Captain's ReportBy Captain Bob SmithTest CaptainI have admired Carolina Skiff boats for years. This year I got my chance to really look under the covers to discover some of the reasons why they are considered one of the best for value, quality, and fishability on the water. These boats are built for the beatings of rough offshore conditions, and will deliver years of use. Carolina Skiff backs their hulls with a five-year limited warranty, but obviously, you can expect much longer lives with these work horses.Fishing FeaturesThe 245 LX is a good mid-size fishing boat with lots of fishing room aboard. Up front, under the fishing platform is a rope locker large enough for a good size anchor and tackle system. The port box is a rod locker while the starboard is a long fish box. In the middle is a deep box that can be used as a storage box for large items or converted to another fish box when the catch is plentiful.The standard bay console has a flip-flop cooler seat. A total of three rods can be stored on either side of the helm and the windshield is a quick disconnect. A super option is the canvas top LX T-top that not only gives you great hand holds underway, but adds some cover from the hot sun. Our test boat also had the zip in storage in the top, as well as front and rear docking lights for the T-top. A leaning post with rod holders and flip-down footrest was also an option on our test ride. In the stern are two baitwells located on each side. Battery access is in the center under the casting deck. The grab rails run from amidships toward the stern, and are low profile so they won’t interfere with working the fish.Behind the WheelThe helm features standard Faria gauges and no feedback steering on this model. Hydraulic steering with tilt wheel and trim tabs are good options that will take a lot of effort out of a long day of fishing. There are plenty more options to add to this rig and customize her for your own needs and fishing styles.Handling and PerformanceWe tested the Sea Chaser 245 on a warm, sunny afternoon on the Intracoastal waterways in Florida. Our test boat was outfitted with a single 200-hp Honda Four-Stroke outboard and had two people on board carrying ½ a tank of fuel. We found her best cruise to be around 3500 rpm which equaled 32 mph. At this speed she burns 7.6 gph and has a range of 322 miles on a full tank of fuel. She topped out at 6000 rpm traveling 46.1 mph and burning 19.8 gph for a range of 178 miles, turning a 15 x 19 3-blade Solas stainless steel propeller. Sound levels were good for a center console bay boat with a reading of 67 dBa at idle and 84 dBa at cruise. The 245 was quick out of the hole in just 3.4 seconds and cruising to 30 mph in only 6.9 seconds.After spending a couple hours on this boat, I can easily see how my friends have been pleased with the value, amenities, and durability of the Carolina Skiff line of boats. If you are in the market for a bay boat that fits the budget, fits into the garage, and is ready for an active family, then I suggest you take a closer look the 245 LX by Carolina Skiff.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Carolina Skiff 245 LX Bay Runner (Not in Production) is 46.1 mph (74.2 kph), burning 19.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 74.94 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Carolina Skiff 245 LX Bay Runner (Not in Production) is 32.0 mph (51.5 kph), and the boat gets 4.2 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.79 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 322 miles (518.21 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 200-hp Honda 4-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features