When Modern Boating tested the Powercat 2600 Sports in 2005, the team was extremely impressed by the fact that this was a genuine, trailerable fishing/cruising boat. But what was also impressive was that it offered a standard of safety and comfort that was equal to much larger hulls, which require mooring and to be moved about on their own bottoms. As we all know, this can be a time consuming and expensive process compared to the convenience of storing and transporting a trailer craft.
New 2500 Sports
The Powercat 2500 Sports Fisherman sits on the same hull as the 2600 Sports, but has an all-new interior aimed primarily at serious fishing. Admittedly, both the original 2600 Sports and this new version require a tow vehicle capable of legally – and safely – towing their 3 tonnes; but there are plenty of fishos out there who already own big Cruisers, Patrols and F250s and that’s all it takes for this boat to be easily transported north, south, or anywhere else you may wish to fish.
By comparison to moored equivalents, Powercat’s 2600 and the new 2500 tested here, are both faster point-to-point and more economical about getting there thanks to the Suzuki four-stroke outboards Powercat prefers.
And of course, like its predecessor, the new 2500 Sports Fisherman is a remarkably soft-riding boat offshore. It’s monolithically stable for the serious business of fishing and is inherently safe in remote waters, because it has twin motors and paired systems.
So, what did we think about the new interior ? Firstly, we must admit that sometimes the hardcore fishos among the Modern Boating team can be fickle. We always looked at the Powercat 2600 Sports and wished they’d do a ‘full on’ fishing version. Then, when they released the 2500 Sports Fisherman, we looked at the space where Powercat’s trademark central living unit usually sits and promptly wondered if we could live without it!
Still, replacing one of the most thoroughly thought out concepts in boating with the back-to-back seating normally found in offshore fishing cuddy cabins, does leave a truly enormous cockpit.
You’ll just love it. But it does offer the option: you can choose the new 2500 Sports Fisherman with that mega cockpit if fishing’s No.1 on your agenda. Or the 2600 Sports with that central sink, stove, fridge, food prep space and pantry if you combine fishing with some overnight cruising. That’s ‘one helluva choice’, as they say!
So, let’s take a close look at the 2500 Sports Fisherman.
The fully moulded cockpit is easy to clean after a messy fishing session. This is because there’s nowhere to trap smelly gunk. Not so great is the leg support, which is so essential for offshore fishing comfort. Your toes touch the hull before your leg meets the side of the boat.
An upholstered bolster around the cockpit’s rim on the test boat was way too thin to prevent this, but Powercat’s Steve Shaw was quick to point out that their upholsterer had stuffed up and the bolster ‘will be thicker’ on production boats!
Then there’s how far out back the twin Suzuki 140s extend. For some styles of fishing they’re quite an inconvenience, while admittedly being of little concern to others. But on the 2500 Sports Fisherman, Powercat has extended a wide walkthrough between the motors, which allows access between them.
It almost eliminates the need to reach out over the motors with a rod. (We should point out that this is an issue with all outboard powered boats. Powercat has done a better job than most of addressing it).
Without the central station of the 2600, the 2500 Sports Fisherman gains back-to-back seating with 60lt iceboxes located beneath the aft facing seats. The forward facing seats fold away and convert from seats to padded bolster in seconds. It’s one of the best arrangements for offshore travel we’ve ever seen.
The deck is cambered 20mm towards a drain channel leading to freeing ports aft, making it easy to clean and quick draining. It’s carried far enough above the waterline to self-drain overboard, adding greatly to safety at sea.
To complete fishing amenities, there’s a pair of 220lt (floodable) fish wells under the cockpit floor. And high up in each corner of the aft bulkhead are live-wells with work surface lids. Plus, the stainless steel workstations/bait-boards – whatever you like to call them – mounted above the live-wells are optional. Another option on our test boat was the hardtop. A stainless steel Targa arch is standard.
We were also impressed with the grab bars, the electric anchor winch, the electric toilet with 45lt holding tank (a chemical toilet comes standard), and the upgrade to counter-rotating 140hp Suzuki outboard from the 115s supplied standard. The fuel tanks were also upgraded to 250lt a side from the standard 200lt tanks.
It’s no wonder the Powercat 2500 Sports Fisherman took out the AMIF Fishing Trailerable Over 6m award in 2007. We might be fickle at times, but we’re unlikely to change our minds about this is being the ultimate trailerable offshore fishing boat!