An Unknown Boatbuilder?
Mention Concept Boats to most boating enthusiasts and you'll get blank looks: The company isn't nearly as well-known as Fountain or Regulator or Baja or any of the other "big names" in high-performance sport- and fishboats. But for the past 27 years Concept boats have been rolling out of the plant in Opa Locka, Florida, near Miami. Currently their product line runs from 23 to 44-feet (7 to 13.4 m), and encompasses fishing, sport, sport deck and sport yacht models.
Without a network of dealers to order stock boats, Concept builds only to order – but no dealers means no dealer markup: A full-blown 27, with 300-hp Mercury Verado, custom graphics and lots of options will run about $65,000, way less money than most comparable boats on the market. No stock boats means you can have your Concept just the way you want it, too. Fish, sport, or a little of both – the company will work with you to ensure your boat is just right.
No boats take more of a beating than fast sport- and fishboats, so when choosing a boat that'll run 50 mph (80.5 kmph) or more it's important to know how it's designed and built. The Concept 27 is all-composite, with no wood anywhere – even the transom is cored with high-density Klegecell closed-cell foam. The hull is a straight deep-V, 24 degree deadrise, no steps. Its fiberglass reinforcement is hand-laid in vinylester resin, solid in the bottom and cored above the waterline. (All coring is Klegecell.) The stringers are also foam-cored. Concept Boats covers the hull with a lifetime warranty, transferable in the first 10 years.
Belt and Suspenders
The deck is similarly well-constructed, and married to the hull with belt and suspenders: First, the two components are bonded with high-grip methacrylate adhesive; many builders would stop here. But Concept then reinforces the joint with stainless-steel screws -- we suspect they also hold the rubrail in place. Even more builders would stop here, but Concept goes one step further, fiberglassing the hull/deck joint on the inside. Why go so crazy with this? Even the best-laid hull is subject to tremendous twisting and wracking strains when running hard offshore; without the deck to create a monocoque structure, the hull could deform enough to break something. The hull-to-deck joint is key to holding the whole boat together, and Concept doesn't want to take any chances.
Susan Patterson, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at Concept, said that most 27s – "90% or so" -- are rigged with a single outboard on a bracket. The boat's speed with a single engine is one of its biggest selling points, according to Patterson: With a 300-hp Mercury Verado it will run between 55 and 60 mph (88.5 and 96.6 kmph), she said. Note that we haven't tested the boat ourselves, so you'll have to take her word for it. However, twin-OB set-ups are also available for those who must have them. But a single engine means a lower initial cost, less maintenance costs and faster speeds on a horsepower-for-horsepower basis. Today's outboards are so reliable we wouldn't hesitate to go offshore with just one, and would count on Sea Tow as our backup should something go wrong.
Why a bracket? Not only does it provide a platform at the transom, but the bracket also moves the engine farther from the hull, providing a cleaner flow of water to the prop; hard-core performance boatmen use the improved water flow to mount the engine a little higher and reduce drag. We don't think Concept goes this far, but the bracket will also let the prop drag in the water longer when the boat's wave-jumping. And with this boat, you'll be wave-jumping. We guarantee it.
We like this boat a lot, especially since it's reasonably priced -- $65,000 for a well-equipped boat with a 300 Verado. For comparison, a Regulator 28, another excellent boat, costs $159,995, albeit with twin 300-hp OBs. (A 300-hp OB costs about $25,000, we estimate.) The Regulator is 11" (28 cm) longer than the Concept, 19" (48.2 cm) wider and quite a bit heavier – but it's almost $100,000 more, and that's base! Even a 2010 Mako 264 lists for $69,995, base, with twin 200 Optimax OBs, and it's not nearly as much of an offshore boat as the Concept. We think if you want a quality boat built just the way you want it, but don't want to spend a fortune, the Concept 27 is an excellent choice for further investigation.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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