The outboard-powered express cruiser is full of fishing features

Jim Turner is the developer and former owner of Casa Vieja Fishing Lodge in Guatemala, famous for Pacific sailfish caught with light tackle or on the fly. The lodge has a collection of beautifully restored classic fishing boats that includes vintage models from Rybovich, Merritt and Whiticar. Those fishing machines were Jim’s inspiration for Release Boatworks. All their best qualities are reflected in the boats Release builds today.

Their current lineup consists of 34, 43 and 46-foot diesel inboard models, so their most recent launch is a bit of a departure. The 43 WAOB is a walkaround express cruiser, but it’s powered by four Suzuki 350-hp outboards. Going from 600 diesel horses to 1,400 gas outboard ponies and moving the engines from inside the hull to an Armstrong transom bracket required a redesign of the hull bottom and realigning the weight distribution. The work paid off with a boat that is faster and more economical than the diesel models, with excellent seakeeping and handling characteristics. In fact, it’s downright nimble. I asked Turner why he decided to add an outboard model to the line.

Release 43 WAOB Forward Cabin

Release 43 WAOB Forward Cabin

“We wanted to design a boat with the performance and all-around fishability of a large center console, but that still offered the creature comforts of a traditional express sportfisher,” Turner said. “The 43 WAOB is a serious game boat that can speed you to the canyons off the mid-Atlantic or make the Bahamas run from Florida and it has the amenities to spend an overnight or a few days. It is capable of taking on any bluewater fishery from tuna chunking to trolling billfish and the hull is plenty stable for bottom fishing at rest.”

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The 43 WAOB has a top end over 43 knots and an economical cruising range between 32 and 35 knots at 4000 to 4500 rpm, delivering 0.77 MPG with a crew of four and a near full tank of fuel. The handling is quick and stable, and the ride is soft in a sea. The walkaround layout provides unimpeded fishing room from bow to stern, making it a versatile fishing platform with excellent visibility from the helm. The below deck area includes a head, galley, bunks for up to six people, refrigerator and freezer space and dining area. The cockpit is large with two oversized fishboxes, a transom live well and mezzanine seating.

The 43WAOB is individually built to customer specifications, so you can customize yours to fit your every need.

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