Review: Scout 245 Abaco

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford


Scout Abaco 245 on the water Scout Abaco 245 on the water
Scout 245 Abaco 02 Scout 245 Abaco 02
Scout 245 Abaco 06 Scout 245 Abaco 06
Scout 245 Abaco 08 Scout 245 Abaco 08
Scout 245 Abaco 10 Scout 245 Abaco 10

Scouts Boats recently mounted a big push into the Australian market. It is attracting a lot of attention with versatile fishing boats like the Scout Abaco 245.

The Scout 245 Abaco is a high-end, American-built and styled fishing boat with a few home comforts to make the days out on the water that little bit more pleasant.

Sout Boats is an independent manufacturer of American boats, in production from its South Carolina home since 1990. Until recently there hadn’t been a serious attempt to expose the brand to local buyers, but that all changed recently when a dealer network was established across the Australian East Coast.

One of the stars of the 20414 Sydney boat show was a Sout 245 Abaco with an impressive display of electronics – and luckily I was able to get on board for a ride. As the boat showed off its attractive lines in the early morning light at the marina, Bede, from the Sydney Power Boat Centre, pointed out some of its features.

 


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SCOUT 245 ABACO

Scout 245 Abaco

Bede explained that Scout makes a range of boats from 4.5m centre consoles through to 10m express cruisers, all with full composite construction and innovative design features. The Abaco models are its cabin sportsfisher range but as I found, there are plenty of soft touches that remove it from the hardcore fishing fleet.

Construction is handlaid fibreglass with box stringers and a composite transom that is tied into the hull in such a way that the engine’s weight and stresses are shared through the rest of the boat.

In the build phase the deck and hull are bonded together and pumped full of liquid foam while the hull is still in the mould. As the foam is allowed to set overnight it completes the bonding process of hull to deck to form a strong monocoque entity. With the hull full of foam, Scout rates the boat as unsinkable and this, along with the added benefit of a self-draining deck, will endear it to offshore fishos.

An additional benefit of its production process, according to Scout, is that the foam dries uniformly without putting pressure on the hull that can cause it to ripple.

 

LAYOUT

Scout 245 Abaco layout

This attention to detail carries through the appearance of the whole boat and highlights the sporty design. It’s a sleek looking thing, with a small step up at the cockpit as the flat sheer line carries forward to the wide flare of the bow. At rest its length is accentuated, as the black sides merge with the black Mercury Verado on the transom.

While I have no qualms about the quality of workmanship of the hardtop, from some angles its barwork is somewhat discordant with the raked profile of the windscreen and deck. That aside, it did a great job of keeping the spring sunshine at bay in the crystal clear air.

Everything in the cockpit is neat and well-finished; although the layout is different to what we have been attuned to locally – especially obvious in the transom which is missing livebait tanks and a tackle preparation table.

Instead, down the back is a full-width lounge that splits so the centre section – Scout’s Wave Gate – folds forward. This creates a narrow casting deck or a walkthrough to the swimplatforms/boarding steps either side of the engine, but still leaving dicky seats in the corners.

Folding the seat forward also allows the outboard motor to be lifted high for travel or when on a mooring and gives access to the fuel filter and rear 4100lt/h bilge pump. The port swimplatform has a dive ladder and there are sturdy hooks if you want to tow the family around on water toys.

The master switch for the batteries is found under the starboard corner seat and has an acrylic cover to keep it watertight while allowing a ready view of its position.

Padded coamings follow along sidedecks that have rod storage below and rodholder tubes farther forward. Pop-up cleats at both ends of the boat and in the centre keep the decks snag-free for fishing.

The hardtop on the Scout Abaco 245 not only offers good weather protection, it has a total of 11 rod slots as well as provision for another four rods to be stored horizontally under the roof, along with positions for roof-mounted game poles and the radar. Clears run around the front and sides but they quickly came off when the day turned out so perfectly.

 

CABIN

Scout 245 Abaco turning

Access to the cabin is forward of the passenger seat through a folding door and an overhead panel that slides back into the cabin roof. The cabin isn’t restricted to the sort of luxury you would expect on a fishing boat, so it’s not a place for grotty shark fishermen to crash between bites. It looks more ideal for a weekend away with your partner, to spend some quality time together.

A roof hatch and two sideports with screens keep the space airy and light and LED lighting will keep things bright in the evening. I found the V-berth has enough height to be used for seating for a few people and with the supplied infill it can be made up as a comfortable double bed.

Extra seats along the cabin sides take total seating to five and for longer stays or for lunch during the day a small cold-water sink and a portable stove offer some basic food preparation facilities.

Adding to the boat’s family appeal is a Jabsco flush toilet under the port day seat of the cabin, and as it’s connected to a 57lt holding tank.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Scout 245 Abaco on the water

The morning of our boat review was a good opportunity to experience the Scout 245 Abaco in a decent sea. It was reasonably choppy in the harbour and out past the heads was a close 2m swell with one-metre sea on top. The Scout Abaco 245 happily ran out and back through the heads at 24kts and the ride was soft and relatively dry given the conditions.

The driving position is very comfortable and there is adequate seat adjustment for anyone to fit in behind the wheel. Footrests moulded into the bulkhead allowed me to set myself in firmly and the seats are a good compromise between comfort and support.

At rest the boat is very stable and easy to move around in, even in choppy conditions. In proportion to the length of the boat, the cockpit is relatively small but with an overall length of 7.5m there is still plenty of room to fish.

In calmer waters I let the Verado outboard motor show its stuff. It got us out of the hole pretty well and onto the plane at 15kts. It reached its 24kts cruise speed at 4000rpm and quickly accelerated through to 39kts at 5500rpm. Wide open throttle saw 5900rpm and 43kts, where it started to feel a little flighty, even with 180lt of fuel in the tank.

In fast turns it hangs on and tracks smoothly without much body roll, but slow speed manoeuvres had the boat well over on its side, so passengers will need to be forewarned to hang on.

 

THE VERDICT

Scout 245 Abaco deck

Pricing on the Scout Abaco 245 is from $120,000 which seems reasonable considering the size and level of refinement. The review boat came in at $149,000 with options including the hardtop and an extensive suite of quality electronics, so the cost for most will be somewhere in the middle.

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #458, October / November 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

SCOUT 245 ABACO SEA TRIALS

Single 250hp Mercury Verado supercharged outboard motor with 19in propeller

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN(LT/H)

1000

4

4.3

1500

6

6.2

2000

7

11.3

2500

9

18.3

3000

12

27

3200 (on the plane)

15

29.1

3500

18

31

4000

24

40

4500

29

59

5000

33

86

5500

39

98

5900 (WOT)

43

100

* Sea-trial data supplied by the author.

 

SCOUT ABACO 245 SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Scout Abaco 245 price: $149,500

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Hardtop, electric winch, black hull, bow pulpit, electronics package and more

 

PRICED FROM

$120,000 w/ trailer

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Full composite construction

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 7.44m

BEAM 2.59m

WEIGHT 1270kg

DEADRISE 20°

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 12

REC. HP 250

REC. MAX HP 300

FUEL 477lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury Verado 250 outboard motor

TYPE Supercharged inline six-cylinder four-stroke outboard motor

RATED HP 250   

DISPLACEMENT 2598cc

WEIGHT 288kg

GEAR RATIO 1.85:1

PROPELLER 19in

 

SUPPLIED BY

Sydney Power Boat Centre

d’Albora Marinas, The Spit, Mosman,
NSW, 2088

PHONE (02) 8197 1118

EMAIL sales@sydneypowerboat.com.au

WEB sydneypowerboat.com.au

 


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