Commanding Position: West Ashley boat dealer showcases more than 24-foot, locally built Sea Fox edition as its top seller

A highlight of the SeaFox 246 Commander rolled out in 2014 is all digital controls. The boat, built in Moncks Corner, is priced at around $65,000 at Palmetto Boat Sales. Leroy Burnell/Staff 2/16/2015

If Shane Logsdon were handing out “bests,” a local watercraft model unveiled last year and spiffed up for 2015 would be a four-way threat.

The vessel beats competitors in “looks, features, value and warranty,” according to Logsdon, sales associate at Palmetto Boat Sales. “It’s as good as it gets.” Okay, he must be a fan.

The boat is the Sea Fox 246 Commander, manufactured in Moncks Corner and designed to excel as a versatile center console boat equally adept at pulling a ski tow, fishing in area creeks and rivers or topping out at 54 mph along open waters.

At the same time, the watercraft isn’t too pricey for its size. A standard model costs in the “upper $60,000s” including boat, motor and trailer, Logsdon said. The generous warranty includes lifetime hull protection.

The 246 has proven to be a rainmaker at Palmetto Boat Sales, a Savannah Highway affiliate of Palmetto Ford Lincoln. “This particular model was bestselling last year,” he said. Perks include the ample 24-foot-plus length; all digital controls; and family-friendly features from built-in drink holders to an easy opening gate that helps swimmers climb onboard from the rear ladder.

Logsdon also cites the boat’s expert blend of prowess and convenience. “This is the most boat (available) with a single engine,” in this case, a 300 hp Yamaha, he said. Cruising speed is around 30 mph. Larger watercraft would require the extra upkeep of twin engines, “which is why this model is so popular,” he said.

Sea Fox, meanwhile, hasn’t rested on its laurels since the 246 was introduced last year to much fanfare. Among the highlights for this year is a “khaki colored cushion package” that makes every scallop-styled seat comfortable — and attractive — from stem to stern. The seating arrangement, which includes a bench stretching across the boat and two back rests in the center, accords “great visibility,” he said. The boat offers a cool appearance up close or from a distance. “We have a nice sheer line,” Logsdon said, while offering a “Carolina flavor” with the sky blue-teal hull. “We matched the hull color with the hardtop,” he said. Sea Fox affixes the hardtop at its factory. A canvas top is also available. The covered center console includes a fiberglass wind shield, steering wheel and throttle, digital gauges and cushioned seats for two people.

Longtime local boat maker and fisherman Fred Renken heads up Sea Fox, which has its operations off U.S. Highway 52.

“The factory is 22 miles from the dealership,” Logsdon said. “It gives the boater peace of mind, to have the factory in the back yard,” he said.

High-tech features dot the watercraft, including Bluetooth and LED lighting.

Palmetto Boat Sales provides scores of custom features for the center console. Buyers can choose depth finders and GPS systems, to name a couple of extras.

The Commander serves up fishing accoutrements including space for coolers, rods and bait and a fish box to keep catches in the water.

Fresh from its success with the 246 model, Sea Fox rolled out a more than 26-foot 266 edition for 2015. “I think this will be a strong (choice),” Logsdon said.

Frigid temperatures and blustery winds this week limited a ride and brief drive in the Sea Fox Commander. Still, Logsdon displayed the engine’s smooth but quick acceleration and gentle turning arc on the Ashley River not far from the Wappoo Boat Landing.

The hull’s shape and the wind screen kept down spray as the boat cut through the water. A small rounded handle helps the pilot steer the somewhat weighty wheel. The hand controlled-throttle eased the boat to higher speeds while acting like a brake when decelerating.

The cushioned seats provided give without being too cushy. Moving about the boat was not difficult thanks to open lanes and the center console bars to grab hold. While there were no dislikes, the boat could include more standard high-tech perks. And the craft, while priced for value, is hardly inexpensive.

Yet the Sea Fox 246, even in a curtailed ride, showed off its eminent strengths as a boat the whole family can enjoy.

To learn more about the Sea Fox lineup and other brands, visit www.palmettoboatsales.com.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.