Contents of Report
For over a decade, Southport has been producing premium-level boats. Not only are they strong, they are gorgeous, generating looks wherever they go. It’s the combination of the reverse sheer at the transom, a gentle tumblehome at the stern quarters, and that Carolina flare with a touch of a concave thrown in. Southport has been a longtime partner of C. Raymond Hunt and Associates out of New Bedford, a company well known for designing performance hulls.
Southport boats are built well. The 33 is resin-infused, a time-consuming process that is free of flaws, high in strength, and light in weight. The hull and deck are bonded together with stainless fasteners and methacrylate adhesive, making the two units come together as one.
When we compare her to others in class, she comes into the middle of the range on beam, but not surprisingly, measured from 1,000 lbs. to 2,000 lbs. (454 kg to 907 kg) lighter.
This sort of strength translates to a boat that begs for offshore work. Take on the waves and notice that there are no rattles or creaks. The lower center of gravity and high Carolina flare round out the well-heeled bluewater performer ideal for the long hauls to the canyons.
With an open boat such as this, we always look for its ability to shed water, and the 33 has it nailed. The deck is angled towards the stern and there are dual 2” (5.08 cm) scuppers to both sides. A grate over them keeps items from clogging them up, further ensuring a clear discharge of any shipped water.
We also appreciate that her transom gate opens outward. In this manner, should something along the lines of a rogue wave flood her, she can be dewatered even more so with the door open and some forward weight put on.
All this is likely moot as the Southport 33 has the DNA of some of the best sea keeping designs ever produced. This is not a casual coastal boat, but one designed for making long runs offshore, far from the protected inlets and subject to pop-up foul conditions that make running back home impractical. Her continually variable deep vee hull design has a 22-degree deadrise at the transom.
Whether the fishing or family version is selected, both can be fitted with the attractive and useful hull-side door. With this feature, we can board more easily, whether from a dock or another boat. It serves as a functional dive door, and it of course serves well for the original purpose of all doors of this type: hauling in that catch that is too big to haul over the caprail.
Both also come with the flip-up aft transom seating. But it’s under this seating that impresses us. There’s a deck hatch that opens to reveal all of the mechanical components, all in one easy-to-access location.
The deep cockpit with its 27.5” (69.85 cm) coaming height is surrounded by padded bolsters, and we notice that there’s something to grab onto wherever one stands on the boat.
The helm station is well laid out and well outfitted. The operator is to port, observer to starboard. The glass dash concept can be well represented here with room for two multi-function displays separated by center mounted depth, autopilot, and stereo controls.
If fishing is the main goal of the Southport 33, then the TE, or Tournament Edition, is the boat of choice when ordering. It comes fully loaded to bring the fight to the fish, and then some. This model includes a waist-high, transom-mounted, 35-gallon (132.5 L) illuminated livewell for keeping the bait fresh. Vertical rod stowage for six rods is in the console and six more can go into the horizontal holders under the side gunwales. And when those rods go to work, there are six rod holders generously placed around the boat, and the T-top is reinforced for optional outrigger poles, and six rod holders line the trailing edge. Prep for the catch at the optional 45-gallon (170.3 L) leaning post livewell that integrates into the standard rigging station, replete with storage solutions.
Fishboxes onboard are among the best we’ve seen, and there are three of them. One ahead of the console is a 100-gallon (378.5 L) coffin box-style and two more (6’/1.83 m – 75-gallon/284 L) are in the cockpit deck. That makes it pretty safe to say that if you fill these, you’re probably over your limit. All are self-draining.
Forward, a large elevated foredeck casting platform will be the envy of cast-netters. Pull-up cleats lay flush to a snag-free deck.
Families will love the 33 just as much as the fishermen. The FE, or Family Edition, model caters to those who plan to do more cruising and entertaining. That said, this version swaps out the rigging station for a grilling station and refrigerator. The usual transom bench seat adds to the cockpit’s relaxation capabilities. At the bow, U-shaped seating with padded bolsters wraps around a pedestal table forming a dinette. That same table can transition, manually or electrically, to a lower position that, with the addition of a filler pad, turns the forward seating into a sun pad. Removable backrests complete the forward-facing lounge seating. Under the seats is dry storage in matching 6’ (1.83 m), 57-gallon (215.8 L) insulated compartments. Ahead of the console is a doublewide forward-facing seat atop an insulated cooler. All upholstery is butter-soft ultrasuede in dual tones.
As renowned as the 33 is for its sea-kindly hull, it’s also just as comfortable sitting on the hook. An electric windlass is concealed under a foredeck hatch, taking the workload out of that task.
Inside the Console
The meat of any center console is how that console is used. Some leave it as storage, others toss in a Porta-Potti. Some are dark, some have a portlight. On the Southport 33, it’s actually a small cabin. There’s 6’3” (1.91 m) of headroom. Ahead, there’s a 6’ (1.83 m) berth with minimal clearance at the feet, but still well within the comfort range and wide enough for two. The head is a freshwater electric flush model. A Corian counter includes a sink with a pull-out sprayer for converting the area into a wet head.
If versatility is the key to success, then Southport is certainly making the most of this hull. We’ve covered two of the models in the 33 lineup, but there are three more. All have the offshore pedigree that the brand is so well known for.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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