The Bluewater 2850 from Bluewater Sportfishing Boats in Fort Pierce, FL is a 31’ (9.45 m) center console deep-V coastal or offshore fishing boat with new twin 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2s. The Bluewater 2850 is not a new design but a well-known model that we are inspecting with these E-TECs for the first time.
- Center console
- Deep-V hull
- Twin 300-hp Evinrude outboards
- SeaKeeper gyro stabilizer
- Armstrong engine brackets
|Length Overall||31' / 9.45 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||5.0 sec.|
|0 to 30||10.4 sec.|
|Load||4 persons, 9/10 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||78 deg., 62 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; Seas: <1|
2 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Contents of Report
- Boat Inspection
- Ground Tackle
- Optional Equipment
The Bluewater 2850 is intended for offshore and coastal fishing. Bluewater Sportfishing Boats, founded in 1997, prides itself on building smooth-riding, well-balanced boats customized to each owner.
Since Ray Hunt introduced the deep-V hull in the late 1950s, it has become the standard for offshore boats. With a high deadrise, the Bluewater 2850 signals its ability to take on rough waters. The position of the center console balances the boat’s ride while providing maximum space for fishing.
The Bluewater 2850 is solidly built with all composite construction – no wood anywhere. The boat has a solid glass bottom, so it is a little heavier, which is good. And the all-glass bottom makes it more resistant to punctures.
Our test boat is stripped down for serious fishing. There is no extra furniture or seats on the deck forward of the center console, just a 7” H (.17 m) padded bolster wrapping around the whole boat to lean on while fishing.
The deck is 8’ L between the center console and the bow, and 2’4” W at the bow expanding to 6’8” W at the console.
The in-deck storage consists of four lockers - a large 1200 qt. coffin box with rod storage centered toward the bow, a smaller locker directly behind it, and a fishbox outboard on either side. All the lockers are foam-insulated and have gelcoat finishes.
The boat has two 10” pop-up cleats on the bow, to prevent snags. Even the navigation light folds away.
The cockpit depth is 26” (.66 m) at the bow. On the forward bulwarks below the padded bolster are four speakers for the Clarion stereo system.
The anchor locker hatch, with twist-and-lock latch, is held open by a gas strut. There are anchor keepers for the Danforth-style anchor. There isn’t a center mount cleat for the rode, which we always like to see, and there are no fairleads or chocks. We’ll have to secure the rode from the pop-up cleats on the bow.
The hardtop has five rocket launchers across the aft end. On top are the outriggers to either side, radar and antennas, a liferaft, and the all-around navigation lights. Grab rails on the black painted underside side are handy for anyone moving along the sidedecks.
The hardtop frame has 2” to 2.5” (5.08 cm to 6.35 cm) pipe which is painted with a textured coating. The underside of the hardtop also has the Taco Grandslam control handles for the outriggers. There is an e-box, with the VHF, SeaKeeper gyro control, and Clarion stereo. Behind the e-box are zippered life jacket storage and spreader lights. An isinglass windshield wraps three sides of the console top and connects to the hardtop.
Two Raymarine 16” (.41 m) displays are on the face of the helm console.
There is a compass on top of the console mounted on the left side - in line with the wheel.
The 7” Evinrude ICON Touch engine display is in front of the wheel. The stainless steel wheel has a tilt base and speed knob. Right alongside are the Lenco trim tabs, and the ignition and engine start/stops, next to the Evinrude throttles.
All of the electrical rocker switches are grouped on the right hand side. They are lit when activated; the lower ones have circuit breakers underneath.
The far right of the helm console has four stainless drink holders. There is no charge port here, which would be another welcome feature to have. Underneath is lockable glovebox-like storage.
The fixed seat base has Plano tackle storage on the left and right sides.
Six rod holders and four drink holders are installed in the starboard caprail. Eight rod holders and four drink holders grace the port caprail.
On the left side of the console is a door for the head. Inside is headroom of 6’9” (2.06 m) and sitting headroom above the toilet of 3’7” (1.09 m). There is an opening port and unrestricted access to the wiring on the inside of the helm.
There is a bench seat with a bolster and removable headrests across the transom. The bench leg supports fold up and the seat hinges down. With the seat base down, a plexi covered box containing pump switches is revealed.
In the port quarter is another shorepower connection and a washdown bib. Below is a deck drain and on the bulwark is another stereo speaker.
In-deck storage aft consists of a livewell, centered in front of the bench seat, flanked by two insulated fishboxes. We have to put the bench seat back on its legs to access the bilge hatch directly aft of the in-deck livewell. With the bilge hatch open, we can see the raw water pump, the bilge pumps, and fuel filters, all with double hose clamps, per ABYC standards.
A transom door on the starboard side opens out and latches with a slide bolt. With the door closed, the bolt goes right through gelcoat. We’d like to see a stainless steel receptacle for this to prevent cracking the gelcoat. The door is 14” (35 cm) wide and there is a 9” (23 cm) step up from the cockpit sole to get through the gate.
Passing through the transom door onto the Armstrong engine bracket platform, we notice there is a boarding ladder bracket on the corner of the platform for NMMA certification and ABYC compliance. From the Armstrong platform we get a good view of the simple rigging tube configuration for the engines.
Since BRP bought the Evinrude brand from OMC in 2001 we have seen many changes. Solving emissions problems inherent with two-strokes by introducing direct injection was paramount, but changes focused on making boating simpler and easier also stand out to us. Here are a few examples of how Evinrude does this:
First, the scheduled dealer maintenance of 500 hours or 5 years simplifies things, as does the warranty, which is transferrable.
The internal oil tank and low oil warning, plus “safe mode,” make operating these engines easier and safer.
The integration of trim and steering internal to the engine declutters the back of the boat. It eliminates the extra gear and corrosion issues associated with external steering systems. Maintenance is minimized when the engines come all the way out of the water, keeping the lower unit and prop clean and avoiding electrolysis when the engine is in saltwater.
iTrim automatically adjusts the trim of the engine, as the boat accelerates, and makes getting up on plane faster and more efficient.
iSteer Integrated Dynamic Power Steering adjusts depending on speed, assisting the helmsman to turn smoothly and easily.
The iControl Digital Shift and Throttle provides smooth, easy, and precise shift and throttle operation.
The optional Evinrude iDock Joystick Piloting System is intuitive, allowing boaters with two or more engines to dock with ease.
The ICON Touch engine panel allows customization of information displayed and handling inputs. It includes: Homepage with general cruising and performance information; Fuel/Fluids page; Engine page; Vessel page; Trip Logs; Ecoview page.
Other menu features on the touch screen include the option to add extra oil to the engine for winter storage, and to adjust hydraulic steering levels at the touch of a button.
With the E-TECs and all of the accessories and controls, Evinrude has made boating simpler and easier.
The Bluewater 2850 has a LOA of 31’ (9.14 m), a beam of 9’6” (2.89 m), and a draft of 29” (0.73 m). With an empty weight of 11,500 lbs. (5,216 kg), 273 gallons (1,033 L) of fuel onboard, no water in the 10 gallon (38 L) tank, plus four people with test gear, we had an estimated test weight of 13,928 lbs. (6,318 kg).
With two Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp gas outboards turning 16” x 19” 4-bladed stainless-steel props, the Bluewater 2850 reached a top speed of 46.8 mph at 5000 rpm. The wind was blowing 15 knots, and seas were less than 1’ (.30 m).
When backing off to 4000 rpm and 34.7 mph, the best fuel economy, with a burn rate of 26.2 gph and a range of 358 statute miles was found, all while still holding back a 10-percent reserve of the boat’s 300 gallon (1136 L) total fuel capacity.
Our test boat is a SeaKeeper demo boat, and since we wanted to see the effect the SeaKeeper 2 gyro had, we simply rolled the boat with the SeaKeeper off, between 5 and 10-degrees, using our body weight, and when we engaged the gyro it became nearly impossible to roll the boat more than a degree or two. The Seakeeper 2 installed in this boat was able to operate on battery power alone.
With ITrim engaged, engine trim automatically adjusts as one accelerates, keeping bow rise in check and getting the boat up on plane faster. The bow rise was minimal and it is nice not to have to mess with trim tabs as you accelerate.
A base price is not available, as each Bluewater 2850 is customized to a large extent. Our best analysis of the price, based on feedback from distributors, is a range of $180 to 200K for a new boat reasonably equipped and ready to fish.
• Wing tank with separate fuel fill and gauges - 90-gallons (341 L)
• Fresh water system 30-gallon (114 L) capacity
• Portable toilet
• Electric marine head and holding tank
• Macerator pumps for fishboxes
• Lenco trim tabs
• Towing bracket when used as tender
• Loadmaster dual axle trailer
• T-top or hardtop (multiple options)
• Seating options
• Hull colors
• Tackle storage (multiple options)
• SeaKeeper gyro stabilizer: $22,700 (not including installation)
The Bluewater 2850 is a tried and true tournament level fishing boat designed for offshore waters. Whether buying new or repowering a used 2850, equipping it with Evinrude E-TEC G2s will make your boat ownership easy and simple.