May 04, 2012
Exclusive FS photos of theThread Fin 237 24-foot bay boat.
was there first to cover, test and photograph the 24-foot Thread Fin 237
bay boat. Bobby Smits, spokesperson and owner of Thread Fin boats, brought the boat over to our home waters of the St. Lucie River for a firsthand look. Talking to Bobby, he envisioned a full-size bay boat at home both inshore and offshore. At 23 feet, 7 inches—plus a foot-long Porta bracket engine lift—this boat is likely to spend as much time offshore as inshore. Some bay boats ride and feel more like flats skiffs; the Thread Fin 237 definitely feels more like an offshore center console.
The base model includes a 2-tone hull; oversize captain's chair livewell; stainless steel hardware such as cleats, bow lights, fuel cap and steering wheel; 1,500 g.p.h. bilge pump; 85 gallon aluminum fuel tank; and console switch panel with breakers. Among many options are secondary livewell and bilge pumps, exterior LED lighting, tower, cooler, dive platform and ladder, and additional flush-mount rod holders.
Build process: Thread Fin Boats are custom built using Cook Armor flex gelcoat, 100-percent Vinylester hand-laid skin coat, and closed cell high-density core with bi- and tri-axial hand-laid fiberglass. Heat-shrink connectors are used on all wiring. All hardware is stainless steel, including the through-hull fittings.
On the water test: Rigged with a 300-hp Mercury Verado and 19-inch prop, the boat hit 55 mph with four persons on board. In the channel, the boat planed quickly and quietly, with help from a proprietary step hull. Smits says the boat drafts 10 inches.
Thread Fin boats
1310 19th Street SW
Length: 23' 7"
Beam: 8' 3"
Dry weight: 2,100 lbs. without power
Draft: 10 inches
Max horsepower: 300 hp
Fuel capacity: Single, 85-gallon tank
Transom height: 30 inches
Transom deadrise: 12.5 degrees
Cockpit area: 202 square feet
Total storage: 65 cubic feet
A shot from above. The Thread Fin 237 is two-toned—pictured above in black and white—but available in other colors such as yellow. The 24-foot bay boat has all flush-mount gunnel cleats and rod holders. A T-top is available for anglers expecting to fish offshore regularly.
At the bow, running lights, cleats and rod holders surround anchor locker. Embroidered padding wraps around the inside of the boat. Owner Bobby Smits plans to experiment with an anchor hatch that opens on an angle to allow for a trolling motor.
Oversize bow hatch has divided compartments. Store items like life jackets and even rods in the forward section.
Center console bow seat opens up to reveal wiring to electronics.
Electronics wiring and batteries are easy to access. This was the first boat produced by Thread Fin and the wiring was not complete; expect other boats to have much cleaner and organized wiring.
Stainless steel wheel and switches come standard. Various electronics packages and engine makers are available for rigging.
Panel switches are easy to reach and read.
Lower section of the console has a waterproof compartment for battery switches and accessories such as a stereo/radio system.
Center console seat doubles as a 35-gallon livewell for baitfish such as threadfins. Handle for opening livewell can be used as a grab rail for stern passengers. Wrap-around handrail for center console is an available option.
Closeup of the console seat 35-gallon livewell.
A pair of under-gunnel rod holders comes standard on port and starboard sides.
Knee-high padding wraps around the inside of the Thread Fin 237, ideal for bottom fishing. A bit different—only rod holders, cleats in the transom—no livewell.
At the stern, rear floor hatch allows easy access to livewell seacock and pump, bilge pump, transducer and other wiring.
Easy access to washdown hose. Both stern hatches connect to the same compartment.
Hydraulic Porta Bracket connects 300-hp Mercury Verado to the stern. Armstrong platform and ladder are an available option.
Closeup of the Thread Fin's step hull.
Stern LED lights are an option—perfect for catching bait at night or docklight snook fishing.
FS Classics, September 2009 WebXtra coverage
Bobby Smits and Jim Langone test the boat on the St. Lucie River.