When the 26 Open model from Crevalle Boats originally made its debut, the concept of a Crossover style boat designed for fishing inshore and nearshore with a touch of offshore when the weather allowed, appealed to many new boat buyers. As more boaters had the chance to test this hull in offshore conditions more frequently, the ride along with her effectiveness in the big water arena demanded the addition of a true offshore edition that retained some of its inshore traits to the Crevalle line-up and the “Hybrid Blue Water” or 26 HBW was born.
Since we originally tested this hull there have been some noticeable modifications to the construction process at Crevalle. Due in part to some new construction technology at Crevalle Boats; what was already a remarkably smooth riding hull in the ocean chop we ran her through, now offered a much tighter, more solid feel across the waves. The implementation of their new C.R.I.M.P. technique (Crevalle Resin Infusion Construction Process) allows for a more completely uniform lamination process with tighter tolerances and exact repeatable measurements for quality control. The resulting effect is further reinforced by the climate controlled work space utilized at Crevalle, one of the few boat manufacturers to work in an air conditioned environment. This allows Crevalle to mix and apply temperature sensitive resins and paint in a precisely controlled setting for consistent results.
Only a few subtle alterations were necessary to slant this rig more towards the blue water side and the addition of outriggers and radar are merely accessory conveniences for someone more inclined to offshore fish. The existing model already offered most of the conveniences any complete 26-foot offshore package should include. For anglers, a tackle center with plenty of storage and a rigging table located in the helm station are exceptionally convenient. A removable drink cooler on a sliding track is also included. An optional 170-quart fiberglass coffin box on the foredeck provides an insulated compartment for your fish hold as well as a very comfortable lounge seat with the addition of a removable bolstered backrest. The 26 HBW comes with three livewells including a 12-gallon tank under the forward console seat along with matching 28-gallon tanks at opposite corners beneath the rear casting deck.
A 36V trolling motor and PowerPole are smart additions for coastal fishing and don’t impede your offshore ability in any measurable sense. New for this model is a smart modification to the already beautifully styled hard top; a new 3-panel glass enclosure at the helm. This design will prove to be useful on those less than perfect days to keep you dry and behind the weather while running offshore. Another new feature is the addition of lockable rod locker compartments under the gunnels which not only provides security but also keeps your tackle out of the weather.
Like every model offered by this company, the comfort of the entire family is considered in the design process. Comfortable seating from the forward lounge coffin box to the rear convertible bench along with the helm and companion seats make the inland cruiser more relaxed. The synthetic deck trim throughout gives the 26 HBW a luxury finished appearance. As a beach and sandbar platform, entry to the water couldn’t be simpler via the Crevalle three-tiered fantail transom design which brings you right to the water level for easy access to the recessed stainless swim ladder.
From a performance standpoint, the 26 HBW also shined with the 350 Mercury our test model came with. The boat was extremely quick out of the hole and almost instantly got us to a comfortable 30-knot cruise while providing 3-MPG fuel economy. Bumping the Mercury up to 40-knots only resulted in a drop to 2.7-MPG which are solid numbers for a boat in this class. Since this capable offshore hull was already offered in several configurations to suit the needs of various boating tastes from inshore specialists and family cruisers to near coastal anglers it made perfect sense to tailor a model to blue water fanatics as well. The result of their efforts is a boat that couldn’t be more versatile to satisfy the needs of many happy families moving forward.
Crevalle 26 HBW Specifications
Length: 25-feet 6-inches
Beam: 8-feet 6-inches
Weight: (w/o power) 3600-pounds
Maximum Horsepower: 350
Base Price: $130,000