To Jerry Barron, it seems like an eternity. That’s the way nearly all built-from-scratch new boats
seem to go, never as expeditiously as initially planned or hoped. And making the challenge
even larger is the fact that Barron Boats didn’t even exist ten months ago.

(Exterior styling is definitely original. Modern with clean contours accentuated with
appropriate gelcoat graphics.)

“Starting a new boat company and building a totally new model at the same time is a bigger
mountain to climb than I ever thought,” remarked Jerry Barron as he stood in his Azusa facility
shop casting a critical eye on hull number one as it nears completion. “Even though you have a
game plan and think you’ve thought of everything, you don’t. Some things just can’t be
anticipated until you’re actually in the build process. And, if you want to make it right, you have
to be willing to take an occasional small step back to make that product the best it can possibly

(Center pod has a moderate amount of deadrise running all the way to the transom.)

(Running surface incorporates a unique double ventilated step configuration and offset

For Barron, it appears that the unavoidable and agonizing first-build frustrations are coming to
an end. “Realistically, we should be in-the-water for testing in the next four to six weeks,” said
Barron. “We’re working on upholstery and a few minor revisions to the helm to get everything
just right. The engine (Mercury Racing 540 package) has already been in the boat and is
temporarily back out for some final rigging details to be finished. We’re not that far off, I can’t
wait to get it in the water.”

(The Mercury Racing 540 has ready been fitted in the engine compartment. Note the
twin fuel tanks (50 gallons each) are located as far aft as possible.)

“I think potential deckboat buyers will appreciate the functionality, convenience, comfort and
fresh new look that the new 290 Sport offers. I’ve had a number of ideas stored in my brain over
the years about what would make a better deckboat for this segment of the market. I believe this
new model puts most of those ideas into play. For a model like this, usable storage space is
high on everyone’s priority list. I think we’ve delivered on that and then some.”

(Lots going on inside. Appears to be generous with storage capacity. Note, port and
starboard removable coolers under the forward seat cushions.)

Gunnel storage capacity is going to be huge.

(upholstered gunnel panels)

Upholstery is being done all in-house. New bucket seat designs are being mocked-up.

There has been considerable speculation already on various Internet forums about where the
styling of the 290 Sport came from. It is in fact, completely original from the ground up. “It was
created by a very accomplished designer who I worked with when Hallett was putting a new
deck configuration on its 285 deckboat several years ago”, commented Barron. “He has a lot of
very fresh and unique ideas about styling and that’s what I wanted, a boat that wasn’t going to
look like a lot of others. For expediency and precision, the design was done in a CAD program
making it possible to build a one-piece plug with the aid of a five-axis CNC router instead of by
hand out of wood. That way every aspect of the hull is certain to be precise.”

(The 290 is a dual console. The helm is currently being modified for optimum
instrumentation presentation.)

Speculation has also been running high regarding its performance. Admittedly, the first 290
Sport isn’t a lightweight, nor is it intended to set any speed records although the running surface
incorporates some rather cutting edge thinking about efficient hull design. In the end,
performance will be largely determined by what pitch propeller the 540 Merc will swing at what
rpm. Assuming a reasonable 12% slip factor, top end with a 24 pitch should predictably be in
the 72 to 74 mph range. If a 26 pitch finds a sweet spot, 75 to 78 mph with a normal load seems
achievable. It should also be noted that Barron has already come up with a strategy to make the
290 available with either sterndrive or outboard power options as dictated by the buyer.
Stats for the 290 Sport indicate it has a true 29-foot centerline. That may appear to be
understated, however, since it doesn’t take into consideration the massive accessorized swim
platform which adds nearly two feet to the overall length. Beam is a full 102 inches and the
cockpit width is a spacious 87 inches. Fuel capacity is a total of approximately 100 gallons
thanks to twin aft tanks tucked into each sponson.

(Easy two-step access to the transom and swim platform)

(Super-roomy integrated transom swim platform plus an additional gelcoat color-
matched platform.)

As much as Barron is looking forward to finishing the first 290 Sport and putting it in the water,
there doesn’t appear to be any reprieve in sight for his upcoming 2019 work schedule. Barron
model number two, a vee-bottom center console, is already in the final design phase. Looks like
we’ll be hearing much more from Barron Boats in the months ahead.

Contact information: Barron Boats, 161 S. Peckham Rd., Azusa, CA 91702 – 626-633-9000,
[email protected]

Words & Photos : Bob Brown (Media Direction)