If you review boats long enough, you learn to become a little skeptical when you’re pitched a new model that’s “the best of both worlds.” That’s because more often than not, the end product generally isn’t “best” for anything. So, when we came upon the Hurricane CC 21 OB—a deck boat/center console hybrid—at the Miami International Boat Show this past February, we were not expecting to be wowed. Boy, were we wrong.
The Hurricane CC 21 OB is a brand-new model in the Elkhardt, IN, builder’s stable. Known primarily for its deck boat lineup, Hurricane’s aim with the CC 21 OB was to blend deck boat and a center console DNA to create a watercraft that excels at fishing, family fun, and entertaining. And, based on our afternoon running the CC 21 OB on Biscayne Bay off Miami, FL, Hurricane hit the center of the target.
First, though, we should set some reasonable expectations. The CC 21 OB is not a center-console boat that’s designed to go for the big ones offshore. It is definitely a coastal boat that will do extremely well in near-shore environments, or on protected lakes and rivers—not out in rough ocean waters. Still, the CC 21 OB has plenty of fishy features that make it a great fishing boat. Conversely, the center-console aspect of this boat does take up a bit more deck space than some potential deck boat buyers may like. But, if this fishing/fun mashup sounds interesting to you, then read on.
The CC 21 OB sits dead in the middle of Hurricane’s new center-console lineup, bookended by 19’ and 23’ models. There’s no mistaking the CC 21 OB as anything but a deck boat on first glance, given away by its high topsides, un-curvy profile, and fairly flat entry. Still, we liked the way the CC 21 OB looked on the water. Though our test craft didn’t have one, we think the optional hard top would look quite smart on this boat. Oh, and as you may have guessed, the “OB” stands for outboard, the only power plant option for this boat.
Stepping aboard aft, the first thing we noticed was a swim platform area with a stowable swim ladder to starboard that should make getting in and out of the water a breeze. It sits a little higher off the water than some boats, but we didn’t consider it so high as to be a problem. A filler panel covers the outboard well to create a larger space and we found a large, waterproof stowage compartment to port with plenty of space for all sorts of gear.
Moving forward, the aft end of the cockpit is punctuated with full-length upholstered bench seating that’s highly transformable in nature. Four removable backrests and seat cushions can be configured in several different ways to create a number of clever seating arrangements. Remove all the cushions and backrests, and you’ve got a sizable casting platform. Reinstall them and you’ve got comfy seating for four. Keep the outboard seatbacks and cushions installed and enjoy twin jump seats. Underneath the center portion of the bench is a livewell, while the outboard under-seat areas provide stowage.
One thing we really liked about the center console is the large amount of real estate on the dash; there’s plenty of room for multifunction displays. On a standard CC 21 OB there’s a pair of engine instrument gauges, but we’d likely opt for a single Yamaha Command Link display to open things up for more electronic fish-finding goodies. Steering wheel and throttle placement are comfortable and all the control switches are placed within easy reach, just above. A leaning post provides helm seating, and there’s room underneath it for a large cooler. And since nature’s call can be an issue with family aboard, Hurricane has engineered in a space under the center console with plenty of room for an optional portable MSD. Not bad for a 21-footer, though we wished Hurricane had provided some ventilation for the space.
Thanks to its deck boat genes, the CC 21 OB has plenty of seating forward. But since this boat also pulls double-duty as a fishing machine, the area can be converted into a large casting deck. In family or entertaining mode the forward seating area features a large, U-shaped lounge. Remove a seat cushion and insert two backrests, and the area provides twin chaise lounges. Further remove all the cushions and insert a filler board to create an expansive casting deck. There’s plenty of stowage beneath the whole affair, both in the deck, and under the seating arrangements. A two-person bench ahead of the center console unit rounds out seating for the area. The only downside to this convertibility is figuring out what to do with all the cushions. While the backrests neatly stow under the gunwale with the help a couple of clips, the larger cushions will either have to be left ashore, or jammed into the head compartment.
One thing deck boats are definitely not known for is being kind to their occupants in a nasty chop. So we were expecting a bit of discomfort when we pointed the CC 21 OB out into a choppy Biscayne Bay for a ride. To our surprise, the CC 21 OB handled the white-capped waves very nicely—much more so than other Hurricane boats we’ve run in the past. While the ride wasn’t the most comfortable we’ve ever experienced, it felt solid enough for us to open the CC 21 OB all the way up for a blast across the bay.
A 175-horsepower Yamaha F175 four-stroke outboard is standard power on the CC 21 OB, while our test craft was tipped with a 200 HP Yamaha F200 outboard. Opened all the way up, the F200 propelled the nearly 3,700-pound CC 21 OB to 46.1 MPH at 5850 RPM with a fuel burn of 19.8 GPH. We found a speed of 24.4 MPH at 3500 RPM to provide the most efficient cruise, where the F200 sipped only 5.4 GPH. Though it took a little bit of time to get up to speed—nearly six seconds to 20 MPH from a dead stop—the CC 21 OB performed better than expected in all other engine performance areas. Handling in the corners and also exceeded our expectations, feeling stable and well-fastened to the water.
We’d be remiss in not mentioning this boat’s fishy features, given this boat is definitely aimed at anglers. Already mentioned is the aft livewell, and ability to convert both the aft and forward seating areas into casting decks. Not yet mentioned are the six flush-mount rod holders, under-gunwale rod stowage for six, and in-deck fishboxes, both forward and aft. Ordering the hard top option gets you four additional rod stowage slots, courtesy of a set of rocket launchers at its aft end. Gadget-minded anglers will appreciate the variety of fish-finding electronics packages that can be fitted at the factory. Oh, and did we mention the CC 21 OB draws only one-foot, two inches with the engine up? That’s a bonus for skinny-water anglers.
All in all we found very little to dislike about the Hurricane CC 21 OB, but we do want to mention that the deck hatches rattled a little more than some may like. Luckily a trip to the hardware store for some rubber bumpers will solve this problem for most.
So, who should consider the CC 21 OB as a candidate for their boat-buying dollars? We see it as a great boat for anglers who also need to consider the comfort factor required for having family and friends aboard. And we also see it as a good prospective buy for folks who want the versatility and utility offered by both deck boats and center consoles, anglers or not. Given the excellent performance and clever features we found throughout, Hurricane will have no problem selling lots of CC 21 OBs.
Other Choices: You'll have a tough time finding a deck boat like this one, but anglers will likely shop it against boats like the Sea Chaser 21LX. If you want something more decky and less fishy, the Bayliner 215 DB is one to check out.
See Hurricane deck boat listings.
Visit Hurricane for more info.
|Fuel capacity||49 gal.|
|Test conditions: winds 15 knots, 2 POB. Performance data courtesy of Yamaha.|
|Power||Single Yamaha F200 four-stroke outboard, swinging a 14.25" X 17" three-bladed stainless-steel prop.|