July 21, 2021
Let's take a closer look at the Sea Born FX22 in this boat review from Florida Sportsman
The FX series of Bay Boats from Sea Born represent a real value priced option for somebody in the market for a new boat. Each FX Bay comes with all of the quality features this style of boat has to offer, but won’t cost any more than your typical name brand flats skiff.
The FX 22 is the last of four models in this line up for me to run and I was curious to see if my streak of being impressed with each of the previous three models was going to stay alive. A perfect day weather wise for testing a bay boat greeted us and 20-25 mile an hour winds immediately gave us a chance to see how she rides. After a bit of nasty tidal chop running I quickly realized that the FX 22 was going to stand up to the test with ease.
The double step hull really liked to ride up above the chop once we found the comfortable cruising speed and trimmed the engine out a little she got up on the rear step and smoothed out beautifully. She got us to the shelter side of a mangrove shoreline to start fishing without incident and we set out to do a little fishing. The 13-inch draft let us get into the shallower sheltered areas of the intracoastal waterway without any problem and we were able to stick the power pole quietly and work some creek runouts as though we were in a flats skiff. The difference being there was four of us fishing at the same time.
The deck layout of any bay boat is really uncomplicated but you have to be sure to use the space below the deck wisely to take advantage of every bit of it. You also need to divide it to include some dry storage, some insulated storage, and of course some live bait storage. In this department, Sea Born has come up with a formula that works across the entire FX series and the FX 22 lays out nicely in this regard.
The forward deck offers an anchor locker at the stem and both a large dry storage compartment in the center deck as well as a Sea Freeze insulated box in the step up behind it. This hold could be used to ice your catch or keep food and drinks chilled just as easily.
To port and starboard are a pair of longer dry storage lockers that each hold a ton of gear but also can double as rod lockers. Sea Born smartly includes removable hardware that slips into place easily to secure rods if you need to but also comes out to open the space into a larger compartment for bulky gear items.
The console was arranged for two behind the helm each having independently adjustable seating which was extremely comfortable. A pair of MFD screens on the helm face was a nice touch and one you don’t typically see on a boat this size.Rod holders lined each outboard side of the console and a livewell was installed forward, under the front seat.
A newly designed cockpit moved the seating from the outboard corners on previous models- inside to the center of the transom casting deck. This design change relocates your passengers out of the way of any spray that might make it into the boat during a windy bay crossing.
Beneath the seat is wide access to your bilge systems. The seat also folds out of the way easily to turn the rear deck into a casting space large enough for a pair of anglers to work around each other. The new deck style also makes it possible to add a pair of livewells to opposite corners of the transom to make a total of three separate wells for multiple storage options.
For anglers who like to stick the pole anchor on a flat and step out of the boat to wade fish, an integrated fiberglass platform on the port side transom corner offers an easy step into the shallows and features a fold out stainless boarding ladder for swimmers in deeper water.
Length: 21-feet 9-inches
Beam: 8-feet 6-inches
Max HP: 250
Base Price: $60,230www.seabornboats.com
The double stepped bottom design on the Sea Born FX 22 was extremely capable in the chop despite 25-MPH winds.
Twin steps on the bottom added greater lift and efficiency crossing large open expanses of chop.
This forward casting deck is comfortable for sight fishing and creates a ton of storage below.
Insulated fish holds, rod storage and a Sea Freeze insulated cooler hold for food and drinks are all available under the foredeck.
This Sea Born designed “Sea Freeze” compartment is dividable to separate food and drinks and keeps ice all day long.
Comfortable padding and twin cup holders complement this forward console seat nicely.
Lifting the forward seat cushion reveals a forward live well for anglers on the bow.
The 8-foot 6-inch beam on this model adds just enough extra space to open up the walkway nicely around this console.
Rod storage rocket launcher and a drink cooler below are convenient additions courtesy of the traditional leaning station helm.
A pair of outboard located live wells in the corners flank this new seat location designed to keep your rider away from any errant spray on a fast run to the spot.