- Like any good fast fisher, the Aquasport has plenty of bow flare.
- The forward hull lines are sufficiently sharp while substantial chines enhance stability at rest.
- The 2011 300hp E-TEC with just 40 hours logged is a perfect match for the boat.
- Like any offshore fast fishing boat the credibility of the craft is based on its hull and engine.
Greg Copp visits a somewhat elderly, feature-packed US-built fishing boat that, despite needing a little TLC in places, defies its age …
The American-built Aquasport 245 is often wrongly referred to as a Wellcraft Aquasport 245 when Wellcraft and Aquasport are separate sister companies owned by US company Genmar. Aquasport was one of the first yards to build centre console fast fishing boats in the States in the 1970s, and soon established a reputation for solid construction at a price that did not make your eyes water. Boston Whaler skippers no doubt consider this boat a poor man’s Whaler, but this does not do the boat justice. It is strongly believed that Genmar dropped the Eurosport range because it cost too much to build, and being marketed against similar boats from Wellcraft, the price had to be kept competitive – inevitably the Eurosport range had to be dropped.
Like any offshore fast fishing boat the credibility of the craft is based on its hull and engine. The Eurosport hull is just in deep-vee territory, which is evident when you look at the transom deadrise angle. The hull forefoot, though not rakish, is sharp enough to run through most chop, and the substantial forward flare of the hull will do a good job of keeping head seas out of the cockpit. Very sensibly this boat has recently been powered by a first-generation 300hp E-TEC. This superb piece of engineering is one of the lightest 300hp engines built and is famous for its broad power delivery and reliability. Fitted with a stainless prop, this engine should push this boat to around 40 knots.
This particular boat’s condition is not bad for a 17-year-old boat. However, it is evident that it needs a bit of TLC in places, like a new section of rubbing strake on the starboard quarter, and the hull needs cutting back with a rubbing compound to rid it of that inevitable chalking caused by sun and salt. GRP will often stand the test of time well, and can be cut back and polished to look like new. If you look at the detailed construction of this Eurosport you can easily forget its age, as fishing boats by their nature do not follow the styling trends of their sports boat cousins. Factor in that strength takes precedence over weight loss and you have a boat that is not that likely to be plagued with hidden stress cracks.
Many features are packed into this boat with the emphasis naturally on fishing. Small lockers sit at deck level behind the seats as well as in the rear section of the cockpit. A selection of rod holders is complemented by the all-important tinny/cup holders that no fishing boat can be without. The raised side decks are easily accessed and the guard rails rise quickly going forward, leading to a giant windlass capable of pulling out the most stubborn anchors. The double cabin gives this boat an overnight dimension, but without losing that essential walk-around aspect that any fishing boat needs. Two can sleep at a pinch, and there is a small corner sink and under-berth chemical toilet. Though it will often be used as ‘junk storage’, having a double cabin in a boat of this type and size is not that common, and, combined with a T-top and covers, makes this boat better suited to the patchy UK weather than an open fishing boat.
I suppose what made this boat stand out in my eye – being a rarity in the UK aside – was the fact that somebody had spent a king’s ransom on a new engine and had new covers made. The boat’s shortcomings, being the indirect product of a lack of recent use, are easily rectified with some elbow grease and antifouling paint and equate to a ‘motivated’ asking price. At £25k on a trailer there is not much competition in this country, especially as the majority of boats in this category are Boston Whalers at twice the price.
Points to consider
With any older outboard-powered boat the engine is half the equation, inasmuch as the value needs to be split roughly 50/50 between hull and engine. GRP does not age anything like an engine, so a repowered boat like this one is substantially rejuvenated by a new engine – especially an E-TEC. It is not just the service history that needs to be considered but the actual pedigree of the engine range itself. Some outboards have a flawless history and pretty much every modern engine today is squeaky clean, but there are some skeletons from the past rattling about, so make sure you get qualified advice if you are not familiar with what you are looking at.
These boats are considered to be well built and any fast fishing boat should be built to handle offshore conditions at speed. Needless to say, spirited or careless use in such conditions is the main cause of stress cracks, not just in the external hull but internally around bulkheads and other fittings.
Mildew in a cabin is a fact of life. However, boats whose cabins are predominantly used for storing wet items will be more prone to this. Have a good look under the cushions and around the portholes.
- Hull type: Deep-vee
- Transom deadrise angle: 20 degrees (estimated)
- Current value: £20,000 plus
- Length overall: 24ft 5in
- Beam: 8ft 6in
- Draught: 2ft 11in (0.9m)
- Displacement: 1900kg (depending on engine option)
- Fuel capacity: 120 gallons
- Cruising range: Depends on engine options – expect 290 miles with a 20% reserve at 25 knots with the 300hp E-TEC