New 23 is ‘a boater’s boat’ - Soundings Online

New 23 is ‘a boater’s boat’

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Thirteen years ago Maritime Skiff was delivering bare hulls to its dealers, who could order separately the helm console, steering, leaning post and deck hardware. With the 23 Challenger pilothouse cuddy that began production this winter, the Duxbury, Mass.-based builder offers its most fully equipped boat to date.

Thirteen years ago Maritime Skiff was delivering bare hulls to its dealers, who could order separately the helm console, steering, leaning post and deck hardware. With the 23 Challenger pilothouse cuddy that began production this winter, the Duxbury, Mass.-based builder offers its most fully equipped boat to date.

“As we’ve moved toward the pilothouses, we’ve gone to the next level,” says Maritime Skiff owner Paul Hureau. “When people buy the boat it is quite complete. All of the things that people would end up buying as options we’ve made as standard.”

The 23 Challenger comes with such equipment as amidships cleats, grab rails, seats and windshield wipers. “All the hardware is oversized,” says Hureau. “Ten-inch cleats on a 23-footer are big. … The abundance of hand rails — and the locations of hand rails — I think are something that makes our boats stand out.”

The boat has a stern rail around the transom splash well, and quarter seats house the boat’s batteries in the 49-square-foot cockpit. The 10-1/2-inch-wide side decks are covered in nonskid, as is the cabin top.

The three-sided hardtop pilothouse has 6 feet, 4 inches of headroom. Inside is an overhead radio box, a 10-by-21-inch dash space for flush-mounting electronics, and a 16-by-36-inch chart table forward of the companion seat. The helm and companion seats are perched atop seat boxes.

“We wanted the driver’s line of sight [when sitting] to essentially be as high as the driver’s line of sight when standing,” says Hureau. The driver isn’t forced to peer over the instrument panel to see out the windshield, he says, and the pilothouse has large, opening front windows and sliding side windows. Windows are aluminum framed, and the dash is non-glare.

“We try to produce our pilothouse with good look-up and look-down lines of sight,” says Hureau. “We like to call the Challenger a boater’s boat. The people that have bought them are experienced boaters, and know what they’re looking for and looking at.”

The cuddy cabin has 4 feet, 10 inches of headroom and accommodations for two. The V-berth is 7 feet long and 6 feet, 8 inches wide with its filler cushion in place. There is storage and a portable marine head below.

The boat is powered by a single outboard from 140 hp to 225 hp, and Hureau suggests an engine between 150 hp and 175 hp. “For the dollar difference and the speed gain, I’d weigh those differences,” he says of engine selection.

The lightweight boat, with a modest degree of vee in the hull shape, is fuel-efficient and planes easily, says Hureau. “It starts to plane at 12 mph,” he says. “A lot of planing boats don’t start to plane until 18 to 20 mph.” The complete package is easy to trailer, he adds, with a tow weight of 5,500 pounds.

The 23 Challenger is built with an interior fiberglass grid system, and is foam-filled for unsinkability and noise dampening. “We don’t build and won’t build a boat without foam,” says Hureau.

While the boat comes complete, some options are available, including a swim platform, flush-mount rod holders and a future galley unit.

Maritime Skiff builds about 150 boats a year and has dealers from Maine to Virginia.

SPECS

LOA: 23 feet, 3 inches BEAM: 8 feet, 6 inches DRAFT: 1 foot, 2 inches DISPLACEMENT: 3,050 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TRANSOM DEADRISE: 14 degrees TANKAGE: 83 gallons fuel ENGINE OPTION: single outboard to 225 hp SPEED: 45 mph top, 26 mph cruise (with 225-hp 4-stroke) PRICE: $61,000 to $64,000 (depending on power) CONTACT: Maritime Skiff Inc., Duxbury, Mass. Phone: (781) 934-0010. www.mskiff.com