VIDEO: Beast of the sea - Soundings Online

VIDEO: Beast of the sea

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The smaller convertible fishboat faces a serious competitor these days in the big, outboard-powered center consoles. They use less fuel, they're faster and they're less expensive than their inboard-powered brethren.

The latest company to offer such a boat is SeaHunter. The company introduced its new-from-the-keel-up Tournament 45 in February at the 2013 Miami International Boat Show. This behemoth center console can travel more than 600 miles on a tankful (800 gallons) of gas.

“You don’t notice the sheer size of this boat until you see it next to other boats,” SeaHunter sales manager Eddie Leon says.

Naval architect Mark Biddison designed the Tournament 45. Biddison has penned two other SeaHunter models as well — the 37 Tournament and the 32 Tournament center consoles, Leon says.

Click play for a look at the Tournament 45.

Its deep-vee hull (60 degrees at entry and tapering to 24.5 at the transom) with quad 350-hp Yamahas delivers smooth rides and handles big water, Leon says. The boat's top speed will range from 60 to 65 mph, with a cruise nearing 40 mph, he says.

The console/cabin stands out as one of the boat's main attributes. It houses a queen-size bed, a head, a sink and a microwave oven. “It has a well-appointed cabin for a center console while still maintaining the open space on deck that our customers in our niche really come to us for,” Leon says. “It is still a sportfishing/diving center console, but now you can do overnighters in relative comfort.”

Price is $600,000 to $850,000 with quad F350s, depending on options.

On Twitter: @CPLandry

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