The Mission of the Hydra-Sports 2500 CC
A 25' (7.62 m) center console is an ideal size boat for three or four fishing buddies to take offshore and that is the primary purpose of the Hydra-Sports 2500 CC. But there are a lot of boats on the market in this size range so Hydra-Sports decided to make this boat demonstrably capable, seaworthy and angler-friendly.
High freeboard forward.
Like virtually all offshore Hydra-Sport models the 2500 CC has a relatively high freeboard forward.
Together with the higher freeboard comes more bow flare than we often see. This flare helps keep the boat dryer both at speed and when trolling in sloppy conditions.
Kevlar in the keel.
The 2500 CC is one of the few center consoles in class that has Kevlar in her keel. When dashing offshore at 40 knots there is always a chance of hitting a submerged object such as a lost container. In such a case the layer of bulletproof Kevlar in the hull bottom should minimize damage.
Every fishing boat going offshore should have protection from the sun and that's why Hydra-Sports makes its T-top standard. Not only that, but it is fiberglass which is far more durable than canvas and can handle a number of standard and optional features that most anglers will appreciate.
There is 6' (1.82 m) of headroom in the head compartment, something that is a bit unusual in this size boat.
Again, because the boat is intended to go offshore you will need a VHF radio, so Hydra-Sports puts it on as standard. It is installed in the fiberglass overhead thereby saving precious real estate on the instrument panel.
Large bow platform.
Many builders of center consoles have forgotten that a bow casting platform was one of the main selling features of early center consoles. Hydra-Sports designers have remembered and have cleverly designed a large platform that has what we'll call "wings" port and starboard so that this raised surface may also be used for sitting. In fact, optional cushions are available. There are standard padded bolsters all around the gunwales of the boat including here which can serve as a back rest.
She is beefy.
Since the 2500 CC is designed for serious offshore work it stands to reason that Hydra-Sports has built her strong. Weighing in at 5,474 lbs. (2,483 kgs.) this boat is one of the heaviest in class. Several factors contribute to that including the fact that she is also one of the beamiest boats in class at 8'10". Her bottom is reinforced with an integrated fiberglass grid system which is bonded to the hull.
Ceramic print-thru blocker.
If you have ever walked along the side of a boat and seen "pattern print-thru" then you will know why Hydra-Sports wants to avoid it. Such a pattern is caused by the fiberglass woven roving beneath the surface of the hull. No builder wants this to happen, but occasionally it does. To prevent such a cosmetic blemish Hydra-Sports sprays in the mold a ceramic material designed to block print through. It is the only builder we know of that uses this specific process and material.
All composite construction.
There is no wood used in the build of the 2500 CC. In the transom, the place that receives the most stress, Hydra-Sports uses an "injected composite transom core." Because there is no wood in the boat there is no chance of rot or the possibility of soggy, flexing decks.
Hydra-Sports is one of the few companies that uses two different materials for its thru-hull fittings. Below the waterline, the 2500 CC has only bronze. Above the waterline it uses only stainless steel.
The 2500 has a "drop-out" double-bolster helm seat as standard equipment. This is the same kind of basic design that is used in many offshore raceboats. When the water is flat and the skipper and his navigator want to sit, there are seats. When it is rough and the boat is going fast then the most comfortable way to ride is standing up. Both seats have flip-up bolsters to make it more comfortable and secure when standing.
Hydra-Sports is providing a very-well equipped boat in the 2500, and it is full of features that some or many builders have on their option list. Here are a few that caught our eye--
Standard aft seat.
Most center consoles have fold-away aft seats but not all install them as standard.
There is a shower at the transom and also a sink. Pressure water is supplied to both. The boat also comes standard with a raw water wash down system.
Frigid Rigid cooler.
Forward of the console is a padded seat bottom and back with a Frigid Rigid cooler under. If this is not enough cooler space, then turn one of the fish boxes into a cooler.
Head compartment details.
The inside of the head compartment has a fiberglass liner which is an improvement over some boats in class that have canvas over electrical components. The toilet is portable and there are options for upgrade. There is also an opening portlight for ventilation.
Console helm equipment.
The windshield is tempered glass and not plexy, there is a standard compass and cover for the whole console unit. The boat comes with full instrumentation. There is room on the panel for one large multi-use screen or two smaller ones.
Even though the boat is only 25' long there are a surprising number of systems on her. There are two bilge pumps, one 800 gpm forward, and another one that is rated at 1500 gpm aft. The 32 gallon baitwell in the transom has an 1100 gpm pump.
There is a dual battery system with switch which we like for parallel starting in a pinch. There are a total of four battery trays in the boat so you can set up your engine start and house system in several ways.
Fuel and oil.
The 176 gal. (667 L) fuel tank is aluminum and all connection hoses are steel-reinforced and double clamped. There is a standard fuel/water separator for each engine. For boats equipped with 2-stroke engines there is a standard separate oil tank(s) with remote fill.
Tabs are standard with the 2500 and the stern and bottom have been designed specifically for units installed. They are stainless steel and have indicators at the helm.
This is where gremlins are most likely to appear. The electrical connections are rated as "submersible" according to the folks at Hydra-Sports. The boat also has a Dynaplate grounding system. We are told that the vessel's circuit breakers and connections are also "watertight." These precautions against moisture intrusion into the electrical system as well as the grounding system are a good example of things done right for the saltwater environment.
Hydra-Sports offers 12 different engine options from three brands. Evinrude heads the list with a total of five engine configurations. A single 300-hp DPZ E-TEC is available as are twin Evinrudes ranging from 150-hp to 250-hp. Four Yamaha rigs are available: a single F300 or F350, or twin 150s or 250s. Three set-ups using Mercury engines are available, including the 300-hp XXL as well as twin 150s or 250s.
If you would like to make this boat even fishier, then several options are available. The standard helm seat can be replaced with a leaning post and a 40 gallon Kodiak baitwell and prep area. The T-top has the pads already molded in to take the optional TACO Grand Slam outriggers. Three rod holders can be mounted on the transom in a bracket. Visit the Hydra-Sports website to see the other optional and standard equipment available.
Performance and Handling
We have not tested the boat so can make no comment on these two critical details. However, the techs at Yamaha have tested the boat with twin Yamaha F150 TXR engines so we will pass along what they publish. They report that the boat's top speed with a full load of fuel and a test weight of 7,873 lbs. (3,578.6 kgs.) is 45.3 mph. Best cruise was reported to be at 4000 rpm where the boat went 26.1 mph, burning 12.7 gph and getting 2.06 mpg.
Obviously this boat has been designed and built with great care. We consider her in the top tier of center console boats produced in this size range. She is priced accordingly, but not as high as some.As we have pointed out in other reviews of new Hydra-Sports boats, the company is now owned by the same folks who build MasterCraft skiboats. While that might not seem like a logical lash-up, it is in fact a good one for consumers. MasterCraft has long had very high standards of quality and fit-and-finish. So, too, was Hydra-Sports known for its high standards, and now that its boats are being built in the same plant as the MasterCrafts we think a good thing can only get better.
As to which horsepower engines we would recommend that is an individual consideration so we cannot hazard a suggestion. The single 300-hp options are the lightest and least expensive way to go and we would probably go in that direction. On the other hand, many anglers will want to have the security inherent in a redundant engine system, in which case one of the twin 150-hp packages might be the way to go if you can be happy travelling under 50 mph. For those wanting more speed or intending to carry a lot more weight than the 7,800 lbs. mentioned above, then going up a notch might be the best course. No matter which way you choose to go with the engines, the 2500 CC should provide as good a ride and as reliable a boat as you can find in class.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
10/1 limited warranty