Cape Bay 23
It’s not uncommon to see the Cape Bay 23 more than 20 miles offshore. With its aggressive bow shape and reverse chine, this boat likes to run. The builder, Cape Horn, pressure fills the hull with closed-cell foam. This makes the boat unsinkable and much quieter as the foam acts like a shock absorber.
“When you’re fishing the grass flats and you hear another boat coming, you can close your eyes and almost tell what it is by the sound,” says Tyler Cesar, Cape Horn vice president. “We wanted a boat that was super silent. If you can hear the boat coming, obviously the fish can hear it too.”
To achieve a quiet ride, Cape Horn moved the engine forward and extended the rear deck around both sides of the motor. This helps keep the nose of the boat from shooting up in the air as you jump out of the hole. Combined with a jack plate, the boat can hop up on plane in shallow water, and there’s no need for trim tabs.
Yes, this is a stealthy, fishing-focused bay boat, but it’s got more than enough room to bring the entire family along. The forward casting deck is massive—it dominates the bow space and holds a livewell so you don’t track grass all over the boat when cast-netting bait. There are also two 8-foot-long rod compartments in the bow, a fish box and an anchor locker.
The console offers room to mount two 12-inch screens, an in-console porta-potty, more storage, switches and a pair of cup holders. There’s a seat in front of the console and a leaning post for the captain. An aft seat with optional backrest adds some comfortable seating in the stern. There are two more live wells in the aft which could double as drink boxes.
The boat should run 54 knots with a 300-hp outboard, but Cesar says you certainly don’t need a motor that large. “The most popular power option is the 300, but the boat doesn’t need one. Most guys here [Florida’s Panhandle] have 200s on them,” he says. “A lot of guys that guide will put a 150 on the boat. It will still run 50 mph, and it lowers your insurance.”
The Cape Bay 23 starts in the low $60,000 range for a base boat, outboard and trailer. If you add a T-top and trick it out to fish the inshore tournament circuit, it’s easy to move toward the $100,000 mark. But again, you don’t have to. The base model is turnkey, and Cape Horn builds a boat that will last for the long haul.
Base Price: Approx. $60,000