A Classic Small Fishboat
Old-timers like many of us here at BoatTEST.com are partial to boats with classic lines and styling – boats like the 201 Bay Scout. Not only does she have a low-slung profile, flared bow and the hint of a tumblehome transom, but she also comes in several traditional colors: Heritage green reminds us of boats we fished aboard twenty or more years ago, but maybe you'll prefer flag blue or aqua mist, both excellent choices for the Florida Keys or other warm-water fishing grounds. Black is also an option, and, naturally, white is standard. The Bay Scout is 100% hand-laid fiberglass, with closed-cell foam flotation and a self-bailing cockpit.
No matter what color you choose, you'll get a boat ready for serious angling, with a large casting platform forward, with stowage beneath that can be used as a fishbox; a cushion is optional. A molded-in seat across the transom can serve as a secondary platform, or an observer's perch for spotting bonefish on the flats. Again, there's stowage under and a cushion is optional. Scout also offers a pair of Tempress swivel seats here, one on either side, with a third mount forward.
Serious anglers are always ready for all kinds of fish – when trolling for bass, for example, they have spinning rigs ready should they come upon a school of feeding blues or schoolies, rather than waste time changing lures. That means carrying lots of rods, and the 201 Bay Scout has plenty of places to keep them. Horizontal racks for three rods live under both gunwales, the leaning post can hold four more, and there are four flush-mount holders at the transom. Vertical racks ahead of the console will carry six more. Flush-mounted stainless cleats minimize the chances of snagging a line.
The 201 Bay Scout is rated for a single outboard up to 225-hp, but even her builder suggests substantially less power – a 115-hp Yamaha F115 four-stroke. We haven't tested this boat ourselves with this, or any, power, but Yamaha has. They clocked a Bay Scout at 36.9 kts tops, 19.1kts best cruise, with the 115 OB. Fuel burns were 10.6 gph (40.13 lph) and 3.4 gph (12.9 lph), respectively. Based on the boat's 58-gal (220 L) fuel capacity, that works out to a cruising range of over 290 n.m. with a 10% reserve, plenty of range for a weekend of fishing. Even at top speed, the Bay Scout's range is 180 n.m.
Prices and Recommendation
With the F115 Yamaha, Scout lists the 201 Bay Scout at an MSRP of $31,804. That price will deliver a boat that's ready to go, including Bay Star hydraulic steering, all the rod racks, the console live well, leaning post, flush-mount cleats and stainless hardware. A Bimini top or T-top is optional, as is a JBL stereo, upgraded steering, the extra bait well, Tempress seats, trim tabs and a handful of other things some fishermen will want. The custom colors are extra, and you can have powder-coated aluminum, too.Nevertheless, unless you go totally nuts with options, you're still into a fine near-shore fishing boat for a reasonable price, one that would be near the top of our list. We like the 201 Bay Scout's classic look, her high-quality Scout construction, her standard equipment, her performance with modest power and the opportunity to personalize her with options, some of them useful, others just cosmetic. If you're hankering to wet a line, but don't need to go offshore to have fun catching fish, we think you should check out the Scout 201 Bay Scout.
Standard and Optional Features
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