In this era where if you take the logo off many boats and place them side by side you’d be hard-pressed to tell them apart, you will never mistake the Strike 35 for any other vessel. The comparatively low freeboard around the cockpit makes for a most distinctive, striking profile.
However, Strike includes plenty inside the gunwales to recommend as well. For example, the cockpit – at 90 square feet – qualifies as the largest of any 35-foot center console. Add to that the flush deck from stem to stern – no step up or slopes – and it suddenly becomes much easier to follow a fish to the bow.
Perhaps the only sacrifice you make for this Ponderosa-size spread is the Lilliputian head in the bow. I’d rather see the aft-facing seats to either side of the head disappear to offer just a modicum more cabin space.
The Strike 35 hides its inboard diesels amidships and under the console and provides four ways to access the engine compartment: The helm footrest opens up; a hatch on each side of the console provides quick checks; and the forward seating area lifts and lays open for complete access.
The propulsion system constitutes this particular boat’s most fascinating aspect. Strike coupled a pair of 450 hp Iveco NEF diesels to Hamilton jet drives! Certainly, everyone I have met who lacks experience running such propulsion truly dislikes it. Practice, combined with some expert instruction, will change your tune.
The captain of our boat during the Miami Boat Show was a Miami-Dade fireman who captains one of the department’s fireboats – all of which use jet propulsion. No matter what the wind or current threw our way, Capt. Rene could make that boat dance. In fact, there is absolutely nothing that any of the pod drives like Volvo’s IPS or Cummins MerCruiser Zeus can do that Rene couldn’t do with the jet drives. He provided an extraordinary lesson in boat handling. But here’s the other benefit – one that answers the naysayers complaints about pod drives hanging down beneath their hulls: With jet drives, you have no running gear hanging down beneath your hull. Talk about shallow draft! I challenge you to find another 37-foot inboard diesel boat with a two-foot draft and virtually zero appendage drag.
In the past, some jet-drive-powered boats I’ve run suffered from significant lag time coming up onto plane. This Strike with its Hamilton jets planed instantly and with virtually no bow rise since the jets’ thrust vectors parallel the water’s surface. We topped out at a whopping 46 knots, turning 3,000 rpm while burning a mere 32 gph. She cruises efficiently at 35 knots while turning 2,600 rpm and using only 22.8 gph. Figuring a usable 270 gallons out of the 300-gallon tank yields a cruising range of more than 400 nautical miles – very respectable!
The Strike 35 feels like a very heavy boat, taking head seas smoothly; however, as with most jet drives, she hits her cruising speed in a scant two boat lengths. And yet she banks and slides well enough to keep from throwing any of your passengers overboard.
Since it’s a semicustom boat, you can stipulate whatever fishing features you want and where you want them placed. Standard equipment usually includes freshwater and saltwater washdowns, a helm leaning post, coaming pads, three macerated fish boxes and loads more. Construction consists of a solid fiberglass hull to the gunwale and Nida-Core composite-cored hatches and decks.
You really have to get on a new Strike 35 with jet drives to believe what these unique boats can do – they make an amazing fishing platform.
MAX POWER…….T 450 NEF Iveco diesels
Strike Yachts / Perry, Florida / 850-838-1400 / www.strikeyachts.com