Island Runner has been turning out high-performance center-console boats since 1981, and its latest offering is a 35-footer built with some of today's more advanced manufacturing techniques and materials. Every Island Runner hull comes with a transferable, ten-year warranty and a one-year "bumper to bumper" warranty, backing up the company's commitment to quality.
Starting with UV-inhibiting gelcoat, the 35 is completely hand-laid, utilizing multi-directional stitched fabrics and vinylester resin. The boat is fully cored with Core-cell foam and vacuum-bagged for a nicely finished inner surface and less air throughout the laminates. A molded stringer system is form-fitted to the hull, and the 3/16" aluminum fuel tanks are epoxy-coated and foamed in place. The inner liner is bonded to the hull and stringers and cured under vacuum for a tight, even fit. The ring deck is sealed with two beads of 5200, then through-bolted with large bolts, washers and Nylock nuts.
The forward deck of the 35 includes an in-deck storage compartment large enough to hold a poly ball and fenders. Just aft of that is another roomy, in-deck cooler/storage box with built-in racks that can hold up to 10 eight-foot rods. All gutters are gasketed and sealed to help keep deck water out of the boxes.
A cooler seat is built into the front of the console, with handles off the T-top legs. The console interior features a full 6' 2" of headroom, a shower, an electric Jabsco head, a molded sink with faucet, a dry storage compartment and a large side entrance. From the helm, the console has an offset steering wheel to port, hydraulic steering, Kiekhaeffer controls for the triple-engine package and a slick electronics dash that rotates via an electronic ram to hide electronics when not in use, a great theft-prevention idea. Battery switches are easily accessible on the backside of the console, under the dash.
We tested a 35 rigged with triple 225-hp engines out of Florida's Lake Worth Inlet on a nice afternoon that had a northeasterly breeze pushing up a three-foot swell with a bit of wind chop on top. Underway, the helm offered good visibility, even at take-off. The 24-degree deadrise of the deep-vee hull lets the boat land softly and run predictably. The 35 performed well and really liked a moderate cruise speed near 40 mph to handle the conditions without having to beat the boat - or us. According to company data, at 40 mph the boat will get around 1.7 mpg, even with triple engines. It trolls nicely, especially at live-baiting speeds for sailfish or kingfish. The boat also laid-to well for straight-line drift fishing, the bow falling off the wind and allowing for a great kite spread from bow to stern.
Once inside the inlet, we let the 35 run and approached speeds of 60 mph against the wind with a half tank of fuel. The 35 can be rigged with either triple or twin engines from 225 to 300 hp for a maximum of 900 hp. Standard fuel capacity is 365 gallons, with an optional total of 420. According to Island Runner, the 35 has a cruising range of over 600 miles with either the twin- or triple-engine configuration.
The cockpit is roomy, and features a great optional tackle and bait-prep center that has as much storage as I've seen in a leaning post/tackle center configuration. It's also quite comfortable, whether sitting or leaning. On the centerline behind the tackle center is a split in-deck compartment. The forward section can be used as a storage box or a cooler, or it can be plumbed as a live well. The aft section serves as a dry-storage compartment and also offers access to the lazarette. Flanking this center box are two 5' 8" insulated fishboxes with macerators.
The 35 has a full transom with a large walk-through door to starboard that provides access to the swim platform with dive ladder. A 50-gallon, above-deck, recirculating live well is located in the center of the transom. Next to it, on the port side, is a sink with fresh or salt water. A fold-away bench seat mounts on the face of the transom. Under-gunwale rod storage and box lighting complete the business end of this fishable rig.
There are a good number of large, go-fast center consoles on the water today. To find the boat that fits your needs, look them all over, but don't forget to check out the new 35-footer from Island Runner. There is a lot of boat here - with the right features for a mixed use of fishing, diving and cruising - that is built well, backed with a solid warranty and ready to perform at the touch of the throttles.
|Island Runner 35|
|length: 34'8"||beam: 9'8"|
|weight: 9500 lbs.||fuel: 360 gal.|
|water: 50 gal.||max. hp: 900|
|transom deadrise: 24°|
|Price as tested w/ triple Mercury 225-hp Optimax outboards, tackle center and T-top: $175,050|