Scout Boat’s 350 LXF has a lot of features that appeal to a broad spectrum of users. She’s at once a hard-hitting offshore platform and comfortable cruiser that can tackle day trips with the same panache. What started out as design improvements in the hugely popular 345 XSF, the end result morphed into a new model, the 350 LXF and replaces the 345 -- completely. She’s that good.Because she’s a Scout she also has the reputation of a quality build behind her, to say nothing of pleasing aesthetics and detail design work that may be the best in class. The 350 LXF is the first of the lineup to offer a triple engine configuration. This, coupled with her dual stepped hull design gives her high performance and increased economy.
Scout Boats started out life in 1998 and quickly became known as a preeminent builder of offshore center console boats. Its CEO, Steve Potts, is well known for being involved in all aspects of a boat’s life span, from idea, to inception to launch. A hands-on CEO, as opposed to a behind-the-desk figurehead, Steve is a pivotal reason why Scout has been able to weather the recession and challenge the older and more established brands in the competitive offshore arena. And, his fingerprints are to be found all over the boat.
First and foremost, this is a center console boat and as such, she makes a great platform for offshore fishing. For that reason, we’ll start our tour with a look at how she supports that mission.
Fishing features will start at the stern where most of the activity will be taking place. Rods can be stored in optional flush mount rod holders in the caprails ($564/pair), in rocket launchers at the rear of the hardtop and in lockable accommodations inside the console cabin.
An aft facing seat is fitted and makes a great place to watch the lines. Underneath the seat, a clear sliding cover exposes a baitwell. A deluxe cockpit table/entertainment station can be fitted in place of the aft facing stern seat and includes a sink, bait station, trash bin, cooler box, tackle drawers and a 12V refrigerated box ($3,954).
Optional outriggers ($4,679) with 18’ (5.5 m) poles can be installed in the standard hardtop. Our test boat was fitted with the optional aerated transom baitwell ($586). The catch can be stored in one of two, large lockers to either side of the cockpit deck. A 60-gallon (227 L) fishbox is located at the top of the transom. If fishing at night, opt for the LED underwater lights ($2,197) that will draw the fish in, plus they look great even when sitting at the dock.
For family features, we will begin at the opposite end of the boat, the bow. It is here that we are greeted with a large sun pad that benefits from the added comfort of the 360-degree padded bolsters. This platform doesn't run fully forward but still allows access to the storage just ahead of the cushions, the drink holders to both sides, and leaves the speakers mounted fully forward and fully exposed.An optional electrically actuated dinette table ($7,287) is available that lifts at the touch of a switch to the starboard side bulwarks to convert the sun pad into a table. This creates an al fresco dining area, and also an ideal spot for snacks or cocktails. A remote control for the stereo was to the port side bulwarks.
Just ahead of the console is a doublewide chaise lounge with flip-down armrests. This will undoubtedly be a hugely popular spot while underway, as even we wanted to enjoy the view from there during our test. The base of the lounge lifts to reveal compartmentalized storage underneath. The hatch is held open by a pair of stainless steel gas assist struts.
A door to the port side of the console provides access to the spacious interior. Here, there are two lounge seats forward that convert to a berth. A table, that allows the berth conversion also allows for dining in this area while remaining protected from the elements. Just behind is a stainless steel sink with a Corian vanity and mirror. To the opposite side is a head with a microwave mounted into the bulkhead just above.
The 350 LXF comes standard with a fiberglass hardtop, and most impressive is the way the hardtop supports seamlessly blend into the console. There are no bulky powder coated pipes, and no additional hardware bolted into the deck taking up sidedeck space.
Going further back to the transom, an optional transom bench ($1,246) seat was fitted on our test boat, and in our opinion it is among the easiest we have seen to deploy. It is surrounded by a stainless steel rail that pulls out to become the support for the seat base.
The cockpit is roomy
and the deck is non-skid fiberglass. For those that want to add to the already classy look of the 350 LXF, a full teak cockpit is offered as an option ($28,923).A thick transom door leads out to the swim platform covered in optional teak ($2,563). This makes for a good-looking platform whether the optional teak cockpit is installed or not, as in the case of our test boat. The swim platform has a reboarding ladder but we noticed it couldn’t be deployed from water. It needs to be installed before entering.
Additionally, our cockpit was fitted with the optional cockpit side dive door ($8,201). It folds out from the deck level and then steps can deploy from that. It's a solid and functional piece of hardware but we would rather see a door open inward so that it can be serving double duty as a boarding gate from a dock.
Operational features start with the standard Lewmar anchor windlass located under a concealed hatch at the bow. The anchor runs through the stem and is controlled by switches just behind the hatch cover. The hatch is back-gelled for a finished look inside and out, and is held open by a stainless gas support strut. The compartment is protected from water intrusion by gasketing all the way around the perimeter.
The helm is located to the port side of the console and open space on the panel can accommodate up to three displays. Ignitions are down low, and we’d like to see them raised from the “knee strike” zone.Glass surrounds the console, providing distortion free viewing from all angles. As this provides excellent protection, there is also an accommodation in the form of an electrically actuated vent window at the top of the front windshield to let air in on hot days.
Standard seating for the helm
is a twin seat configuration, both with flip-up bolsters and flip-down armrests. A storage armrest is located between the two that includes a lockable compartment with drink holders just ahead. For no additional charge, Scout will replace the standard seats with a 60/40-split full helm seat again, with bolsters and armrests. A teak floor at the helm is also available as an option ($2,417).
Power and Performance
Scout generally powers its boats with either Yamaha or Mercury MerCruiser, but here we had something different. We tested this model with a triple set of 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 Series engines.So how did they do?
With an empty weight of 9,100 lbs. (4,128 kg) full fuel and three people on board, we had an estimated test weight of 12,461 lbs. (5,652 kg). With the engines turning 15 x 20 stainless steel Revolution 4 propellers, we reached a top speed of 59.4 mph at 5850 rpm. At that speed fuel burn was 72.7 gph, giving us a range of 265 miles.
came in at 3500 rpm and 33.8 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 22.7 gph and increased the range to 483 statute miles. We reached planing speed and 3.4 seconds and accelerated to 30 mph and 7.1 seconds.
Her heavy weight certainly gives her a solid feel but more importantly, there are a lot of turns of the wheel from lock to lock, which means that things don't happen quickly on the 350 LXF, nor should they. Her characteristics could categorize her more in the realm of being a gentle giant. She cruises through chop with the feel that there’s a lot more to give than what the conditions on our test day could produce.There is a lot of power hanging off the back of the transom and with the position of the console so far aft of the bow, upon acceleration her bow rise did block our view to the horizon, but only briefly. Still, it ensured that we were not shy about adding power. Once on plane she settled into her normal 5-degree bow high attitude.
Additional Options and Pricing
The Scout 350 LXF has a base price of $315,819 when powered with twin Yamaha F300 4-strokes. Aside from the options we have gone over already, there are others to consider.
Four different whole colors are offered as an option to the base of white color ($7,323). Then, accent stripes can be chosen. Either a single stripe ($1,611) of silver or white, or dual stripes that adds a red pinstripe to the single ($2,197). A custom color stripe can be chosen as well ($2783). And as expected, all of these stripes are applied with high-end Imron paint.With a well-loaded version the price will approach $381,000. Another $20K to $30K on top of that if joystick functionality is added on.
With all that the Scout 350 LXF has going for it, it’s an easy boat to feel good about. She’s a strong boat and that can be felt in every aspect, from handling to simply walking across the decks. But more importantly, there’s also a comfort level that can’t be shown in a video, or put to words in a report. This is a comfortable boat, regardless of whether one is standing at the helm, or reclining in the lounge.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Scout Boats 350 LXF (2015-) is 59.4 mph (95.6 kph), burning 72.65 gallons per hour (gph) or 274.98 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Scout Boats 350 LXF (2015-) is 39.4 mph (63.4 kph), and the boat gets 1.35 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.57 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 439 miles (706.5 kilometers).
- Tested power is 3 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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