Scout 251 XS review

Scout 251 XS review (2022): Is This Fishing Boat Right for You?

We’ve been a commercial and recreational angler for years, switching dozens of boats during our time. We approach it with an unmatched passion and truly believe that choosing the right boat makes the entire experience more successful and more enjoyable.

We’ve taken an in-depth look at the Scout 251 XS model and its features to help you make an educated decision about whether it’s the right boat for you or not. Buying a boat is a hefty investment, and you shouldn’t take it lightly. We’ll help you get all the information you need to be certain you’re making the right decision.

After reviewing Scout 251 XS, it’s worth every penny of its price. It behaves well both inshore and offshore, and the manufacturer put a lot of thought into every detail, leaving little to no oversights.

You will get a deep insight into what this boat is capable of, both inshore and offshore. You’ll learn what its best features are, such as the low 13-inch draw and incredible top speed for its class. There are also some special features, such as the patented T-top glass enclosure and several storage compartments.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Scout 251 XS.

Scout 251 XS Overview

The Scout 251 XS is a hybrid inshore/offshore boat with numerous amenities for everybody, including those who want to fish and those who just want to go out in the water and enjoy the sunshine. It’s a boat large enough to battle high offshore waves but petite enough to let you cruise around the bay and get to the best inshore fishing spots without any hassle.

Overall, the boat fared incredibly well and proved that you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for fishing efficiency. It’s a beautifully designed boat with cushioned extra seating (that’s what the XS in the name of the boat stands for), making it an incredible choice for a family day at the beach or a friend gathering with some drinks in the sunshine.

On the other hand, there’s tons of storage area, livewells, and compartments to carry enough equipment so that you don’t even have the chance to use everything you’ve carried. The front deck is large enough for two anglers to fish very comfortably, and it easily transforms into a table if you are there to relax and unwind.

13-Inch Draft – Comfortable Inshore & Offshore

What makes Scout 251 XS so versatile is the fact that it has a 13-inch draw, which is incredibly small for a boat of this size, as it’s well over 24 feet long and weighs just a bit over a ton.

The small draft allows you to penetrate in the shallowest waters, making inshore fishing around bays and underwater structures as easy as fishing from the coast, but heaps more effective and successful, as you can find the perfect spot without a hassle.

On the other hand, the long hull lines, beautiful bow, and freeboard will allow you to penetrate offshore waves without discomfort, leaving you dry and ready to cast your rods into the blue water. It’s a great experience to ride this boat regardless of where you’re planning on taking it.

18-Degree Deadrise

If you’re not familiar with a boat’s deadrise, it’s the degree between the horizontal plane (water surface) and its hull. The higher the degree, the more leaned back your boat will be while riding. You’ll also have less control in quick turns and big waves.

Scout 251 XS measures a very small 18-degree deadrise, making it ride quite smoothly even against offshore waves. It’s just enough to prevent splashing, too, so you can stay dry at all times. 

The bow entry is quite sharp, and when you combine it with a small deadrise, you get a fast boat capable of maneuvering quickly and chopping through the shallows and whitecaps. Sharp turns or windy weather is not a problem for the Scout 251 XS.

257 L Fuel Tank

Even though the Scout 251 XS is a boat with all the bay-riding characteristics, it has an envious 257 L (68-gallon) fuel tank. That’s incredible compared to boats of the same size and similar performance capabilities.

We’ve tested its fuel efficiency in both calm and choppy waters and found that the conditions bear little difference. However, how you ride the boat will heavily determine how much fuel it will consume, even though the consumption is relatively small no matter how you ride.

The most efficient riding would be around 4 thousand rpm, making you go 35-37 mph (depending on your overall weight). It will provide you with a nice cruise that takes you a bit over three miles per gallon of fuel. That means you can go almost 200 miles with a full 68-gallon fuel tank. 

How far you can go depends on how long you can keep up the same pace without turning, slowing down, or speeding up, and how much weight is there onboard. The more weight on the boat, the more fuel it will consume.

300 HP Maximum

Scout 251 XS engine

Scout 251 XS comes with three different engine options, so you can choose depending on your budget and on what kind of performance you’re looking for. Mercury 300, Mercury 400M, and Yamaha F300 engines that you can choose from each have their presumable advantages.

Our test ride was on the Yamaha F300, which gives you 300 HP. It’s the strongest engine of the three, meaning it can go up the fastest speed. First, we tried adding a little weight to the boat to see how well it fares, and then we removed all the weight, going bare-hull, to see how much it affects the top speed.

With three people and at least 200 kg of load, we managed to get to a hasty 55 mph mark on 6000 rpm. That’s an incredible speed for this kind of a hybrid boat, especially with that much weight on it. Of course, going top-speed all the time will burn fuel a lot faster, so you should be careful.

When we removed the extra weight (only one person and a bare hull), We got it to 58 mph. Given that the conditions were not perfect and the waves were quite big, we believe you could easily pull up to 60 mph if the conditions were perfect.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is to look out for boat waves. You can feel the impact when hitting such waves at the highest speed, so make sure to slow down if you notice another boat in your vicinity.

Ten Person Capacity

For those who don’t want a boat to go fishing with, but a boat to relax on and take family and friends on cruises, look no further. The Scout 251 XS can fit up to ten people without a problem (around 770 kg of weight).

We must note, though, that having ten people onboard means you won’t be able to carry that much equipment, but you probably won’t even need it in that case.

The XS in the name of the boat, as we mentioned, stands for extra seating. The console seat alone fits two people comfortably. However, there’s extra seating at the rear end of the boat, right next to the engine. That’s where the cruise feels the most comfortable, in our opinion.

But, there’s even more seating available. The front casting extension that’s located above the bow serves a multi-purpose. When pressed down, it serves as a deck from which you can fish. But, using extra cushioning provided with the boat easily transfers the middle of that extension into a table, creating even more seating to chill and relax on.

That means you can have an incredible time entertaining your friends and family out in the waters but still have the luxury of a real fishing trip, be it around the bay or miles from the coast.

Snap-Up 2-Person Console Seat

One of the features we like the most on this boat is the console area. The console is fully enclosed with the patented T-top enclosure (more on that later) and backed up with an awesome 2-person snap-up console seat. 

The seat provides incredible comfort when riding the boat, and the simple console layout makes all the necessary amenities and controls very easy to handle. Two people can sit on the seat comfortably, which is great for boat riders that enjoy some company while going on cruises, regardless of where you plan on cruising.

When we say snap-up seats, that means you can easily snap and pull the seat up, revealing even more storage area. This compartment, however, is designed for private belongings and valuables, such as documents, jewelry, money, etc.

The storage box area comes with a key, ensuring the safety of your most valuable belongings when on the cruise.

Patented T-Top Enclosure

The characteristic T-top Hardtop enclosure is a Scout company patent that makes their boats so great. The three-sided enclosure is powder-coated and provides excellent protection from the conditions, from wind and seawater splashes to rain.

Fiberglass windows on each side give great visibility, while the hardtop shelters you from rain and reduces wind resistance, allowing the Scout 251 XS to achieve greater speed. There’s also more seating in front of the enclosure, making the cruise even more comfortable regardless of how many people are on board.

LED Spreader Lights and a T-Bag are a part of the standard equipment as well. You get more practical storage place on the sides as well, with V-shaped slots for rods and rubber soles for rod butts for safe and practical rod keeping. 

The design of this boat is highly detailed and leaves little to be desired, but don’t let the stylish, modern look fool you – this boat has all you need for a great day of fishing, inshore or offshore.

Extra Storage Room

If you want a boat that can store a whole lot of fishing equipment – even the heavy-hitting offshore stuff – this boat won’t let you down. There’s storage space everywhere, with even more optional storage available upon buying the boat.

Starting with the rod lockers in the bow casting platform, you can store up to five rods without tangling. There’s a small cradle for each rod, preventing any tangling from happening. You can lock this compartment as well for safe keeping even when you’re not there.

If you feel like five rods isn’t enough, you can safely tuck at least six more on the vertical rod racks we’ve mentioned on the sides of the T-top enclosure. It’s great if you’re going with several people, and everybody plans on fishing.

There’s a standard release well on the rear deck, with more available bait storage compartments at hand. More storage is located under the before-mentioned console seats and the forward door on the large console, uncovering the head compartment and access to the console’s wiring.

Under optional storage equipment, you can get a Taco outrigger, a deluxe leaning post with a big livewell, tackle station and backrest, and more.

Bow Casting Extension

The front deck is probably a feature that every angler will enjoy the most. Apart from the rod compartment in the front, the entire front end extends into a big casting platform that can easily fit two anglers comfortably. When you’re not fishing, it transforms into a table with seating.

That extra space you have for maneuvering when you get a large fish hooked can be a difference-maker between landing and losing the bite.

As great as the extension is for anglers, the fact that it’s multi-functional and transformable into a table makes this boat great not only for fishing but for hosting friends and family as well.

Pros & Cons of Scout 251 XS

Pros:

  • Modern, stylish design
  • Extra storage space
  • Inshore & offshore capabilities
  • 10-person capacity & extra seating
  • Patented T-top enclosure
  • Multi-purpose bow casting extension
  • Agile & fast

Cons:

  • High price
  • Lacks a viable drink-cooling solution
  • Comparable competition boats have a bit larger fuel tanks

Best Alternatives to Scout 251 XS

If the Scout 251 is just right out of your budget, but you want something comparable, then your best option is the AMS Shearwater 25LTZ. It comes at a lower price but has many similar features and measurements to the 251 XS.

For instance, the overall size is almost the same, and you’ll have just about the same storage capacity. It doesn’t have as much seating. However, the Shearwater 25LTZ provides a bit more room for sunbathing and relaxing purposes.

Also, it comes with a little more power, going up to 350 HP compared to Scout’s 300. However, that doesn’t allow a big top-speed difference because the 25LTZ is a bit heavier. You can attribute that partially to the larger fuel tank, carrying 75 gallons instead of 251 XS’s 68 gallons.

We find the Scout a lot more appealing when it comes to style, but that might be a matter of taste. Still, it’s unquestionable that there’s a lot more thought put into details on the 251 XS than its alternative competitor.

Also, the Shearwater 25LTZ doesn’t feel as smooth and stable when riding as the Scout. Perhaps the water was different while we were testing, but riding the ShearWater felt a bit bumpier. The maneuvering was quite well but slower, too.

When it comes to the fluidity between inshore and offshore fishing, Scout is way above any competitor. While the 25LTZ provides a wonderful inshore experience, going offshore felt harder when battling deep-sea waves and weather conditions.

Overall, we think the price difference between the two is small but realistic. While the Scout 251 XS is the better option, a smaller price justifies some of the drawbacks that the Shearwater 25LTZ has.

Our Verdict

After a thorough examination, we highly recommend the Scout 251 XS if it’s within your budget. It is worth its price by all means. This hybrid boat can transition between inshore and offshore adventures seamlessly, providing a smooth and sheltered ride all the way.

You can comfortably fit up to ten people on board, making this boat great for both fishing adventures and entertainment, sunbathing, etc.

There’s enough storage space to bring three more anglers with you and enough agility to maneuver through the shallows, finding your personal fishing paradise. Just climb up on the bow casting extension in the front and enjoy fishing comfortably wherever you are. If you get into bad weather, the T-top enclosure will ensure you stay dry and protected at all times.

There’s so much thought put into detail, but we’ve noticed a few minor setbacks during the test run. For instance, there’s no built-in cooling for food and drinks, which is an oversight considering all the seating and entertainment features of the boat.

You can check out the price, ask for a quote or purchase the Scout 251 XS on Scout’s official website.

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