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Ideal buy now for a real angler. NEW twin Yamaha F300 in 2018 by the professionals at Alhambra Marine, approximately 240 hours, Yamaha warranty to July 6, 2021-can be extended. Newer Simrad GPS/Sounder, original Furuno radar, vhf, outriggers, live well, many fish boxes, forward cuddy cabin, aft bench seat. NEW upholstery and canvas on T-top in 2017. Immense open deck space plus storage for all your angling equipment. Built strong plus 24.5 degree deadrise for real seas. Likely consume 22 GPH at 4200 RPM for 1.2 MPG. Professionally serviced, detailed. Immediately available to fish today. Schedule your private appointment off-site. Get YOUR offer ACCEPTED now before another buyer's. Don't miss another boat.
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Speed & Distance
Sport Fishing, by Dean Travis Clarke, October 26,
Contender 36 Review
The performance characteristics of this hull really only make sense for one purpose - going fast in big seas over long distances.
By By Dean Travis Clarke
October 26, 2001
I took the liberty of climbing aboard the Contender 36 at the dock when no one was around. My first thought was, "Sheesh, you could take a cab from the bow to the stern." This boat offers a huge amount of fishing space and can transport you to any fishing grounds in the blink of an eye.
Normally I would hesitate to run a performance boat in the 4- to 5-foot seas we encountered during the Miami Boat Show. But since the Contender 36 is meant to go fast in such conditions, off we went. Quite honestly, I'm surprised this boat doesn't have spare tankage for carrying extra testosterone. It's a highly refined monster. Specially designed and built for triple engines, our boat had three Yamaha 250-hp EFIs connected to Gaffrig racing controls. I've never been a big fan of triple-engine installations, but I discovered more benefits to this package than disadvantages. The two outboard engines set farther apart make for much better close-quarters handling around a dock than standard close-set twin installations. The boat pivots substantially better with increased distance between drives. Live-bait fishing also draws benefits from three engines, but more on that later.
The boat does exactly what Contender says it will. Thanks to greater length and weight than the 31, running over 50 mph in 4- to 5-foot seas proved no problem for the boat or passengers. In calm water, I found it to be about 3 to 4 knots faster than the 31 with twin 250s. But triples burn a ton more fuel than twins, don't they? Well, yes - and no. At 60 mph, we burned 90 gph. Drop it to 50 mph and the consumption drops to a little better than a mile per gallon. With a 410-gallon standard fuel capacity, you get a pretty nice range at 50 mph. The question that begs an answer: How many owners with a boat capable of going faster than 60 mph want to run at 50?
My main question, "It's such a fabulous fishing boat; why can't I get it with twins instead of triples?" got an unexpected answer.
"If someone specifically wanted twin engines, and I couldn't talk them into a 31," says Contender President Joe Neber, "I'd recommend cutting back on fuel capacity and moving other weight farther aft." With that said, however, Neber insists triples are truly the only way to go on this boat. "The performance characteristics of this hull really only make sense for one purpose - going fast in big seas over long distances. Then, when you get [to where you're going] it fishes as well as - if not better than - any boat in our fleet. It's certainly the most maneuverable of all our boats." I'll vouch for that.
If you qualify as a truly hard-core offshore fisherman, you won't find a more complete, better-designed fishing platform than this Contender. Two above-deck livewells in the transom augment another in the cockpit sole. Huge in-deck fish boxes outboard on both sides can handle numerous large tuna.
At first glance, it's surprising to find no under-gunwale rod storage as standard equipment. Further investigation reveals five vertical rod holders on each side of the helm console, four more across the back of the T-top, five across leaning post back and racks for seven rods in each of two large in-deck compartments forward of the console. Of course, with many avid kite fishermen as owners, Contender mounts five in-gunwale holders along each side, with optional under-gunwale outlets for electric reels.
I found an amazing amount of room alongside the console - enough for two large anglers with fish on to pass each other. I also marveled at the security in a rough sea. No matter where you stand aboard the Contender 36, if you start to lose your balance, there's something close at hand to grab onto and a place to plant your feet.
As an example of attention to fishing detail, bow gunwale heights have been designed with spinning reels in mind. An average adult can reel down on a fish (remember, the reel is below the rod) and not bang the reel into the deck.
Finally, thanks to the boat's weight and size, one engine in gear provides a perfect live-bait speed.
Design and Construction
To avoid confusion, the Contender 36 is not simply an extended 31. Contender started with a clean sheet of paper and built this boat specifically for triple engines. It made the transom and stringers beefier and cored the topsides with AL600 epoxy-impregnated Baltek balsa. This new product provides a better lamination bond while virtually eliminating any possibility of water intrusion into the balsa. Otherwise, the 36 boasts the same heavily overbuilt construction as on all other Contender boats. It also uses only vinylester resins for maximum blister protection which, combined with bi- and tri-axial fiberglass cloth makes for a very heavy, solid fiberglass bottom construction.
Unlike many performance boats that simply add fishing features to an offshore racing hull, Contender makes boats for fishing - then they make them fast. You can expect any Contender to be far more stable in a beam-sea drift, for example, than a performance-cum-fishing boat. I can't imagine a more capable fishing platform than this 36.
WEIGHT 5,600 lb.
DEADRISE 24.5 degrees
FUEL (std.) 410 gal.
MAX HP (3) 300-hp OB
Triple Yamaha 250-hp Saltwater Series II
Contender Factory-rigged,one 30-inch shaft, two left-hand/one right-hand rotation)
TYPE 90-degree V-6
DISPL. 191 cid
MAX RPM 5,500
HP/LB RATIO 0.52
FUEL SYSTEM Ox66 EFI
GEAR RATIO 1.81:1
WEIGHT 493 lb.
ALT. OUTPUT 35 amps
Yamaha's 250-hp Ox66 fuel-injected Saltwater Series outboards last in warm, salty water. Contender includes loads of customization in the rigging and controls, accounting for the difference in price from published Yamaha MSRP.
Notable Standard Equipment
• 3 large live baitwells
• Recessed hydraulic trim tabs
• Two 76-gallon fish boxes
• Recessed bow rail
• 10-year hull warranty
This hull won't appeal to everyone. It's huge, expensive and monster-tough. But it runs very fast in big seas for long distances.
Salt Water sportsman Review by John Brownlee, Sept
By John Brownlee
September 21, 2007
Contender 36 Open, Courtesy Contender Boats
For those of you who are convinced that size really does matter, Contender has just designed your kind of boat. The new 36 is for the guy who wants everybody to know that he is serious about the sport, and wants the ultimate outboard boat to take him where he needs to go. This is one big, bad machine, and is not likely to be confused with a picnic or water-ski boat.
Start with the power. Sure, Contender says twins will push it OK, but everybody really wants the thrill of triples. It's a gas (no pun intended) pushing three Gaffrig throttles forward and feeling 36 feet of fiberglass leap onto plane at the urging of 750 horsepower!
Bill Gilbert of Caribee Boat Sales in Islamorada made his personal 36 available to us for testing, and running this boat around off the Florida Keys is something most of us could get used to real quick. The length allows it to ignore seas that would pound a smaller boat into submission, and the deep-vee hull tracks straight and slices through chop effortlessly.
At a 4000 rpm cruise, the boat hit 35.7 knots (at about 48 gallons per hour) with the three 250-hp Yamahas, and it really stretched out at full throttle, hitting 46.3 knots at 5400 rpm. That's fast for a boat this size, and even more incredible when you realize it had a full tower, which adds substantial wind resistance.
All About the Fish
But enough about speed, size and other testosterone-related subjects. How does it fish? Well, those of you who admire Contenders will be pleased to know that the 36 contains all the features that have made the company's other boats so popular among hard-core fishermen. In some cases these features are simply bigger.
For starters, the deck area forward of the console is massive, so large that the optional coffin box seems small when plopped down in such an expanse. The coffin is bolted to the deck hatch, and raises on an electric ram when you need to access the huge storage compartment beneath it. Another deep, in-deck storage box aft of the coffin will hold a substantial amount of gear, or could be used as a fishbox if the coffin isn't big enough.
Hatches to port and starboard open into the hull and provide more storage, as well as access to the Y-valve, holding tank, and raw-water through-hull for the head in the port compartment. A substantial anchor locker is at the bow, and our test boat came with a pop-up bow light, so there's nothing to snag a line.
The surprisingly small console has no seat forward, but features a door for easy access to the head compartment below. The optional marine head takes up substantial space, but the sub-console area still has room for storage and the oil tanks. All wiring and electronics can be easily reached from in here.
The helm features a row of gauges beneath the Contender's flat panel, where electronics are meant to go. The wheel is to port, and the triple-lever racing-style Gaffrig controls took up the space to the right of the helm.
The custom tower was integrated into a Birdsall leaning post/tackle center, with lots of rod holders, plastic tackle trays, and two large StarBoard tackle drawers. Even the most hopeless tackle collector should find enough space for storing his hear in here.
The 36 has a very large cockpit, with two 76-gallon insulated fishboxes beneath the cockpit sole, a large hatch for inner-hull access, and a small, in-deck live well. Two more live wells (40 gallons each) are located in the transom bulkhead, so there's no excuse for running out of bait on this boat. A transom gate to starboard provides access to the integrated engine platform, and our test boat sported the optional coaming pads that run all the way around the boat.
Contender builds its boats to withstand quite a bit of punishment, because Contender owners usually fish hard. The 36 has foam flotation, and is built using hand-laid fiberglass with multi-directional fabric and a foam-cored stringer system for maximum strength. It's built tough, and was designed for those of us who accept no compromises when it comes to fishing. If that sounds like you, this could be your boat.