By Lenny Rudow
Pathfinder 2200: Live-Baiting Bonanza
Hard-core anglers who love live bait fishing are going to find this bay boat irresistible.
When I tested the Pathfinder 2600 HPS we were fishing for cobia and kingfish with live baits, which made it easy to appreciate that boat’s whopping 95 gallon total livewell capacity. Too bad you can’t keep as many baits live and healthy in a smaller model like the new Pathfinder 2200 TE, right? Wrong! The 2200 TE has a pair of 40 gallon wells under the aft deck, plus a 15 gallon livewell up forward. Yowza, that’s a lot more capacity than you’d usually hope for in a boat of this size—and it means you can haul dozens of pinfish, herring, shrimp, and/or whatever else you think those fish might be feeding on.
If you are a live-baiting finaddict, you probably also spend a lot of time tossing a cast net. Or maybe two; one with small mesh for the white bait, and another with larger mesh for capturing pogies. No problem. The Pathfinder has two in-deck cast net stowage compartments. What about all the rods and reels you’ll break out, after making bait? Again Pathfinder has dedicated stowage, this time in the form of locking rodboxes which complement the four flush-mounts, two horizontal racks under each gunwale, and the four vertical racks on either side of the console. In total, you can bring 26 rods aboard and have a place to put each and every one.
Even tackle gets a special place, in the three-tray box that swings out from the front of the console. Room for improvement: the door swings closed too easily, and when accessing it in rough seas, I wished the hinges had some friction to slow the swing down. On the flip side, this arrangement does make it easy to remove the door and tackle trays completely, so you can access the inside of the console from up here. Check it out in this short video:
Once you put all of these goodies to use, fish can go into one of the integrated boxes, the 48-quart forward console seat, or the slide-out cooler under the helm (this one’s optional). Then sluice away the slime with the standard raw water washdown.
When a boat is armed to the teeth like this, you expect it to perform at competitive levels. After all, the TE does stand for Tournament Edition, and when I ran the 2200, there was no doubt it has the ability to compete with any of the bay boats out there. We had a Yamaha VF250LA on the transom, which is one of the high-tech four-stroke designs that matches two-strokes for weight and acceleration (learn more about these engines by reading The New Yamaha Four-Stroke V-Max). With all that power back there, we busted 60-mph and cruised in the mid 40’s. You say you don’t need that much juice, nor do you want to pony up for it? No problem; the “stock” motor for the 2200 is a VF200LA, which still reaches speeds in the mid 50’s and cruises in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s. This package keeps the MSRP down to around $55,000, but Pathfinder will also rig the boat with an F150, which pulls the cost down by about four more grand. Any way you cut it, considering the eye-popping MSRP’s you find on many top-shelf boats these days, the Pathfinder 2200 seems to be priced quite reasonably.
|Fuel capacity||56 gal.|
Like other Pathfinders, this model is built with composites, only. Closed-cell foam fills all below-deck voids, and backing plates are Phenolic (layers of resin-impregnated papers and/or fiberglass, which are heated and pressurized). Compartments are fully linered, and hatches are finished on both sides, guttered, and gasketed. As a result of these construction methods the boat feels solid underfoot, though it should be noted that (like any boat with a 15-degree bottom), the 2200 won’t feel as smooth in big waves as a deep-V hull would. Then again, you aren’t going to find a deep-V that can sneak into 11″ deep water, as this boat can.
|Test conditions: 1 foot chop, winds 10-15 knots, 1 POB|
|Power||Single Yamaha VF250LA swinging a 14.75″ x 22″ stainless-steel prop.|
As you might guess, the 2200 TE is derived from Pathfinder’s proven 2200 TRS. While these boats share the same hull design, the deck is all-new. Some of the differences to highlight include more room in the cockpit, walk-around gunwales, a larger anchor locker, new compartments, and a longer deck. Oh yes, and let’s not forget that the TRS has a single 28-gallon livewell. For most folks, this will be just fine. But if you’re a true fanatic when it comes to fishing with livies, you’ll have a hard time resisting the draw of the Pathfinder 2200 TE – all 95 gallons of it.
Other Choices: If you like this Pathfinder, you may also want to peek at the similarly priced Skeeter ZX22V (or its recent replacement, the SX 220). The Pioneer 220 Bay Sport is a bit less fancy and costs a few thou less than these competitors, and if your budget requires even more down-sizing, the Mako 21 LTS may be of interest.
For more insight into what to look for in a bay boat, also check out Bay Boat Battles: What Makes One Better Than Another?
For more information, visit Pathfinder Boats.
- Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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