Bay Boat Shootout – Sea Born FX Series
As you can probably imagine when someone asks us to choose which of our bay boats is the best, it can be a fun discussion but also bit of a challenge. From the dozens of features to size and price, there’s a lot to consider and when the details are pushed aside; it’s also just plain hard to pick a ‘favorite child’. The reason, day in and day out everyone at Sea Born invests countless hours in each of our boats making them all uniquely special in some way. But putting our biases and personal feelings aside, we embraced the spirit of internal competition not only to promote self-improvement but to help you get the best bay boat for the money. The end result, we created our first-ever Sea Born bay boats shootout. Enjoy!
A True Hybrid Bay Boat for Dual Duty
Without exception, the FX25 Bay is the flagship of the Sea Born bay boat fleet at 24’11”. Even though the appearance wasn’t part of the grading scale, it’s hard not to mention that the 25 is just a great looking boat. Its sleek appearance, clean lines, and an elegant modern feel cause no shortage of heads turning around the marina or boat ramp. Adding to its appeal, the 25-footer has dozen of the most requested bay boat features and a well-planned layout providing room to spare. The front deck is large and surfaced with a non-skid, yacht-style diamond pattern which channels water and promotes safety. Next, there’s a conveniently integrated step that reduces wear on the lower back as you move back and forth from the forward to the console.
Fishing ready, the FX25 is a tournament class bay boat built for the bite which shows inside as it includes tons of useful fishing features. For example, the rear folding bench seat stows nicely adding room as fish are worked from the transom. Behind the leaning post, there’s an integrated cutting board which serves as a time-saver rigging station. Offered in two different configurations (alpha and bravo) the FX25 Bravo sports a leaning post with aerated bait and a clear viewing window to quickly check stock levels and the health of your baits.
Even though the 25 is heavily fishing focused, it does have family appeal with its removable cushions on the forward U-lounge storage boxes offering room for up to ten passengers. In addition, there are ample cup holders on the gunwales and console as well as a standard marine stereo with Bluetooth, molded swim platform, and stepped ladder. Just below the leaning post, family and friends can store drinks and snacks in the insulated cooler.
As you move about the 25 there’s are plenty of bell and whistles including a 65 gallon forward release well, 38 Qt. insulated well, 6 console rod holders, along with an additional 4 holders on the gunwale. Other notable features include LED rod locker lights, trim tabs, console glove box with power port, raw water washdown, and integrated tackle bins.
As for price, the FX25 is at the top of the Sea Born bay boat range. Though still affordable and a greater value than many boats within its class, the sticker on the FX25 may exclude some buyers. One other consideration, if you’re seeking a boat with a higher freeboard, you might want to consider our offshore or center console boats.
FX25 Bay Scorecard
24-Feet of Bay Boat Excellence
As a recent addition to the Sea Born bay boats lineup (2015), the FX24 has quickly become a highly sought-after model. The reason, when it comes to putting lines in the water, the 24’s capable of achieving “beast mode”, as she includes six console rod holders, two aft holders on the transom, and four additional rod holders on the leaning post. Around the 24, there’s plenty of well, coolers, fish boxes, and other fishing goodies.
Functionally, the FX24 has a fuel-saving double-stepped hull lending to a drier, more comfortable ride while at cruise. Other notable fishing features on the FX24 include its 35 qt. aerated center baitwell with a clear lid, 32 qt. baitwell under the front console seat, and the heavily insulated 84 qt. molded icebox under the front deck.
As the mid-sized model within the FX series, the 24 touts smart use of her space with a practical and usable floor plan. Inside there’s more than enough room to allow multiple anglers to easily access the water from all sides while remaining stable at cruise or rest. Upfront, the large deck is finished with a water channeling, yacht-style, non-skid, diamond pattern surface and below there’s a large storage bin, and additional lockers. Throw in flush cleats, anchor storage, trolling motor harness and pad, along with a seat base mount which rounds out the topside.
For the family, there’s two rear, full-sized, folding jump seats, along with ample cup holders throughout. Buyers wanting a bit more creature comfort can elect the LE or SE package which includes a molded swim platform, forward console tackle center, and marine stereo with Bluetooth.
On the price side, the FX24 isn’t the lowest dollar model in the FX line but is priced below the FX25. Understanding that, buyers seeking further savings might also consider the FX24 in its Sport version which reduces the price but does sacrifice a few features.
FX24 Bay Scorecard
“One of the Biggest 22’s Out There”
Sea Born’s most popular FX model, the FX22 has earned top reviews from captains, sportswriters, and boating enthusiasts alike as a more than a capable fish busting bay boat. With a similar layout and purpose to the FX24, the smaller 22-footer offers a wide-open floor plan and large forward deck for easy casting and movement.
Around the FX22, anglers benefit from a 35 qt. aerated center baitwell with clear lid, 32 qt. aerated baitwell under-console front seat, along with a 84 qt. frigid rigid style Sea Freeze icebox upfront. Under the gunwales, there’s plenty of rod storage and upholstered cover boards for added comfort and a finished look. On the console, there are six-rod holders and four additional holders on the back of the leaning post.
As for the crew, the FX22 offers seating for seven with a total person capacity of 1,019 lbs. Added comforts include forward rod and gear storage along with multiple stainless steel draining cup holders. Also like all FX boats, buyers can choose from multiple upgrades which include color options, additional creature comforts like a marine stereo or even a hardtop.
Considering the price, the FX22 as you might imagine is on the lower end of the Sea Born bay boat lineup. The cost savings help to make the 22 a highly attractive model for both anglers and boating aficionados who seek to get more value for their dollar. Budget buyers can also elect for a sport version of the FX22 for additional savings.
FX22 Bay Scorecard
Priced Right – 21-Foot Bay Boat
As the smallest and newest addition to the FX Series, the FX21 offers affordability with lots of big boat features for first time or buyers on a smaller budget. The 21 is a more than capable fisher with multiple gunwale rod holders, forward lockers, and transom live well.
With the capacity for up to six passengers, the FX21 also includes six additional standard rod holders and below the forward seat, there’s a 32 qt. aerate baitwell. Unlike other boats within this price range, the 21-footer isn’t stripped down but instead offers comfort in the form of full-sized, rear folding jump seats with storage below and stainless steel draining cup holders.
Regarding cost, the FX21 is offered at a nationally advertised price of *$31,539 with a limited time $1000 rebate available from participating dealers. Priced to sell, the FX21 is extremely popular among first-time buyers.
*Price estimates do not include dealer fees, trailer, delivery etc. See your local Sea Born dealer for details.