TEST: SCOUT 242 SPORTFISH

By: Rick Huckstepp


Rick Huckstepp took the Scout 242 for a squirt off Freemantle where it earned its merit badge for being a true offshore sportsfisher

When you talk with importers of American boats, some of the figures they quote in relation to their mass production in the States are a little daunting and seemingly pail into insignificance compared to the bustling Coomera Queensland marine precinct. Some of these guys are quoting 150 builders and 1400 boats per year out of the one factory – more easily done in the alloy boat market but, in realm of fibreglass that is no mean feat!
One such boat, the Scout 242, has found its way to our shores. There are only a few of these boats in this country at the moment but others are on the way via Fremantle, WA and they look set to catch the eye of bluewater anglers looking for an all rounder.
Scout makes all manner of boats, from walkaround sportsfishers to centre consoles, bay boats, fish, and ski models.
The 242 features a hull with a beam of 2.6m and, due to its low profile and raked down gunwales towards the stern, it takes on the appearance of a long and narrow vessel.
These boats are big on under-deck stowage. Preparing the moulds for the topside must have been a huge task in itself; it has that many nooks and crannies.
The transom of this boat is capable of lugging a 225hp four-stroke and the test boat featured Yamaha’s F225 four-stroke outboard.
The full beam rear lounge was in three parts. The central section could be collapsed and its back section folded down, opening up the transom bulkhead and facilitating a walk-through arrangement. This utilises the small swim-outs installed on the transom in each aft corner of the hull – a necessary manoeuvre to allow the engine to come up to full tilt. The assembly, along with the corner cushions, could be removed to free up the area for stand-up fishing, or it could be just folded down.
The engine well was rebated below the level of the swim-outs and Sea Star hydraulic steering was fitted to the big engine.
Many fishermen angling from the gunwales look for a place to put their feet underneath, so that their body is upright when they lean against the coamings. You won’t find this on the Scout, except for where the rebates are situated in the inner liner for gaffs and the like. Even then, an upturned lip on the deck edge puts one slightly off kilter when fighting a fish. The coamings are very high so this makes up, to some extent, for the lack of that attribute.

WORKAHOLIC
The last part of the coaming is flared in the port corner, with the hatch in the top supported by a stainless steel gas strut. This was a massive area in which stowage of wet gear, live fish, dead fish and, even at a squeeze, scuba tanks (we had none with which to measure) could fit.
A very functional work station, including a cutting board, is installed in the opposite corner. It features a plumbed sink with fresh and saltwater wash that is operated by an L-cock in the face of the unit.
The two doors on the face of the work station open to reveal four clear lure trays and three drawers in which rigging tape, plastic add-ons and rigging tools may be secured.
A huge livebait tank with a clear lid is installed alongside the work station, hidden in the coaming by a hinged, solid fibreglass lid.
Where the coaming cuts back to its typical width, the cockpit liner is rebated and rods and reels, gaffs and boat hooks can be neatly stowed here. The rebate in the coaming also allows for extra room for when you’re moving around the centre console.
In front of the console is another feat in moulding expertise. The first step up onto a padded flat lounge opens to reveal the water filling port and a self-draining cavity for fenders and ropes. The large cushion on the flat lounge can be removed, revealing a hatch that opens to a huge, dry stowage area for gear bags and life jackets. This and all the other hatched areas have good, oversized self-draining gutters to drain water quickly.
The hatch on the top of the bow opens to a purpose-built rack that suspends a Danforth anchor. This is the spare anchor and can be lifted out of its rack along with chain and rope for use as an extra or a back anchor when moored off the beach. Should the rope or chain become tangled, there’s a vertical hatch in the bulkhead to give you access to fix the problem. An electric Windlass winch weighing a plough anchor is the main ground tackle on the bowsprit. This fore section is surrounded by a handrail that is rebated in the inside edge of the coaming, making for safer movement in these quarters during big seas.

AT THE HELM
The dash board at the centre console has been laid out wisely. The helm is to the port side of the console and Furuno electronics have been flush-fitted along with other instrumentation. A map compartment is hidden beneath a tinted perspex lid and items such as the start key and battery isolation switch are rebated in the face of the console, out of the way of limbs that might knock them in heavy seas.
The hard top’s supports are very strong and rigid, with swivel-out outrigger bases and rear deck lights fitted here.
The frame under the hard top is also well made and holds another dry stowage box. Radios could be installed here to get them off the console. Five tapered rod butt tubes hold some of the gear at the back of the hard top.
Just in case you run out of storage space, the bum seat features more. It has a removable back rest that occupies two rodholders. Another two rodholders are available on the back of the base along with two drinkholders. The bum seat folds forward to reveal a fibreglass stowage box and an icebox can be strapped underneath, amongst the seat’s supports.
Entering the console from the port side, the head is in a deep recess, and the inside of the compartment is lined with soft carpet. The battery is stored in the forward wall of the head, out of sight but reasonably easily accessed.

CHOPPING THROUGH CHOP
Nudging out into the chop in front of Fremantle Boat Harbour, the big Yamaha had plenty of perk and lifted this boat easily out of the hole. The longitudinal centre of gravity was well back and under the console so travel over big chop should not be a problem. We could only find chop of up to a metre on the day of the test and the Scout proved very agile at the helm. It heels well inwards for high speed turns.
Wound out to full throttle at 5800rpm, we were cracking along at 35kts, so those offshore grounds on a calm day are really not that far away at all!
Backing off to 8kts, the tacho registered 2300rpm and over short chop to under a metre the ride was super smooth.
With so much walkaround fish-fighting space, backing down on a fish is not a priority but the Scout will do so without too much trouble. Nor will it take much water onboard.
This boat is on the large side of the trailerboat spectrum and towing it may require a permit in some states.
As long as you can get to the water, this rig will do you nicely for some extended offshore expeditions. Stability is not a problem and the comfort and workability of the deck and its various functions will be welcomed by many.

WHAT WE LIKED
Smooth and stable ride in chop
Plenty of power
Excellent dry stowage facilities

NOT SO MUCH
No foolproof method (as tested) of over riding the full tilt of the engine to prevent it from colliding with the drop down transom door

 

Specifications: Boat tested: Scout 242 Sportfish

GENERAL
Material: fibreglass
Type: Deep-vee centre console
Length overall: 7.43m
Beam: 2.61m
Weight (dry without engines): Approx 1272kg

CAPACITIES
Fuel: Approx 567lt
Freshwater:
People:
Rec/max HP: 300 (outboard)

ENGINE
Make/model: Yamaha F225AET
Type: V6 four-stroke
Rated HP: 225
Displacement: 3352cc
Weight: 269kg
Gearbox ratio: 15:30 (2.0)
 
Originally published in TrailerBoat #210

 


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