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Boat Review - Blackwater 43 Sportfish TE

The line between luxury cruising boats and sportfishing boats has become somewhat hazy lately due to the attractiveness of the classic sportfish hull design merging so well with the cruiser deck layout. A problem some builders might face however, is which style should dominate the intended use for the boat. Often you end up with a cruising boat that lacks amenities because it has too much of a fishing layout, or a fishing boat that has too much trim to be practical in a serious sportfish venue.

Along comes the Blackwater 43 Sportfish; an elegant offshore machine that is offered in either the Sportfish model for someone who takes fishing seriously yet also requires luxury amenities out front, or for the hardcore tournament angler who doesn't need unnecessary frills, but also appreciates comfortable seating and trim; the 43 Sportfish Tournament Edition. The Tournament Edition model we tested proved how possible it is to engage in hardcore fishing and be comfortable while doing so. This 43-foot platform offers everything you need to be competitive at any level. This effectiveness begins with three live wells totaling 140-gallons (40/40/60) across the transom; each plumbed with its own 3500 GPH pump and a spare 3500 GPH back-up pump all three supplied via a Sea Chest in the cockpit bilge compartment; a bilge compartment that is large enough and accessible enough for two people to sit in and service all systems below deck if necessary.

In the cockpit to port and starboard lie a pair of 280-quart insulated fish holds each large enough to hold the five biggest Wahoo you're ever going to catch, while not so big that they'd require 300-pounds of ice to chill. A large tackle rigging surface with drawers below for keeping necessary gear close by along with a rigging sink are located behind the triple Llebroc helm/companion chairs and above a large Yeti drink box on a sliding track. The center helm position is framed by a clean three sided glass enclosure with a powered opening upper vent. The helm dash panel is large enough to accommodate a pair of 24-inch display screens along with a third display for engine instrumentation as well as assorted other gauges and displays. The entire accessory suite is controlled via an array of illuminated Bocatech switches both on the helm face and overhead.

An advantage to fishing from a boat of this stature is abundant gunwale length and the available width in your spread that having so much of it affords you. The most competitive Florida anglers understand the effectiveness of a large bait footprint while drifting live baits. A total of 86-feet of gunwale and the available rod holders this space allows you to work with makes it possible to deploy up to five baits at assorted lengths and depths on your upwind side; while fishing a pair of kites on your downwind side each hanging an additional two to three more baits, depending on how ambitious your crew is. A dozen baits stretching across possibly 400-500' of ocean surface will certainly increase the likelihood of you showing a bait to any passing gamefish.

All of this and the deck real estate required for multiple anglers working triple headers and quads 360-degrees around the boat without unnecessary confusion are the perfect recipe for a successful tournament campaign.

Now add to that a queen sized double sun lounge ahead of the center console with plush upholstery, forward wrap seating around the bow which offers comfortable reclining backrests while allowing you to easily navigate around the foredeck, and a pair of concealed pocket bench seats in the cockpit, none of which interfere in any way with your fishing effectiveness. An additional benefit of a model in this class is the addition of a roomy console cabin with a twin sized berth forward, marine head, sink, and shower all below and climate control with ice cold air conditioning that doesn't require a generator for power thanks to a battery supplied inverter power source.

When you step back and consider a boat that has 1400-horsepower, and over 700-miles of range that will run over 60-MPH and feel like you're going 30 while doing so, will not only get you there faster, go further, and keep you comfortable along the way; your possibilities stretch further over the horizon than you might ever have imagined.

Blackwater 43 Sportfish TE Specifications

Length: 43-feet

Beam: 11-feet 11-inches

Deadrise: 24-degrees

Weight: 18,000-pounds

Horsepower: 1400 (quads)

Fuel: 780-gallons

Fresh water: 90-gallons

Base price: $860,000

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