Sea Fox began building boats roughly 20 years ago during one of the peak periods of the historically volatile boating industry, which has proven itself to be so sensitive to changing economic factors. The company has changed hands several times but for the last half-dozen years or so it has been owned by a small group of bright Carolina fishermen who know boats, know fishing, and seem to be pretty good businessmen from our perspective. They are dedicated to builder good-looking, practical, fishing boats and family-fishing boats, that are seaworthy and priced right.
What's Left out?
It is natural to ask of any low price-point boat what is left out? In the case of Sea Fox, from what we've seen, white-collar labor, shop-floor labor, some material, some liners and molded parts, and amenities are primary what are left out. The design and engineering work, as far as we can see, is first rate and some big names in the industry have been use on some of the boats. Other elements that help reduce cost are --
The builder says all their boats are CAD designed by naval architects and engineers before they go into the tooling stages to make sure everything fits perfectly in the first place. Then production moves a lot quicker, without the sanding and shaving that used to be typical in the industry in years past.
Sea Fox manufactures virtually all their fiberglass components in-house and eliminates moldings where it can.
Sea Fox also standardizes on supplied items so that it can buy at greater discount from vendors. Things such as plastic hatches, pull-up cleats, bilge pumps and the like are pretty much the same throughout the company's 15-model fleet. This also means a lower parts inventory which also helps cash flow. Overall, Sea Fox uses as many off-the-shelf items as it can and avoids re-inventing any wheels except for hull aesthetics.
Her seating highlights include padded bow seating with padded backrests facing aft and optional removable, adjustable padded backrests facing forward on her port and starboard sides.
Hull Side Accent Molding.
As can be seen in the image above, the Sea Fox 246 Commander has a molded-in relief in the hull side that roughly replicates the classic Rybovich sheer line. Sea Fox couldn't (in good conscious) use that shape in the 246's sheer line because another builder long ago thought of that.
But it has done the next best thing with this iconic visual shape and that is to mold it in to the hull side. We think it works visually, in addition to allowing the shadow to break-up the height of the freeboard and make the boat look lower than it really is. If we owned the boat we might consider adding an Imron color in the shadow to accentuate the effect. Either way we think it works.
When we compare the 246 Commander with other center consoles that size we find that the Sea Fox is lighter. One reason is that it uses a cored hull and deck. Another is that they eliminate the inner liner in the console. Sea Fox obviously has confidence in its hull as it has given it a lifetime limited warranty. Less weight means a higher WOT speed and better fuel efficiency.
Carolina Bow Flare.
The owners of Sea Fox are fishermen who live in the Carolinas and actually take their boats offshore fishing. As a result, they have pretty firm ideas of what kind of boat design they need and effective bow flare is one of those things.
Sea Fox has decided to split the difference between having a deep-V hull for a smoother ride offshore at speed, and a flatter bottom (more like 16-degrees) for maximum speed and fuel economy.
At the standard 2-person helm leaning post, Sea Fox designed integrated 2-stage footrests into the console. This feature provides footrest comfort options at the helm, and female passengers will nearly always select and prefer the higher top-tier footrest.
Recessed Trim Tabs.
The trim tabs are standard and recessed into the hull to reduce drag but they are also out of the way of swimmers and clear of angler’s lines.
A 30 gallon (113.6 L), 800 gph (3.028.3 lph) aerated livewell is standard and its accessibility on the top of the portside transom area is an interesting design feature. Stainless steel rod holders are abundant on the 246 Commander. There is rod storage under the cockpit gunwales port and starboard. The full-width bench seat is not only nice for passenger comfort—it opens to reveal a large, insulated fishbox full across. There is also an insulated aft compartment in the starboard side, perfect for bait storage.
Fresh and Raw Water Washdown.
Most boats in the "affordable" category have both fresh and raw water washdown on the options list. On the 246 they are standard.
This is common on moderately priced boats and higher, but not so prevalent on low-price point center consoles. No CC should be without one.
Boarding the 246 Commander at the stern is fairly easy, moving through the stainless steel transom door. She has wide gunwales and a full-width padded stern bench seat with padded backrest.Fishing enthusiasts will note recessed stainless steel rod holders at the stern and in the port and starboard gunwales. Rod storage space is under both port and starboard gunwales. Passengers will notice that overall, the 246 Commander is big on cupholders. The aerated livewell is positioned for easy access. The full width large insulated fishbox under the aft bench seat is a nice feature in a handy location.
According to the builder, the 246 rarely goes out without a T-top or hardtop option. And powder coating for the aluminum piping for T-top or Ultima hardtop options and leaning posts is also a popular extra. The T-top provides another 6 rod holders up top (the Ultima has 7).
Misting is Optional.
The optional Ultima hardtop package includes a misting climate control feature for the helm, drawing upon the 246’s 12 gallon (45.4 L) freshwater system to cool boaters on sweltering days on the water. This is an option usually only seen on top-price point boats.
At the helm
, all instrumentation is digital. A choice between the Garmin Echo 70 or 4210 fish and depth finders with thru-hull transducers is optional. Plenty of catch-all storage space is located on top of the console. Sea Fox put under-console storage access on the helm side.
At the Bow.
Between the center console and gunwales is adequate walk-around space. Cushioned (optional) bow seating wraps around the center, with standard back rests for lounging facing aft. Optional, removable and adjustable backrests are available to enable forward facing bow lounge seating. Storage is plentiful, including another large, insulated storage or fish locker in the bow area. Both the bow and aft cockpit decks are functional as fishing space, and alternately, the 246’s seating plan provides comfortable cruising for a full company of passengers.
During our conversations with Sea Fox management construction they emphasized the durability of the boat's hull scantlings attention to quality. They point to its foam composite core construction, hand-rolled 3610 fiberglass knit, and quality gel coat. The 246 Commander’s deck and hull are chemically bonded when joined. The hull is designed with rough water characteristics in mind. She has a downward strake design to provide a dry ride. This is pretty much what all builders in class do. The 246 has a 122 gallon (461.8 L) aluminum fuel tank.
Engine Description and Options
Sea Fox partners with Yamaha for power and offers 3 engine options for the 246 Commander. She is available with the Yamaha F225, F250 or F300. 300-hp (220.6 kW) is her maximum horsepower rating. The manufacturer recommends the 250-hp (183.9 kW) engine.
We have not tested the 246 Commander but the folks at Yamaha have. Their test data for the maximum 300-hp engine shows a top speed of 52.5 mph (84.5 kph) WOT, a best cruise speed of 24 mph at 3000 rpms getting 3.8 mpg. Yamaha techs recorded a time to plane of 3.92 seconds and time from 0-30 mph (0-48.3kph) at 5.19 seconds.Sea Fox is a Power Match partner with Yamaha, meaning everything from the dash aft to the engine is Yamaha. This provides buyers with an extra 3-year warranty on Yamaha components.
Price and Cost of Major Options
Packaged with one of the 3 Yamaha engines, the 246 Commander’s MSRP base package price ranges between $65,900 and $72,300 USD. The trailer choice is made according to the dealer’s partner line-up.MSRP cost of popular major options is as follows:
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Hardtop||Optional Hardtop or T-top|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty
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