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33 palmetto vs 31 contender vs 31 cape horn

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33 palmetto vs 31 contender vs 31 cape horn

Old 07-26-2020, 03:06 PM
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Default 33 palmetto vs 31 contender vs 31 cape horn

Iím currently running a 25 contender and really like the boat but looking to move up to a 30+ in the next year or so and trying to do my research ahead of time. Sticking with the contender the 31 contender is on my list of course. I also like the Cape Horn 31s I have seen even though Iíve never been on one personally. The 33 palmetto has really caught my eye lately. Seems to give me a little more size while still being able to stick with twins(unsure if I want to move to a triple engine boat or not). Any input from people who have been on these is appreciated. The only one I have direct experience with is the contender.
Old 07-26-2020, 04:02 PM
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I keep trying to like the CH but find a couple of things I can't deal with. First, the lack of storage space. Im used to the Contenders in deck
hatches all over the boat. I think the CH has only one large one up front. The other thing is the TTOP. I don't know why but I just don't like it...
Old 07-26-2020, 04:28 PM
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I fished a 31 Cape Horn Quite a bit and owned a 31 contender for 6 years. The cape is a great boat but is short on storage. It rides well and it a little more efficient than the contender. We seemed to take a lot of waves over the bow trolling in conditions that would surprise me, it may actually ride a little softer than the contender.

The 31 contender is a great rig, lots of storage, great resale and fast and efficient. I had mine 125 miles off Jacksonville and over to the Abacos a few times. Itís tough to go wrong with them.

i donít know much about the palmetto but I think itís considerably larger than the cape and a little bigger than the contender. I think itís going to burn 20-25% more fuel than the contender.
Old 07-27-2020, 05:48 AM
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The lack of storage is my biggest issue with the cape horns as well. Normal runs are 50-60 off easily for me one way to fish. Also plan to trailer to Florida and make some Bahamas trips as well. Trying to decide if 31 is enough boat of if I need to move to something 33-35. Just unsure if I want triples or not due to extra maintenance, etc.
Old 07-27-2020, 06:08 AM
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For the life of me, I can't figure out why Cape Horn has not solved the storage issue, which has been the main knock on the 31 for years. It's a great riding hull and built like a tank, but much of your stuff has to stored in deck boxes, which creates tremendous clutter.

This is the same reason I have ruled out the 31' Twin Vee catamaran for any future consideration. In my opinion, it's down right sinful to waste all that space in those two cavernous hulls which could be used to store all my chit!
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by scyounggun View Post
The lack of storage is my biggest issue with the cape horns as well. Normal runs are 50-60 off easily for me one way to fish. Also plan to trailer to Florida and make some Bahamas trips as well. Trying to decide if 31 is enough boat of if I need to move to something 33-35. Just unsure if I want triples or not due to extra maintenance, etc.
31 is plenty of boat to do a Bahamas trips in but a 33-35 is a little more enjoyable when it kicks up a little on a long run like that.
Old 07-27-2020, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by flfisher View Post
31 is plenty of boat to do a Bahamas trips in but a 33-35 is a little more enjoyable when it kicks up a little on a long run like that.
This is my thoughts on it as well. Of course any will feel like a big upgrade from my current 25 classic. Still young but try not to be too dumb
Old 07-27-2020, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by scyounggun View Post
This is my thoughts on it as well. Of course any will feel like a big upgrade from my current 25 classic. Still young but try not to be too dumb
Same scenario I am in, I didn't fish the 31/32 when there was a 15 in the forecast unless it was behind me on the ride out and was going to fall off throughout the day. The 35 makes 15 no big deal and normally still pretty comfortable and relatively dry unless its on your side.
Old 07-27-2020, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by scyounggun View Post
The lack of storage is my biggest issue with the cape horns as well. Normal runs are 50-60 off easily for me one way to fish. Also plan to trailer to Florida and make some Bahamas trips as well. Trying to decide if 31 is enough boat of if I need to move to something 33-35. Just unsure if I want triples or not due to extra maintenance, etc.
we run our 31 open 100-160 miles one way On a regular basis without any issues. Plenty of boat for anything you want to throw at it. Great hull and easy to maintain size wise before going bigger and more engines. Sure a bigger boat may do it a little better but youíll also pay for it.
Old 07-27-2020, 12:05 PM
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I had the Cape Horn and have rode in numerous 31 Contenders. The Cape Horn is the best riding boat I have ever been in hands down. But there are some things that made me move on. Lack of storage was huge, when did our Bahamas crossing last year we looked like sanford and son stacked up while my buddies boat had all clear decks. Another thing was it was very tender on the drift and if you laid side to it would get uncomfortable. I did like the boat, but as soon as we got back I told the wife I was moving upto 36-39ft class. lol Palmettos are nice for sure, but have bad fuel economy from what i have been told.
Old 07-27-2020, 12:25 PM
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Look at venture 34!Hell of a boat with storage and rides out!
Old 07-27-2020, 12:30 PM
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Agree on Venture!
Old 07-27-2020, 12:55 PM
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I'd throw the 34 CV in there.
Old 07-27-2020, 04:34 PM
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Love my Palmetto. It is thirsty though. On most day bottom fishing trips we average 1.2mpg key on key off unless it gets really rough and it drops to 1. With that said i always tend to run more tab than most friends that I ride with i hate beating the boat and myself. I also almost always run my trips with a full 290 gallon tank because if the weather is good never know where we might end up plus its easier to split the fuel when you just fill it back up.

Its drier than a contender but doesn't run as fast in a following sea as contender. Head sea ill put it against any center console in its size class. The big bow also makes it extremely difficult to stuff. Have been in seas that we shouldn't have been and never felt unsafe.

My buddy has a 34 venture and its nice too. Has a much lower bow than my palmetto which took a little getting use to. It rides really good and is very solid. It has zero rattles when hitting waves.

the palmetto could stand to be a triple engine boat but the transom won't work with it. The wiring was subpar from the factory but thats just an improvement project. I put a coffin box on mine with electric actuators to access the 1100 quart infloor box so we have a lot of fishbox space.

Any other questions please feel free to ask me
Old 10-11-2020, 08:12 AM
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I have a 33 Palmetto and love it. The reason its "slow" is because it (my boat with hardtop) weighs about 13,000# dressed and in the water. Also limited to 600 horsepower. 50 is plenty fast for me. Cruise is in the mid 30's at 1.3. Best feature is the high gunnels.
Old 10-11-2020, 09:35 AM
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The Cape Horn is foamed/unsinkable and a super solid hull. Read up on them. I had one and the unsinkable part is better to me than storage boxes. The beam is a little less but when you are rocking and rolling there is probably not much difference. You hardly find stress cracks in a Cape Horn and there is a reason for that.
Old 10-11-2020, 09:58 AM
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My vote would be the Contender. Agree CH has minimum storage. I believe they quit making Palmetto boats several years ago although I don't remember the reason. Someone that owns one here should be able to elaborate. You may want to look at Bluewater as they also have great storage.
Old 10-11-2020, 10:47 AM
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If money was no option Iíd go for the contender all day. I think it is the better built/ designed boat, however I think you are paying more for the name of the manufacturer than the CH. To me the CH is better value to boat and would be my pick. There are enough creative storage ideas to get around the deck storage lack. With that said, Iím a huge fan of the CH fishbox.
Side track, to get around the price tag issue on the contender I would look at the 31 competition. Thereís a beautiful one in the ďfor saleĒ section.
Old 10-12-2020, 02:35 AM
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33 palmetto all day if you can rewire it and if looking at all 3 used. The ride is amazing. Fuel economy really is not bad for a big heavy boat. PM me for any questions you may have. Just sold ours 3 months ago on here.
Old 10-12-2020, 07:02 AM
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If those 3 are all you are considering Palmetto.

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