Local manufacturer unveils sleek additions to 42-foot craft at boat show

Josh Slayton, product specialist for Scout Boats, stands on the deck of the manufacturer’s 420 luxury sportfishing vessel — which has new features for 2016.

Scout Boats last week showcased one of the company’s specialties — taking helpful modifications and making them better — by introducing its largest, newest retailored craft.

The $1.1 million Scout 420 “luxury center console fishing boat” shown to the public Jan. 29 at the Charleston Boat Show includes a spacious, easy-to-reach fly bridge and a “second-row seating configuration” offering extra comfort and space as well as a special food preparation attachment.

According to marketers, the model’s new features are highly anticipated for the Miami international boat show later this month, even as they were publicized first in North Charleston. The extra seating feature has been described as “pretty incredible.”

Josh Slayton, the 420 captain and product specialist at Summerville-based Scout Boats, displayed the already sold model to boating enthusiasts and shoppers during the show’s three-day run.

The fly bridge has “been there before on fishing boats,” he said. But competitors’ designs lack the easy climb to the second-tier bridge and the roomy “entertainment area” surrounding the cockpit. Likewise, the second-row seating and adjacent food prep zone aren’t new but they tend to be less expansive or not as conveniently situated on comparatively-sized luxury fishing boats sold by other builders.

Passengers have plenty of space to sit next to the captain on the fly bridge, which as a rule is only large enough for one person. Solid rungs lead to the Scout 420 bridge; on many boats, it’s a more difficult climb that only has to be made by the driver.

Scout Boats crafted the new fly bridge to meet customer interest. “We had people ask for it,” Slayton said. “At that point, it comes down to the style of the boat.” The builder took pains so the addition matched the original boat design and didn’t look like it was slapped on, he said.

Similarly, the second-row seating stemmed from client queries. “We had a number of customers who had seen it on other brands” and asked if Scout could add the feature, he said.

About half of the new 420s arrive with the tower and back seats. Original equipment on either design are four 350 hp outboard engines. Also standard are a center console “hull” for steering and navigating the boat and below-deck quarters with a drawer refrigerator, microwave, galley sink, table, 32-inch TV, king-sized or two single beds, shower, toilet and air conditioner.

While close to yacht size, the center console motorboat offers advantages to fishermen and recreational boaters. “One person can (both) drive and dock it,” he said. Also, the boat’s configuration makes it easier to motor into swallow water or anchor at the beach, he said. Plus, the 1,400 hp vessel can reach top speed of 65.9 mph and cruises around 40 mph.

The 42-footer at the boat show offered the perks of a fishing boat such as bait wells, “rocket launcher” pole holders and the new tower, which makes it easier to spot fish in the distance. The 420 also sports recreational benefits such as the upper lounge space, the second row of leather-like seats and the “leaning post” with sink, cutting board and grill area that closes up.

“It accomplishes both of these things (fishing and recreational boating),” Slayton said. “That’s why Scout Boats is so popular now.”

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.