Salty Cape Boat Review: The Fortier 30
I have a long history with Fortiers. When I was a little rug rat in the 1980s, my dad would take me on a few charters in Falmouth each summer. Back then, the fleet had three Fortier 26s; The Peptide, Freedom and Ananta, not to mention a few others sprinkled around the harbor. When I got my captain’s license, I worked for Patriot boats in Falmouth Harbor, and the first boat I got to run was a brand new 26, The Perfect Timing. Although it was only 26’, it would easily fit 6 passengers, which I would routinely take on two trips a day.
My wife actually found this boat. We were on one of our drives with coffees along the water and we looped into MacDougall’s Marina, and there it was: The Assisted Living, navy blue with a white boot stripe. “That’s the one I like.” Well, I’m no dummy, and I know enough to know that when your better half is pushing you to upsize your boat, you do it. You may never get that chance again! One thing led to another and we missed the boat. Sad that we didn’t pull the trigger fast enough, we shelved the boat decision. Then one day, I got a call from Boston Harbor Yacht Sales, saying they got another one. Unfortunately, we had a 33 under agreement. But as luck would have it, our first deal fell through due to a contractual issue, and we were able to buy the boat that was right for us in the first place. The Gray Goose. This will be our 3rd season with it. We’ve done everything on this boat from beaching it for a cook out to overnights in the Canyons. I’ve filmed 6 videos for Hogy on it and it is my pride and joy.
The Fortier 30′ at a Glance
At first glance from the water, you may think the boat is its iconic little sister, the Fortier 26 (which is still their best seller). However, when you are inside, you feel like you’re in the 33-foot big sister. In my opinion, this model is the queen of the Fortier fleet. It’s fast on twin 230 Volvos, fuel efficient, fishes hard but has the look of a classic New England boat.
1.) Size & interior space is excellent for a 30′ boat. The boat is impossibly big for its size. It actually has the same cockpit space as the 33’, about 100 square feet, AKA a small ballroom for a boat that size. Since the boat is an express style boat, there is plenty of space on the bridge deck. The best feature of the bridge deck is the giant L-Seat. It can fit 3 couples, 3 big dudes or my wife with 2 rambunctious kids and their friends. The L-Seat is sort of a big deal, especially if making long runs. I have operated similarly sized boats with traditional chairs and benches that would have a hard time seating a Captain and his crew of three all together comfortably together for a long run.
2.) Fast for its style. I run this boat all day long at 24.5kts (28mph). It tops out at 30 or 32kts. But when it get’s nasty out, it runs flat at 11kts. And when you have your bow trimmed way down, its impossibly smooth in a standing chop that you find in the Sounds and Buzzards Bay. With the kiddos (mine are 3 and 5) my typical speed is 18kts. The boat purrs at this speed.
3.) Built right for and can stand up to fishing. This boat has real-boat components. Big cleats, oversized hard ware, giant compass, etc. Definitely feels like a traditional maritimes-man designed it. It’s Spartan and clean, but has a beautiful teak windshield, rub rails and anchor pulpit to class it up. The lines speak for themselves. If you like classic bass boat lines, you’ll love the Fortier.
Some video examples from the past few years:
• Trolling the Shipping Lanes for Yellowfin Tuna
• Jigging for Bluefin East of Chatham
• Trolling for Bluefin Tuna South of Martha’s Vineyard with SI Harness Jigs
• Trolling for Bluefin Tuna South of Martha’s Vineyard with SI Flexi-Bars
• Trolling for Bluefish at Horseshoe Shoal
• Casting for Yellowfin and Albacore Tuna at The Canyons
4.) Fuel efficient. I’m going to let the attached chart speak for it’s self. Fortier’s are custom boats, and the original owner (who I thank in my mind everyday, he thought of things I never would have) had a third tank installed. So with my 1.8nmp, I have the range for any canyon that you would think of running out of Falmouth ma, with enough for a hooter trip with the kids the next day. Love those diesels.
|RPM||Nautical MI/HR||Gallons Per Hour||GPH x 2||Range|
5.) Solid stability and ride. Light hull + flat bottom = (stable platform + dry ride – some pounding). The boat is so stable, it’s like standing on an island when at troll or drifting. It’s really, really stable. It has an 11’ beam with a relatively flat hull design that enables this. That said, it definitely pounds a bit here and there, but I would argue it is amazingly adjusted for its class. If you trim down, and back down to 20kts, you can drink coffee from a mug in the typical afternoon slop we have out in the Sounds. The boat does require a little extra steering in a following sea, but the 2006 and newer versions are vastly improved. Mine is a 2007 and have few complaints in a following sea.
6.) Twin diesels have advantages (and disadvantages) over outboards. A lot of the boats with big outboards today can push 30kts cruise. Center consoles, much faster. The good news with diesels — you get a heavy ride (in a good way) torque for great maneuverability on a fish or at the marina, reliability, better fishing space, fuel efficiency, tuna door, longetivity and a TON more cockpit space. Lastly, with today’s common rail diesels, you hardly smell the diesel fumes. And the engines are far quieters. The trade off — You lose the aft cabin, ability to beach the boat at some beaches, and inboards are a little more expensive to maintain on an annual basis.
Bottom Line: This boat truly doesn’t fail anywhere quality-wise. It looks more like a boat than a bubble and has a layout that accommodates family, crew and hard-core fishing. It’s built in New England for New England waters by people who actually boat which translates to a vessel that deals really well with afternoon slop and chop we get around these parts. I think this boat makes a lot of sense for boaters who spend more time topside than below decks. It has so much more usable space than mainstream boats like Grady White, Pursuit and Edgewater do in the same size class.