A Mega Center Console with Serious Fishing Chops
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.
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.
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.