The Bayliner Trophy T24CX offers up a family-friendlier design in the largest model of the Trophy lineup.
You say you’re looking for a reasonably priced new boat, 22 feet isn’t quite big enough for the adventures you envision, and you’re intrigued by Bayliners’s Trophy CX models? Up to now you’d have been out of luck—last year Bayliner expanded its line of center consoles to include the Trophy T24CC, the largest model in its current fishing boat lineup, but it didn’t offer up a CX version. For 2023, however, that’s changing.
The CX line swaps out the transom design of the CC models with a pair of flanking jump seats and a livewell centered in the stern for a much larger single transom seat with a livewell and/or stowage compartment plus battery access underneath. In some cases, locating a livewell here can make for tough access, but Bayliner wisely splits the flip-up seat-bottom so that you don’t have to fight with a big, heavy chunk of fiberglass every time you want to get in there. And remember, you can also get a livewell under the leaning post, so you’ve got the potential capacity to keep an awful lot of baits wet, an awful lot of drinks chilled, or an awful lot of gear stowed.
Having that big aft cruising bench seat is great, but the CX convenience package is even better, particularly for family anglers. It brings with it those goodies and gadgets that turn a fishing boat into a comfortable family day-boat, like a head in the console compartment, an anchor roller and windlass, foam cockpit decking, a freshwater shower system, and an upgraded Rockford Fosgate stereo system. Electronics get upgraded, too, with a nine-inch Simrad Digital Dash with Mercury VesselView Link. We say add in the optional ski-tow pylon, so those adventurous kids will have big smiles plastered across their faces even when the fish aren’t biting.
Wait a sec—just how big a difference will it make stepping from the 22-footer to the 24-foot model? Two feet might not sound like a lot, but the bigger boat also has five more degrees of deadrise in the hull and about 500 more pounds of heft. That’ll make a huge difference in smoothing out the waves when the Bay gets choppy. It’s also critically important to consider the Trophy’s beam-forward design, which carries the full eight-foot, six-inch beam as far forward as possible to maximize bow cockpit space. To get a feel for just how much this boosts interior space you really have to climb into the boat, walk up forward, and kick back with the bow filler cushions and seatbacks in place. The sheer volume of space up there beats out the vast majority of the boats in this size range. And when it’s time for casting rather than cruising, just yank all those cushions, stow ‘em away, and you have a huge forward casting deck.
Speaking of casting: the T24CX comes ready to fish right out of the box, with perks including four gunwale-mounted rodholders, four rocket launchers on the T-top and/or leaning post, under-gunwale rodracks, and a pair of insulated fishboxes in the deck. Added bonus: with the extra heft underfoot, you won’t hesitate to load the boat onto the standard tandem-axel trailer and head for the beach when the flounder are biting or mahi-mahi invade along the Mid-Atlantic coast. That’ll be a serious adventure every member of the family will enjoy. And isn’t the ability to deliver experiences like this to the entire family why you wanted a bigger boat in the first place?
By Lenny Rudow
Bayliner T24CX Specifications:
Draft (max.): 2’11”
Displacement: 4466 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 100 gal.
Max HP: 300
Local Dealer: Riverside Marine in Essex, MD. (410) 686-1500 or riversideboats.com
Contact dealer for pricing and see this model in-person at The Chesapeake Bay Boat Show January 20-22.