When Sportsman Boats unveiled their Masters 267OE bay boat we enjoyed a multi-day test and fishing experience aboard, and found it to be an utterly magnificent light tackle fishing machine (you can read our review and see the video at Sportsman 267 OE: Prototyping Perfection). Great as this boat was, however, it had one issue, the same hitch that eliminates many boats of its size from consideration for a segment of the angling population: with a nine-foot, two-inch beam, it wouldn’t be legally trailerable in DelMarVa without jumping through some hoops. Trailer boat anglers, it’s time to check out the new Masters 247OE.

sportsman 247 oe running
The Sportsman 247OE is rigged and ready to fish, right out of the box.

At eight-foot, five-inches wide, the 247OE sits neatly on a trailer and is ready to roll to any destination for your next fishing adventure. Yet despite trimming down the footprint of the OE package, Sportsman retains the highlights that set the 267OE apart from the bay boat pack. You still get the forward console coffin-box (67.5 gallons) with a lounger on top, twin aft livewells (21 gallons with aquarium-style viewing ports) plus a small forward livewell (15 gallons), a D-tube T-top with integrated tempered glass enclosure, a freshwater washdown system (13 gallons), and an integrated SportLink integrated electronics package (including a NMEA2000 backbone, 12-inch Garmin GPSMAP 1243xsv, Fusion stereo with eight JL Audio speakers, VHF radio, and Airmar B60 through-hull transducer). Critically for cobia fans, it also offers the option for an upper station with controls on the T-top.

So, where does the 247OE trim down in comparison to its larger sibling? The most noticeable difference is that the forward casting deck and aft cockpit spaces aren’t as monstrous. This boat has a maximum passenger load of 10 people and will probably best be fished with five or fewer anglers, while the 267OE is yacht-certified and thus doesn’t have a max passenger capacity rating. Another difference can be found in the foredeck design, though which is “better” is debatable. Rather than the 267OE’s flanking steps up to the bowdeck the 247OE has a single step with an integrated stowage compartment, cup holders, and stereo speakers.

sportsman 247 oe foredeck
We're guessing that many anglers will find the bow of the 247 OE to their liking.

A difference in seakeeping is also to be expected from a boat with a smaller footprint, but alas, we haven’t yet been able to get a sea trial on this new version (between Covid and the current boat shortage our usual boat-testing regime has faced a lot of difficulties lately), so we can’t report direct results. What we can say is that the 16-degree transom deadrise on the larger model — which proved utterly spectacular in the Chesapeake chop while a 15-knot breeze blew out of the south — is shaved just a hair to 15 degrees. We also know that Sportsman’s previous Masters 247 cruised at around 40 mph turning 4500 rpm and topped out at a hair over 51 mph with 300 horses on the transom, so similar performance can be expected. Stay tuned for more exact figures because we’ll post an update just as soon as we can hitch a ride on one.

And one day, who knows? Maybe you’ll be hitching up to a trailer carrying your own Masters 247OE.

Sportsman 247OE Specifications

LOA – 24’4”

Beam – 8’5”

Displacement – 2825 lbs.

Draft (min.) – 1’2”

Transom Deadrise – 15 degrees

Fuel Capacity – 71 gal.

Max. Power – 350 hp

Area Dealers – Riverside Marine, Essex, MD, (410) 686-1500.