So I've got friends in town that rented an Ocean Pro for 3 days. They fish with me on occasion but also wanted to branch out and give it a go on their own. They decided to take me fishing for a change-up and I gotta say I wasn't impressed with the boat. Compared to my older 24' Alaskan it's a huge difference than just the 2' length difference and here's why:
1. Seating: for some reason Hewes in the newer models raised cabin roof (headroom) height but lowered the seat heights for the capt/co-capt.
You feel like you're about sitting on the floor and straining to see over the bow. In fact we drove the boat on one knee on the seat. The seat boxes are half the height of mine which takes away a ton of storage. I'm not short at 6' but it was a constant pita.
2. Seating: had factory light weight suspension seats; bottom out on every wave and noisy. I've got good quality standard non-suspension seats and they work fine at 1000 hrs a year. Imo if you're running a boat in this size range adequately, they're unnecessary (my boat tells me if I'm running too hard or aggressive, if it's uncomfortable for me and passengers, I don't want to compensate with suspension seats and beat her). You can control virtually every sea state & condition with correctly sized trim tabs btw. I did have better suspension seats on the 28' Koffler I had running out of Whittier, still didn't like them.
3. Power: single 150 pretty disappointing. 3 guys, full fuel and geared up for the day max 22kts at 5200. I checked the prop, 15" pitch which should have given more like 5500 easily; just not enough hp. Would stall big time in following sea & trough. The boat wants & needs 200hp.
4. Wipers; not sure why they didn't increase wiper blade length to accommodate tall windshield?
5. Even though only a 2' length difference, a completely different ride. More abrupt and harsh than mine. Fortunately for me, my boat was bought new originally by Spoiled One on here and I had his take on how much he liked the 24' so I bought it without a sea trial.
All of the above can be fixed except hull length (see below); that being said I don't think I'd be happy with the 22', my 24' has easily a third to almost twice the deck space, is adequately powered, and rides completely differently. There are typically more 22's that come up for sale compared to the 24-26's so if I had to I'd stretch a 22', not as daunting as it sounds. Friend of mine stretched his 26' to 30' in the mid-section; completely improved the boat in every way; fuel economy with the same twin 150's, speed, sea manners, and an additional 4' deck space? Heavenly considering he charters the boat year year round.