April 18, 2014
Length: 34 feet, 10 inches
Beam: 10 feet
Hull weight: 9,432 pounds
Deadrise: 24 degrees
Approx. draft: 25 inches
Recommended power range: 500 to 900
Fuel capacity: 355 gallons
The Triton 351 Express
It's a 34-footer with center-console helm, lounge seating foward, and a forward cabin.
Triple 250-horsepower Mercury Verado 4-strokes can push this boat to the 60 mph mark, but it's said to perform nicely with twins, topping out at respectable 40 mph. Keep in mind those are 600-plus-pound motors on a 10,000-pound hull. This is a rig most at home in a wetslip or perhaps a lift behind a waterfront home.
View of the helm station. . .
And view from the helm station. With trim tabs down, we found the boat provided good visibility for the captain while getting up on plane. A minor downside was, this station was subject to some spray when quartering a steep, 3-foot chop in 20-knot winds. Isinglass curtains are easy to install beneath the hardtop, and would be recommended in Florida's breezy winter sailfish season.
Cabin view looking forward over food prep station toward vee berth and drop-down dinette table.
Interior electrical systems, with accessory plug, diesel level indicator for generator, DC/AC inverter, and stereo. Air-conditioning and refrigerator make this more than just a place to stow rods.
Standup head with shower and sink.
Aft berth for the kids--or for suitcases and more gear for an extended island trip.
Molded steps from the lounge to the bow.
A really sweet feature: Standup work space beneath the console, with easy access to generator, batteries, fuel tanks and wiring.
Detail of wiring behind helm.
Plenty of space for two 12-inch or greater multi-function screens. Binnacle is electronic model for Verados, and analog/digital gauges can be customized for display fuel levels, speed and vital engine performance data.
Battery switches right there where anyone can find them.
A somewhat narrow, 25-gallon transom livewell (or fishbox, as you prefer) may not hold quite enough goggle-eyes for tournament kite-fishing, but certainly more than enough for the average weekend angler. And check out what's back there. . .
That's right--built-in tuna tubes. This boat isn't made just to stay in Florida and chum pilchards for whimpy kings and sails. . . it's built to travel to marlin country, where slow-trolling live bonitos or skipjacks can produce big results. Those active baits are also dynamite for wahoo and super-smoker kingfish.
Vertical rod racks tucked behind the transom.
That big in-deck storage hatch aft? It'll hold bumpers. . .
Or better yet, 5-gallon buckets.
Accessing a cavernous, gelcoat-finished bilge.
Lots of storage on this boat. Fish boxes alongside the console are good for groupers and school dolphin, but if you're after a triple-digit wahoo, swordfish or yellowfin, you'll need to bring a good fish bag on this boat. Again, the 351 looks like it has the layout of a catch-and-release marlin trolling boat, or else a day-boat for pelagics.
Lockable overhead hardtop box will likely house a VHF and CD/MP3 stereo, with room to spare for charts and other vital items.
The top is sweet--rod racks, space for life vests, built-in lights. Put a 4kW open-array radar up there and you're in business.
Tackle storage center behind the captain's seat.
With a latch that keeps it closed--a little touch that means a lot in the long run.
Under-gunnel storage for rods, boat hooks, brushes, you name it.
Triton boats (www.tritonboats.com
) are composite uni-body construction, with limited lifetime hull warranty. Based on the builder's reputation on the bass and inshore circuit, the growing fleet of offshore Tritons is worth a look.
Transom tuna doors on outboard rigs aren't really practical for hauling aboard fish. But this one will come in handy for accessing the motors, or admitting snorkelers.
Rear bench seat is comfortable in most sea conditions, and easily folds up and away when not in use.