The Center Console Workhorse
Ever since center consoles first made their mark, the appeal of these boats has been astounding. The ability to walk around the entire boat has had fisherman held captive for decades, and it’s a grip that has refused to lessen as time marched on. Even beyond the fishing grounds, center consoles have been the boat of choice for countless towboats, patrol boats, containment boom handlers, and scores of other workboats spanning the four corners of the globe. And with little wonder too, for few boats offer the freedom of movement that a center console can offer. And the fact that they are so good looking… well that’s just icing on the cake.
If it Ain’t Broke...
In terms of the basic design, not much has changed. Of course with a center console, there’s isn’t much room for improvement. Thankfully, Triton has stayed clear of the forward seating that wraps past one side of the console and instead kept both the side decks clear. This is important, because a number of builders have been trying a bit too hard to differentiate their product, in our opinion, and in the process have lost sight of the basic concept.
As world’s outboard engine sizes have increased, so has the engine capacity of the 351. What started out as a 750-hp top end has morphed into a 1050-hp limit (read +100-hp x 3) with the same sized hull. Things that make you go hmmm... One would think that this weight increase would only come from a reinforced transom, and that thinking may be correct. The original dry weight 5-years ago was 8,000 lbs. (3,629 kgs.) Today, another 532 lbs. (241 kgs.) have been infused onto the build process. The forward fish box, which originally held 500 qts. shrunk a bit, and is now a 465 qt. (maybe fish were bigger back then) and water capacity has increased by 2 gallons (7.6 L).
In addition, Triton tells us that they’ve made a few subtle changes to the hull design as well. They’ve taken out a small notch at the stern which has now increased the running surface. They also added a step to the hull, not a full beam step mind you, but a step nonetheless. This forces air under the hull which reduces friction giving higher top end speed, and allows for reaching the same cruise speeds with less effort. That translates into fuel savings. Triton also tells us that as a result of these hull changes, the trim tabs are no longer needed to bring the bow down. Now they are only used to correct list to compensate for uneven weight distribution.
And Of Course the Price Has Changed
Back in the day, a new Triton 351 CC with triple Honda 225s had an MSRP of just over $184,000. Today, things are a little different. A similarly equipped 351 with 225-hp Mercury Verados, 225-hp being the bottom of the food chain now, will run you roughly $219,631. That’s only a 19% increase over five years. Seeing as the rate of inflation over that last 5 years is calculated at 14%, that price increase is not too far out of whack. The fact that about 50% of the hull is made of resin, a petrochemical product, and the engines are mostly metal, a commodity that has risen sharply the last five years as China has come on line, the 19% increase is very much in line with the increase in materials costs for boats, if not less than their actual increases.
Here’s an area where the numbers stay relatively the same. The Triton 351CC has a LOA of 34’10' (3 m), a beam of 10' (3 m), and a draft of 24" (61 cm). She has a dry weight of 8,532 lbs. (3,870 kgs.), carries 355 gallons (1,344 L) of fuel, and 20 gallons (75.7 L) of fresh water. In the world of center consoles, the Triton 351CC has shown her staying power. All things being equal, being able to keep your head above water and stay in the game, is saying a lot about a boat. And Triton seems to be in it for the long haul.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Hardtop||Optional T-top standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty
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