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Dusky 252 Open Fisherman (2016-)

1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2

Brief Summary

By keeping extras to a minimum, Dusky can sell the 252 Open Fisherman at one of the lowest prices of any CC in this LOA: she goes for about $52,000 with a single Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP. She includes the "Dusky Drive" System, an extended motor bracket that allows the boat to have a full-height transom like an inboard, thus improving her performance. Placing the motor several feet aft of the transom also has the effect of increasing the LOA for a smoother ride in bumpy seas. The mount also functions as an extended swim platform for diving or handling large fish.

Key Features

  • Hand-laminated F.G. hull
  • Dusky drive with integrated swim/dive platform
  • Hydraulic Steering
  • Twin pedestal chairs
  • Instrument panel with rocker switches and circuit breakers
  • Console cushions
  • Twin pedestal chairs
  • Pair stainless steel rod holders

Test Results

500 2.7 2.3 0.3 9 7.83 810 704 81
1000 5.4 4.7 0.7 7.71 6.71 694 604 79
1500 7.2 6.2 1.5 4.77 4.14 429 373 81
2000 8.8 7.6 4.05 2.16 1.88 194 169 82
2500 12 10.4 5.85 2.04 1.78 184 160 80
3000 18.7 16.2 6.25 2.98 2.59 269 234 83
3500 27.6 24 7.95 3.47 3.01 312 271 88
4000 33.5 29.1 10.55 3.18 2.76 286 249 90
4500 37 32.2 13.65 2.71 2.36 244 212 91
5000 42.1 36.6 18.45 2.28 1.98 205 178 96
5301 43.9 38.1 24.15 1.82 1.58 163 142 97


Length Overall 25' 2'' / 7.67 m
Beam 8' 5''
2.56 m
Dry Weight 3,700 lbs.
1,678 kg
Tested Weight 4,665 lbs.
2,116 kg
Draft 13''
0.33 m
Deadrise/Transom 20-deg.
Max Headroom open
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 100 gal.
378 L
Water Capacity N/A
Total Weight 4,665 lbs.
2,116 kg


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.6 sec.
0 to 30 7.5 sec.
Ratio 1.85:1
Props Rebel 15 1/4 x 19 ss 3-blade
Load 3 persons, 3/5 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
Climate 72 deg., 65 humid.; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: 1'-2'

Engine Options

Tested Engine 1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Std. Power Not Available
Opt. Power 10 Mercury single and twin engines from 90-hp to 350-hp
10 Suzuki single and twin engines engines from 115-hp to 300-hp
12 Evinrude single and twin engines from 90-hp to 300-hp

Captain's Report

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman running shot

The Dusky 252 Open Fisherman measures 25’2” (7.67 m) LOA with an 8’5” (2.56 m) beam and is designed to take on offshore conditions.

Mission Statement

Dusky designed the 252 Open Fisherman as a center console for serious fishermen who want an affordable boat in a package that can still be trailered with a half-ton pickup or SUV.
Powered by an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP outboard, the boat is one of the most fuel-efficient in her class and she comes with a basic standard equipment list to help keep the initial price lower.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman aerial shot

Dusky carries the 252 Offshore Fisherman’s beam far forward, creating a more spacious bow for seating or fishing.

Features Inspection

Dusky Drive.

Dusky was one of the first manufacturers to build its own outboard mounting bracket in the 1970s. The fiberglass structure supports single or twin motors and positions them 32” aft of the boat’s transom. Positioning the motor(s) farther aft gives them better trim influence, which enhances efficiency and improves overall performance. For fishing or diving, the bracket provides a nonskid walking surface between the boat’s transom and the motors and Dusky offers a number of boarding ladders as options.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman transom

The 252 Offshore Fisherman comes with the Dusky drive, a custom-made bracket that can support up to 350-hp and provides a swim platform between the transom and the motor.

The Cockpit.

Moving into the 252 Offshore Fisherman’s cockpit is as easy as stepping over the transom. The boat can be equipped with an optional aft bench seat that folds out of the way for fishing and a removable backrest. In the aft corners of the cockpit, the boat has small lockers with nonskid finish on the hatches. They can be removed if an owner doesn’t want that them. There are two large drains for the self-bailing cockpit and a hatch in the center of the sole opens to provide access to pumps and other equipment.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman aft bench

The aft bench bottom cushion and backrest are individual options on the 252 Open Fisherman.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman bottom cushion

To open up space, the bottom cushion folds into the transom and anglers can lean into the backrest when fighting fish.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman deck

It would be even better if there was enough space to stick our toes underneath to brace when fighting a fish.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman aft cockpit

An owner can pass on the bench seat, which opens up the aft cockpit for maximum fishing space.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman aft locker

The aft starboard corner locker in the cockpit contains the fuel-water separator and the pump for the optional Bennett trim tabs.

Leaning Post Choices.

Dusky offers a number of leaning post options on the 252 Open Fisherman and all of them provide space for the captain and a companion. The basic version is built on an aluminum frame and has a bottom cushion that users can lean against or sit on. A backrest is available for more comfortable seated travel. An owner can opt for a version with rocket launcher rod holders and a cooler, another with a livewell or a third with tackle storage.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman leaning post

This upgrade to the 252 Open Fisherman’s leaning post includes the backrest and four rocket launchers.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman fiberglass seat

The fiberglass base provides a deeper cushion front to back and still has a folding footrest.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman livewell

The livewell has a clear top and is rounded to keep the bait more comfortable.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman leaning post

In addition to the four rocket launchers, this leaning post has space for a carry-on cooler in the base.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman footrest

Because Dusky is a semi-custom builder, an owner can opt for a footrest on the console instead of on the leaning post.

The Helm.

Forward of the leaning post, the 252 Open Fisherman’s dash can be configured cleanly for single or twin outboards with space for a variety of electronics and storage options. The steering wheel is centrally positioned with the binnacle-style engine controls to starboard. To make the helm more comfortable for two people, Dusky might consider positioning the wheel to port with the controls in the center. The boat comes standard with analog engine gauges and rocker style switches with circuit breakers for the accessories. The windshield and custom rail that frames it are also standard.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman dash

The 252 Open Fisherman’s dash can be laid out with a small fishfinder to port and this glovebox to starboard.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman helm

Or an owner who wants to go high-tech can choose twin chartplotters.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman accessory switches

The accessory switches are clearly labeled, but we’d like to see the horn switch colored red to make it easier to find quickly.

The Console.

Working forward from the helm, there are rod racks in the gunwales on each side. In the port side of the console, a hatch provides access to storage, the batteries in trays and the helm rigging. The area also has enough space for a portable toilet. On the front, there’s a bench seat with storage in the base. Owners can opt to move the livewell from the leaning post to this compartment or have it insulated as a fishbox.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman gunwales

Racks in the gunwales can be used to store fishing rods or landing tackle and there’s plenty of space on each side of the console for passage to the bow.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman hatch

The hatch to the head/storage compartment is on the port side of the console.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman batteries

The batteries secure in dual trays in the console.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman console seat

The seat on the front of the console has space for a couple of people and the T-top structure provides natural handholds.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman console locker

With the bottom cushion for the console seat removed, this hatch opens to provide access to a large locker. Notice that the hatch has dual latches and closes on a rubber gasket.

The Bow.

As the 252 Open Fisherman’s deck runs forward to the bow, it rises slightly to provide 33 1/2” (85.1 cm) of depth to enhance passenger security when running to the fishing grounds. It also puts the coaming panels at a comfortable height to lean against when fishing. Cushions that snap in place on each side are available options.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman bow

Aft in this photo we see the bench seat on the front of console and there’s plenty of space to move around the bow when fishing.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman bow seating

Optional cushions turn the bow into a comfortable seating area with good depth because of the height of the deck.

Bow Storage Space.

Storage in the 252 Open Fisherman’s bow includes two insulated boxes for the day’s catch on each side plus a forward compartment that has good capacity. In the foredeck, there’s an anchor locker that has plenty of space for grounding tackle and a rode.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman bow pulpit

The optional bow pulpit has a stainless steel roller and cleats on each side for securing anchor or dock lines.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman fish boxes

We like that the hatches for the fishboxes on each side close with a bungee-style latch to secure them. Some gas struts to hold up the hatches would be a good idea, too.


Dusky has been around since the 1970s. The 252 Open Fisherman is laid up with a solid fiberglass bottom and stringers cored with marine plywood encapsulated in fiberglass are individually bonded into the hull. The transom is poured resin about 1” thick and the hull-to-deck joint is fiberglassed together around the boat’s perimeter.

Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP Engine

The Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP 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

Dusky offers the 252 Open Fisherman in twin or single-engine applications up to 350-hp total. We tested the boat with a single Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP two-stroke outboard turning a Rebel 15 ¼” x 19” three-blade stainless steel propeller through a 1.85:1 reduction.
With the boat at an as-tested weight of 4,665 pounds, we hit a top speed of 43.9 mph at 5300 rpm and burned 24.15 gph, giving the boat a range of 163 statute miles.

Best cruise

was at 3500 rpm, where we ran 27.6 mph and burned 7.95 gph, giving the boat a range of 312 statute miles with 10% of the boat’s 100-gallon (378 L) fuel capacity in reserve.

In acceleration tests

, the 252 Open Fisherman planed in 4.6 seconds and ran to 20 mph in 5.3 seconds and to 30 mph in 7.5 seconds.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman running shot

With the Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP engine providing the power, the Dusky 252 Open Fisherman is a solid all-around performer.


With her 50-degree entry and 20-degrees of deadrise at the transom, the 252 Open Fisherman knifed through 2’ chop with ease. When we plowed through the wakes of a large cruiser in a crowded waterway, the flared raised bow kept the forward seating area dry. In turns, the boat felt nimble and sure-footed thanks to two strakes per side that run full length and turned-down chines that helped her hold a steady line through turns.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman running shot

With 20-degrees of deadrise at the transom and full-length strakes with turned-down chines, the 252 Open Fisherman is an old-school deep-V with predictable handling.

Base Price

$52,200 with a single Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP outboard.

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman engine running

The Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP provides a strong combination of cleaner emissions (best in the industry), good fuel economy and prodigious bottom-end torque. There is no scheduled engine maintenance for 5 years or 500 hours.

Available Options and Price

• Console livewell ($700)

• Transom livewell ($1,995)

• 15’ outriggers ($800)

• Stainless steel rod holders ($110 per pair)

• Tuna door ($2,500)

• Insulated forward fishboxes ($400)

• Compass ($150)

• VHF Radio Package ($475)

• Electronics compartment in T-top ($700)

• Spotlight ($120)

• Saltwater washdown ($475)

• Trim tabs ($900)

• Aluminum leaning post with rocket launchers and cooler ($1,195)

• Leaning post with livewell ($1,100)

• Transom seat with cushion ($900)

• Dive tank rack (2 tanks) ($150)

Dusky 252 Open Fisherman tab switches

The switches for the optional trim tabs are placed right where we like them, ahead of the shift/throttle control. With the lever advanced while running, the buttons are a natural reach.


With her heavy construction and deep-V bottom design, the Dusky 252 Open Fisherman provides an affordable basic boat for a fisherman.
The single Evinrude E-TEC G2 300 HP outboard gives the boat good all-around performance and fuel economy and with its first service interval at 5 years or 500 hours, most owners will have years of operating the motor before its first tuneup.
Dusky sells factory-direct from its Dania Beach, Florida facility. It has no dealers and no factory commission sales people. This is the strong suite of Dusky – a basic bare-bones boat without mark-ups for dealers, marketing and sales. And we suspect like everything else, its overhead is low as well.

Related Boats

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Dusky 233 Open (2010-)

1 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC 300 H.P.

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Dusky 278 Open Fisherman (2018-)

2 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 150 H.O.