Bruce Dowd and his wife, Sherry, own a small flotilla of powerboats, and each of them plays a unique role in the Connecticut family’s boating lifestyle.
There’s the big, 45-foot cabin cruiser, a 1973 Chris-Craft Tournament Sportfish that the Dowds and their children, Brian and Rachel, enjoy during the summers.
There’s a 10-foot classic that Dowd has owned since he was a youthful water rat spending his summers at Grove Beach in Westbrook. “It was a Glasspar Superlite 100, and I had my 3-hp outboard,” says Dowd, 65, co-owner of the family business, Welder
Repair & Rental Service. “Later, I got a 9.5 Evinrude and that boat flew. It went about 22 knots. I still have it, and both my son and daughter grew up using it in Clinton where we dock our bigger boat.”
The most recent addition to the family’s fleet may be the most useful of the three. It’s a Tarpon 310, a rugged offshore center console built by Stamas Yacht in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Dowd bought the 2007 model in 2017 for $67,000. In its three seasons with the Dowds, the Stamas has proved to be a versatile craft. “We use the Stamas on the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound for day trips, afternoon rides and lunch. It is quick and easy,” Dowd says. “At least once a year we go across Long Island Sound and visit Shelter Island and Sag Harbor.”
Next season, they’d like to turn the 310 Tarpon into a “commuter” boat. “We hope to keep the Chris-Craft at Block Island next year and commute there on weekends with the Stamas,” says Dowd.
The Stamas name was not new to Dowd. “I had the chance to ride on a Tarpon 290, a smaller version of this boat, and I was impressed,” he says. “It felt like a heavy boat, with a very dry ride.”
The couple discovered the used 310 in Florida. The boat was in good condition, kept high and dry in rack storage, and passed its sea trial with ease. “We went out into the Gulf of Mexico on a not-so-great day,” Dowd recalls. “There was a 2- to 3-foot chop, and the boat handled it well. Great out of the hole performance, too.”
That performance comes from twin Yamaha 250-hp outboards. “They move the boat well. It is by no means under-powered,” Dowd says. At a cruising speed of 27 to 28 knots, he reports fuel use around 20 gph; a 24- to 25-knot cruise drops that figure to 15 gph. The Tarpon 310 tops out at about 35 knots, but Dowd seldom goes that fast. With a modest cruising speed, the Stamas will use about 1.5 gallons per nautical mile.
The Stamas is a big center console with a wide beam of just over 11 feet. The beam gives the center console extra room on deck. “At the time it was built, this was the second to largest center console Stamas made,” Dowd says. Because of its beam, the actual console portion accommodates a large enclosed head compartment with standing headroom. It’s accessed through a full door on the console to the right of the helm, not a side or front hatch.
Because he cruises the busy waters around Long Island and the south shore of Connecticut, Dowd has a full array of electronics, including a Furuno 1623 radar and a pair of Garmin 820 XS chartplotters that he had installed in 2018. “We use one as a depthsounder and the other as a navigation chartplotter,” Dowd says. “One of the transducers is transom-mounted, and I cannot believe how well it works.” A compass and an ICOM VHF complete the package.
“We split our time onboard between the Pattaconk Yacht Club in Chester [on the Connecticut River] and our mooring in front of our house in Old Lyme,” says Dowd. “We hope to have the boat on a lift soon, where it will have a better, longer life with a dry bilge.”
Weight: 9,250 lbs.
Power: (2) 250-hp Yamaha outboards
Fuel: 400 gals.
The Stamas 310 Tarpon is a rugged boat with impressive range and solid construction. Its tournament-grade fishing gear includes a pair of livewells; three fishboxes; a leaning post/helm station with a built-in bait prep and rigging area, a freshwater sink, rodholders and under-gunwale storage. The transom bench seat can be removed for extra cockpit space.
The 310 Tarpon’s all-fiberglass, modified deep-V hull includes an integral transom and bow pulpit. The large center console has a walk-in, stand-up head compartment accessed by a companionway door. Forward in the bow there’s a U-shaped seat, and sidedecks are wide for easy movement. A tilt wheel at the helm, transom shower and recessed trim tabs are standard equipment. Fuel capacity is a plentiful 400 gallons, giving the boat good range. Inboard diesel power is also offered.
Stamas Yacht was founded in 1952 by brothers Peter and Nicholas Stamas, who’d won first place at the Florida State Fair in 1938 for their 22-foot runabout design. The builder began making boats from wood, but made the transition to fiberglass in 1959. Stamas continues to build center consoles and express boats at its Tarpon Springs, Florida, factory.
This article was originally published in the December 2020 issue.