Spreading Its Wings
Scout’s new flagship 530 LXF crosses luxury with sportfishing.
The day at the Ocean Reef Club, a private resort in Key Largo, Florida, was beautiful, unlike the previous weekend when the Scout dealer conference battled rain squalls and 25-plus-knot winds. This time, blue skies and a calm sea made a ride in a couple of Scout’s new luxury center consoles and dual consoles delightful. The conditions were perfect to feel how the hulls grip the water without a slip and how the outboards purr with barely a sound.
The excitement surrounding that rainy weekend was the unveiling of the much anticipated 530 LXF, the company’s newest luxury sportfishing flagship. The “mega center console” officially debuted at the 2019 Miami International Boat Show, but it’s now in production and on the market.
A Family Affair
Scout was the brainchild of Steve Potts more than 30 years ago. From his first 14-foot fiberglass creek boat called a Scout in 1967, Potts learned early on the effect hull design had on speed and efficiency. Scouts were a well-known quality fishing boat in the Charleston, South Carolina area, but time and change in direction ended the boats’ short run. In 1989, Potts began building boats again in earnest and revived the Scout name in a small shop with his wife and a couple of workers. Through hurricanes and tough economies, Potts and his family kept the company alive. It is now one of the most recognized brands in the industry.
Scout introduced the 530 LXF in the spring of 2019—the culmination of experimenting with designs and styles throughout the years. She brings together the classic, saltwater sportfishing boat with luxury features and amenities required for family and crew comfort along with high-performance power and spirit, a unique blend normally found on larger sportfishermans.
The 530 LXF is the eighth and largest model in the LXF collection. Potts describes the boat as “a yacht-like, center console masterpiece on so many levels.”
To begin with, the 530 LXF is built on Scout’s carbon fiber, epoxy-infused, double-stepped hull. The epoxy-infusion process utilizes Carbon/E-glass (a process used frequently in the aerospace industry) which provides an efficient, more stable hull while reducing the overall boat weight.
“The stepped hull runs very streamlined for the size,” says Ryan Wallace of the Viage Group, Scout’s representatives in St. Petersburg, Florida. “It’s very efficient, runs fifty miles per hour at a half-mile per gallon, and the handling is amazing. It’s a phenomenal boat.”
The reason it can run at 50 LXF mph is because the 530 LXF is designed to operate on either four or five outboard engines. “The consumer can choose their multi-engine configuration based on their individual performance appetite,” says Potts. “Working with both Yamaha and Mercury, we’ve been able to successfully reach incredible cruise and top end speeds with either four or five engines. And therein lies the real performance statement that we make with this model—it will run incredibly on four engines with speeds in the mid-50s, but if a customer wants the look and feel of more horsepower and speeds reaching the mid-60s, then they can get five engines.”
The 530 LXF at Ocean Reef in Key Largo is rigged with five Yamaha 425 XTO engines kept in line with Scout’s huge offset bracket system and under control through Yamaha’s electronic steering and digital throttle.
Scout’s research and development team was tasked to create the 530 LXF into a world-class, mega center console experience with timeless styling, sleek aesthetics, and state-of-the-art technology.
The helm centers around a Garmin 24-inch touchscreen multifunction display (MFD) but with screens on the port console, one overhead the helm, and one behind the port mezzanine seat, the electronic command center offers complete control of the boat’s systems because each screen can perform all functions. Redundant traditional switches are also wired as a backup. CZONE digital switching integrates with the Garmin display to monitor and control the onboard power system, and the Garmin GRID (Garmin Remote Interface Device), located just aft of the binnacle, is a control pad with mouse that links to all three screens viewable from the helm to operate them while seated behind the wheel.
A nice helm feature is the patented bow camera that provides a view under the bow as well as forward. The helm chairs with bolster cushions are adjustable and for those cool days, the port and starboard seats and backs are heated. Electrically sliding port and starboard glass side windows let in fresh air when needed, but the helm area is also equipped with air conditioning. And with abundant seating, it will be a popular spot on hot, sunny days.
An Active Lifestyle
Scout makes sure there’s plenty of space for comfort, entertainment, and activity. The open bow’s forward lounges surround twin cocktail tables that are electrically actuated to lower to deck level for more standing room, and the three-person forward-facing sun lounge includes a dry box underneath. There’s room for seven in the helm area, and a fold-out bench from the aft fish boxes add more comfort, not to mention the swing-out bar stools the stow nicely in the cockpit entertainment bar.
“Another area our five-thirty shines in is the versatile seating options throughout the boat,” says Potts. “We designed twenty-one comfortable seating areas (not including the integrated bar stools) that create a much wider variety of experiences for all ages than any other inshore/offshore vessel in existence. We’ve created an on-the-water entertainment platform where regardless of weather, sea conditions or speeds, the captain and crew can enjoy numerous options to maximize their pleasure on the boat.”
The open-air cockpit is a large entertainment area with a refrigerator, icemaker, sink, grill, and generous counter space. What really makes the 530 LXF the life of the party are the port- and starboard-side beach platforms. They not only create more deck space (the beam widens to 17 feet, 10 inches), but also provide safe and easy access when boarding or when engaging in water sport activities. There are also dual aft cockpit transom doors that fold away and make it simple to walk out onto the stern deck. If the sun is too strong, a SureShade retractable awning deploys to bring on the shade.
But the cockpit is also a comfortable fishing platform with dual aft baitwells, rod holders in the transom and the gunwales, and the patent-pending articulating rocket launcher (that works in unison with the SureShade), plenty of rod storage, including under the forward cabin queen berth, and drawer space for tools and gear. Add the optional transducers and sounders to boost the angler’s advantage.
Below deck, the 530 LXF showcases a self-sufficient cabin area. The forward master suite features a walkaround queen berth (and that rod storage underneath mentioned earlier) with a gas shock-assisted frame to raise the bed for additional storage, an enclosed separate head and shower, both with door and skylight, a 32-inch LED TV, and a door to close off the suite from the rest of the cabin for privacy. A galley with sink, drawer refrigerator, drawer freezer with icemaker, wine chiller, another 32-inch LED TV, dining table, and a couch that converts to a single berth divide the master from an aft double berth. There’s even a central vacuum system, an overhead skylight with automatic sliding shade, and a Garmin touchscreen MFD.
“We partnered with Genesis Interiors to design appointments below never seen before on a boat this size,” says Potts. “We wanted the customer to feel like they were stepping aboard a private jet or walking into a clean, modern, luxury home.”
The 530 LXF includes an incredible lineup of standard equipment such as a Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer, a Fischer Panda 15kW generator, 16,000 BTU air conditioner/heaters in the cabin and helm areas, and an electric sliding sunroof. “One of the things that clearly separates our models from our competition is fit-and-finish,” says Potts. “Our five-thirty carries this principle forward again with completely finished doors, lids, hatches, bilges. We’re not just screwing a cheap seat cover to a lid and calling it a day. We’ve chosen premium upgraded ultra-leather upholsteries, taken the time to finish the boat inside and out, packed it with incredible innovations, and put it all on a state-of-the-art high-performance hull with our carbon epoxy construction.”
There’s no doubt that Potts and his family have grown the Scout name to a new level of boat-building excellence.
LOA: 53’ 5”
Beam: 14’ 8”
Draft (approx.): 2’ 7”
Dry Weight w/o Engines (approx.): 26,500 lbs.
Max HP: 2,510 horsepower with quad or quint outboards
Fuel/Water: 875/100 U.S. gals.
Cruise speed: 34 knots with quint 425-hp Yamaha XTO
Top speed: 65 knots
Contact: Scout Boats, Inc.