Boat Reviews By Owners
1999 -- 31' 6" ISLAND RUNNER
Model: 31 center console
Cockpit: This boat has an 8'6 inch beam with adequate room thru-out. Console is very nice with plenty of room for flush mount electronics or other accessories...fair amount of storage and fish boxes but not as much as a Contender or Sea Vee of equal size.
Cabin: No cabin but does have a walk-in console which has an honest 6 feet of headroom. Mine had manual operated head along with a shower. Also excellent access to the underneath of the console for electronics installation or repair. Batteries are also hidden in console with very good access for replacement or adding water, etc. Very good place to store dry goods like extra clothing and food when island hopping.
Construction: These boats like most are foam cored which I think is good and bad. Overall the boat is solid. The bottom of Island Runners are foam cored. They are very strong however the acoustical properties are somewhat noisy. In other words the water hitting the hull sounds louder or amplified compared to a solid glass hull. Otherwise they do a good job. One dislike I had was the lack of easy access to the bottom of the rear bilge area where the pumps are. I had a float switch go bad and to replace it was a nightmare. Also the tanks for the engine oil are located in the aft compartment and the electric oil feed pump on the tank (Yamaha) went bad due to constant water dripping from the hatch. Again another fun project to replace. (I do my own work for both quality control and financial reasons). There are two 120 gal aluminum fuel tanks side by side aft of the console and are coated in expoxy so corrosion shouldn't affect these tanks for a good while. Most all other componets are top grade like wiring, clamps, hoses, pumps, etc.
Handling: These boats are fairly fast but not like some people make them to be. In REAL world conditions you can count on an honest 40mph cruise and thats with full fuel, water, provisions, 200 lbs. of ice and four adults. Top speed loaded is around 50mph and expect more with a light load. These boats are suprisingly dry too in a rough sea and handle very well. However like most of these type boats, they have the majority of the fuel aft along with approximately 1000lbs. of engines back there too. Not to mention a full 55gal livewell which is good for about 350lbs. All these boats are ass heavy and the bow is light. These boats have to be driven either idle or fast in order to transit thru a decent sized sea. Anything in-between and you will get beaten up. These type boat DO NOT like to "plow" thru the waves like a real slow heavy boat does. If you can stay on top of the waves the ride will be fairly soft and comfortable. And to you drift fisherman...despite the narrow beam, because the fuel tanks are mounted on each side these boats do not rock back and forth and make you hold on for dear life. That is very common with boats that have their tanks mounted on the centerline but not with these.
Engine Room: The majority of Island Runners are equipped with Mercury engines. Mine had a pair of Yamaha 225 OX66 fuel injected engines swinging a pair of 14.25x19 4-blade propellers. These engines were not HPDI's and were perfect. I never had a hint of trouble. Fuel economy was decent considering this was a go-fast open fish. Overall very good performance with these engines.
General Comments: I don't recommend these boats for hardcore tournament fishing, buy a Contender or Yellowfin or Sea Vee. This was a good boat for weekend fishing, diving, and going to the sandbar. They have excellent lines and are downright beautiful looking. They also are alot of boat for the money which is one of the main reasons that I purchased one. If I could address the issues that I noted above I would most definately purchase another one.
Date Submitted: 2004-12-13
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