Boat Review: Scarborough 85

I can't think of another thing I'd want aboard this boat that hasn't already been included.

December 6, 2008


Ricky Scarborough, from the Oregon Inlet area of North Carolina, started his boatbuilding career with small, purpose-built boats. His first, a 17-foot tunnel-hulled, duck-hunting skiff, was soon followed by a series of cold-molded 22-foot center consoles. Finally, in 1978, Scarborough made the jump to offshore boats in the 40-foot range and enjoyed slow but steady growth ever since. His newest, Maverick – an 85-foot behemoth – marks the largest hull ever built by Scarborough. But he still builds boats the same way no matter how big they are – out of cold-molded juniper planking and Okoume marine plywood.

The three- to four-foot seas in Miami’s Government Cut didn’t even cause Maverick’s bow to rise and fall while running outbound. And after we finished testing and headed back into the inlet through the same seas and conditions, her bow tracked hands-off straight and true while gently rising and falling.

Out at the edge of the Gulf Stream, Maverick backed down absolutely straight at 7 knots without ever coming close to taking water in over the transom. It spun quickly for an 85-footer – even without using the bow thruster. In fact, I doubt most anglers could keep slack out of the line if you really poured on the power during a spin. With the trim tabs, she jumped up on plane in six seconds, with no bow rise whatsoever. As for steering, you can expect an instantaneous response when dodging debris.


The Scarborough exhibited an amazingly clear wake at a trolling speed of 8 knots. I managed a top speed of 37.7 knots with full loads of fuel and water and with a terribly dirty bottom from sitting idle in the marina for several weeks. Maverick’s master, Capt. Jesse Brayshaw, says he’s hit 40.3 knots when she’s rigged and ready for running.

The centerline engine-room hatch provides good access to a comfortable and complete crew’s quarters. In fact, it has one of the nicest crew’s quarters I’ve ever seen, providing more-than-adequate creature comforts, including a half-galley and private laundry. Pass through the transverse-bulkhead door into the engine room and you find full standing headroom and no problem getting outboard of the engines. Fuel filters and all other standard maintenance points stand readily accessible on the aft bulkhead. Scarborough finishes this compartment (and the rest of the boat) in AlexSeal epoxy paints. (However, I would like to see a set of crash pumps affixed to the engine’s raw-water intakes.)

Another truly unusual interior feature: Precious few sport-fishing boats offer five staterooms and five heads. The VIP and master staterooms offer large, luxurious spaces, and the joinery throughout couldn’t be more beautiful. All moldings are hand-carved – no miter cuts. Amidships to starboard at the forward end of the salon you’ll find a separate electronics room with heavy-duty air conditioning to keep all your high-end components cool and working properly.


The flybridge boasts enough room for a basketball half-court forward of the console! All-around seating includes a large, fixed table to starboard. The centerline helm – with companion seats on both flanks – sports a 6-inch step-up to improve visibility both fore and aft. This layout allows you to see the bow pulpit and gives you an unobstructed view of the cockpit, including the fighting chair. Perhaps my favorite aspect of such well-conceived custom boats is the total lack of dead space. Scarborough utilizes every inch of space in some functional fashion.

Hydraulics figure prominently aboard Maverick, with the anchor windlass, bow thruster and the outriggers all controlled in this manner.

The cockpit holds every feature you’d expect on such a boat, from the mezzanine with ice makers and freezers to massive in-deck fish boxes. In fact, I can’t think of another thing I’d want aboard this boat that hasn’t already been included.



DEADRISE……11 degrees
WEIGHT……120,000 pounds
FUEL……3,300 gallons**
WATER……450 gallons
T 2,400 hp Detroit/MTU diesels
PRICE……Price on request**

Ricky Scarborough / Wanchese, North Carolina / 252-473-3646


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