It’s easy to compromise with an entry-level boat. To keep pricing competitive, builders may cut corners, or withhold a standout feature. One of Scout’s most popular entry-level models, the 215 XSF doesn’t have that problem. In fact, there’s a reason why they’ve sold, on average, about 170 a year since the model debuted in 2017.
It starts below the waterline. The South Carolina builder produces every hull by hand-laying 100 percent of their boats in fiberglass. The reason? “It’s more labor intensive to do it, but you end up with a stronger, less resin-saturated part that helps with overall weight reduction,” said Alan Lang, director of sales and marketing at Scout. Even though it’s one of the smallest models in the range, the 215, with a feathery displacement of 2,776 lbs. (not including the engine) is no different. As a beneficiary of Scout’s NuV3 hull, it benefits from the company’s proprietary stepped-hull design, which has been created with efficiency in mind. “It’s a convex hull, so when you’re running wide open, what happens is the boat runs on about a 23 degree deadrise, and as you get into rougher water and pull back on the throttles, the hull will sink into the water a little deeper and start to ride on a sharper deadrise,” Lang explained. “At the very bottom of the boat it’s 20 degrees, and as you go up to the next plane it’s 21.5 and then 22.5, so it’s designed to where if you’re running in good conditions you can get higher speeds, or if it gets a little rougher you can back off the throttles a little bit [and it will still run well].”
Scout 215 XSF
The 215 is geared towards first-time boat owners and families thanks to bow lounge seats and an overall weight capacity for nine. It’s also marketed with the company’s Get On The Water promotion. Starting at $51,195, the 215 comes with a single 150-hp Yamaha or Mercury engine. With that configuration, the 215 cruises at 23 knots with just over 4 mpg, and hits a top speed of 39 knots. (It’s rated to handle 200-hp.)
Hand-laying fiberglass isn’t cheap. With that in mind, I asked Lang how Scout is able to keep the price so competitive. “The way our factory is set up, we’re just super efficient,” he said. “Most everything else is built with chopper gun construction. As far as I know we have the only 100-percent, hand-laid coastal fishing boat on the market.” With a heck of a price tag to boot. No wonder these are moving like hot cakes.
Price: $51,195 (w/ 150-hp)
$54,395 (w/ 150-hp and trailer)