Tidewater developed the 280 CC Adventure to be a multi-purpose high-end center console with one of the most inclusive standard features list we’ve seen on a boat in this price class. The list includes a carbon-fiber dash panel, a hardtop, a leaning post with bolsters, a porcelain toilet, a tackle station with a 30-gallon (114 L) livewell and port and starboard tackle boxes. Whether a prospective owner wants to take the 280 CC Adventure offshore after fish or likes to tow around the kids on a tube, the twin 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 2-stroke outboards round out the package, offering a good combination of power and fuel economy.
On many center consoles in this size range, we see equipment and accessories that we think owners would want and it turns out that they are available options. Tidewater puts many of the most popular options on other boats on the 280 CC Adventure’s standard-equipment list and still keeps the price attractive. Following are some highlights.
Those standard features are just the beginning on the 280CC Adventure. Starting in the bow, which has 35” (88.9 cm) of depth, the outboard seats have the aforementioned foldout backrests that let an adult stretch out. There’s storage outboard on each side and beneath a hatch in the center of the sole. A hatch in the foredeck reveals the anchor locker that’s home to the standard windlass. An adjustable-height table and center filler cushion are available options.
Access to the 280 CC Adventure’s private head is through a hatch in the port passageway. The area is fully molded and has an in-sole drain for easy cleanup. There appears to be plenty of seated headroom and the sink has a pull-up faucet. We applaud Tidewater for putting in a screened port to starboard to let in fresh air and help rid the area of steam. Technicians can also access the dash panel from within the console.
New for 2016, the console is molded with contours to more cleanly incorporate the frame for the 280CC Adventure’s hardtop. It creates a smoother look and increases the space in the passageways between the console and the gunwales to 27”. The hardtop comes standard with an electronics/radio box.
The 280 CC Adventure’s dash is designed to accommodate two 15” chart plotters. Accessory switches are in a single row just ahead of the steering wheel, which is to port, and the end of the panel has two of the boat’s three 12-volt power plugs. There are a total of three cup holders at the helm and two-level angled footrests.
We already mentioned the tackle station and livewell on the aft side of the 280 CC Adventure’s leaning post so let’s take a look at the cockpit. Coaming pads run down each side for anglers to lean into them when fishing and Tidewater said the deck height in this area is 27” (65.6 cm). There’s another livewell in the aft starboard corner and a fold-away bench seat for two in the center. Aft to port is a gated passageway to a swim step that has a foldout ladder. In the sole, ahead of the bench seat, a hatch opens to access pumps and other mechanical gear.
Rod Holders Galore.
Outboard of the leaning post on each side are in-deck rod holders plus another pair in the aft corners. There are four rocket launcher style rod holders on the back of the leaning post and on the T-top, so this boat has plenty of space for tackle. Under-gunwale racks have more space for gaff hooks and other long handled items.
Tidewater builds the 280 CC Adventure with no wood. The hull bottom is hand-laid fiberglass and the stringers are molded fiberglass filled with flotation foam. A vinylester barrier coat protects against osmotic blisters and aluminum plates are installed to back up all the deck hardware.
Power and Performance
Tidewater recommends twin 250-hp outboards for the 280 CC Adventure and we tested the boat with a pair of Evinrude E-TEC G2 250 2-stroke outboards turning 15” x 20” (38 cm x 50.8 cm) four-blade stainless steel propellers through 1.85:1 gear reductions. With two people on board and a test weight of 6,820 lbs. (3,093 kg), we hit a top speed of 59.1 mph (51.4 knots) at 5700 rpm and burned 44.6 gph (168.8 lph), giving the 280 CC Adventure a range of 244 statute miles (212 nm) at wide open. We found best cruise at 3500 rpm where the boat hit 33 mph (28.7 knots) and burned 16 gph (60.6 lph), giving her a range of 382 statute miles (332nm) with 10% of the boat’s 205-gallon (776 L) fuel capacity in reserve. Checking out her acceleration, the boat planed in 4.5 seconds and ran to 20 mph (17.4 knots) in 5.1 seconds and to 30 mph (26.1 knots) in 6.2 seconds.
Ride and Handling
Test day gave us something we rarely get when running a boat and that’s less-than-ideal conditions. With 10-mph winds gusting to 15 and steady 2’ to 4’ (.6 m to 1.2 m) seas, the 280 CC Adventure felt like a bigger boat. We plowed straight into the waves and the boat’s deep entry, Carolina flare and 22-degrees of deadrise at the transom carved through the seas and kept the decks dry. In following seas, our test captain lowered the tabs to level with the bottom to extend the running surface and trimmed out the outboards to improve efficiency, making good headway. We wouldn’t hesitate to make a canyon run in this boat.
10-year Transferrable Hull warranty.
Options to Consider
With the Tidewater 280 CC Adventure, Tidewater makes it easy for potential owners by equipping the boat with such a comprehensive list of standard features. This is a true turnkey package. Tidewater offers the boat with twin outboards up to 300-hp, but we think twin 250s are more than enough. Owners will save in the short run on the purchase price and in the long run may even save some money on fuel. In challenging conditions the boat ran to just under 60 mph and when we pulled back on the throttles, and in flat conditions she obviously can go faster. The range was nearly 382 statute miles at 33 mph.With the side cushions, flip-out backrests and side-by-side lounge on the front of the console, she has a more inviting bow area than many boats in this price class. The private head with the porcelain toilet might tip the scales for mom and the kids when dad is trying to convince them that this is the boat for the family.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure (2016-) is 59.1 mph (95.1 kph), burning 44.60 gallons per hour (gph) or 168.81 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure (2016-) is 24.5 mph (39.4 kph), and the boat gets 2.04 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.87 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 376 miles (605.11 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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