Imagine a boat that has everything you ever needed or wanted. For you that might mean a Downeast cruiser with big diesels, pod drives, and gobs of beautifully varnished teak. For me it means a different sort of boat. I’ve always fantasized about a boat that’s fast; is able to sneak into skinny water but still take on an open-bay chop; has tons of room for all my fishing tackle and gear; and sports a no-muss, no-fuss deck arrangement with plenty of room for casting.
I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, you need a bay boat.” And you’d be right to put me on the search for the ultimate bay boat. While I’ve been on some pretty awesome bay boats, most of them just didn’t suit me for one reason or another… until recently. February was when I ran across the SeaVee 270Z Bay at the Miami International Boat Show, and from the moment I saw it, this boat tickled me in all the right places.
Let’s start out with my performance requirements. This boat has a top speed of 60 MPH right out of the box with a 300-horsepower Mercury Verado, which is mounted on a jack plate for skinny-water sorties. Rack on up to 450 horsepower and you’re talking about a bay boat that should push well into the mid 70 MPH range. Go ahead; say that out loud, “A bay boat that should to push well into the mid 70 MPH range.” Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Give thanks to the twin-step hull design.
Next I mentioned that I’d want to be able to sneak into some shallow water. No problem here. With the engine up, the 270Z Bay draws only 15 inches, which is particularly impressive for a 27-footer. To give you an idea of why it’s impressive, consider that 15 inches of draft is competitive with smaller boats, such as the Pathfinder 2600 HPS (15 inches) and Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger (13 inches). When you’ve snuck into your secret skinny-water hidey-hole, you’ll also fall in love with the twin Power-Pole setup, which will keep you secured in one spot with the press of a button, and the high-thrust trolling motor, which is great for when you want to cover a lot of fishing ground.
But flats and shallow water hot-spots aren’t often found without traveling across large bodies of water and long distances. That means my dream boat needs the bones to deal with a stiff chop. The SeaVee 270Z Bay has those bones, built using a vacuum-assisted resin transfer infusion process for the hull, deck, stringers, and bulkheads. SeaVee claims it's the only company to build a boat with the hull and deck completely infused with the stringers and bulkheads to form one solid unit. And with a moderate 17-degree transom deadrise, raised bow with plenty of flare, and a sharp entry, the SeaVee 270Z Bay should make quick work of a snotty day on the water.
Finding a bay boat that has lots of tackle and gear stowage and plenty of casting space on deck can be a challenge. Skeeter does a particularly good job with this notion, having boats with lots of flat casting decks with flush hatches that hide rod, gear, and tackle stowage. SeaVee has taken that theme to a whole new level with the 270Z Bay. There’s so much convertible stowage that the 270Z Bay could pass as a Transformer in an action movie.
The entire foredeck on the 270Z Bay is a casting deck, but look underfoot and you’ll find five opening hatches that reveal port and starboard fish boxes, a large central stowage locker, and port and starboard rod lockers. They’ve even engineered a forward livewell under the single step up to the casting deck, so anglers don’t have to walk to the stern every time they need to rig up new bait.
There’s an aft casting deck, too, and under it are twin stowage lockers that can be optionally fitted as release wells or fish lockers, a flip-up jump seat, and a second livewell. Oh, and there are 16 rod holders situated around the center console and four more mounted in the gunwales. Fish on, friends.
The center-console unit on the 270Z Bay is notably clever, having plenty of space for a large multifunction display, Fusion stereo, control switch panel, VHF radio, Power-Pole controls, twin 12-volt power outlets, trim tab controls, and two big cup holders. What I liked best, though, was the sealed stowage area just above the dash with room to keep smartphones, wallets, and keys within reach, but nice and dry. A wide wraparound windscreen will help keep your hat on when you’re blasting across the flats at 60 mph.
|Fuel capacity||98 gal.|
|Water capacity||9 gal.|
So, if we look back my needs and wants, it seems that the SeaVee 270Z checks all of my ideal boat boxes: it’s fast, able to sneak into skinny water but still take on an open-bay chop; has tons of room for fishing tackle and gear; and sports a no-muss, no-fuss deck arrangement with lots of room for casting. If you’re in the market for a bay boat that means business, I think the 270Z Bay will check a lot of your boxes, too.
Other Choices: Other bay boats in this size range worth looking at include the Pathfinder 2600 HPS Bay Boat, the Ranger 2510 Bay Ranger, and the Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer.
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