Captain's ReportIt’s hard for me not to like any center console. They give so much freedom of movement all around the boat, that it’s no wonder they’re so popular. But with nearly 70 brands on the market and hundreds of models, the choice is not easy.Obviously the first thing you must decided upon is what length boat you need for your personal application. There are many 26-foot center consoles on the market, and most look alike. But once you start looking at the details you discover that they are quite different.
Because the feet of this bench seat are anchored with aluminum backing plates below the deck laminate this rig should be able to take lots of abuse.
For serious fishing, you need a purpose-built boat -- not a dual purpose weekender with a livewell and rod holder added, but a boat built for the task. The 261CC is just such a boat. Boat-only she weighs in at 4900 lbs. (2086.5kg) which puts her in the high end of her size class. Add twin 200-hp Verado outboards and you are up to 6300 lbs., and over 7000 lbs. with fuel, water and gear. Her hull is a hand-laid unibody construction with foam in every void space, they tell us. The boat is built with a tri-core composite transom which eliminates the need for plywood. All of the cleats, seats, and the stanchions for the top are backed with aluminum backing plates. This is the way boats should be built, and is one of the key indicators we look for which indicates how seriously a builder takes his product. These backing plates and the fact that she is heavy is a good indicator to her ruggedness. The next area she excels in is fuel capacity. She carries 204 gallons (772 L) where the competition ranges all over the place, from 125 gallons (473 L) to 194 gallons (734 L). Her 20 degree deadrise puts her right where she needs to be, and alongside the competition.
These are three of the boat’s five fish lockers totaling 1017 qts. (962 L). The lids are Featherlite finished fiberglass, all with piano hinges and gas assist supports (but no rubber gaskets).
Since this is a fishing boat, we’re not going to talk about how many cleats she has or number of drink holders. Nobody cares. What we do care about are things like where we’re putting the goods we bring aboard. Five fishboxes total will hold the catch for most anglers unless you are a long-liner. Three are in the bow, the center bow fishbox holds 277 qt. (262 L) and the two to either side of that hold 185 qt (175 L) each for a total capacity of 647 qt (612 L). Add two more oversized fishboxes in the cockpit that hold 185 qts. (175 L) each and you have a total of 1017qts (962 L), all with Featherlite finished fiberglass lids. Commercial fishermen will love this boat! Rod holders? Plenty. The standard hardtop (yes I said standard, and it is rigged with dome lights) has five rocket launchers, the leaning post holds another four (making nine), four more aft of the transom seat (thirteen…), and four in the gunwale holders (seventeen). That’s not even counting the molded rod lockers in the cockpit or the optional upgraded leaning post with even more rod holders. This in a 10-person capacity boat so every angler can have at least two rods! There is a 25 gallon (95 L) baitwell with an option for a second 50 gallon (189 L ) one. If you are planning on using all of that fish box capacity, and 20 rods, you’d better opt for the second live well.
Those switches are military spec, the Stainless Edson wheel is hooked up to hydraulic steering. And there’s plenty of real estate for dual 12” (30cm) nav units. We like the glove box to starboard. The windshield is tempered glass but there is no windshield wiper, even on the option list.
Some other notable fishworthy items are the raw water washdown, the now requisite foldaway transom seat, hydraulic steering and military spec. switches at the helm. Her electric trim tabs with indicators are standard, and she has four fender clips, which I like.
And Triton Says “Best backed”…
What does that mean? Try lifetime limited hull warranty! Also add a 3-year component warranty. There are only a handful of companies that have longer component warranties and they do not build center consoles. Triton says that its boat has “basic flotation.” That means that some part of the boat will stay above the water when the boat is swamped. It does not mean “level flotation,” which is something else altogether. USCG flotation regs stop at 20’ so when you move above that length be sure you know what a boat's flotation characteristics are.The hull comes in something other than white! Something other than black, yellow, red, and blue too! Triton offers the 261CC in no less than 15 custom gel-coated colors. And the options list has enough details that will truly make this your boat.
The new Triton 261CC is 26’6” (8 m) LOA and has a 9’ (2.7 m) beam. Her draft is 19” (18 cm), depending on the power choice, and that choice can be anywhere from 300-500-hp. Fuel capacity is a whopping 204 gallons (772 L), and water is 20 gallons (76 L). We have not tested the boat, but the folks at Triton have. They say that their test with twin 200 L4 Verado engines yielded a WOT of 51.4 mph at 6300 rpm. Best cruise, the builder says, is at 3500 rpm where the boat went 24.8 mpg. If Triton ever asks us to test the boat well let you know what numbers we get – and we’ll also tell you about the ride and handling. There are many things that we simply can’t scope out for you – such as the ergonomics and its "wetness factor", unless we can do a full test.Nevertheless, we think this is a boat that should be on your short list if you are planning on buying a center console in the mid-20s.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty
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