A Legendary Quest.
By Alan Wendt
Tinkering with a legendary name like Blackfin is like walking a delicate tightrope.
Fishermen from the 1970s and 80s will associate the name with a sweetness of design — that perfect blend of performance and seakeeping in rough water. They may also remember a beamy flybridge battlewagon oftenmentioned in the same breath as other legends like Bertram and Yellowfin.
All three marquee names, along with many others, have seen their fortunes come and go with various economic cycles and boater’s changing tastes. But now, Blackfin is making a triumphant return with four new yacht-grade fishing boats and planned dual consoles.
We tested the first two new models — the 272CC and 212CC — at their summer debut and quickly observed that, thanks to new boatbuilding technology, the legendary seakeeping experience lives on.
Dry and Quiet
Blackfin boats are being made in Williston, Florida, at a $100 million boatbuilding company with more than 30 years of experience. The owners and design team are all dedicated outdoorsmen and lifelong boaters who just happen to have advanced college degrees in engineering and naval architecture. With Advanced Carbon Fiber technology, proven Seaquarium Easy-VU baitwells, Pantographic Smartdoor console access and an innovative grid system they call CRT (Core Rigid Technology), there are plenty of new design ideas to propel Blackfin back onto the must-compare list.
I went out on two of the more powerful 272CCs: One rigged with twin Mercury Verado 300s and the other with twin 250s. We picked a stormy afternoon, with seas kicking up and wind blowing — pretty much your typical PR person’s nightmare scenario for a special event — and came back to the dock dry each time. These new models have a very deep cockpit — a feature that will make passengers feel extremely secure. Regardless of where I sat — the helm bench seats, the aft fold-down bench seat, or the two semi-lounger seats in the bow — the ride was soft and dry. Let me also mention the word quiet. Pounding seas can rattle everything from hatches to hardtops. Blackfin engineers have custom-designed all hinges and latches in a manner that stays secure and resists vibration.
Serious anglers will appreciate the gasketed lid on the 30-gallon livewell. In sloppy conditions, overflow is bled overboard via a dedicated channel in the transom. Gemlux drains and valves adjust outflow and inflow. The baitwell is fed by an 800 gph pump, offering more than enough pump power for a boat this size.
Rocket launchers on the hardtop, four gunwale rod holders on each side of the cockpit, and three more horizontal racks along port and starboard inwales provide a clutter-free environment. Our test boat had two hardtop-mounted outriggers easily accessible for singlehanded days at sea.
Port and starboard 54-gallon fish boxes in the cockpit
sole, each with macerators for overboard discharge, put the Blackfin right up there with other models in the serious fish category.
An aura of precision
Today’s boater is looking for a vessel that will do double duty. Seating is one area that families will use to compare boats. The 272CC offers a bolstered, dual helm seat with armrests, and a helm enclosed in glass. Following the trend towards large multi-function displays, Blackfin has a combination of Raymarine or Garmin displays and Mercury’s VesselView gauges, which will provide everything but a download of the Wall Street Journal.
Up front, two cleverly-designed stadium seating inserts slip into sockets offering seatbacks for forward-facing lounges. The extra wide transom seat pulls out or folds up quickly single-handedly; perfect for when you have the other hand on a bending rod.
Blackfin has placed a great deal of attention on laser cutting all hardware hinges. That, combined with in-house, custom-made, tightly-fitted upholstery, black gelcoat sides, and polished Blackfin-embossed pull-up cleats, gives the entire boat an aura of precision.
From a performance standpoint, the 300s are clearly going to win in speed, reaching more than 60 mph and planing in about 8 seconds. They’ll also sip a bit more fuel per hour. The real difference is in weight to balance ratio for an unobstructed view over the bow, which is particularly noticeable when going up on plane, with a favorable nod to the 250-hp engines. H
LOA (w/ swim platform): 27'2"
Draft (down/up): 36"/24"
Weight (dry): 6,500 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 180 gals.
Water Capacity: 21 gals.
Max Power: 600 hp
Base Price: Contact dealer
Much of the layout, design and construction on the slightly smaller 212CC is identical to the 272CC, including the high- density, closed cell structural foam flotation, finished fiberglass bilge and storage compartments. This scaled down version is 21 feet, 6 inches in length, is rated for up to 300 hp, and includes many
of the same features as the 272CC, such as insulated baitwells, integrated cutting boards, wash downs and rod holders.
Both the 212CC and 272CC come with a lifetime structural hull warranty and are all tank tested at the factory.
Blackfin first launched in 1973, and while these new models prove the legend lives on, the fresh designs and new technologies suggest its best days are just beginning.
LOA (w/ swim platform): 21'6"
Draft (down/up): 30"/18"
Weight (dry): 3,600 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 105 gals.
Max Power: 300 hp
Base Price: Contact dealer
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