Given that Wellcraft is now part of the Beneteau group, it would be easy for the cynic to imagine that the new UK fleet is little more than a collection of rebadged clones – and yet, with 60 years experience and a range comprising 20 boats from 18 to 35 feet, nothing could be further from the truth. From the affordable, six-man 180 Fisherman to the flagship 35 Scarab Offshore Tournament, the bloodline is in fact very pronounced. Whether you opt for the Fisherman, the Scarab Offshore, the Sportsman or the Coastal variants, and whether you favour efficient entry-level power or a triple rig of 350s, Wellcraft’s enviable heritage in fast family fishers remains extremely evident in its current fleet.
While there are several Dual Console and Walkaround craft in the Wellcraft range, by far the most prolific configuration is the Centre Console layout. With its innate versatility and generosity of open deck space, it is ideally suited to the mixed demands of coastal recreation in the UK – so it is little surprise to learn that in its first season, Sea Ventures is hedging its bets with a trio of stock boats that really maximise that breadth of appeal.
The 222, 242 and 262 Fisherman models, all from the Centre Console line, are now available for trial at Sea Ventures’ Swanwick HQ – and the company plainly believes that Wellcraft is tailor made for the British boater: “What caught our eye with this brand is the rugged quality of the build combined with the attention to detail and quality of the fittings. In either their standard or famous ‘Scarab Offshore’ livery, these are very handsome boats for the discerning owner.” As for its three stock boats, Sea Ventures is describing them as “a very credible alternative to a RIB, with the added advantage of great storage, a heads compartment and a dry ride.”
To find out if they’re right, and to discover more about the Wellcraft fleet, visit www.wellcraft.com or www.sea-ventures.co.uk.
For more advice on choosing a fishing boat, read Dave Barham's guide to fishing boats.