The Stuart 26 is built at the Stuart Boatworks’ facility in Stuart, Florida. A few dozen semi-custom boats are built each year with a high degree of customization. The design starts with a flush floor from bow to stern on top of a resin-infused hull. All other fiberglass components of the boat are hand-laminated schedules that are 20 percent heavier than production boats of similar length. The hull’s sharp entry blends into a full-length, conservative keel that runs aft and flows into all of the softly rounded shapes aft, creating a predictable, soft ride for all on board. Other construction details include high-quality wiring, custom oversized backing plates, hidden fasteners, and toe kicks on the leaning post livewell, the center console and the optional forward seating. The center console pod can be either standard size or enlarged to enclose a head, covered with either a T-top with a canvas cover or a full hardtop. Horizontal rod racks beneath the gunwales handle up to nine-foot fly rods or eight-foot gaffs, and the builder covers the underside of the fish boxes and coolers entirely with one inch of foam insulation, which is then glassed over to construct a truly insulated compartment. The Stuart 26 is available with any motor brand, and runs in the mid-40 mph range with a single 300-hp outboard engine. Twin 300-hp engines push the boat to 60 mph. (772) 600-7121; stuartboatworks.com

By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating Magazine July 2014

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