The Ubiquitous Center Console

Probably the most popular and versatile small powerboat type is the center console outboard, a style which can be adapted to everything from 12' hard bottom inflatable tenders to 40' triple (or more) outboard fishing machines. For our purposes here, I will settle on what I consider the most useful setup for ocean use, 20 to 35 foot,  single or twin engine outboard, with a proper head in the console. At the smaller end you'll have to settle for a bucket.

A boat that you can jump in and take off for a day on the water, requiring just a hose off at the end of the day, is a boat constantly in use. Owners of larger boats often have a center console handy as well.

My children's boating life started in a style of Maine center console called a Westpointer, derived from a model by Alton Wallace, a boatbuilder and fisherman in Small Point near the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine. Six River Marine in Yarmouth, Maine builds the elegant cold molded version shown here from 18 to 22 feet.

At the other end of the scale are the multi-engined models like the Southport 33, another Maine-built boat I am proud to represent. Southport offers its models in versions optimized for fishing and family outings. Designed by the legendary Hunt firm, it can manage big water at speed. Other Southports are the 27 and 29.

For me it started in those 13 and 17 foot Whalers. In the 17 you got to stand up and drive.

© Peter Bass 2013-17