Question: Just about every modern center console boat builder claims to make a fishing boat that’s also family-friendly, but do any deliver on that promise without making serious sacrifices one way or the other? Answer: Take a close look at the Caymas 341 CC. We did, and we couldn’t spot an inch of ground given in the fishing department, nor could we find any trade-offs made when it comes to comfort.
Okay, that’s actually just a partial answer. Because truth be told there’s a lot more to the Caymas than fishing and family fun—we also take our hats off to this model for the performance it provides. Literally. Because if you don’t remove your hat, you’ll leave it in your wake. The 341 CC we ran had triple 300-hp Mercury Verados on the transom, and at top-end we busted the hat-stripping 60-mph mark. Even set at a 4500-rpm cruise your cap will likely be catapulted from your cranium, because you’ll be running at speeds in the mid-40s.
The reason the 341 CC outperforms the competition? A Michael Peters designed SVVT hull with twin steps, vertical sidewalls, and an aft tunnel. You know, the hull design that the U.S. Navy chose for its new Fearless Super Interceptor patrol boats. It nets a 15-percent increase in speed yet still delivers predictable handling. On top of that, the steps and tunnel help to cushion wave impacts.
If the hull is so great, why doesn’t everyone use one like it? This is a patented design which builders have to pay to use. That naturally adds a bit to the boat’s cost, and it’s why you won’t see the SVVT—nor will you enjoy its benefits—on an average recreational powerboat. And there’s one more thing you need to know about this hull: Caymas backs it up with a limited lifetime structural warranty and a 10-year transferrable structural warranty. They can do so with confidence thanks to build methods like 100-percent composite construction including a Tri-core-cored transom, foam-filled fiberglass stringers with integrated chase tubes, and glassed-in aluminum backing plates in mounting areas.
From both a fishing and a family perspective, it’s great to know a boat’s solid as a rock. But that in and of itself doesn’t explain how Caymas checks both the fishing and the family boxes. First, let’s consider fishing features: the livewell on the 314 CC holds 70 gallons, is fed by twin variable-speed Hooker pumps via a sea chest, and latches down tight with compression latches. The leaning post has five rocket launchers above the integrated tackle station, the hard top has seven more launchers (along with a pass-through hatch for those of you interested in sight-fishing for cobia), flush-mount gunwale rodholders ring the boat, and the forward console lounger has six more rodholders. The fishbox capacity is 125 gallons and can be expanded by another 147 gallons, depending on how you have the integrated aft box and chaise stowage compartments outfitted. And on top of all that, the bow is gloriously open from gunwale to gunwale, providing wide-open casting space where many center consoles trade off fishing room for forward seating.
Full stop. Doesn’t keeping that bow open for fishability amount to a trade-off in family comfort, since you lose forward seating and give up the additional social area? Heck no. Because Caymas designed some rather tricked-out fold-away seating in the bow. Slide your hand below the coaming bolsters, grab the fiberglass lip and pull down, and these hide-away seats swing out of the inwales.
While we’re on the topic of seating and comfort, let’s also note that the front of the console extends forward with a comfy two-person stretch-out-and-ahhhh lounger with flip-down arm rests, cup holders, and grab rails within easy reach. Another hide-away seat swings down at the transom. Helm seats have flip-up bolsters and arm rests, and the slide-out Frigid Rigid cooler under the leaning post is cushioned and has a backrest. Other perks the family will like include a glove box with 12-V and USB charging ports, an eight-speaker JL Audio Bluetooth stereo system, freshwater showers in both the stern and the bow, and a teak-sole console compartment with an electric porcelain head, Corian countertops, and a vanity. You say you want to push comfort to the next level? No problem—opt for the SeaKeeper 2 gyroscopic stabilization system, which fits on the pre-prepped integrated aluminum mounting system.
Q: If you want a mid-30-something-foot center console that doesn’t sacrifice maximum fishability nor family features and has red-hot performance, what boat are you going to go check out?
A: Silly question!
By Lenny Rudow
Caymas 341 CC Specifications:
Draft (max.): 2’3”
Displacement: 9700 lbs.
Max HP: 1050
Fuel Capacity: 345 gal.
Local Dealer: North Point Yacht Sales in Annapolis, MD, (410) 280-2038 and Gloucester Point, VA, (804) 885-4090 and northpointyachtsales.com