A proven hull design for offshore, this Bluewater is a serious tournament fishing machine.
The use of an outboard bracket gives this 25-foot boat the useable cockpit space of a 28-footer. The setback of the engines also enhances the hull’s running characteristics and performance. A large 35-gallon plumbed livewell, insulated fish boxes, and below-deck rod storage are all features that a serious fisherman would be looking for.
A 24-degree deadrise at the transom is just about as deep as a hull can go and the sharp entry forward splits the waves, which helps give the boat a smooth ride.
The max horsepower rating for this boat is 400. Our test boat was powered with a pair of Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp 25" shaft outboards, which have a gear ratio of 2.15:1 and were propped with a pair of Evinrude RX4 15” x 18” 3-blade stainless steel propellers. This setup provided an average top speed of 52 mph.
The outboard bracket sets the engines further from the transom, which allows for a higher mounting height. This lessens the drag of the lower units.Another benefit of the outboard bracket is that the motors don’t encroach into the aft cockpit. This gives the boat the deck space of a much larger craft.The outboard bracket doubles as a swim platform and has a built-in receiver for a removable step ladder. We’d like to see an emergency ladder here that is within easy reach, as reaching the one lashed to the transom is problematic.
• Outboard bracket
• Multi-plex stringer system that’s bonded to the hull while in the mold
• Walk through transom door
• Fold-up transom seating
• Below-deck rod storage
• 480-quart fully-lined fish box
• Lockable electronics box
To be a serious contender in fishing tournaments, a boat must have the right features. Livewells, fish boxes, and rod storage aren’t optional; they’re a necessity to make it to the winner’s circle.The transom livewell has a 35-gallon capacity with LED lighting. To port is a bait prep sink.Built into the bow deck is an insulated 480-quart fully-lined fish box. Four elevated rod holders secure your combos when not in use.Flanking both sides of the large insulated bow fish box are a pair of smaller insulated boxes.Two additional insulated fish boxes are in the stern cockpit sole.Under the port and starboard gunnels are horizontal rod holders that can hold up to three combos per side.
The layout of the center console is all business. It’s large enough to include more than just the steering and controls, but not so big that it overpowers the boat or takes up too much deck space. We like the angle of the throttle and shift controls, which are ergonomic and better than some we’ve seen, and the compass is properly mounted on the centerline of the steering wheel. We’d like to see high fiddles on the top of the console so we could store stuff there, such as a cell phone or handheld VHF radio.A large flat dash can hold two electronic displays. The storage compartment keeps personal gear like cell phones close at hand and protected from spray and rain.With the steering mounted to port, it leaves plenty of room for an additional passenger to seek shelter behind the windshield. The compass centered on the helm makes navigation easier.The large curved windshield is made from tempered glass and doesn’t distort the view at the corners.The center console has a bi-fold door to allow access into the head/storage compartment.The interior of the console is large enough for an optional marine head. Note that there is a smooth fiberglass liner inside the compartment, something we don’t often see on “affordable” boats. The exposed wiring is also rarely seen on expensive center consoles.
The T-top is an integral part of the boat’s features. It provides shade, stores rods, has mounting points for accessories, and supports the retractable outriggers. Because it is aluminum and canvas, it is low-cost and allows the boat to have a lower CG, which is a good thing when going offshore in snotty weather.On top of the T-top is an observation point, commonly called a crow’s nest or half tower. The added height greatly increases the distance one can see to the horizon and how deep one can see into the water. It folds for trailering.Step bars are welded across the front legs of the T-top to use as steps to get up to the crow’s nest. We’d like to see the builder move the supports out of the operator’s field of vision.
Seating for the captain and crew are in three areas of the boat: the front seat on the center console, behind the helm, and against the stern in the cockpit.
The front of the center console has a molded seat with padded seat and backrest cushions.The console seat cushion flips forward to access an insulated drink cooler. The lid is held open by a stainless-steel gas shock. Note that the inside of the compartment is back-gelled.Sometimes simple is better. The helm leaner seat, behind the console, is comfortable to sit on or lean against and takes up minimal room in the cockpit.Seating in the cockpit is a padded bench that runs three-quarters across the transom. Note that the transom gate opens out -- something we like to see on boats going far offshore in case emergency dewatering is needed.When not in use, the stern bench seat folds out of the way for more cockpit space; the backrest is also removable. Note that the outboard well is not cluttered with a hydraulic steering arm, thanks to Evinrude’s internal hydraulic steering.
Walk Around Room
The main attraction of a center console boat is the ability to walk 360 degrees around the boat without any obstructions. Note the step up to get to the bow casting deck.The T-top leg is tucked as tight as possible against the console to maximize the amount of walkway possible.To assist in moving about the deck, a low-profile handrail is through-bolted to the top of the gunnel.Going forward on the deck steps up at the forward edge of the console. The added height makes it easier for docking and fighting a fish.
The optional anchor windlass is mounted flush with the top deck in an area molded into the cap. The stainless-steel holder with roller keeps the anchor securely in place.A fiberglass hatch opens just behind the windlass to maintain anchor rode and chain.
The transom gate makes getting back into the boat from diving and swimming easy, and also can be used for landing that fish of a lifetime. Note the two pins on the reboarding ladder, which fit into the hardware of the starboard side of the swim platform.
Our test boat was equipped with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboard engines and had an estimated test weight of 6,124 lbs. (2,778 kg). We hit a top speed of 52 mph (45.2 knots) at 5500 RPM. Best cruise was 33 mph (28.7 knots) with a fuel burn of 2.3 mpg. The boat hit 20 mph (17.4 knots) in 4.1 seconds and reached 30 mph (26.1 knots) in 5.9 seconds.
Ride and Handling
The twin 200 horsepower outboards had no problem jumping this boat on plane. The ride was solid with no rattles as we crossed the heavy chop. Powering through a series of turns, the handling was smooth and the feel of the boat was secure.
$107,995 with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 200-hp outboards.
• Underwater lights
• Built-In 2 bank battery charger
• 40-inch tackle center
• Custom T-top
• Fiberglass hardtop
• Marine Head with holding tank
• Freshwater system with 25-gallon tank
• Dive tank rack
• Forward deck cushions
• Anchor Windlass
• Stern Seating
• Lenco trim tabs
For the angler who wants the ability to fish offshore without the over-commitment of a larger center console, this Bluewater 2550 gives the consumer a relatively affordable center console with the bare basics of boats significantly more expensive. But remember, this is a boat designed to do a specific job at a relatively low-to-moderate price point. Don’t expect frills.
There are pros and cons to external, bolt-on transom brackets. As we have pointed out, the bracket on this vessel allows much needed room in the aft cockpit, something some 25-footers could use more of. But, the bolts that fasten the bracket to the transom can also work and dribble water after years of rugged use. For example, drift fishing in truly sloppy conditions can stress any outboard platform; all one need do is be aware of this fact and be mindful of the automatic bilge pump running.
The Bluewater 2550 has the feel and deck space of a much larger hull, but the shorter overall length will make her easier to trailer and store and perhaps be more economical to operate.
Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Bluewater 2550 (2017-) is 52.0 mph (83.7 kph), burning 39.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 151.02 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Bluewater 2550 (2017-) is 33.0 mph (53.1 kph), and the boat gets 2.3 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.98 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 376 miles (605.11 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 200-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.
Standard and Optional Features
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!