead of con­stantly need­ing one crew mem­ber at the helm while we prepped to fish, we all could freely walk around the spa­cious cock­pit and rig the rods with­out get­ting knocked about. Sud­denly, the prospect of fish­ing for a few hours in heavy seas seemed like no big deal, and I knew I’d later re­turn to the dock a lot fresher than I orig­i­nally an­tic­i­pated.

The Carolina bow flare, sharp en­try and steep dead­rise give the Buddy Davis 42 CC a smooth, dry ride even in sloppy seas.

Above: Buddy Davis welded nine rod hold­ers into the hard­top. Left: A se­ri­ous fish­ing ma­chine, the 42 CC does of­fer pas­sen­gers a softer side.

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