When most anglers think about midsize cabin fishing boats, the words that come to mind include clunky, cramped, plodding and bone jarring. That’s unless you’ve had the opportunity to run and fish one built by NorthCoast Boats of Bristol, Rhode Island. None of those words apply, especially to the newest member of their cabin boat fleet.
Gallery: NorthCoast 255 HT Cabin
“The 255 HT is a slightly scaled down version of the 285 HT, but with a larger cockpit styled after the 235 HT. We maintained the features our owners love like a private enclosed head, sleeping accommodations and a large cockpit loaded with fishing features,” says Capt. Gregg Weatherby, NorthCoast’s director of sales and marketing. “The boat is feature-packed and options like a galley package can transform it from a day fishing boat to a weekender, all while maintaining our no-fluff philosophy. That means easy to clean and maintain.”
Let’s do away with clunky first. The 255 HT has appealing lines with a gentle sheer and ample space to access the bow within the safety of the raised stainless-steel bow rails. The cabin resides beneath a raised deck area forward of the helm for added headroom below, and large forward and side windows give the operator excellent visibility in all directions. The cabin and enclosed helm area are smartly designed with room for two large multifunction monitors, engine monitoring systems and additional electronics while a pair of plush helm chairs add functional charm. All diamond-pattern nonskid surfaces on the gunwales, bow and cockpit are accented in your choice of gray or tan gelcoat.
Cramped? Not here, thanks to the 9-and-a-half-foot beam. The cabin has a large v-berth that comfortably sleeps two, and a private head compartment with shower. To port there is storage for gear and room to add the optional galley. The working cockpit includes plenty of fishing room with standard features like two 139-quart fish boxes, transom live well, transom door, tackle center, four gunwale rod holders, under-gunwale rod storage and optional fold-up seating for two on the transom. A full deck gutter system with oversized scuppers keeps it dry.
Plodding? Nope. This boat is a surprising performer. With a pair of F250 Yamaha outboards, the 255 HT hits a blazing 56 mph at top end and it’s quick out of the hole, too. Cruising along at 31 mph at 3500 rpm, it burns a tad over 17 gph. That’s solid fuel economy for an 8,000-pound cabin boat, but if you want more, knock it down to 3000 rpm where it makes 25 mph burning just 12.9 gph.
OK, how about bone-jarring? The deep-vee hull features a sharp entry with twin lifting strakes, a 22-degree deadrise at the transom and a hard chine. The result is a soft ride, nimble seakeeping and stability at drift or anchor. This boat, like their other HT models, is built to get you to the fishing grounds fast and in comfort without busting your fuel budget.
The 255 HT debuted at the Newport Boat Show in September 2019.