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Story by Brett Bayne • Photos by Todd Taylor

The evolution of the center-console design—from functional fish-hauler to adrenaline-inducing, unapologetic ass-hauler—has been a slow but fascinating transformation. In the past, our staff has been reluctant to test or feature these category-blurring hulls; in rare instances, some did sneak in because we’re suckers for anything with a nasty performance growl. After the economy tanked, our market began trending toward an alternative to the traditional closed-bow ocean missile: high-performance center consoles, providing a new lease on life to an increasing number of go-fast builders, from Statement and Nor-Tech to MTI and Cigarette. Today, Sunsation of Algonac, MI—once exclusively a manufacturer of 26

S P E E D B O A T | July 2015

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28' to 43' traditional deep-vee sport boats—reports that center consoles now account for the majority of its sales. It all started with the sexy, magnificent 34 CCX (Center Cabin Xtreme), which Sunsation owners Joe and Wayne Schaldenbrand began tooling in 2012 and officially unveiled at the 2013 installment of the Miami International Boat Show. The brothers’ debut boat was one of the most talked-about new models at the exhibit, with numerous amenities that included roomy twin lounge contoured seats over the center console, an astonishingly large cabin with 7½ feet of head room and a beam of 10 feet. “We’re not the first ones out,” Joe told us during the boat’s layup phase. “We might have missed the first surge, but we’re

6/4/15 5:14 PM

Speedboat August Online Edition  
Speedboat August Online Edition