You wish there was a fishboat that could handle SoCal tuna fishing, daytime sword fishing in the Florida Keys, and everything in between? One that can keep you dry in a downpour, and warm on chilly mornings? A boat with a wide-open cockpit, the ability to handle rugged sea conditions, and a full complement of fishing armaments? Take a gander at the Parker 2820 XLD Sport Cabin – and do your best not to drool all over the place, will ya?
We’ll stipulate right up front that the sport cabin design isn’t the first choice of every angler under the sun. It does restrict your ability to fish from the bow, or to quickly and easily walk a hot tuna 360-degrees around the boat. For a number of us, this means center console fishing boats will remain the top pick. On the flip side of the coin, there isn’t a center console in existence which can offer the kind of protection you get from a full cabin. And on the Parker, you’ll not only enjoy the capacity to seal out rain, salt spray, and cold, but also to overnight with some modicum of comfort, a mini-galley (with a sink, 12-v refrigerator, and one-burner cook-top), a head, and a V-berth to crash on between bites.
Fishing-wise, trollers in particular won’t be bothered much by having the bow capped off and Parker maintains maximum fishability from the cabin bulkhead aft. We particularly like the fact that this boat can be had with full aft controls, allowing the captain to run the boat from outside as well as from the helm.
The transom houses a fishbox and a livewell, though there’s room for improvement in the well. It has a stand-pipe (which can get in the way when netting baits and may get knocked free if not seated properly) instead of an overflow, and while the corners are rounded, it’s more or less rectangular in shape. Six (optional) rocket launchers grace the hard top, four flush gunwale holders come standard, and there’s a tackle station built into the base of the passenger’s seat. Both fresh and raw water washdowns are also part of the package.
The twin engines are mounted on a full-width swim platform bracket, which will be appreciated both by anglers with kids who may want to go swimming once in a while (shame on you if the bite’s hot!) and by those who’ve just run over a trolling line and need to unwind it from the props. Max power is a pair of Yamaha F300 outboards, which more than do the trick. At 4500 rpm they make for a cruising speed in the low 40’s, and top-end breaks 57 mph. True, you’re chugging fuel at a pretty spectacular rate at that point (52.7 gph) but no matter how hard you lean on the throttles the boat always maintains better than one mpg and hits two mpg at its most efficient rate of cruise (25 mph and 3000 rpm).
In the past boats like this have gotten us pretty fired up – we even wondered at one time if Parkers were the best fishing boats in the industry.
But note that the 2820 has also seen a number of improvements since it was first introduced. The foredeck has been redesigned to incorporate a new anchor locker, which can be equipped with an optional windlass. The pilothouse door is now aluminum, and a stereo with four speakers is also on the standard equipment list these days. The hull remains the same, a fairly traditional 21-degree deep-V which may not be quite as smooth as a 24-degree design but is exceptionally stable. We’ll note that in the past we’ve found trolling in the troughs on Parkers noticeably more comfortable than it is on many boats with more aggressive hulls of the same size.
The price of the 2820 XLD Sport Cabin comes in right around $150K, before adding a bunch of goodies and extras. If that number doesn’t stop your drooling, you’ll want to visit Parker Boats website ASAP to learn more.
Parker 2820 Specs
- LOA – 35’9” (Incl. bow pulpit and platform; 28’0” hull length)
- Beam – 9’6”
- Draft – 1’6”
- Displacement – 6,400
- Transom deadrise – 21 degrees
- Fuel capacity – 232 gal.
California anglers need look no further than West Coast Marine for all their Parker needs.