Scout's newest boat, the 345 XSF center console, is also the company's largest boat and she is a beauty. With a 10'9" (3.30 m) beam and a displacement of about 10,300 lbs. (4,681 kgs.) with twin Yamaha 350s strapped to her integrated bracket/swim platform, she has the heft to handle just the kind of seas pictured above. As striking as the 345's curves are on the outside, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Dual swim platforms with center walk thru
Hydraulic steering with power assist
Armstrong dive swim ladder
60 gallon transom fish box / storage
10” pull up stern / bow cleats
Spring line 8” cleats - 2
SS flush mount gunnel rod holders - 6
Horizontal under gunnel rod storage - 4
Aft under deck systems station with storage
30 amp shore power with 50’ cord
50 amp battery charger
Port aft side transom storage
Port & stbd aft floor fish boxes
Raw/fresh water washdown with 30 gallon tank
Aft facing stern seat with underside bait well and
tackle drawers, cup holders & armrests
The new Scout 345 XSF incorporates lots of Carolina flare in the bow and a beautifully rounded stern with plenty of tumble home and a reverse transom.
Good Boats Start At The Top
Founded in 1988, Scout Boats has emerged during the last decade as a preeminent builder of offshore center console boats. As is so often the case in boat building, Scout's founder and CEO, Steve Potts, is the company's visionary who is also involved in virtually every detail of the boat from the time it is a gleam in his eye to the moment a finished product rolls out the door. Potts is on the shop floor, in the design office and all around the 230,000 sq. ft. plant with all of the energy and enthusiasm one might expect from a successful entrepreneur.
Regular readers know that we highly prize boat companies that have the CEO deeply engaged with all facets of a boat's gestation and Potts certainly does that. We think that is why his company has been able to so successfully challenge the older and more famous names in the offshore center console business during the last five years or so. Just take one look at his boats and you'll see what we're talking about.
We first saw the 345 XSF at the recent Miami Boat Show and were immediately wowed by Scout's treatment of the stern. The molded in outboard bracket and swim platform extends below to form the after part of the boat's hull and running surface.
The 345 XSF Mission
This is a big center console whose mission is to go offshore and hunt for both billfish and meat fish, but do it in relative comfort and with a heavy dose of panache. After all, the glossy red hull and the teak swim platform you see above will do little to raise fish, but will do a lot to raise the temperature of any red-blooded fishermen who sees her.
Look at the thickness of the transom, the beef of the stainless steel hinges, and the fit-and-finish of the optional teak and standard 360-degree vinyl bolsters. Note that the transom door opens out and has a thick safety gate that swings down on top. This is the way boats should be built, in our book.
We'll start at the stern which is where twin Yamaha 350s are mounted and like most other things on this boat the way Scout has done it is different. First, what you can't see: the molded in transom bracket is attached to what the company calls its "Strata-Mount." This is a clever system that takes the longitudinal stringers right through the transom to the outboard engine bracket. In that way the 1,116 lbs. (507 kgs.) of iron hanging there isn't putting all of its weight on the transom. In fact, with this design, the boat doesn't even need a transom, as the load and stress is spread all along the bottom of the hull to the bow.
The second thing we liked about the 345's stern is the optional teak swim platform. Scout has carefully laid teak on top of a platform that wraps around the two huge engines, inviting people to use this space for swimming, scuba diving, or just sitting with one's legs dangling in the water. You may not want the teak decks as this boat has, but consider teak here.
Gull's eye view of the newest boat in the Scout line, the 345 XSF.
We are also a big believer in transom doors on offshore boats that open out, not in. It is here that we take issue with our trusty test captain (Capt. Steve) who likes it the other way around - that is, opening in. Here's why we like the way Scout has designed its transom door: The biggest danger to a small open boat, even one as big as a 35-footer, in offshore conditions is the chance of taking a rogue wave over the gunwale and having the boat swamp. The free surface effect of water in a boat such as a center console will cause it to capsize with very little effort exerted. Once a boat has been capsized it can't be righted.
There is no beating a teak deck to make a boat look like a million dollars. Note the four deep tackle drawers under the seat.
The solution to a swamped boat is getting the water out of the cockpit as quickly as possible -- we're talking seconds here, not minutes -- and the only way to do that is with a transom door that opens out, and opens out quickly -- obviously the larger the better. The scuppers in all boats are just not designed to dewater a boat quickly enough in a swamping situation. And a transom door designed to open out is less likely to be popped open by a large following sea, or when backing down hard on a fish - both circumstances when you want the door to stay closed.
Capt. Steve likes the transom doors opening inward so that if someone falls against it they won't tumble out. That is precisely why Scout has a big, beefy transom gate that brings the cockpit coaming across the top of the door.
The Tour Begins Here
Having established that the new 345 is a looker and has been built by people who know what they are doing, let’s take a closer look at this innovative design.
The 60 gallon transom fish box can be used for more than just keeping your catch iced down. Optional is an aerated bait well or a freezer.
There are two large fish boxes in the cockpit deck, port and starboard. Cockpit depth in the stern of the boat is 26.5" (67 cm).
Access to the "pump room" is through a hatch in the cockpit and as you can see equipment is easily accessible.
Below the aft facing seat are tackle drawers, port and starboard. A transom fold-away seat facing this one is also available as an option. Most fishermen we know would probably forget the teak deck option, but it certainly looks classy.
There are many cool aspects to the new 345 XSF and the helm console with its wraparound glass windshield and integrated T-top supports heads the list. The optional sun shade is concealed in the hard top and powers out. Note the two "sun roof" panels just over the helm seats. There are -- count 'em -- 11 rocket launchers.
We're not quite sure we know what is going on here, but it looks like everyone is having fun. Both the T-top and the cockpit are rigged with soft blue lights which protect night vision and just plain look cool. How about a little midnight cruise?
This helm is all business. A/C and a 4 kW generator are options and you can pipe that cool air right into the helm station. We'd move the center-mounted compass in front of the helm. Note optional bow thruster stick to the right of the wheel.
Look overhead and you will see one of the coolest T-tops on the planet. The complete unit comes standard. All aluminum surfaces are powder-coated and coated with polyurethane paint.
These great-looking Airmar custom helm chairs are standard equipment, complete with bolsters and arm rests. Note the console between the seats with drink holders and a compartment for stuff. We like the fact that the throttles are mounted nearly horizontal, something you rarely see.
Foot rests with more blue lights at the helm. Four JL Audio 7.7 speakers and a JL Audio 450 watt amplifier come standard. Man can not live by fish alone.
Moving forward we find Scout's answer to the coffin box. The double sundeck lounge seating, cushions and armrests all come standard. Below the cushion is storage.
The coil of 30 amp shore power cable comes standard as does the Armstrong dual swim/dive ladder that you see stowed here. Because the swim platform is so close to the water it meets ABYC standard H41.9.1 in lieu of a boarding ladder. The cockpit depth to the right in the photo is 39" (99 cm).
The 345 XSF has what is called "forward seating." We count no fewer than six storage compartments. Note the wide side decks in the bow that accommodate the Carolina flare.
Look at that flare! This hull will throw water to the side and help keep the cockpit dry offshore as well as any boat in her class when you slam into the green ones.
The Lewmar electric windlass is optional, but the anchor, chain and rode all come standard. Note the powder-coated grab rail at the bottom of the picture which rings the seating area in the bow.
This young lady adds perspective to the interior seating. Note that the platform to make the bed platform is raised and the table is down. How cool is that?
The table drops down forming this double berth which is 71" (1.82 m) long and about 46" (1.17 m) wide. The cabin has an electric head, microwave oven, stainless steel sink, Corian counter with ice chest below and four rod holders.
In the head compartment there is an electric toilet with overboard discharge when beyond the three-mile limit and a 10 gallon (38 L) holding tank when you’re not. Also there is a telephone shower head and sump.
Look closely and you can see the stepped hull which is worth another 1 to 1.5 knots at WOT. The 345 has a 22-degree deadrise at the transom and draws 27" (68.6 cm) with the outboard engines up.
We have not been lucky enough to test this beautiful boat, but the folks at Yamaha have. They tell us that with a pair of their 300-hp engines and a total vessel weight of 12,627 lbs. (5,739.5 kgs.) on a cool day in flat seas the boat hit a WOT of 55.5 mph. They say that at the most fuel efficient running speed (39.9 mph and 4500 rpm) the boat got 1.38 mpg, burning 28.9 gph. That will give the boat a cruising range of 410 statute miles with a 10% fuel reserve.
Every boat should have a place for gaffs, boat hooks and brushes. This useful compartment is on the starboard side of the console
Yamaha has also tested the boat with a pair of their 350s. These 804 lb. (365.5 kg.) engines and a few more people aboard brought the boat's weight up to 13,227 lbs. (6,012.2 kg.). With the 350s, the Yamaha techs say the boat goes 63.8 mph WOT. Best cruise was rated at 3500 rpm where she went 28.9 mph, getting 23.7 gph for 1.22 mpg.
But wait! You mean best cruise was slower with the 350s? In terms of finding the most economical cruising speed, yes. If you would like to crank up the 350s to 4500 rpm where the smaller engine was most efficient, the 350s will push the 345 XSF at 42.4 mph burning 36.1 gph, getting 1.18 mpg.
Conversely, according to Yamaha’s numbers, if you drop the 300s down to 4000 rpms the speed of the Scout 345 will drop to 31.9 mph, burn 18.8 gph and get 1.06 mpg. This is probably the speed where we would drive the boat most of the time offshore, and ironically at this speed the boat gets better fuel economy with the bigger engines loping along at 3500 rpm.
All Scout boats come with a three-year stem-to-stern warranty program, which they self insure. We like that for a number of reasons. There is also a 10-year limited warranty on their hulls. At the Miami Boat Show with a fire engine red hull, teak decks and loaded with options the Scout 345 XSF had a MSRP of $312,995. Her show special price was significantly lower, but it’s too late to get that price now. Since you are talking serious money here you have to check out what is available, but if you don't at least see the 345 for yourself, you'll be making a mistake.
Scout Boats 345 XSF (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Fresh Water
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
= Standard = Optional
Scout Boats 345 XSF (2011-) Warranty
Scout Boats 345 XSF (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Scout Boats 345 XSF (2011-) Price
Scout Boats 345 XSF (2011-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Members must log in to view the test results section.