2024 Boat Buyers Guide – Part One

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Find your next center console from this crop of new models.

By Gregg Mansfield

The family has been saving for years and now it’s time to pull the trigger on a new center-console boat. The shopping process can be overwhelming with so many brands and models on the market.

For consumers looking for the latest and greatest center console, the 2024 Buyers Guide from Center Console Life will help the family find the right boat. Whether the family wants an entry-level model or has eyes on a new 52-foot console, the builders have it covered.

Taking ownership of a new boat is now months instead of years as boat companies have whittled away at a backlog of orders after working through supply chain issues. Boat companies now have the bandwidth to introduce new models and innovative designs.

If you don’t see a favorite center console on the following pages, head over to CenterConsoleLifemag.com and there are even more boats to check out. 

Happy shopping!

Axopar Boats 29 XC Cross Cabin

Axopar 29 Xc Cross Cabin

Axopar Boats’ modular design allows for extensive customization on the 29 XC Cross Cabin (28’ 8” LOA, 9’ 8” beam). The boat has a fully enclosed wheelhouse with seating for six people including flip-up and rotating bolsters for the pilot and copilot.

Access to the wheelhouse is easy thanks to a new door design with a wider opening. Axopar offers three versions of the aft deck with an open concept, wet bar and an aft cabin with storage. The optional cabin can sleep two people and is available with an optional toilet and sink.

The 29-footer is offered with either a single or twin outboards from Mercury Marine.


Brabus Marine 1000 Black Ops

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The Brabus Shadow 1000 Black Ops Signature Edition is the fastest Shadow ever produced.

With twin Mercury Racing V8 500R engines delivering 1,000 horsepower, the Shadow 1000 (38’ LOA, 11’ beam) has a top speed of 69 mph. Available in Cross-Cabin and Sun-Top configurations, the fully enclosed pilothouse can seat eight people and features a glass bridge with 12” screen and an entertainment system from JL Audio.

Brabus offers aft layout options including an open deck, bench, wet bar package, multi-storage compartment and an aft-cabin package. The bow can be configured for an extended sunbathing area and a sofa with a table. 


Cigarette Racing 52 Thunder

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The new 52 Thunder from Cigarette Racing is loaded with technology that includes hatches that open with a button, tables that retract seamlessly into the sole and backrests that slide out of the gunwales.

Available with five or six Mercury Racing 500R outboards or four 600-hp Mercury Marine outboards, the 52 Thunder (52’ 1” LOA, 14’ beam) is an all-new hull with a 23-degree deadrise. The helm has seven fully adjustable, shock-absorbing chairs, and the dash features three 24-inch Garmin displays. The three bow loungers or the chef’s kitchen on the stern are great spots to entertain. Below, Cigarette Racing provided a cabin with air conditioning, seating, and an enclosed head with a shower. 


De Antonio D50 Coupe

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The new D50 Coupé from De Antonio brings together the best features of its brother, the D50 Open, and improves upon the usable indoor and outdoor space.

Setting the model apart is a cabin superstructure that offers greater comfort and safety on deck, as well as protecting the driver’s spot from wind and spray. The D50 Coupe (48’ 10” LOA, 14’ 5” beam) offers shaded areas on deck with the possibility of folding a retractable awning on the roof to let in light and enjoy the good weather. 

The boat is powered by twin Mercury 600-hp outboards and cruises at around 40 mph with a top speed of 52 mph.


Everglades Boats 315cc

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Built using Everglades Boats’ Rapid Molded Core Assembly Process (RAMCAP), the technology fills voids and makes the 315cc unsinkable. Boaters can feel secure when taking the 315cc (31’6” LOA, 10’4” beam) deep offshore. The new model comes standard with a fiberglass hardtop, multiple fish boxes and a fully finished head compartment with a porcelain head and a sink with a shower. Everglades offers the 315cc with either twin engines from Mercury Marine or Yamaha Marine. With dual 400-hp outboards from Mercury, the 315cc cruises at 44 mph and a top speed of 56 mph. Customers can add a Seakeeper 2 gyrostabilizer or Seakeeper Ride 600 trim tab system for increased comfort. 


Fountain Powerboats 43 SCX

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Returning to its performance roots, Fountain Powerboats launched the 43 SCX for 2024. The 43 SCX (43’ LOA, 12’3” beam) features Fountain’s next-generation hardtop and a new dash for the Washington, N.C., builder. Below, Fountain included a queen-size berth and an enclosed head and a 6,000 BTU heater/air conditioner to keep it comfortable. The 43 SCX is highly customizable from gelcoat and graphic options as well as creature comforts such as a cockpit galley, generator or SeaKeeper gyrostablizer. The new flagship model is available with quad Mercury Racing 400R or 500R outboards. No performance-oriented center console is complete without a 24-speaker, five amplifier sound system and ShadowCaster lighting system. 


Grady-White Boats 231 CE

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For being the smallest boat in the Coastal Explorer line, the new 231 CE from Grady-White packs a lot of punch for serious anglers.

Fishing features include a  277-quart fish box, a 25-gallon livewell, tackle stowage and large casting platforms on the bow and aft.

Built on Grady’s legendary SeaV2 hull, the center console drafts 16” and is great for fishing shallow waters or pulling up to the sandbar for the afternoon.

The 231 CE (22’ 7” LOA, 8’ 6” beam) has a console with a standup head and a window for additional light. The helm is spacious enough for two 12” displays


Highfield Sport 800


The all-new Highfield Sport 800 rigid inflatable boat (RIB) offers the same features and luxury as its full-fiberglass counterparts. The Sport 800 (26’ 7” LOA, 9’ 8” beam) has a deep-V hull, providing exceptional stability and handling in various sea conditions. The tube design, a trademark of RIBs, adds an extra layer of buoyancy and shock absorption, enhancing the overall safety and comfort of the ride. Highfield offers the model with multiple engine options. The console is ergonomically designed, placing controls within easy reach and a clear line of sight. The navigation and digital displays are integrated in the helm, which is available with an optional carbon-fiber dash. The Sport 800 includes a table, sundeck and a swim platform with a ladder.