Southport Boats 33 FE First Look and Video

On August 2nd 2014 Lighthouse Marina, Long Island’s exclusive Southport Boats dealer, hosted a Demo Day for the new Southport 33 FE center console. The event was hosted by Lighthouse Marina’s Sales Manager Andrew Galasso and Southport Boats Managing Director, Skip Robinson.

The boat we were to demo was Hull Number ONE out of the Southport facility. She is 32.6 ft LOA, with 10ft 8inch beam. The boat was rigged with twin 300 Yamaha 4 strokes but is rated up to twin 350’s. We had 4 adults aboard with about 1/3 of the 305 gallon fuel capacity in the tank.

Southport Boats New 33 FE Center Console Fishing Boat

As it turned out the weather was not very nice for general boating but a PERFECT day to see what the new 33 could do in some Long Island slop. It was raining off and on and the wind was straight out of the East and blowing right down the Peconic Bay producing a tight 2-3ft chop.

Walking down the dock and seeing the 33 in person was an awesome experience. Southport Boats are well known for their attractive lines and the 33 carries on that tradition. Hopping aboard I was immediately taken by the cockpit space behind the leaning post and the additional room between the console and the gunwales. Skip advised me that the boat carried a bean 2 inches larger than the 29 and the top plates had been slimmed back along the topsides and bow deck. These updates produced a lot more usuable room inside the boat.

The leaning post featured bolster captain seats with plenty of storage on the front and back sides of it. A sink/cleaning station was set atop the leaning post directly behind the seats. This is a configuration that is open to customization as the upcoming TE edition will incorporate a second livewell in this location as well as additional tackle storage options below it.

The dash was another wonderful update, with solid rocker type switches cleanly mounted below the HUGE dual Raymarine displays. Yamaha gauges, bow thruster control, auto-pilot head and others rounded out the dash with nothing making it appear cluttered at all.

Inside the console the marine head and sink appeared pretty much the same as the 29 however this boat, being an FE with forward seating instead of the coffin box in front of the console, offered a berth stretching forward 6ft or so from the head area offering the ability to catch a nap or simply be used as additional storage. I was happy to see the addition of a windscreen that filled the entire area between the top of the console up to the bottom of the fiberglass hardtop. A large wiper was a nice addition as well and was put to good use during our test run this day.

I personally prefer the coffin box configuration on my current 29 but I have to say the forward seating the FE offers was done very well. Beautifully upholstered cushions lined the u-shaped settee with a table insert to be used in normal fashion or dropped down to fill in the “U” in the seating creating a large flat casting / sun deck. Storage is offered all under the forward seating all around as well as an additional hatch in the forward sole.

There were some very nice changes made to the stern area as well. Proving once again the Southport design team listens to their customers, the batteries were moved out of the “tough” location used in the other models. The two batteries for the motors are still in the stern and are to port however, their location is on level with the deck and MUCH easier to get at for removal and maintenance tasks. There are TWO house batteries on the Southport 33 and they are housed below the console in a compartment astern of the head. I did note that a nice update here would be if they could be put on some sort of sliding tray to make access even easier. The new battery locations are VERY much better than where they used to be but a tray would make that task even nicer. Nit picking here 🙂

The transom cap features the livewell on the 33 FE model, 35 gallon capacity here. A dropdown bench seat fronts the transom cap. The drop in fishbox of the other Southport models is gone on the 33. Instead two large boxes in the sole to port and starboard of the console offer the storage for your catch. I did miss the opportunity to find out if these were insulated as opposed to my 29 box not having insulation.

As for the ride, well, anyone familiar with Southport knows they are a beautifully riding boat, stable, economical and dry running. The Southport 33 FE continues this trend combining a wonderful ride with some very nice numbers on the flow meter for a boat this size. Skip would be our Captain for the ride as Andrew had other clients arrive who were interested in looking at the Southport 29 so he ran that boat for them while Skip piloted the 33 for our ride.

Skip jumped the boat up on plane in a blink, I paid close attention to the bow as we took off and saw very little if any rise as the boat jumped out of the hole. Got her in a sweet cruise into the tight Peconic bay chop running at 3700rpm on the tach, making 31 MPH while burning 21 gph. This without any trimming/tabbing. It was my feeling the boat would plane at even better numbers with some tabs. We got further out and Skip decided it was time for “THE SHOW” and threw the throttles up against the stop. The response was incredible and before you knew it we were at 5700rpm hurtling along at 55mph.

Skip threw the boat in a series of tight turns and she tracked beautifully in the chop with not a sign of the props aerating in the turn. Running beam to the seas also had the boat handling true, not a single drop of spray did we get the entire time despite Skip’s best efforts. 🙂

It was indeed a great pleasure to finally see the long awaited BIG Southport become a reality and to get a ride on her early in what I am sure will be LONG lifetime. A big thanks to Skip Robinson and Andrew Galasso for hosting this event.