Scout 530 LXF
The 53-foot flagship from the South Carolina builder generated a lot of attention at the Miami boat show—for good reason.
Every big boat show nowadays seems to have a standout, knock-your-socks-off model making its world premiere. The belle of the ball that, through sex appeal or horsepower or notoriety, manages to capture the attention of the boating milieu. When it became clear that South Carolina builder Scout Boats was unveiling their 53-foot center console with six 400-hp Mercury outboards at the Miami International Boat Show in February, people started perspiring, fidgeting uncontrollably and generally losing their minds. Okay, that might’ve just been me. But with the engine sextet cantilevered on a corner dock, it was hard to miss the latest high-performance offering that has helped give rise to the concession, across the industry, that outboard engines are dominating the current zeitgeist.
Gallery: Scout 530 LXF
Nor was it a gimmick, either. A royal family member had bought Hulls No. 1 and 2, outfitting both with the same engine configuration. A reflection of the times was also a reflection in and of itself. In that way, it was like a mirror, allowing people to see what they wanted to see: high-performance super console or impractical gas guzzler. And yet, if you had focused solely on the engines, like many people did, in person and on social media, you would’ve missed the point entirely. Forward of the transom was a handsome, solidly constructed center console, designed for configurations of four, five or—yes—six outboards from Mercury, Yamaha or Seven Marine.
“I don’t like to get passed on the water,” quipped Scout President Steve Potts, who founded the family-run company with his wife, Dianne, over 30 years ago. What was once a company of humble origins constructing jon boats has since evolved to become a major player in the high-end center console segment. “This is what you do if you really don’t want to get passed.”
A little over two years ago, Potts challenged his son, Stevie, vice president of development, to “create the best recreational vessel on the water.” What came out of that single-minded pursuit is the 530 LXF, rated to handle 2,700 horses, with a projected top speed of over 65 knots. Scout added a $13 million expansion to their yard outside of Charleston to accommodate the popular new model’s twin-stepped, carbon-epoxy hull design, with plans to build one 530 a month once production is in full swing.
As for amenities—where to begin? The cockpit features a clean, ergonomic tackle storage/cooking center abaft of the console. Back here, you can rig baits or grill your catch on the onyx-marble-topped cooking area, all easily within reach of two movable “floating” bar stools that can be lifted out and stowed while underway. Hydraulic side gunwales transform the already massive 14-foot, 8-inch beam to 17 feet, 6 inches of deck space for entertaining, swimming or diving. Ready to get your fish on? Too much sun? With the touch of a button, you can electronically raise or lower the hardtop-mounted rocket launchers for ease of access or to deploy the SureShade.
VIDEO: Scout 530 LXF
Join the editors aboard the Scout 530 LXF at the 2019 Miami Boat Show
According to Potts, Scout pays a lot of attention to seating. To that end, the 530 has plenty of places to sit on board; the most important, to my mind, being the seven forward-facing seats in the cabin-style console alone. (A big plus, especially for our northern brethren: the helm seats are heated.) Add to that number two air-conditioned aft-facing seats abaft of the helm seats, plus a forward sunpad large enough for three people and a fold-up cockpit bench seat, and you’re starting to get the picture.
Below deck, you’ll find the focal point in the collaboration between Scout and Genesis Interiors—a Ft. Lauderdale outfit that specializes in Italian craftsmanship for the superyacht set. Over 6 feet, 5 inches of head space in the cabin combines with a large galley/lounge area (with a wine chiller), a spacious head, separate shower and a well-appointed master stateroom. And while the 530 LXF is heavy on luxury, this boat can also fish, with two massive livewells, plenty of rod storage, outriggers and an array of fishing and navigation electronics. A standout, for me, was the transom with dual slide-away dive doors for ease of access to the engines, no matter which configuration is installed.
“I would ask for a moment of silence for our competitors,” said Potts. It was a bold statement, but not without merit. Due to the overwhelming amount of interest Scout has already received in the 530, they are anticipating being sold out for at least the first year. But the silence only lasted so long. Another buildup of show-goers had congregated around the engines.
Scout 530 LXF Specifications:
Displ.: 26,500 lbs. (w/o engines)
Fuel: 875 gal.
Water: 100 gal.
Power: 5/425-hp Yamaha XTOs
Cruise Speed: 34 knots
Top Speed: 65 knots
Base Price: $2 million