Visiting a boat show can be an overwhelming experience, but we check out several of the biggest shows each and every year so we can take a look at the coolest new models and bring you the latest news. A few years back at the Fort Lauderdale show we came across six standouts in the under-25-foot category, which we wrote about at the time. And if you’re currently looking for used boats for sale, there’s a good chance you’ll run across one or more of these on the market for a whole lot less cash than a new model would cost. Keep your eyes peeled for:
- Boston Whaler 230 Outrage
- Scarab 195 Open Fish
- Cutwater 242 Sport Coupe
- Jeanneau Leader 7.5
- Scout 215 XSF
- Four Winns HD220
Boston Whaler 230 Outrage
Boston Whaler upped the ante in the 25-foot and under category when, in 2016, they introduced the 230 Outrage at the Fort Lauderdale show. Looking a lot like its bigger brothers in person, the 230 Outrage has a lot of big-boat features baked into a smaller package. Among those are an offshore-ready hull with a 21-degree transom deadrise, a maximum power rating of 350 horsepower, hefty pipework supporting a robust hardtop with lots of rod stowage, a massive helm with tons of room for multifunction displays and fishfinding gizmos, and a capacious live well at the stern.
We were happy to find that Boston Whaler didn’t sacrifice fishability for comfort, however. There’s lots of seating, including a U-shaped lounge in the bow that can be converted to a dinette with a drop-in table, a two-person bench ahead of the console, comfy helm seats with flip-up bolsters and a bench seat just aft of them, and an additional flip-up bench at the transom. We even found an enclosed head tucked under the console with more room than you’d expect from a boat this size. All in all, the Boston Whaler Outrage 230 has an almost perfect blend of fishability and comfort features that we think will keep both anglers and their families happy.
See Boston Whaler 230 Outrage used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Scarab 195 Open Fish
Though Yamaha introduced the first fishing-themed jet boat a couple of years earlier, about six years back the Scarab 195 Open Fish hit the water. It has some features that make it unique, notable among them the drop-down tailgate at the transom. It creates an expansive platform that makes getting in and out of the water easy, especially for those who intend to use this boat not just for fishing, but also for watersports. There’s even a tow pylon built into the canvas-covered T-top for pulling folks across the water on tubes, boards, and skis.
We especially liked the copious use of SeaDek foam panels on all the deck surfaces, which makes walking and kneeling a lot less painful. If you’ve ever dug your knee into traditional nonskid, you know what we’re getting at here. There’s also copious stowage, accessed by flip-up locker lids set into the forward and aft casting decks. Under the center console is an enclosed head. It’s a bit tight in there, but it’s large enough to get the job done.
Pushing the Scarab 195 Open Fish along is a 250-horsepower Rotax engine spinning a high-capacity jet capable of rocketing it up to a top speed in the low 40s, with efficient cruise speeds in the low 30s. And, like all jet boats, the 195 has amazing acceleration and responsive handling that make it a ton of fun to run. If you’re looking for a fishing jet boat with great performance in a small package, the 195 Open Fish is hard to beat.
See Scarab 195 Open Fish used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Cutwater 242 Sport Coupe
Cutwater’s got a reputation for building innovative boats with a lot of clever features that make them not only comfortable and enjoyable, but also able to serve many different functions. We’ve seen this ingenuity first-hand on the builder’s 26-, 28- and 30-foot models, so we were excited when we saw the new Cutwater 242 Sport Coupe introduced for the 2017model year. It’s got lots of Cutwater innovation, but in a sportier, performance-minded package.
One of the ingredients in that performance recipe is a double-stepped hull with a deep entry that transitions to a moderate keel pad for maximum efficiency. A Yamaha F300 outboard provides a top end near 40 mph, but most folks will cruise the 242 Sport Coupe in the high 20s to low 30s — perfect for making good progress toward weekend cruising destinations.
On board we found all sorts of cleverness, from the cockpit all the way up to the bow. There’s an electric grill built into the transom with an adjacent sink, but that’s only half the story. The grill’s not just removable, it conceals a fully rigged livewell underneath it. That’s an incredibly smart way to make use of one space for two purposes. Inside are more intelligent touches, including a port-side dinette than can be converted into both a berth or forward-facing companion seating across from the helm. An aft-facing seat provides additional cockpit seating or can be flipped down to provide a small food prep area.
What we liked most about the Cutwater 242 Sport Coupe, however, was the way its designers engineered full opening panels into the cabin house. It’s one of the lightest, airiest cabins we’ve ever seen in a small express-type cruiser, but it can be buttoned up in a hurry when the weather goes south. Cruising couples — the main target market for the 242 — will enjoy a spacious V-berth master stateroom, enclosed head, and adjacent wash-up sink.
See Cutwater 242 Sport Coupe used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Jeanneau Leader 7.5
Jeanneau makes powerboats? Yup, they sure do, and plenty of good ones at that. Once marketed as the Cap Camarat in Europe, the Jeanneau Leader 7.5 is an interesting walk-around/cuddy cabin boat blends a lot of features from both of those design types. No doubt about it, the Leader 7.5 has a unique look about it, with a centralized console unit that gives it the appearance of being a dual-console boat, an expansive sunpad area on the foredeck that provides an express-boat feel, and a teak-decked aft cockpit that has the ambience of a Mediterranean flybridge yacht. All in all, though, the Leader 7.5 is graceful and sleek with a hull that promises to provide capable handling in a variety of conditions.
Below it all is a cuddy cabin with a V-berth that can be expanded with a drop-in cushion and is flanked by two massive pieces of inset hullside glass to make it feel open and airy. An enclosed head is situated to starboard, while a washbasin and dressing area is to port. It’s all plenty comfortable for a weekending couple, and can be made more comfortable by tying off at marinas with showering facilities.
There’s a 300-horspeower Yamaha F300 four-stroke outboard strapped on the stern, which has the beans to propel the Leader 7.5 into the mid 40s and cruise in the low 30s. You can also choose a pair of Yamaha F200s, which provide a top-end around 50 mph. Whether you’ve got day cruising, creek-hopping or weekending on the mind, you’ll want to have a closer look at the Leader 7.5; it’s got a lot going for it.
See Jeanneau Leader 7.5 used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Scout 215 XSF
We’ve run quite a few Scout boats through the years, and one of the first things that struck us about their 21-footer when it was introduced back in late 2016 was its price. A nicely equipped model would have run you under $50,000 back then, and just over if you tricked it out with some nice electronics. If you know Scout Boats, you’ll see that this isn’t any bargain-basement model that’s slapped together quickly and cheaply. We found its fit and finish to be extraordinary for a boat this price.
A Yamaha F150 150-horsepower four-stroke outboard is standard on the 215 XSF, though you can option it out up to 250 horsepower. Performance is plenty spirited with the base engine, however, good for a 45 mph at the top end and about a 28-mph cruise. We expect the same quality ride and performance out of the 215 XSF as Scout’s other models, which is to say it should be exemplary. Scout builds a tough hull, using modern composite boatbuilding techniques and a running surface designed to deal with the rough stuff out there.
Scouts are also known for being comfortable, and the 215 XSF also doesn’t skimp in that category. The bow features a U-shaped lounge with padded backrests and stowage lockers underneath, and there’s a two-person lounge set just ahead of the console with room for outstretched legs. Flip-up backrests in the forward lounge create two forward-facing chaise lounges. At the stern is a flip-up bench . Two chairs with flip-up bolsters sit behind the helm.
Fishing features weren’t forgotten, thankfully — the Scout 215 XSF is loaded with them. The expansive dash has room for dual multifunction displays, and rod stowage abounds with rod holders behind the helm chairs, on the T-top frame, in the gunwales, and under them as well. And there’s plenty of room for stowing your catch beneath the lounge ahead of the console — it’s a huge fish locker. Run for your lives, fish!
See Scout 215 XSF used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Four Winns HD220
One of the best parts about this slightly aged member of the Four Winns family is that it can be found with either inboard or outboard power. Either way, the boat has a lot to like about it. Kitted out with a 250-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury Verado outboard, the Four Winns HD220 will easily blast up to near 50 mph at top end and cruise around 30 mph. You can expect similar performance from the HD220 inboard model when fitted with at least a 300-horsepower Volvo Penta or MerCruiser gas engine. Feel the need for speed? Choose a 350-horsepower inboard and jet into the low 50s at top end.
The HD220 is essentially a deck boat, but it’s very different in many ways from most of the deck boats we’ve run. First of all, it doesn’t look like one. Second, the HD220’s Stable-Vee hull doesn’t ride like a lot of deck boats do. The design is more reminiscent of a bowrider, with a graceful reverse sheer and waterline that’s carried far enough forward to create a ton of deck boat-like space, but without the flat, unappealing bow deck boats can sometimes have. Performance-wise, the HD220 doesn’t bang and rattle like many deck boats can. We enjoyed a smooth, capable ride when we took one for a spin back in 2016.
Stepping aboard we found a roomy layout designed to provide lots of space for folks to hang out and relax. The main cockpit features an L-shaped lounge aft, twin swiveling captain’s chairs behind the consoles, and a one-person bench behind the helm chair. Forward is a U-shaped lounge that can also be used with two forward-facing chaise lounges. We really liked how the entire area was upholstered with buttery, cushy vinyl. Very comfortable indeed. All of this makes the HD220 very unlike any deck boat we’ve encountered.
See Four Winns HD220 used boats for sale on Boat Trader.
Did you find the used boat of your dreams among these six? Maybe, or maybe not. If the answer was a no, you may be interested in checking out:
- 10 Best Used Boats for Wakeboarding and Water Skiing
- Innovative Pontoon Boats For Sale on the Used Boat Market
- Five Used Runabouts to Look Out For
- Five Best Used Saltwater Fishing Boats to Keep an Eye Out For
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in November of 2016 and was last updated in December of 2022.
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