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Boat Review - Contender 30ST

Contender Boats offers a selection of serious offshore center consoles ranging from 25 to 39 feet as part of their “Tournament Series” line. Resting squarely in the middle of the pack is the Contender 30 ST. This hull size represents a “Bridge Model” between the smaller center console and a larger center console battlewagon. The 30 ST offers the same construction methods below the deck utilized on her big sisters along with a platform capable of handling weather that might send you back to the dock on the smaller models. One benefit of a boat in this class is tow ability. For those small boat owners ready to step up into a more seaworthy hull who also plan to take their boat over the road regularly, the ability to pull this model behind a half-ton pickup is going to be appealing. The 30 ST is offered in either the traditional Deep-V design or with the newer double-step bottom. Both feature a 24.5-degree deadrise bottom providing the soft ride that Contenders are known for. Another benefit of the mid-range size is fuel economy. The performance data for this model rigged with twin Yamaha 300 power shows 2.1 MPG economy at cruising speed (3500 RPM/38 MPH) and 1.3 MPG at WOT (5950 RPM/67 MPH) which are numbers you're not likely to see with a larger triple or quad powered boat.

The 30 ST will appeal to the serious hardcore fishing crowd who aren't looking for unnecessary bells and whistles. Everything featured on this model is designed around making the job of fishing easier. Contender begins with a wide open deck layout offering unobstructed 360-degree travel around the boat, a feature that makes the center console design so practical for tournament level fishing with multiple anglers and large spreads of baits. To accomplish this clean deck most of your gear and fish storage lies underneath it. This model features a generous amount of storage for a 30-footer. Under the bow deck are port and starboard full length lockable compartments for storing rods or other gear. Beneath the center deck forward is a massive 560-quart insulated fish box. The side entry console features a large fully lined and finished storage area with Head Compartment. In the cockpit there are two additional 210-quart insulated fish boxes. In south Florida, where this company made its mark on the tournament scene originally, live baiting rules the water and you can't have too much of it. The 30 ST offers a 50-gallon well below deck along with two 40-gallon wells in the transom which are more than enough to handle any serious day of fishing. All three live wells are run from independent pumps located in a sea chest, which is easily maintained and controlled through a large hatch in the cockpit deck.

The Contender 30 ST is a super-fast, smartly designed, serious fishing machine that is a sensible choice for the angler ready to make the leap into the big water performance arena without going all the way into the super boat size class.

Contender 30 ST Specifications:

Length: 29 feet 8 inches

Beam: 9 feet 6 inches

Draft: 18 inches

Deadrise: 24.5-degrees

Max HP: 600

Fuel: 265-gallons

MSRP: $207,251.00

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