Boat Reviews By Owners
2001 -- 34' 0" VENTURE
Cockpit: Cockpit is larger than most of the competition, based on console being slightly further forward, and full 10' beam. Console visibility is excellent forward and aft, although ours had a "short guy" folding step added, which has been good for 5'9 height and less. Cockpit could not be better for fsihing, in terms of livewell access, rigging sink with salt and fresh water, gunnel height from the water, and ease of getting to transom deck. Extra wide false transom deck provides great platform for net throwing, sight fishing from stern, etc. Transom door is very solid, and not considered a "weak link" at all, very positive latching.
Cabin: Fully finished head in console, with shower, and multiple hatch doors to provide access to all electricals, and most through hulls and pumps. We just upgraded electronics, and rigger said he'd never seen any better wiring layout. Our boat came rigged with canvas dodger and full forward cushions, to which I had added mosquito netting, which provides excellent overnighting capability. Will definitely come in handy for Bahamas deliveries. Also added "wings" to console enclosure, which have already proved valuable in extremely rough conditions with wind on the beam.
Construction: Having been a former multiple Contender owner, as well as older Mako's Grady Whites,etc, I must say that the construction is absolutely second to none. Gell coat finish is unbelievable. Cannot find a single spider crack or any crazing anywhere in entire deck or hull. Lived with this as typical in all boats prior. These guys have done it to a level that I find to be unmatched. Thought the lack of drainage channels in cockpit area might be an issue, but so far this has not been the case after two full fishing seasons. These were always problem areas for spider webbing on Contenders. I've changed out the fresh and salt water spickets, only because the seals were difficult to replace, and have also upgraded the original fixed bow light with a pop up LED light, and was astounded at the deck section at the bow that I cut out. I think you could load a car onto that forward deck with no deflection.
The boat is no doubt heavier in build than the Contender and Sea Vee, and the sacrifice appears to be a slight amount of top end with comparable power.
Handling: Head Sea Animal. Wave Seperator. Don't know how else to describe it. If it gets ugly, just push the giant Kiekaffer tabs down throttle up and keep going. Have heard some comment regarding slight tendency to dip the bow in a heavy stern sea at speed, but have been in these conditions and haven't experienced it yet, perhaps the F250's add enough extra weight to the stern to counteract it. Otherwise, the boat just tracks like a hot knife through butter in every sea state we've put it through. Amazing amount of confidence runnning this hull. Prior boat was a Contender 27, which for it's size, handled as well as anything out there, but into a head sea, substantial tab was necessary to keep the bow down, but this is not an issue with the Venture. Also, the radical "gull wing" reverse chines at the very transom seem to really contribute to stability at rest in a sea. Thought the step up forward deck might be an issue relative to the Contenders, but this has not been the case, in fact has been a benefit as far as using flyrods for offshore, etc.
Engine Room: We re-powered with Yamaha F250's right after purchase, with plans for these to be intermediate engines until Yamaha came out with larger offerings. We have been completely satisfied with the engines so far. Burn numbers average cruise,36 MPH, 4000 RPM's, 1.4 MPG with average fishing load. This is perhaps 1-2% less than the Contender 31 with same power that I fish also.
General Comments: We fish offshore on the Florida/Alabama gulf coast. Typical 30-70 mile runs, rig fishing, etc. Also plan some Bahama trips next season. Just rigged boat with new Garmin 3210 and open array Garmin radar, which so far has been excellent at bird reception as we had hoped. Target separation has also been excellent. Great for night dinner trips across the bay, etc. This will be last offshore boat for awhile. Couldn't be happier with factory support either. Can pick up the phone right now and speak with the guy who built it in 2001. Roger has been a great help in matching things like the exact rod holders, original equipment fuel senders, as well as suggestions on modifications, etc. Would buy another without hesitation.
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Date Submitted: 2007-05-06
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