On Boats: The Parker 2900 CC, a Bay Transformer

One of the most useful boat brands on the Bay, Parker Boats, has just added “Offshore” to its name. But the powerful 2900 CC still feels just right for Chesapeake waters.

Parker boats have been staples on the Bay ever since Linwood Parker introduced his 25’ Sou’wester center- or-side-console open workboat in the early 1970s. From the start, that boat was a hit with commercial watermen, light tackle fishing guides, and recreational anglers.

In the intervening half-century, more sizes (18 to 28 feet) and models have followed, including a successful 21 to 28-foot Sport Cabin (SC) line. They have all been no-nonsense, rugged, modified-V hulls with sweet Carolina lines and flare. A loyal corps of local craftspeople in the Parker plant in Beaufort, North Carolina, have built them under the brand’s mantra, Quality, Strength and Seaworthiness.

Ready to retire in 2019 after creating and maintaining an iconic brand, Linwood and Trudy Parker sold the company to the Correct Craft family of brands. That progressive corporation understood the value of the dedicated Beaufort workforce as well as the waterway credibility of the brand’s boats. It expanded the plant while blending in its own carefully developed manufacturing systems and changed the name to Parker Offshore, a sign of models to come.

Even so, the classic 18-25 foot Special Edition (SE) line of open, no-frills center console boats so beloved on the Chesapeake remains firmly in the brand, with their 14-16 zero-deadrise semi-V hulls. For the past three years, though, Parker Offshore has been introducing 22 to 29-foot center-console boats with deeper-V running bottoms that reflect the new name and offer more family features while retaining the fundamental Parker/Carolina DNA. The new CCs include full inner hull liners bonded onto full-composite stringer grids filled with floatation foam.

Is Correct Craft flouting the established maxim “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, yes and no. After a romp in a 2900CC on a windy day in the lower Bay out of Yorktown’s Legasea Marine, we think Parker Offshore is building on the brand’s fundamentals in some valuable ways.

The 2900CC is a big boat, 28’3″ on deck but 34′ overall with twin engines on a full-beam bracket/swim platform. At 9’6″, the beam offers plenty of room for up to 12 people. Sure, she’s a fishing boat, but she’s a great family and friends platform too, with comfortable, upholstered and diamond-stitched seating in V-benches at the bow. There’s insulated storage beneath; forward-facing seatbacks and a removable bow casting platform/sunpad with cushion are optional.

Complementing them are a double seat in front of the console with cavernous storage beneath. Two diamond-stitched chairs at the helm have flip-up bolsters on sturdy frames. There’s a double seat in the mezzanine on the aft side of the helm seat base, and an optional folding double seat at the transom.

Parker offers the 2900CC as a relatively bare boat with an MSRP of $224,787, including two of Yamaha’s well-proven 300-hp outboards. An online brochure provides an extensive, detailed price list for optional items to customize the boat for multiple uses. Arguably the most obvious option is a fiberglass T-top with electronics box, courtesy lights, LED spreader lights, Wet Sounds speaker pods, windshield, and four-rod powder coated rocket launcher. At least one 2900CC has already come to the Chesapeake with no hardtop, however. Its owner plans to have a custom shop fabricate a top with an upper helm for sight-fishing cobia and red drum.

For family outings, the optional 25-gallon livewell under the mezzanine seat doubles as a drink/picnic cooler, while for an all-day crowd, the 65-gallon transom fishbox offers even more capacity. For serving food, Parker offers an optional Docktail rodholder-mounted table. A tackle drawer in the front of the helm seat unit serves as a trash can. For time at anchor (windlass available) or at a sandbar, a Gemlux Fly Shade is an option. For swimming, there’s a transom door that leads to a full-width boarding/swim platform with a folding, telescopic ladder. There’s also a dive door with another telescoping ladder.

Inside the console there is space for an optional, portable flushing head with macerator and dockside pumpout. It also offers excellent access to the electronics inside the broad helm dashboard. (We’d like to see lighting and positive ventilation for the head, and maybe a full marine toilet with holding tank.) In-sole, insulated fishboxes are found in the bow and both port and starboard in the cockput sole. All can serve as general storage too.

It’s a transformer when it’s time to fish. The helm seat base offers three tackle drawers inside, and the mezzanine seatback folds down to become a rigging table and tackle center with gear storage. The helm provides space for electronics up to a single 16” Garmin map display or a pair of 12″ displays, along with a CHIRP sonar transducer, a Garmin 115 VHF with antenna, Garmin 18” or 24” xHD radar, and Yamaha’s Helm Master II autopilot and joystick. A bow-mount electric positioning motor would be a dealer-installed option, integrated into the boat’s Yamaha/Garmin wiring harness. With all of the fishing features listed above, we’d like to see more factory rodholders and rod storage options, though any Parker dealer with a good rigging shop should be able to customize the 2900CC’s open layout for any individual owner’s angling needs. Adaptability has always been one of the brand’s strengths.

Performance with the twin 300-hp Yamahas is strong and fuel-efficient. Top speed was 50 knots (5,700 rpm), but efficiency peaked around 3,000 (24 knots) at nearly 2 nmpg. The 2900CC comes standard with trim tabs. Any new owner should study the shape of the hull, including its very sharp forefoot and moderately sharp midsection, to learn to adjust running angles in varying conditions. Think of the tabs and the engines’ trim as tools for tailoring fore-and-aft trim in windy conditions with quartering or beam seas and wind.

In the end, the 2900CC is a big, brawny, classic-looking Carolina center console with abundant family features. For more information, visit  or the Chesapeake’s Parker Offshore dealers, Tri-State Marine in Deale, Maryland, Legasea Marine in Yorktown, Virginia, and Garrett’s Marina in Tappahannock, Virginia.

LOA: 34′
Hull Length: 28’3”
Beam: 9’6”’
Draft: 17”
Weight: 7,500 lbs.
Transom Deadrise: 21 degrees

Bridge Clearance: 8’6” (antennas down)
Fuel Capacity: 191 gal.
Water Capacity: 10 gal.
Waste Capacity: 5 gal.
Persons Capacity: 12
Max HP: 600
Available Power: Twin Yamaha outboards 250-300 hp.

Price starts at $219, 178.