September 29, 2014
Florida Sportsman magazine joined Aeon's Will Leslie at the St. Lucie River to get a firsthand look at their custom-built Aeon 23 Pro Guide. Will Leslie is originally from England and moved to the Bradenton area close to a decade ago, where he and his wife opened a successful boat repair and restoration facility called Bayside Marine Services (www.baysidemarineservices.com
). They specialize in fully rehabbing late-model Chris Craft, Aquasport and Wellcraft boats. From his repair shop perspective, Leslie noticed inadequacies in other boats and strived to build a custom boat free of the flaws he saw.
offers anglers offshore and inshore capabilities with its 23 Pro Guide
. Twelve-inch draft, Minn Kota trim tabs and 3-second holeshot allow this boat to access the deeper flats for inshore gamefish; while offshore, an 8-foot beam, optional tower, insulated 40-gallon livewell and crabwell, and 5-foot fishbox assist anglers targeting pelagic and benthic species. Standard features include hydraulic steering, bilge pump, Porta hydraulic engine bracket, stainless steel hardware, and transom and forward hatches for storage. Dry weight is 2,300 pounds; length is 22 feet, 6 inches; beam is 8 feet; deadrise is 14 degrees; and standard fuel tank is 70 gallons. Maximum horsepower is 300. Price is $46,500, rigged with a 175 horsepower Evinrude ETEC and T-top.
Length: 22 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet
Draft: 12 inches
Max horsepower: 300 hp
Fuel capacity: 70 to 100 gallons
Transom deadrise: 14 degrees
Livewell: 40 gallons
Dry Weight: 2,300 pounds
Center console with optional T-top. Will Leslie describes deck as a soft white color.
A shot of the bow; notice the large fish box. Clear, flat space is ideal for fighting tarpon off the beaches and passes. Aeon Marine has a crew fishing the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series (PTTS).
Will Leslie shows off one of two compartments in the forward casting deck. There are different layouts available for the bow area.
A close-up look of the anchor locker, popup bow light and two stainless steel cleats.
Space under gunnels allow for better stability when fighting fish against the rail.
A view of the hull which features Aeon's signature “Performance Lift.” Performance lift is made up of a progressive deadrise to cut through waves smoothly, reverse chines to deflect water down, strakes for maneuverability, and reduced wetted surface to decrease drag.
Front hatches access electrical wiring and batteries underneath console.
Optional T-top with six rod holders. Green top matches hull color.
A view of the console. Features include hydraulic steering, backlit switch panel, and tilt out storage unit. This boat was rigged with Humminbird electronics.
Undergunnel rod storage runs along starboard and bow, three rods on each side.
Two-person custom helm seat features fold-down footrest and built-in livewell.
Lifting up the seat reveals 40-gallon, insulated livewell.
Tilting up the clear acrylic lid shows a well with dual aerators, LED light, and overflow drain with removable cover.
This boat featured a plain stern setup. Both hatches open to bilge area. Aeon Marine can add livewells and other options to stern section.
Opened up. All hatches feature stainless steel hardware.
This boat was rigged with a 175 horsepower Evinrude E-TEC, Porta Bracket jackplate and dive platform. Max horsepower is 300.
Get up and go. Aeon performance reports show (with a 175 E-tec) this boat tops out at 45.5 MPH. Best performance was at 3,000 RPM, cruising 25 MPH, burning 4.5 MPG.