Having the opportunity to test a pair of “Commander Series” boats from Sea Fox on consecutive days provided a good opportunity to compare similarities and consistencies within the line. After running the 288 Commander on day one; the bar was set pretty high for the smaller 228. Considering the handling characteristics of the larger boat and how impressive its performance was, I set out aboard the 228 with an open mind on a day with virtually identical weather conditions. This boat rigged with a single 250-HP Yamaha was quick out of the hole and leveled off nearly identically to the larger 288 settling into a comfortable cruising speed effortlessly. As the day heated up and convection winds kicked up a fast 2-3-foot chop along the beach we had a chance to see how well her bottom handled the confused sea state from every angle of attack and the 228 left each of us impressed. Placing my two companions in the aft bench seating was clearly going to offer the most comfortable vantage point but moving them forward to the bow seating would be the real test and neither of them were uncomfortable at a brisk cruising speed and we never saw a drop of spray above the rub rail.
The 228 is laid out in a nearly identical configuration as her big sister with only a few minor changes necessary due to the 6-foot length discrepancy. The forward seating is arranged in the Commander styled “Scallop Shell” contour offering an aft facing backrest which allows two people to recline in position for a conversation with two additional guests facing forward at the console companion bow seats. Each of the passengers facing aft can easily deploy forward facing backrests and reverse their direction to face forward while underway. A filler foredeck piece is available as well as a removable dining table for drinks and dining as well. Matching dry storage compartments are available under each seat to port and starboard.
The console interior offers additional storage options and a portable toilet is standard equipment with an electric flush model upgrade available. The 228 we tested featured the Sea Fox Ultima hard top which proved to be a worthy upgrade. In addition to LED lighting, Audio system upgrade, Climate Cool System misters and overhead switching, the available shaded deck space, especially aft of the helm position made a long hot summer day far more enjoyable. Convertible twin helm/companion leaning seats provided a comfortable vantage point from which you could navigate under abundant shade.
In the cockpit from the center deck position, a total of fifteen rod holders are within easy reach from overhead on the hard top, across the seat back on the leaning seat to the gunwales and across the transom. A 30-gallon pressurized Aquarium View live well features a few notable Sea Fox design tweaks. Water flow can be manipulated to fine tune the rate of flow both entering and leaving the well from the surface position and tank floor as well; all with slight adjustments to hardware inside the tank. Conveniently located on the transom gunwale directly behind the well is a small hatched compartment specifically built to hold your bait net eliminating the need to use a rod holder for this purpose. From a fishability perspective, combining usable work space with comfortable seating often presents a challenge; especially within the confines of a 22-foot boat. The 228 Commander offered a good balance for each user and fishing 360-degrees around the boat proved to be relatively trouble free. A point that stood out to me while fishing from the bow was how stable the boat felt drifting along; offering me a secure foothold from the elevated deck while casting to cruising fish along the beach.
For a young family entering the world of boating this boat has the kind of features that are likely to make everyone happy. A price point boat that is attractive, functional and affordable will always have a home in the marketplace and after spending the day on her, it was easy to see why the Sea Fox 228 Commander is this company’s best-selling model.
Sea Fox 228 Commander Specifications
Length: 22-feet 4-inches
Beam: 8-feet 6-inches
Dry Weight: 2700-pounds
Maximum Horsepower: 250
Base price: $58,026