Scout’s new 420 LXF is both cutting-edge fishing machine and luxurious cruiser.
It’s easy to imagine that Steve Potts—founder and president of Scout Boats—felt a deep sense of satisfaction when the new 420 LXF (luxury sport fish) center console started hitting the water for new customers earlier this year. The 420 LXF took more than two years of development—including nine months of on-the-water testing—before the powerful center console was launched. As the largest boat in the Scout line, the 420 LXF carries the flagship label and with that, high expectations.
Why the long wait? With a waterline length of 42′ 1″ and twin steps built into the running surface, determining exactly how to configure the 19,100-pound boat and its many features was a big issue. Consultants included speed merchant and racing legend Reggie Fountain, who helped with the bottom design.
“The customer who buys a boat like the 420 LXF puts a high emphasis on power and performance,” Potts explained at the boat’s debut earlier this year. “We also wanted to make sure the end product was the most stunning thing on the water, and the hours, days, weeks, and months we put in helped us do just that. We looked at this like a marathon, not a sprint.”
With four big 300-horsepower Yamaha F300 outboard engines on the back of the transom, the 420 LXF runs more than 60 mph, a speed that pleases Potts. She is also built entirely of epoxy-infused cored fiberglass, a first for Scout. Epoxy infusion provides more stability in the hull (with a 22-degree deadrise at the transom) while reducing the overall weight in the boat. The efficiency of the four-stroke engines combined with a 500-gallon fuel tank allows the 420 LXF to cruise for 470 miles at 32 mph. “The first 420s to be built were destined to be tenders for big yachts,” said James Lawton, a Scout product engineer. “It offers both fishing and cruising with all the luxury a yacht owner expects.”
Innovations abound aboard the hard-topped center console boat, starting with an optional hydraulic portside beach platform equipped with a stowable four-step pocket ladder. The new door is intended to give swimmers and divers a safer and more easily accessible boarding area than the traditional transom, especially when confronted with four engines. “The boat incorporates the new technology along with the high-end luxury touches,” explained Lawton, whose expertise with the 420 LXF extends into designing the electrical, fuel and plumbing systems. “You have the higher end upholstery with custom 420 LXF stitching in key places.”
Access to the Eco-Teak swim platform on the transom is via a starboardside walk-through door designed to eliminate the splash well and allow docking the boat on either side but still permit easy walk-through access from the transom door. Servicing the main systems on the 420 LXF is made easy with the help of a midship systems room and a stern-accessible room. These areas feature impeccable rigging, and the optional Seakeeper 5 stabilizing system provides at-rest stabilization reducing the roll 70 to 90 percent and has a small footprint of 30 x 30 inches.
Anglers will appreciate the eight flush-mounted rod holders, aerated transom baitwell, and port and starboard floor fish boxes with overboard diaphragm discharge. Outriggers on the hardtop are ready to be deployed for trolling, and there are also hidden fresh and raw water hose-reels built into the hardtop. When moving into the bow area to fight a fish, there’s plenty of room to maneuver—the teak bow table can be lowered from its raised position and dropped flush into the floor.
“The bow has amenities everywhere—the teak table, USB charging ports, facing lounges along the gunwales,” Lawton said. “There are stereo controls and cup holders along with storage compartments that are completely finished off. That finishing on places you don’t normally see is an attention to detail that we do all the way down to our 14-foot boats.” One super cool place to ride is on dual lounge seats in front of the center console pod, which feature armrests, cupholders and are big enough for full leg extension.
The air-conditioned cabin—accessed through a portside entry door—has excellent headroom and a king-sized bed. LED reading lights, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, DVD player, and well-appointed galley with a Kenyon two-burner stove, microwave and drawer refrigerator make the 420 LXF perfect for overnighting. The head area offers generous room, and the shower area can be closed off. The cabin bulkhead also offers excellent access to the electronic rigging at the dash. The DC panel and controls for the 12,000-BTU air conditioning and Kohler generator are also in the cabin.
At the helm you’ll find a center-mounted steering wheel with Yamaha shifters and throttles on the right. The high-tech dash features three Garmin 8215 15-inch screens as standard equipment, though customers can upgrade to 17- or 19-inch touchscreens. “The glass cockpit look is becoming more common, and yacht owners especially are very familiar with it,” Lawton said. “It’s totally customizable and you can put whatever you want on each screen.”
Yamaha’s Helm Master steering system is a must with four big Yamaha engines on the 420 LXF. Powerful computers adjust each engine’s rpm, gear selection and direction precisely so those forces result in the movement the captain commands with the joystick. Other electronic features include C-Zone digital switching, a Fusion stereo with Bluetooth control, Ritchie magnetic compass, and Garmin Wi-Fi router.
There are a host of optional upgrades available, including custom painted engines and a SureShade integrated retractable awning. To light up the water or simply see what’s around the boat, optional underwater deck and bow cameras are available as well as underwater LED lights. Customers have a choice of two colors with the plush Brisa upholstery, and in the cockpit there’s room for a table or fighting chair alongside an optional electric grill.
“We wanted the customer to feel that wow factor when they look at the model, when they touch something on the model, when they captain the model, and everything in between,” said Potts. “We wanted to create something that doesn’t currently exist in the marketplace. This is like no other model in its class.”
Scout 420 LXF
Displacement (dry weight with 4x engines): 19,000 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 500/69 gals.
Power: 4x Mercury or Yamaha 350- or 300-hp four-stroke outboard engines
Cruise/Top Speed w/4x F300 engines: 32/60 mph
Range: 470 nm @ cruise
MSRP: Call for price
2531 Hwy 78 West
Summerville, SC 29483
By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating Magazine October 2015