Fuel-Efficient Family Fun

With two young children they hoped to introduce to the joy of boating, Will and Alyssa Claunch found just the right vessel for their excursions and budget

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The Claunch family takes their SeaVee out on the Loxahatchee River. Photo by George LaBonte
The Claunch family takes their SeaVee out on the Loxahatchee River. Photos by George LaBonte

For a young family building a life together in Jupiter, the ocean certainly plays a role in leisure activities. For Will and Alyssa Claunch and their young children, 2-year-old Walker and 1-year-old Reagan, a lifetime of adventure lies ahead on their newly acquired SeaVee 322z center console.

The Claunches have a solid background in boating, and both say it was an important aspect of their upbringing. For Will, a native of Palm City, fishing on his family’s bay boat provided a solid boating base and, more importantly, a love of fishing. Alyssa takes sailing seriously, and growing up in Mystic, Connecticut offered her opportunities to sail the northeastern Atlantic. The couple always knew the boating life was something they wanted to share with their own kids someday.

Will and Alyssa Claunch with their kids, Reagan and Walker. Photo by George LaBonte
Will and Alyssa Claunch with their kids, Reagan and Walker.

On the quest for the perfect boat—one that would offer something to each member of the family—a few conditions would need to be met. For Will, a vessel that was well appointed for serious fishing was important, though not at the expense of his family’s comfort and safety. A large enough center console with adequate freeboard to allow the kids plenty of mobility without fear of anyone climbing out or falling overboard was paramount.

A vessel large enough for blue water fishing and Bahama crossings was also a requirement—which meant they needed storage availability and would be challenged by the rising cost
of fuel. They decided a boat in the 30- to 34-foot class that could be powered efficiently with just a pair of engines would be perfect. They also agreed to forego permanent forward and aft cockpit seating in favor of adding marine beanbags forward, as well as a removable cockpit bench that would allow for maximum fishing room as needed and the ability to add temporary seating as necessary for family cruising and sandbar days.

After careful consideration, the layout of the SeaVee 322z proved to be ideal for the family. The soft SeaVee ride would be comfortable for the kiddos as they discovered the ocean with their parents. The meticulous rigging and top-quality hardware stood out. The deck space was roomy and open. Matching 16-inch Garmin MFD units with a 48-mile radar unit would be ideal for navigating to the Bahamas. A pair of aquarium live wells could handle high-volume bait while also providing entertainment for the kids. And a JL Audio sound system would be perfect for sandbar Sundays.

Twin Mercury Verados provide nearly 3 miles per gallon at cruising speed. Photo by George LaBonte
Twin Mercury Verados provide nearly 3 miles per gallon at cruising speed.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the SeaVee 322z in the current climate, however, is its fuel efficiency. Twin 350 Mercury Verados deliver nearly 3 miles per gallon at cruising speed and 2 at wide open throttle in the 50 miles per hour range. 

This total package, from form to function, ultimately checked all the boxes for the Claunch family.

Power File

Length: 32 feet, 9 inches

Beam: 9 feet, 6 inches

Draft: 20 inches

Deadrise: 22 degrees

Weight: 6,900 pounds (without engines)

Fuel: 312 gallons

Max HP: 900

George LaBonte, who writes this column, is a local charter fishing captain and hosts the television series Florida Sportsman Best Boat and Florida Sportsman Project Dreamboat. He recently launched a new YouTube channel (George LaBonte) devoted to his fishing adventures.

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