At first appearance it is just another flats boat... yeah, right. American Marine Sports (AMS), makers of Sterling and Shearwater, have outdone themselves and set a new standard in shallow water drafting boats with the Sterling SR7-VT, (variable tunnel). This NASCAR-style boat combines a sleek outer look with inner functionality in a way that has never been seen before. Weighing in at only 575 lbs., this boat can do it all, from taking on some of the worst chop that the bays have to offer, to skimming 40 mph across five inches of water powered by a 70hp motor. How is this possible? Let me explain...
AMS has introduced the first variable tunnel hull, (patent pending), flats boat in the industry. The pad, which adds flotation similar to that of a surfboard, is constructed of carbon fiber and is attached and hinged just behind mid ship. It is connected to the jack plate so as the angler raises the motor when approaching shallow water, the pad comes up creating a tunnel that fills with water and shoots it over the prop. Then, as he gets into deeper water and lowers the motor, the pad goes down, flattening the bottom of the boat, which will allow him to get the bow lift that is not possible with a traditional tunnel hull design.
Built in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Groveland, Florida, the hull of the Sterling SR7-VT is constructed of carbon Kevlar. It features a 30-gallon live release well, a 17-gallon fuel tank, rod storage, and dry storage. The poling platform, also made of carbon Kevlar, is slightly forward of the motor, allowing for a more even distribution of weight. The fit and finish of this boat is amongst the finest in the industry. The stainless steel hardware is meticulously tooled into the mold design to ensure snag-free fly casting.
The light weight of this boat and the revolutionary design allows for anglers to get into those hard-to-reach places, stay longer if the bite is on and the tide is going out, and maybe even discover some new places that have been inaccessible until now. If you fish skinny water and want to bump it up a notch, you need to check out the Sterling SR7-VT.