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Deciding between Sea Hunt GF 27, Contender 25T, and Regulator 23

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Deciding between Sea Hunt GF 27, Contender 25T, and Regulator 23

Old 09-02-2020, 01:00 PM
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Default Deciding between Sea Hunt GF 27, Contender 25T, and Regulator 23

Greetings all,

Currently in the market for our first center console boat to get into offshore fishing. As the title mentions, we are currently deciding between these 3 boats. We plan to mostly fish the boat and would be fishing out of Oregon Inlet 90% of the time. Would it be better to go with a bigger boat (GF 27) or one that is a little smaller but better quality hull? Looking forward to your inputs...

Last edited by DanTheMan99; 09-02-2020 at 01:07 PM.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:07 PM
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The contender is a nice little
pocket battle wagon and twin engines usually, like contender the regulator is small inside and kind of stumpy with lots of bow room and very little room behind the leaning post. The seahunt 27gf are not in the the same league quality and fit and finish wise but they are a little larger that the other 2 choices. I went with contender and am very happy with the boat and when it’s time the resale will be very good with minimal loss.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:09 PM
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"The contender is a nice little
pocket battle wagon and twin engines usually, like contender the regulator is small inside and kind of stumpy with lots of bow room and very little room behind the leaning post. The seahunt 27gf are not in the the same league quality and fit and finish wise but they are a little larger that the other 2 choices. I went with contender and am very happy with the boat and when it’s time the resale will be very good with minimal loss."

How do you use the boat? Have you fished it offshore at all? I like the Contender, but I'm not in love with the layout.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:17 PM
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I have the 25b not the 25t, I fish On the 25t Once in a while Up to 60 miles offshore and it’s nice for 4 guys. I fish in one with open bow but has a transome bench seat. It’s a lot of boat jammed into a small package.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:20 PM
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Agree the Sea Hunt is not in the same category as the Contender or Regulator. IMO and in that size boat I would go with the Contender. Both Contender and Regulator are great boats and ride well. Reg is heavier and will not ride on top of the seas as well as the Contender.
Old 09-02-2020, 01:29 PM
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The hull of a boat is a game of trade-offs. More deadrise equals a better ride, less deadrise is more stable on the drift. I own a Sea Hunt...I'd but the Contender if you're going to fish most of the time...
Old 09-02-2020, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for your inputs.. I see a lot of Contender votes. Currently looking at a build sheet for a 25T and I'm wondering (for those of you familiar with Contender) what kind of discount I'll be able to get if any?
Old 09-02-2020, 01:47 PM
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Drop the Sea Hunt, I can speak first hand to the Regulator, it’s fantastic, quite honestly it consistently blows me away with how good it is, keep in mind it’s also LOA 27+ feet and weighs a ton, that said as long as top speed isn’t as important as comfort the Regulator is the winner for me...Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-02-2020, 02:45 PM
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Basically you are shopping at a price point and not a size.

I’m honestly surprised more people don’t do this.

Although this may not be super helpful...... they’re all good boats and priced appropriately. I don’t think you would regret any of them.

Three doors down from me is a Regulator 24. Next to them is a new Contender 25T. Across from them is a 22 Sea Hunt (Sorry no neighbors with a 27 here). But all are decent boats.

What’s more important to you? Size or quality?


And in answer to your question: No, you won’t pay MSRP for a new Contender. Not sure on the going discount on a 25T, but when looking at a 24S they were definitely discounted.

Go get on the boats. You should know if the 23 feels cramped or if the 27 is bigger than you need.

I do know this about people fishing offshore, I’ve never heard someone wishing they had a smaller boat. And with a 9’9” beam, that Sea Hunt is gonna feel a lot larger. Length (with the euro transom) it’s more like a 2 ft difference rather than 4 though.
Old 09-02-2020, 02:50 PM
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I’m in the same stage as you. Although the 27 GF is too big for my truck. I’m looking at boats in the $100k-90k Range. I love the 25t, but I need something with a few more family features, this is the only reason I am considering the SH 25GF.
Old 09-02-2020, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
Basically you are shopping at a price point and not a size.

I’m honestly surprised more people don’t do this.

Although this may not be super helpful...... they’re all good boats and priced appropriately. I don’t think you would regret any of them.

Three doors down from me is a Regulator 24. Next to them is a new Contender 25T. Across from them is a 22 Sea Hunt (Sorry no neighbors with a 27 here). But all are decent boats.

What’s more important to you? Size or quality?


And in answer to your question: No, you won’t pay MSRP for a new Contender. Not sure on the going discount on a 25T, but when looking at a 24S they were definitely discounted.

Go get on the boats. You should know if the 23 feels cramped or if the 27 is bigger than you need.

I do know this about people fishing offshore, I’ve never heard someone wishing they had a smaller boat.

This would be our first center console boat so quality isn't a huge issue. Obviously we want a safe boat that is going to be able to take us out to the fishing grounds of the coast of NC without any issue, but we dont necessarily need the best-of-the-best.

I have stepped foot on the Sea Hunt GF 27 Coffin Box and loved it (Havn't sea trialed one yet). Havnt been on a regulator or a contender, but I know they make very good boats.
Old 09-02-2020, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rcmay View Post
I’m in the same stage as you. Although the 27 GF is too big for my truck. I’m looking at boats in the $100k-90k Range. I love the 25t, but I need something with a few more family features, this is the only reason I am considering the SH 25GF.
The Contender is above that range for sure (new that is).

Did you consider the Contender 24S? Still above that range but has all the family friendly stuff. (120-130k new)

And if way more family friendly is what you’re after, the boat I have in order (Scout 235 XSF) may fit the bill too. (100–110k)
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Old 09-02-2020, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTheMan99 View Post
This would be our first center console boat so quality isn't a huge issue. Obviously we want a safe boat that is going to be able to take us out to the fishing grounds of the coast of NC without any issue, but we dont necessarily need the best-of-the-best.

I have stepped foot on the Sea Hunt GF 27 Coffin Box and loved it (Havn't sea trialed one yet). Havnt been on a regulator or a contender, but I know they make very good boats.
quality should be an issue regardless, buy the best quality for whatever your price point is imho.
Old 09-02-2020, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SeeSalt View Post
quality should be an issue regardless, buy the best quality for whatever your price point is imho.
Well, in the case if the boats in question, I would disagree. For these boats “quality” doesn’t refer to reliability nor that the Sea Hunt would fall apart.

Quality is more like “luxury.” It’s like asking if you should buy a small Audi or full size Ford. Both will last as long, but the Audi is fancier and the Ford more basic.

In the case of boats, they tend to run the exact same motors and electronics, where the “quality” differs is in:
hull design and construction
the guts (hatches, latches, wiring, inside the console) etc.

Willing to pay extra because the inside of your console is prettier and glossy finished? Up to you (fwiw, I was willing).
Old 09-02-2020, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
Well, in the case if the boats in question, I would disagree. For these boats “quality” doesn’t refer to reliability nor that the Sea Hunt would fall apart.

Quality is more like “luxury.” It’s like asking if you should buy a small Audi or full size Ford. Both will last as long, but the Audi is fancier and the Ford more basic.

In the case of boats, they tend to run the exact same motors and electronics, where the “quality” differs is in:
hull design and construction
the guts (hatches, latches, wiring, inside the console) etc.

Willing to pay extra because the inside of your console is prettier and glossy finished? Up to you (fwiw, I was willing).
Building off the hull aspect of this point- the dead rise of the sea hunt is 21degrees at the transom, but 24 at midship. Just my thinking, you’re probably not going to be going fast enough in the ocean to hang the bow that much, so will the sea hunt really ride that much different than a contender or a regulator at cruising speed (25-30)?
Old 09-02-2020, 03:28 PM
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Stepped hull 25 footers are interesting..the boat will NOT plane at slow speeds so if you get in slop hold on...that would be the Contender. Those big stepped hull boats can skip across the waves much more effectively than a 25...the Reg 26 is considered the best riding boat in that class...if you only plan to fish in 2 footers the Contender will be fine...I also think the Contender console and such seems a bit spartan but that is me.

r
Old 09-02-2020, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by DanTheMan99 View Post
Building off the hull aspect of this point- the dead rise of the sea hunt is 21degrees at the transom, but 24 at midship. Just my thinking, you’re probably not going to be going fast enough in the ocean to hang the bow that much, so will the sea hunt really ride that much different than a contender or a regulator at cruising speed (25-30)?
“Ride” is extremely subjective.

Weight, length, width, deadrise, design..... all matter and everything is a compromise.

A lighter boat may skip across the top of waves but smack more when it does land.

Longer boats can span across more waves but cost more.

Deeper V rides better but rocks more.

Wider also gives more room and stability but can hurt ride quality.

You picked 3 boats that all should have a decent ride but will feel different in different conditions.

Want to plow through (Regulator) skip across (Contender) or span more waves (Sea Hunt)? It’ll be personal preference..... sea trial!


It may seem silly to some, but one thing that sealed the deal for me buying a boat was driver’s seat comfort. Some of the boats I looked at seemed built for people who are 6’6” tall (I’m 5’11”). My feet would dangle like a kid and I couldn’t reach the foot rests.
Old 09-02-2020, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
Well, in the case if the boats in question, I would disagree. For these boats “quality” doesn’t refer to reliability nor that the Sea Hunt would fall apart.

Quality is more like “luxury.” It’s like asking if you should buy a small Audi or full size Ford. Both will last as long, but the Audi is fancier and the Ford more basic.

In the case of boats, they tend to run the exact same motors and electronics, where the “quality” differs is in:
hull design and construction
the guts (hatches, latches, wiring, inside the console) etc.

Willing to pay extra because the inside of your console is prettier and glossy finished? Up to you (fwiw, I was willing).
I wouldn’t say there is anything wrong with the sea hunt nor did I imply it would fall apart, it might actually be the fanciest out of the choices, but it’s not the quality of the other two...it’s the components, ride, and build not the bling I was referring to.
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by brdawg2001 View Post
Stepped hull 25 footers are interesting..the boat will NOT plane at slow speeds so if you get in slop hold on...that would be the Contender. Those big stepped hull boats can skip across the waves much more effectively than a 25...the Reg 26 is considered the best riding boat in that class...if you only plan to fish in 2 footers the Contender will be fine...I also think the Contender console and such seems a bit spartan but that is me.

r
this is very true, my 25b will easily out run a 25t in 2’ chop. My boat rips right across the top
Old 09-02-2020, 03:44 PM
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I am looking for a used boat. I don’t like the 2 piece design of the 25s. I’m looking for a fishing boat with enough seating to please my wife, but the 25t’s that I have seen don’t have much.


Originally Posted by 69Mach390 View Post
The Contender is above that range for sure (new that is).

Did you consider the Contender 24S? Still above that range but has all the family friendly stuff. (120-130k new)

And if way more family friendly is what you’re after, the boat I have in order (Scout 235 XSF) may fit the bill too. (100–110k)

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