A new direction for Strike Yachts - Soundings Online

A new direction for Strike Yachts

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Strike Sport Fishing Yachts of Deerfield Beach, Fla., is known for inboard-powered offshore fishing boats. The builder offers express-style and walkaround models to 51 feet, but one of its latest offerings promises to shake things up a little: an outboard-powered 24-footer with an open layout and a hull originally designed for lobstering.

Strike took on the boat at the behest of company co-owner Kenny Willmer. “Kenny has been in the boatbuilding business his whole life — for pleasure and then for business — and he’s always looking for something unique,” says Strike co-owner Roxanne Willmer, Willmer’s spouse. “Just because it was so unique in its character, he said, ‘Let’s run with it.’ To add something that everyone’s making … wouldn’t make sense.”

The Outcast 24 will use the same semicustom building process — “No two boats go out the door alike,” says Willmer — as with Strike’s larger models. The boat has a hand-laid hull bottom built by vacuum-bagging Core-Cell foam coring, Kevlar and vinylester resins. This results in a hull that’s half the weight of a solid fiberglass laminate, according to the company.

The 24 has a gently curving sheer line, and Strike has added strakes and other design elements that break up a look Willmer describes as a “little plain.” “The hull was once designed as a commercial lobster boat,” she says.

And it’s clear the company brass were taken by the design. One of the big draws was the boat’s “fat” beam, says Willmer. “It’s got a 9-foot, 3-inch beam — very rare for its class,” she says, adding that the design results in good stability and is not weight-sensitive.

“It’s got a flat bottom,” she says. “It can be used as a flats boat, as a bay boat, and on a nice day, because of its beam, it can be used offshore.”

The layout includes forward and aft casting platforms with multiple storage compartments in each, a cockpit with room for four anglers and, despite its relatively flat bottom, a head compartment inside the center console. To take advantage of shallow waters, the 24’s single outboard is mounted on a Porta hydraulic transom bracket. Integral to the vertically adjustable bracket is a swim platform, useful for wade-fishing or swimming.

Other features include an aluminum leaning post at the helm with a fold-down footrest and a grab rail, a lighted bait well with an 800-gph pump and high-speed pickup, saltwater washdown system, six rod holders, two stainless-steel grab rails, a trio of 6-inch pull-up cleats, a stainless-steel steering wheel with a speed knob, and a dual battery system. Options include an aluminum T-top and tower.

Strike Sport Fishing Yachts was founded in 1977 as the small-boat division of welded aluminum fishing-boat builder Striker. Though Striker operated out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the company built its large yachts overseas, including the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, South Korea and Chile.

Strike, however, has been based in South Florida since its first model, the Strike 26, was introduced, and Kenny Willmer has owned the company since 1992. The company, which sells factory direct, builds the Strike 26 in Deerfield Beach alongside 11 other models, including the Outcast 24 and another new boat, the Outcast 18 Ultra Lite flats boat.

Spcifications

LOA: 23 feet, 9 inches

BEAM: 9 feet, 3 inches

DRAFT: 10 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 2,500 pounds

HULL TYPE: planing

TRANSOM DEADRISE: 8 degrees

POWER: single outboard to 300 hp

SPEED: 55 mph top, 35 mph cruise (with single 250-hp outboard)

PRICE: $38,000 (without power)

CONTACT: Strike Yachts, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Phone: (954) 596-6611.

www.strikeyachts.com