Lightweight center console provides full 360-degree fishability
Bay boats have long been a staple on the saltwater fishing scene with their ability to navigate shallow waters while still being big enough to handle the open water of large bays and coves. Those capabilities – along with their low maintenance requirement – have led to bay boats gaining a following in fresh water as well. Traditionally built from fiberglass, more and more bay boats are adopting aluminum as their material of choice, exploiting the advantages of its lighter weight. This includes the Lowe 20 Bay, which weighs just 1,400 pounds yet delivers all the features of a traditional bay boat design.
Riding on a high-performance aluminum pad hull made from beefy 0.125 aluminum stock, the Lowe 20 Bay stretches exactly 20 feet in length with a beam of 94 inches for easy handling. Interior cockpit depth is a surprising 20 inches, allowing this boat to keep the open water chop outside the boat where it belongs. Injected foam construction below the deck bonds with the hull and deck to form a rigid hull structure for a smooth, stable ride in all conditions. The light aluminum hull makes towing this boat a snap, and offers the advantage of being able to launch it just about anywhere.
With its center console layout, the 20 Bay provides full 360-degree fishability. The raised front casting deck includes an elevated mounting pad for an electric motor (it comes supplied with a MotorGuide VariMax V55SW), while an adjacent bow panel provides the requisite plug-in. An in-deck receptacle accommodates a removable, pedestal-mount fishing seat, while just aft of that a large deck lid opens to reveal a large storage compartment that’s ideal for bulky gear. A pair of locking rod lockers accept rods to seven feet, six inches in length.
The forward-facing seat at the front of the fiberglass center console has a seat cushion which lifts forward to provide access to a 16-gallon bait well, which could be used as a smaller live well if needed. Clearly Lowe designed this cushion to lift forward in order to eliminate the possibility of it flapping in the breeze while running at high speed. But the hinges on the forward side of the cushion make access less convenient. Perhaps future updates to this boat will relocate the hinge to the aft side of the cushion and provide some sort of locking mechanism instead.
The console itself is a stylish design, with grab handles on each side for passengers riding on the front-side seat, and three vertical rod holders along each side to keep rods safely stowed. A small but functional windshield provides extra comfort to the driver, without getting in the way of aftermarket electronics mounted atop the console, or interfering with the driver’s cup holder mounted on the left top side. The 20 Bay comes with a Lowrance Hook 3x fishfinder as standard equipment, and this can be easily upgraded. The dash is simple and straightforward, with the primary gauges mounted high where they’re easily seen. A large storage compartment in the console base provides secure storage for valuables like cameras and such. A leaning post for the driver is quite comfortable, and includes a foot rest that can be raised or lowered as desired.
Twin pop-up seats on the forward corners of the elevated rear casting deck fold flat when not in use, and offer access to more storage lockers found in their base. Between the seats and directly behind the leaning post is the boat’s main 30-gallon aerated live well.
There is a second seat base on the rear deck to accommodate a second pedestal-mount fishing seat, with a compartment aft of it providing access to the battery compartment and bilge.
The 20 Bay comes with an extensive option list allowing owners to personalize the boat to their own tastes, including niceties such as a Bimini top, two- or three-bank battery chargers, hydraulic steering with tilt, and a variety of electronics and electric motor upgrades.
The 20 Bay is rated to handle outboard of up to 150 horsepower, but it’s such a light and efficient hull that it runs extremely well with a 115. Anglers operating on more protected waters can also opt for a 90, and still enjoy surprising performance.
Lowe 20 Bay Specs
- Length: 20’ 0”
- Beam: 94”
- Dry weight: 1,400 lbs
- Passenger capacity: 8
- Fuel capacity: 30 gal.
- Maximum power: 150 hp
- Complete Specs