In the interest of full transparency, I’ve never been a huge deck boat fan. And to be fair, as an angler, I am not the target consumer for this boating segment. But something interesting happened this year at the Miami International Boat Show, when I ran a brand-new offering from the company that virtually spawned the deck boat market—I found it likeable, and in more ways than one. Say hello to the new Hurricane SunDeck SD 2486 OB.
Hurricane virtually created the deck boat market, and the Hurricane SunDeck SD 2486 OB is produced under the Nautic Global umbrella in Hurricane’s Elkhart, IN, factory. Launched at the Miami International Boat Show in February, the SunDeck SD 2486 OB joins the company’s diverse lineup of deck boats, and shimmies in between the company’s 22-foot version and the SunDeck 2690 OB model. It’s sister, the SunDeck 2400 OB, is virtually identical in appearance, but has a different layout—with a capacity of 12 people versus the 2486 OB’s 14—and less boxes to check on the options list. By the way, “OB” stands for outboard; some models are available with in an inboard/outboard configuration, but the SunDeck 2486 is currently only available with an outboard.
The first thing I noticed about the 2486 OB was its extremely clever and versatile deck layout. And it should be; it’s a deck boat, after all. All the way forward on the bow is a pullout ladder that stows away under a hatch. This is an excellent feature for beaching the boat bow-in and negates a long and possibly painful jump down to the shoreline. There’s also a large anchor locker up here. Access to the mini foredeck is up a convertible “step” that can be flipped up and back—much like a Transformer—to form an upholstered extension to the U-shaped seating area in the bow, where a drop-in table can be mounted. Another convertible seat is situated at the stern. This one forms a transom walk-through, and when it’s up it’s a fully upholstered seat.
Back a few steps from the forward seating area past the wraparound windshield are two swiveling captain's chairs—one behind the starboard side helm, and one behind the port side head compartment. A foldaway partition can be closed to cordon off the forward section of the boat. The captain’s chair at the helm features a flip-up bolster that turns the chair in to bit of a leaning post. A particularly nice sport steering wheel highlights the dash and a Garmin echoMap 70s chartplotter is set just in front of it. Control switches and gauges are easy to reach and read, but I wish the engine controls were mounted on the dash, not on the side of the gunwale; this placement felt awkward.
All the way aft is an excellent swim platform/deck area with twin, aft-facing bench seats set into the transom and a beefy, stainless-steel tow bar cage, which surrounds the big Yamaha outboard. Though you won’t want to use the transom seats while underway, they’re a great place to lie back, hang out and soak up the scenery when you’re pulled into your favorite beach. The aft cockpit has a wraparound U-shaped seating arrangement that can be augmented by a drop-in pedestal dining table for dining and entertaining. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the upholstered benches and seats.
The best part about this boat, well, if you’re an angler like me, is that you can equip it as a capable machine that can entertain family and friends one day, and go on angling expeditions the next. Fishing options include items such as a forward pedestal-mounted fishing chair that mounts in the foredeck, a livewell, various fish finder choices, a trolling motor harness with plug, and rod stowage. You can also outfit the 2486 as a watersports machine, checking options boxes such as a ski tow bar or wakeboard tower. My test boat came with a nice combination of options that made it attractive for cruising around, towing skiers, or for an afternoon angling excursion. It’s this convertibility that changed my thinking about deckboats.
My test boat was equipped a 300-horsepower Yamaha F300 outboard, which is the maximum power plant rating for this boat. The four-stroke Yamaha delivered spirited performance as we blasted back and forth along the Venetian Causeway in Biscayne Bay, delivering a top speed of 49.4 mph, where the big-bore Yamaha slurped 25.7 gallons of fuel per hour. Mosey things back to around 27.6 mph, and you’ll enjoy efficiency in the range of 8.5 gallons per hour. With 66 gallons of fuel onboard, that will net you a theoretical cruising range of around 214 miles. Not bad for a big engine like this on a 24-footer.
|Fuel capacity||66 gal.|
Handling was impressive, too. We pushed the 2486 hard, barreling into sharp turns and weaving circles through the turquoise blue water with ease. And then a set of steep, one- to two-foot wakes from a Hydrasports center console came by. “Bam, bam, bam,” was the sound the 2486’s hull made, as its relatively flat profile came in contact with the choppy, curling waves. That’s a drawback you’ll have to consider when it comes to a deck boat: With a relatively shallow entry, flat forward sections, and not much deadrise, dealing with a stiff chop can sometimes produce more banging than you might like. It wasn’t mind-numbingly bad, but it’s something worth considering if you want to operate this boat in a coastal environment versus on a lake or inland river.
Clever and versatile. Fast and nimble. Those are some good words to sum up the Hurricane SunDeck SD 2486 OB. And if you’re looking for a flexible and adaptable platform that can do all sorts of waterborne activities well, this boat is one you’ll want to check out.
Other Choices: If you're in the market for a deck boat in this size range, also consider the Hurricane SunDeck SD 2486 OB's big brother, the Hurricane SunDeck 2690. A couple of other great deck boats around 24 feet that you'll want to peruse are the Sea Ray 240 Sundeck and the Chaparral SunCoast 250.
View Hurricane SunDeck SD 2486 OB listings.
For more information, visit Hurricane Boats.