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Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Boat Reviews, Center Console, High-performance, News and Events, Powerboating |

Nor-Tech Completes First Outboard-Powered 298 Sport Center Console

The performance builders have their hands full with orders for this 29-footer -- the smallest boat in their line-up.

It should come as no surprise that it took Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats six months longer to design and build the 298 Sport Center Console than it took for either of  its 39- or 34-foot siblings. In fact th 298 is the smallest model the Cape Coral, Fla., company — which offers custom-made high-performance catamarans and V-bottoms up to an 80-foot performance yacht — has ever built. So Nor-Tech’s owners Trond Schou and Nils Johnson, as well as Terry Sobo, director of sales and marketing, had to downsize their thinking, and that wasn’t something they were accustomed to.

Nor-Tech 1

Engine options up to twin 300-hp Mercury Verado outboards are offered for the 298 Sport.

But why the larger-to-smaller model approach in developing their console line?

“In the center-console world, the 390 and the 340 are still fairly large boats,” explained Sobo. “What we wanted to do was offer something in a more entry-level size to get more people into the Nor-Tech family.”

Their strategy appears to have worked. At present, the company has more than a half-dozen orders for the 29-footer.

With twin 300-hp engines, the second 298 Sport built (the first was equipped with a single 370-hp Yanmar diesel engine for a buyer in Norway) reportedly will top 70 mph. The outboard-powered version made its debut at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The custom-built 29-foot center-console can be set up with a standard-length console or a sunlounge/mid cabin/ head compartment layout, which has been a popular choice in the 34-footer. An angling-specific interior with fish lockers and rod holders also is available. For engines, twin 300-hp outboards are the maximum, but the boat can be ordered with lesser power including twin 250-hp and twin 150-hp Mercury outboards. Base price, depending on power and other options, is in the low- to mid-$200,000 range.

Next up for Nor-Tech in its center-console series is a 42-footer, though likely that won’t be anytime soon. Schou, Johnson, Sobo, and the rest of crew at Nor-Tech are swamped with center-console orders, as well as orders for pure high-performance sportboats.

“We are absolutely slammed,” said Sobo. “That’s a good thing.”

Matt Trulio