Not all bowriders come with fancy carpet and reclining lounges. EdgeWater’s 245CX is a tough-as-nails crossover with a hose-it-out self-bailing cockpit and a limited lifetime hull warranty. Its size, 24 feet 5 inches by 8 feet 6 inches, belies how much interior space the hull encloses. A quick look shows a sophisticated hull shape and function, and convenience features designed by boaters for boaters. A functional head, big spring-line cleats and clear sight lines from the helm are just some of the boat’s noteworthy attributes.
The 245CX’s topsides carries its maximum beam well forward. The result is a large bow lounge in front of the tempered glass windshield that functions as a safe wind-in-the-hair riding space, or a comfortable buffet spot, or a stripped-for-action casting deck. The two consoles immediately aft serve dedicated functions. To starboard is the helm, with a dash that accommodates a flush-mounted 10-inch lcd display, a linked-in VHF radio and a flushmounted stereo. There’s cavernous dry stowage within, accessible through a stout hatch in the walk-through. To port is a head/changing room large enough for adults, with a door sporting an upper edge that curves into the console’s top, so no one bumps a head entering or exiting.
Seating and equipment make this dual console work double-duty as runabout and fish boat. The helm chairs provide comfortable seating, yet convert to leaning posts for the rough-water runs anglers might make. A back-to-back recliner option enhances the 245CX’s social skills, though fishing families might opt for the preparation center with sink. The big in-sole locker will hold skis and boards as well as nets and gaffs. You can choose a bimini top or a performance-style arch for overhead cover, and a livewell and boarding door are standard. Such equipage allows the 245CX to tear around with the kids one day and rip lip on the fishing grounds the next.
Beneath the 245CX’s full, flared bow is a sharp, wave-cleaving forefoot that quickly curves to a running bottom with a still-sharp 20-degree transom deadrise. Wide chines and strategically placed lifting strakes keep the hull stable at rest and help it to lift onto plane easily during acceleration. At speed, the hull rides on a keel pad that runs along the hull’s aft third, the intent being to quicken time-to-plane and enhance efficiency. The boat planed in four seconds, which is quick, and boasts nearly 3 mpg at 30 mph, also top-notch.
The 245CX is built stiff and strong using cutting edge techniques and the best materials. The proprietary Single Piece Infusion vacuum-bagging system creates a rugged matrix combining knitted biaxial, triaxial and quadraxial fabrics, foam cores with varying densities and flex characteristics, and a heavily reinforced Penskeboard transom. The lamination crew sets each boat’s kit of materials into the mold dry before installing the vacuum bag and precisely applying vinylester resin to bring the whole hull/stringer package together with a strong primary bond. With foam filling all voids in the hull, the 245CX becomes an unsinkable, unitized structure that exceeds Coast Guard flotation requirements.
In our test, the 245CX inspired confidence in two-to three-foot seas. The boat carried its 800-pound Yamaha F350 easily, though the bow rose to five degrees during acceleration at 2,000 to 2,500 rpm before leveling onto an easy planing attitude at 3,000. At that speed, the boat loped through the seas easily in all directions, even quartering into the waves. A couple of touches on the Lenco trim tabs allowed us to cock the windward side up, which softened the ride and suppressed the minimal spray that the hull threw out.
In fact, the dryness provided by the windshield throughout our test was evidence of an often overlooked virtue in top quality boats: the value of good tooling. EdgeWater builds the plugs for its molds with a precise five-axis router that executes the shape the designers intended. The plugs transfer those shapes to the molds, which shop crews maintain carefully, so that finished hulls follow their designs exactly. Look at the running shot on the previous page of this review. Notice how the lifting strakes and chines force spray straight out instead of allowing water to curve upward into the boat. That precision also makes those features more effective in lifting the hull.
While the F350 allowed the 245CX to fly during our test, budget-minded families wouldn’t go wrong ordering Yamaha’s F250 instead. EdgeWater claims top speed drops to around 45 mph with the F250, but with realistic cruising speeds still in the upper 20s and 30s. My experience in similarly sized, similarly powered boats bears this claim out. Also, the list price drops to $88,843, making a difference that can pay for some very useful options.
Alternatives? Robalo’s R247 (about $87,500 with a single F350) is another well-engineered, selfbailing, versatile crossover bowrider that combines serious fishing features with family comforts and storage for water toys. It’s slightly shorter (24 feet), slightly wider (8 feet 9 inches) and 450 pounds heavier.
Contact: 386-426-5457, www.ewboats.com