Yellowfin's carbon bay boat

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Boatbuilders are now offering center console bay boats as large as 27 feet, but Yellowfin Yachts has bucked the trend by opting to improve its popular 24 Bay instead of upsizing.

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“We are seeing bay boats in today’s industry that years ago would be considered offshore boats,” says Yellowfin vice president Heath Daughtry. “Draft is an essential characteristic of our bay boat. Customers want the ability to cross open water at will and also have complete maneuverability in shallow water.”

With the 24 Carbon Elite Bay, Yellowfin aims to “redefine the bay boat,” says Daughtry. The company builds the Elite with a Kevlar, carbon and fiberglass fabric and a second laminate layer of just carbon fiber, says Daughtry. “The entire boat is built with carbon fiber, including the decks and console,” he says. “Many boats that tout carbon fiber construction are made with very little of the material advertised.”

The construction technique allowed Yellowfin to reduce the hull and stringer weight by 25 percent, compared to the conventional 24 Bay, which is still available, he says. The estimated overall displacement comes in at 2,400 pounds. The entire boat is vacuum-bagged using vinylester resin.

The 24 Carbon Elite rides a single-step hull, carries 72 gallons of fuel and can take up to 400 horses. Yellowfin also changed the deck layout, turning the aft end of the raised foredeck into a 290-quart fishbox and slimming the console, shrinking its fore-aft footprint by 5 inches to create more room in the aft seating area.

The carbon version is a $10,000 upgrade from the boat’s base price of $85,536, which includes a 300-hp 4-stroke for a top end of 70 mph. Yellowfin also will offer carbon versions of its 17- and 21-foot models, says Daughtry.

Yellowfin Yachts, Bradenton, Florida, (941) 753-7828. yellowfin.com

June 2015 issue