Reacting to the changing needs of today’s boater, Contender is offering more family-friendly small center consoles. The Florida-based builder has replaced its 23 Open with the 24 Sport (pictured), and this summer a new 22 Sport will supplant the 21 Open.
“We had 21- and 23-foot boats that were very popular for the tournament angler, but the pleasure boaters were not so interested,” marketing director Les Stewart Jr. says.
The 24 Sport certainly has more accommodations for day boating than the 23 Open, but it still functions well as a fishing boat, Stewart says. The U-shaped forward seating includes a removable section along the centerline so you can fish unencumbered from the bow.
The 23 had a single-level console with limited storage and barely enough room for a portable head, Stewart says. The 24’s larger step-down console has more storage and space for a marine head. Customers also wanted a raised live well, such as those on the larger Contenders, so two standard stern seats sandwich a 26-gallon live well. Contender designed the 24 Sport with less deadrise — 22.5 degrees instead of its predecessor’s 24.5 degrees at the transom — so it can get into skinnier water.
The boat can be powered with a single Yamaha 200, 250 or 300, or twin 115s or 150s. With a single F200, the 24 Sport gets 3 mpg at 31 mph, and with the throttle pegged, she passes the 55 mph mark and gets 2 mpg, Stewart says.
Price is $88,324 with a single Yamaha F300 and trailer. Contender Boats, Homestead, Florida, (305) 230-1600. www.contenderoffshore.com
August 2014 issue