When you mention Parker Boats, you might picture a 20-some-footer with an enclosed cabin placed far forward and a cockpit big enough to land loads of fish. But for over 50 years, besides those distinctive-looking Sport Cabin boats that are appreciated by fishermen who like to extend their seasons, Parker’s been making center consoles.
Family-owned until three years ago, the company built its reputation on no-frills, plain-Jane boats for budget-minded fishermen, many of whom prized the models for their stability and toughness. Yet Parkers were not always beloved for their ride, partly because the helm was set far forward on the Sport Cabin models and partly because of the flat running surface that made them so desirable for drift fishing. But since the company was bought by Correct Craft in 2019, change has been afoot.
At last fall’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Parker introduced the Parker 2200CC, the first in a new line of what the company calls offshore-capable center consoles with deep-V hulls. It was outfitted for fishing, but it was also designed for day trips with families, with features like stern and bow seating, port and starboard swim platforms, space for a head, and an optional bow table that could be converted into a casting platform or a sun pad.
Parker brought the second model in the line, the 2400CC, to the 2022 Miami International Boat Show. There, Parker’s Sales and Marketing Director Jeff Donahue gave me a tour of hull No. 1, which had just arrived from the factory in North Carolina.
Standard features include bow seating with cushions and insulated stowage, a lounge seat over a fishbox located forward of the console, LED lights under the gunwales and a head. A powder-coated aluminum leaning post is also standard, but the boat at the show had the optional fiberglass version, with a built-in livewell and storage for tackle and rods. The two-seat bench at the helm has flip-up bolsters and armrests. At the helm dash, there was a single 12-inch Garmin GPS/sounder, but Donahue said the console is large enough for two 16-inch screens. There’s space for an optional Fusion stereo, too.
At the stern, cockpit jump seats are to port and starboard of the motor well, with cup holders built into the well’s edge. Donahue demonstrated the ease with which the seats could be removed. There is no dedicated place for the seats once removed, but there is enough stowage on the boat to put them away.
At the transom, to either side of the optional 300-hp Yamaha outboard, are swim platforms just large enough to get aboard, whether at the dock or after a swim. The swim ladder is beneath the port platform. Standard power is a 250-hp Yamaha.
When asked about the amenities on the new center consoles, Donahue did not hesitate. “We’re known for not being fancy,” he said, “but we’re getting more fancy.”
One significant change in construction on the new center consoles is the lack of wood. Parkers traditionally used 2-inch solid wooden stringers encased in three separate layers of fiberglass, but the new boats have fiberglass stringers. The stringers are hollow, but they’re 4 inches thick and filled with foam for flotation. The same construction method will be used for all upcoming models. Two more center consoles will be introduced this year—one this summer and one this fall.
To experience the new hull, we took the 2400CC for a ride, leaving the Sea Isle Marina and heading for Miami’s Fishermans Channel. Because the wind was blowing hard out of the east, and the inlet to the ocean was roiling, boat show sea trials took place inside the port. There, the waters were plenty rough to give the boat a workout, especially with commercial traffic. With 2- to 3-foot waves and larger wakes mixed in, I was expecting to give my knees a beating. When we encountered a 4-foot wake and Donahue did not let up on the throttle, I told myself it was going to hurt. But the 5,600-pound hull sliced through the top of the wake, the bow did not rise excessively and my knees didn’t have to play shock absorber. The boat also stayed dry. We only took on some water when another boat passed too close from the opposite direction and sprayed us. After taking the helm from Donahue, I tried to get us wet, but to no avail.
On the run back to downtown Miami I pinned the throttles. But with an opposing tide, wave action and not enough water in front of us to properly trim the boat, 44 mph was the most I got. In more favorable conditions the boat should be able to hit, or get close to, its advertised 50 mph. But more importantly, despite the chop, the boat was comfortable. On its website, the builder claims the 2400CC delivers a “soft, dry ride.” It’s no lie.
Parker didn’t just bring new amenities to Miami. They brought a new ride. This new center console is not your grandfather’s Parker—or your father’s.
Draft (engine up): 11”
Displ.: 5,600 lbs.
Fuel: 97 gals.
Power (standard): (1) 250-hp Yamaha
Price (base): $113,078
This article was originally published in the May 2022 issue.