You say money is no object, and you want a fish-slaying center console worthy of caviar breaks between casts? Center consoles may have been rough-and-tumble utility vessels once upon a time, but these days many lines have evolved to include models that are dripping with luxury. Some even qualify as bona fide yachts with perks like private staterooms, lavish loungers, and Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilization. They’re often high-performance fishing machines, too, boasting hat-stripping, highway-worthy speeds. Badass? Damn straight. And depending on just how upper-crusty you’re feeling (and just how big your checkbook is) one of these five premiere fishing center consoles could be your next ride.
The flagship of the Everglades fleet, the 455cc is swirling mix of fishability, performance, and opulence. On the angling front the boat delivers 100 gallons of pressurized livewell capacity, a convertible bow with an electric-actuated casting platform/table, 279 gallons of total fishbox capacity, 40 rodholders, four under-gunwale power ports, and a mezzanine tackle station — and we haven’t even talked about optional equipment. You’ll get to the fishing grounds fast with quad Yamaha F450 outboards cranking out speeds in the 60-mph range. And thanks to 14 tons of displacement, RAMCAP closed-molded construction with high-density closed-cell foam between the liner and hull, and a 25-degree transom deadrise, you’ll be shredding through the waves at high speeds when lesser vessels are sitting at the dock waiting for calmer weather.
The 455cc is Everglade’s biggest boat ever. Now that’s what we call a luxurious helm.
That’s all impressive, sure, but wait until you lay your eyes on the teak helm and Release Marine ladderback seats, the acrylic coated/Tenara threaded upholstery, and the electric-actuated backrest on the cabin settee. Oh, and did we mention that the 12,000 BTU air-conditioning system is piped to blast cool breezes across the helm?
Visit Everglades Boats to learn more.
Wait a sec — we know what you’re thinking: The Invincible 46 Pilothouse isn’t really a center console boat. Well there’s some truth to that statement, because it does have a cabin wrapping around the helm deck. But take a close look, and you’ll notice that this boat has just as much walkaround room and 360-degree fishability as most of the mega-CCs out there, and even more than some. The one big difference, however, is that come rain or shine you’ll be cruising with complete protection from the weather. So yeah, you center console purists can beef all you want, we’ll just kick back in the AC or maybe even stretch out in the forward berth. But there won’t be much time for a nap, because with a brace of quad Mercury 450s on the back cruising speeds are in the upper-40s to 50-mph range and top-end breaks 70.
Does the Invincible 46 Pilothouse really deserve to be called a center console? It’s iffy — but the level of comfort this fishing machine provides is anything but. Kick back and relax, it won’t take long to get to the zone.
This boat’s biggest fishing asset is its cat ride, which will make the seas feel half their size. That said, the 46 Pilothouse has sea chest-fed livewells above and below deck, six monster fishboxes, and is highly customizable to be rigged for the ways you like to fish.
Visit Invincible to learn more.
When you think of big, luxurious center consoles Robalo may not be the first builder that pops to mind, but since they introduced the R360 a few years ago this company ventured into new territory. And they did so wisely, building a boat that may be smaller than the other top picks here, but one that still delivers on Robalo’s bang-for-the-buck reputation (it costs less than a quarter of the price of some of these boats), while still taking the brand to the next level.
The Robalo R360 may be smaller than the rest of the boats in this roundup, but it delivers comfort, fishability, and economy.
Fishing features are all present and accounted for, including a pair of 100-gallon fishboxes, rod lockers in the gunwales, plenty of rodholders, and twin 30-gallon livewells. Luxury is infused via features like a console cabin with a berth, a banging 800-watt JL Audio stereo system with eight speakers and two subwoofers (with 600 more watts), and uber-supple SiO silicon upholstery. Top-end with triple 300s hits 60 mph, but the big performance shocker is the fact that cruising at around 40 mph, this 14,500-pound boat gets better than one mpg.
Visit Robalo Boats to learn more.
Scout 530 LXF
Heated seats? Check. Standard-issue Seakeeper gyro? Check. Electrically actuated sunshade? Check. If there’s a luxury touch you can think of, you’ll find it on the Scout 530 LXF. This is another boat that pushes the envelope a bit when it comes to defining a center console since it has a rather huge three-side enclosure around the air-conditioned helmdeck, but it does maintain 360-degree fishability and comes with a pair of 30-gllon livewells, integrated fishboxes, and rodholders lining the gunwales, transom, and hard top. The hard top rocket launchers are particularly slick, automatically swinging down and out of the way when you press the button to deploy the cockpit sunshade.
Performance rocks it, with top end hitting 70 mph if you opt for max power (quad Mercury 600s). The most unusual thing about this model, however, is undoubtedly the cockpit hullsides. Press a button and they swing down to the water’s level, turning the cockpit into a yacht-like “beach club.”
Visit Scout to learn more.
If you want the biggest and baddest-assiest center console in the marina, the Valhalla V-55 will likely be your pick. Sure, the price tag can top $3 mil. Yeah, if you opt for max power you’ll be burning north of 250 gallons per hour when you firewall the throttles on quintuple V-12 600-hp Verados. But you’ll also be blasting along at speeds in the mid-70s while ensconced in the lap of luxury.
Behold the Valhalla V-55 in all its glory. With a cabin worthy of a convertible, there’s gobs of room and comfort below decks.
There’s (delicious) helm seating for up to nine, a triple-wide megalounger on the top of the console cabin, and down below this boat is finished out in full Viking Yachts fashion (which is no wonder, since Viking created the Valhalla brand). The cabin features two staterooms including a master with a queen pedestal berth, separate shower and head compartments, a convertible-style saloon, and a galley. On the fishing front you’ll enjoy a pair of 65-gallon aquarium-style livewells, countless customization options, and an optional Palm Beach tower.
Visit Valhalla for more information.
A few decades back who would have predicted a sea full of luxurious center consoles packing thousands of horsepower? No one. But today it’s a reality — and these boats are the proof.