With a luxury pedigree behind it, the latest model from Coastal Craft is a lot more than just another outboard-powered fishing machine.
A 40-knot top speed, an open cockpit with room to play the largest fish, a dedicated fish-cleaning station and huge storage lockers. Such features all appeal to anglers, and the Coastal Craft 33 ProFish has them all. At the same time, the new 33 ProFish comes with all the attributes that have earned the British Columbia-based aluminum boat builder a top spot in the luxury market: beautiful lines, immaculately faired and painted hulls, exceptional fit and finish, and excellent high-speed performance.
In fact, it’s somewhat of a misnomer to target this yacht at the sportfishing market, because the new ProFish is equally well suited for non-anglers who want the benefits of speed, economy and quality in a small, easy-to-handle yacht.
Move to Outboards
The boat’s 39-foot overall hull length is based on the same proven design the company used in the late 1990s, during its early years, when its main builds were water taxis and commuter boats typically powered by sterndrive diesels. In a nod to the here and now, the new 33 ProFish is powered by twin 350 hp Mercury Verado gas outboards. According to Jeff Rhodes, CEO of Coastal Craft, the reason the builder went to outboards is that today’s outboards are reliable, convenient, fuel efficient and have excellent warranties. Also, because they are mounted on the back of the boat, they allow for more interior volume, and they weigh considerably less than inboards (about 700 pounds less in this case). Additionally, more and more of today’s consumers prefer outboards, so Coastal Craft stepped into that niche.
The 33 ProFish, like other Coastal Craft models, is fully welded aluminum (one-quarter inch on the bottom and three-sixteenths on the sides). It is laid up in a jig and incorporates a sturdy structural grid of ribs and stringers. The hull is then sprayed with a thick layer of two-part, fire-retardant polyurethane foam that reduces sound and condensation. To eliminate galvanic corrosion, all non-aluminum parts and fasteners are isolated using rubber, silicone or non-conducting grease. Many of the components, such as the forward and main cabin, are built externally as modules that are then dropped in and connected — a process the builder believes is more efficient than “stick” building.
Clear the Decks
The cockpit is spacious and uncluttered — nothing extraneous can get in the way of
fishing — and a three-foot cabin overhang provides some shelter from the weather. All cleats, rod holders and downrigger mounts are interchangeable thanks to Burnewiin fittings. One special feature is a removable custom fish-cleaning table mounted on the top of the transom. Lockers built into the cockpit sides and transom provide storage for tackle, fenders and so on, as well as access to the fuel filters and the battery switches.
One large hatch in the cockpit sole opens to reveal a generous fish locker with a diaphragm discharge pump. Another large hatch reveals a large dry storage area. A third leads down to the aft machinery spaces. Well-placed grabrails and handrails combine with 11-inch-wide sidedecks to make it easy and safe to move fore and aft. A well-equipped starboard-side steering station is perfect for fishing and docking.
A Look Inside
A heavy watertight door opens to reveal the salon and an interior tastefully fitted out with rich, horizontal-grain walnut doors, cabinets and trim, and beige Ultraleather upholstery. Passengers on the Coastal Craft 33 ProFish enjoy 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom, and soft upholstered ceiling panels add a warm ambiance. Four forward-sloping, aluminum-framed windows that open and a three-panel windshield provide good visibility, light and ventilation.
Immediately to port and down a few steps is an 80-inch-long, 40-inch-wide quarter berth. As with the rest of the interior, it is finely finished and fitted with a small hanging locker. Otherwise, the layout is somewhat traditional. A raised dinette is to port and its table lowers to create a third berth. The linear galley is to starboard and includes a Corian countertop, a deep stainless sink, a Wallas two-burner diesel cooktop, a microwave, a 4.2-cubic-foot Nova Kool refrigerator/freezer and a clever pullout pantry. Ample storage in drawers and lockers will make it easy to cruise for a weekend or a week. In addition, a huge flex area under the cabin sole has room for about six large plastic storage totes.
The raised helm has the equipment one would expect, including hydraulic power steering, electronic engine controls, Optimus 360 joystick docking and virtual anchoring. A full Garmin navigation package includes two 12-inch touchscreens, a VHF radio with AIS, radar, a sounder and autopilot. Digital outboard engine readouts and a bank of rocker switches tie it all together. The sliding window to starboard provides extra visibility when coming alongside the dock, though visibility from the helm, all around, is very good.
Across from the helm is a double companion seat, and the handy fold-down wooden table that fronts it is a smart and useful feature. The test boat was also fitted with a 10-inch touchscreen for the copilot.
The V-berth on the Coastal Craft 33 ProFish is a full 6 feet, 6 inches long, and a privacy door separates it from the rest of the vessel. The nicely upholstered walls give off a warm and cozy feel. To port is the head, which includes a small sink and a vanity (the owner did not opt for a shower), while across the companionway is a large hanging locker.
With two Group 31 house batteries, two 27-series engine start batteries and minimal power demand from the boat’s systems, a generator should not be necessary. The exception is for owners who spend extended days at anchor or who add equipment that draws heavily on power. Some owners opt for a small portable gas generator, which can be connected to the vessel’s safe SmartPlug shore power.
Two 135-gallon fuel tanks are aluminum and built by Florida Marine Tanks. A 30-gallon plastic diesel tank provides fuel for the stove, the Espar D4 forced-air furnace — Rhodes says it is more efficient than hydronic heating and draws less power — and the optional Hurricane hydronic on-demand hot-water system. A 66-gallon plastic water tank is standard. Extra water or fuel can be accommodated by an optional 100-gallon stainless tank. Coastal cruisers will likely opt for the extra water capacity, while sport anglers who cover long distances will prefer the extra fuel. Instead of traditional bronze through-hull fittings, the 33 ProFish is equipped with Marelon (by Forespar) through-hulls. Marelon is a proven injection-molded polymer composite that is impervious to corrosion and electrolysis, which is especially useful for aluminum vessels.
Speed and Power
Even though the boat was fully loaded with fuel during the sea trial, its acceleration was impressive, and I felt no prop slip or cavitation when we jammed the throttles forward. Bowrise was minimal, and the 33 ProFish was quick to settle on plane at 13 knots in about four seconds. At wide-open throttle, the boat reached a top speed of 40 knots, though the ride was so smooth and gentle I felt we were moving at half that speed. At a fast cruise between 27 to 30 knots, we were traveling about one mile for every gallon of gas burned.
The response to sudden turns was impressive — almost like a sports car. The 33 shouldered into such turns with no slipping and tracked dead straight when the outboards were centered. Interior noise levels — 76 dB at 30 knots — allowed us to converse easily. Conditions were relatively calm, but we managed to find some large ferry wakes to attack, and the motion was smooth and dry, without any slamming.
For fishing activities, running a single outboard will push the 33 ProFish to ideal 1.5- to 3-knot trolling speeds. Trim is controlled by both the trim function on the outboards and the Zipwake dynamic trim control system. However, we used only minimal engine trim during our sea trial, and the trim tabs should only prove necessary to trim for heel.
The Coastal Craft 33 ProFish is an extremely capable, easy-to-handle and well-performing yacht. No doubt it will make an adept fishing platform, but it also has all the luxurious attributes that have made Coastal Craft such a respected aluminum boat builder. It’s interesting to note that only half the orders to date are from dedicated anglers, while the balance are cruisers.