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Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure (2016-)
(w/ 2 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2)

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Brief Summary

The Tidewater 280 CC Adventure comes fully-loaded with upscale features in the standard package; hard-top with radio box, leaning post with livewell/tackle prep/sink assembly aft, and an anchor windlass at the bow are all provided, as is a second aerated livewell at the transom. The two-tone upholstery, including chaise-type cushions for the bow, will make this boat more appealing to the family, as will the standard porcelain head and hard-surface sink in the console. Noise levels were minimal for a center console thanks to the quiet-running Evinrude E-TEC G2 250s, 81 dBA at her 33.1 mph cruising speed.

Key Features

  • 7 available hull colors in White, Black, Sky Blue, Bimini Blue, Fusion Blue, Carbon Grey, or Island Green
  • 10-year Transferable Hull Warranty
  • Yacht style helm station with room for two 15'' GPS/chartplotters
  • Hardtop with LED lights (spreader and map)
  • T-top recessed into console for flushed fit
  • Deluxe leaning post seat with armrest and pull-up bolsters
  • Leaning post tackle center with drawers, sink and 30 gal. livewell
  • Recessed windlass with plow anchor, chain and rope
  • Recessed rod racks with toe rail
  • China bowl head with pump-out and overboard discharge
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 28' 4''
    8.64 m
    Beam 9' 10''
    2.99 m
    Dry Weight 5,800 lbs.
    2,631 kg
    Tested Weight 6,820 lbs.
    3,093 kg
    Draft 18''
    0.46 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 22-deg.
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance 101''
    2.56 m
    Weight Capacity 2,200 lbs.
    998 kg
    Person Capacity 12
    Fuel Capacity 205 gal.
    776 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power 2 x 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
    Opt. Power Not Available
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    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 4.5 sec.
    0 to 30 6.2 sec.
    Ratio 1.85:1
    Props 15 x 20 4-blade
    Load 2 persons, 1/2 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
    Climate 70 deg., 64 humid.; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 2-4
    Elevation Sea Level

    Captain's Report

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure running shot
    With her 9’10” (2.99 m) beam and 33” (83.8 cm) of amidships cockpit depth, the 28’4” (8.64 m) long Tidewater 280 CC Adventure has a big-boat feel.

    Mission Statement

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure deck layout
    Tidewater carries the 280 CC Adventure’s beam as far forward as possible, creating more spacious seating in the bow.

    Major Features


    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.

    • A hardtop with LED spreader and map lights
    • A leaning post with individual padded seats that have fold-up bolsters and folding armrests plus a glove box in the base
    • Side-by-side seating on the front of the console with armrests
    • Bow seating with foldout backrests
    • Leaning post tackle center with a sink and 30-gallon (114 L) livewell
    • Private head compartment in the console with a china-bowl, pump-out and overboard discharge
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure hard top
    The standard hardtop has an overhead glove box, stereo speakers and spreader lights.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure leaning post
    The two leaning posts have fold-up armrests and bolsters that let the driver and companion customize their riding positions.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure seat
    The doublewide seat on the front of the helm console also has folding armrests and support beneath the passengers’ legs.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure back rests
    Backrests for the bow seating area fold into the gunwale when not in use.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure leaning post
    On the leaning post tackle station, bungee-style latches hold the hatch for the sink and the livewell closed when the boat is running.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure head
    The private head’s step-down design improves headroom when standing or sitting.

    Features Inspection

    The Bow.

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure bow seating
    This photo shows the base standard bow seating arrangement with the folding backrests in the lounging position.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure casting deck
    Remove the seat cushions and lower the optional table to create a forward casting deck. Two other examples of the boat’s dual-purpose intent, the grabrails that ring around the bow are recessed for unobstructed fishing and there are five cup holders for the area.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure tension hinges
    Tidewater uses tension hinges to hold up the hatches for the forward lockers when open. The manufacturer said this eliminates the need for gas struts. Also note the channels around the opening to drain away water and the thick rubber gasket for the hatch.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure windlass
    The 280 CC Adventure comes standard with a windlass, a stainless-steel roller and a cleat for securing the rode.

    The Console.

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure shower
    The pull-up shower in the private head adds an element of comfort that enhances the boat’s cruising capabilities.

    The Hardtop.

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure hinges
    Friction hinges hold open the electronics box hatch, eliminating the need for a gas strut or other support.

    The Helm.

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure touch screen
    There is space above the accessory switches for the Evinrude Icon touchscreen engine monitor. The emergency shutoff lanyards are all the way to starboard. They should be moved closer to the driver to make them easier to use.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure windshield
    The wraparound windshield is new on the 280 CC Adventure and there’s space in the dash for two 15” electronic screens.

    The Cockpit

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure livewell
    A second livewell in the aft starboard corner lets fishermen have two species of bait on board.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure aft bench
    The foldout aft bench seat has a raised pad on the front of the bottom cushion to provide better support.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure locker
    Just aft of the bench seat, the day’s catch can be iced down in this locker.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure draining locker
    It’s a small item, but an important one on any boat that will be used for family time. There’s a passage to the stern that closes off with a door. The draining locker would be good for watersports towropes.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure mechanical
    The hatch in the sole ahead of the bench seat provides access to a variety of mechanical systems.

    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 Boats 280 CC Adventure rod holders
    These rod holders are part of an optional leaning post that includes a livewell and sink.


    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure running shot
    With a deep-V bottom design that has 22 degrees of deadrise at the transom, the 280 CC Adventure is made to run in offshore conditions.

    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.

    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure running shot
    During our tests, the Tidewater 280 CC Adventure performed admirably, holding her course through sharp turns and knocking down wakes and chop with ease.
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure engines
    The twin 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 2-stroke outboards gave the boat strong holeshot and efficient fuel consumption. It also comes standard with Dynamic Power Steering.


    10-year Transferrable Hull warranty.

    Options to Consider

    • Tempered glass windshield
    • Bow table with cushion
    • Taco Series outriggers
    • Underwater lights from TH Marine or Ocean LED
    • Strata Glass spray shield
    • Fusion or Polk Stereo with four speakers
    • Trim tabs with indicators
    • Yamaha Command Link digital gauge
    Tidewater Boats 280 CC Adventure upholstery
    Tan upholstery color is an available option on the Tidewater 280 CC Adventure.


    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


    CD Stereo Optional
    Head: Fixed Standard
    Windlass Standard

    Exterior Features

    Hardtop Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Transom Shower Standard


    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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