Andros Boatworks developed the Tarpon 26 to be a hybrid saltwater fishing boat with the ride and stability of a V-bottom offshore hull and the shallow 10” (0.25 m) draft of a flats boat. She’s designed with a sharp entry at the bow to cut through waves and she has a delta pad in the keel to improve efficiency and speed. Andros builds the boat on a custom basis so owners can go as light or as heavy as they want when it comes to fishing equipment.
The Tarpon 26’s upswept sheer line is distinctive and practical. She has an optional U-shaped fishing area raised 18” (45.7 cm) off the sole that fills in with an aft panel to create a large open walking area where anglers can do their thing. Cushions snap in place to create a comfortable place for passengers to travel and the tall gunwales enhance security. There’s also a seat on the front side of the console, adding to the passenger capacity.
In the Tarpon 26’s foredeck, the anchor locker has space for grounding tackle and a rode. Down lower in the bow, there are two insulated fishboxes outboard on each side, plus a draining locker in the center. We would stash the casting net beneath the hatch in the bow decking. The base of the seat on the front of the console is a Frigid Rigid cooler that will keep ice frozen during a long day on the water.
Moving aft, a hatch in the console provides access to the clean helm rigging and a battery. A portable head is an available option as well. The helm has a stainless steel steering wheel with a spinner knob to port and the shift/throttle control in reach.
The trim tab buttons
are just below the controls. Andros might want to consider putting them on the panel ahead of the lever so that a driver could just reach forward to adjust the tabs with his throttling hand. There’s plenty of space for electronics on the console. A hatch in the base provides easy access to the inside of the console.
The Optional Tower
The tower structure is built around the console and if the upper helm is on the boat, the ladder is on the port side. It’s a one-person command station with a steering wheel and engine controls up top. The captain can lean back against a padded bolster. On the aft side of the tower are six rocket launchers and a light.
The Aft Cockpit.
Andros builds each Tarpon 26 to order so that owners can order the boat with a variety of leaning posts. The basic unit is built on an aluminum frame with four rocket launchers and three cup holders on the aft side. The frame has a fold-down footrest and a cooler can be secured in the base as well. Aft, a bench seat folds into the stern, leaving the area open for fishing. A hinged hatch in the sole makes it easy to get to systems, such as the livewell pump, and the cockpit has two 2” (5.1 cm) drains in the aft corners.
From the leaning post to the foldaway aft bench, the Tarpon 26’s cockpit measures 4’ fore to aft and 6’ across. The bench seat folds down to provide a padded area that anglers can lean against when fighting a fish. Beneath the center hatch in the aft deck, there’s a 40-gallon (151 L) livewell. Outboard to starboard is a chum box that empties overboard and to port is a locker with quick disconnect fittings for fresh and raw-water washdowns. Aft on each side of the motor are two small swim steps with a stainless-steel boarding ladder mounted underneath the port side.
The Andros Boatworks Tarpon 26 is built by fishermen for fishermen – and fisherwomen, too. Some of her fishing features include four ss rod holders in the gunwales, two 4” rigging tubes in the stringers. The bait well pump is an 1100 gph Rule, with high-speed pick up and ball-valve shut off. There is also an inline bait pump filter.
A 40 gallon (151 L) livewell
can be found in the transom, complete with LED lights and a clear-viewing hatch with gasket in the top. Forward there are two 6.5’ (1.98 m) fishboxes. In the starboard quarter there is a shallow insulated compartment that is self-draining that can be used as an ice chest or any number of things.
Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 Engine
The Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 is probably the most technically advanced outboard engine on the market in class. In a nutshell, this 3.4 L engine provides 4-stroke fuel economy at cruising speeds with 2-stroke torque at the low and mid RPM ranges. Its strongest suit, however, is its low-maintenance design which integrates this steering and gear shifting into the body of the engine with no external rods or cylinders. Scheduled maintenance isn’t required for 5 years or 500 hours.The E-TEC G2 has an internal oil reservoir, an 81-degree tilt range, and has auto-winterization. Its beltless magneto system is more reliable than the automobile-type alternators used on most other outboards. The engine was designed from the beginning to be saltwater-ready and carries a 5-year factory backed warranty which includes corrosion.
Power and Performance
Andros offers the Tarpon 26 with outboard power up to 300-hp and an owner can choose between a single or twins from all the major manufacturers. We tested the boat with a single 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 turning a 15 3/8” x 18” Rebel three-blade stainless-steel prop through a 1.85:1 reduction. The boat’s tested weight was 4,180 lbs. (1,896 kg).We hit a top speed of 51.3 mph at 5500 rpm and burned 23.95 gph. Best cruise came at 3500 rpm where we hit 29.7 mph and burned 8 gph, giving the boat a range of 266.4 statute miles. In acceleration tests, the boat planed in 3.6 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 3.6 seconds and to 30 mph in 4.4 seconds.
Because the Tarpon 26 is a hybrid, an experienced captain can decide how he wants to turn her. With her sharp bow entry and fairly deep deadrise amidships, a driver can lean her into a turn at speed like deep or semi-V-bottom design and she’ll track cleanly through the arc. Because of the flatter 12-degree deadrise in the Tarpon 26’s aft running surface, a driver in search of a more thrilling ride can come into a turn hotter and slide the boat through the move. Our test captain tried both ways and felt the boat handled predictably using each approach. Remember that this boat was designed for protected water and near-coast fishing. For that duty she has some superb attributes including, shallow draft and a flattish bottom for speed and stability.
Andros Boatworks builds the Tarpon 26 with some of the best material generally used in fiberglass boat construction today, including biaxial fiberglass cloth for unidirectional strength, and vinylester resin sink coat is used to avoid blistering and water osmosis. Andros offers a 7-year gel coat warranty.
High-density 5” foam
is used in the transom and the stringers, and the transom has knee supports that spread the engine’s stress on the transom forward through the stringers.
is used in the decks for rigidity and durability. No wood is used in the boat, according to the builder. All wiring is carefully run and heat shrink material is used for all wire connections. The boat comes equipped with a coated 80 gallon (303 L) aluminum fuel tank and all hoses are double clamped. The flush hull side fuel vent has a water trap. Hardware is all 316 stainless steel and there 5 pop-up cleats.
With her relatively light weight for her length, the Tarpon 26 could be a good boat for the saltwater fisherman who likes to trailer his or her boat long distances.Andros Boatworks builds five models from 18’ to 32’ (5.48 m to 9.75 m). This is not widely known because they don’t advertise much and it is not a production boat company. You won’t find dealers selling Andros boats. All orders are taken by the factory, and are handled on a custom basis.For people who want their boat to be built with a high degree of personalization, yet who don’t want to have to rob Fort Knox to pay for it, Andros Boatworks may be a viable option. We’re generally not in the business of putting out phone numbers, but for this company, interested consumers will need it: 941-351-9702.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Andros Boatworks Tarpon 26 (2016-) is 51.3 mph (82.6 kph), burning 23.95 gallons per hour (gph) or 90.65 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Andros Boatworks Tarpon 26 (2016-) is 19.9 mph (32 kph), and the boat gets 3.09 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.31 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 222 miles (357.27 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 300.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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