Looking for a new 20-something center console that stands out from the pack? Good luck-this is a crowded category. Yet, the Everglades 240 proves to be something special. It combines a long list of unexpected standard equipment with more fishing space than just about anything in the class.
Among the wow factor items is the power windshield. Open it when the weather is hot and calm or close it when it's cold and snotty. Another rare piece of standard equipment is the T-top, a massive powder-coated, custom-built unit that looks as if it could work as a rollbar. You can also get the standard fiberglass hardtop in gel coat colors to match the hull. There's a porcelain head inside the console, an Ultra-Cool fiberglass cooler with upholstered top that serves as a seat in front of the console, and an Autoanchor windlass system on the bow.
With its broad beam and ramcap construction process, which ensures that every inch of space belowdecks is filled with closed-cell foam, it's no surprise that the 240 weighs two tons. The result? You feel total confidence when you jump off a wave or slam through an inlet.
Handling is effortless, with no tendencies to trip or skid in emergency turns. The 21-degree hull responds well to lots of trim. I topped out at 44.2 mph at 6200 rpm. Economy is excellent throughout the range, and if you troll at 1000 rpm, the twin Hondas will consume a miserly 1.2 gph.
The boat is fully loaded for fishing, including space to store 22 rods. The 45-gallon livewell is built into the back of the leaning post and features a magnetic latch to hold up the lid while you're dipping out pinfish-why doesn't every builder add one of these? All compartments have a slick gel coat finish, including the hatch lids, and all are padded to prevent rattling and keep out rain. Larger compartments also boast stainless-steel gas rams to help boost the lid.
High Points: A huge beam for its class means fishing space won't be matched by other competitors. Large 3" scuppers quickly drain the deck. Lots of freeboard, broad beam, and exceptionally solid construction instill confidence. Deeply padded bolster seats with flip-down bases function as a butt-fitted leaning post.
Low Points: A huge beam eliminates trailering as an option without a special permit. Top speed of 44.2 mph is not particularly fast. At a base price of $103,455, you're paying more than $4,223 per foot of boat.
Toughest Competitor: Hydra-Sports' 2500 CC Vector tapes out at 24'9" and offers 8'10" on the beam-broad, but still 5" narrower than the Everglades. The Hydra-Sports also has lots of mass, weighing in at 4,900 pounds, and the bottom has a 23-degree deadrise. Price is around $109,000 with twin 250-horse outboards. You get more standard features with the Everglades, but more speed if you opt for maximum power with the Hydra-Sports.
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Draft (max.): 2'11"
Displacement (lbs., approx. w/o power): 4,000
Transom deadrise: 21°
Bridge clearance: 8'8"
Max. headroom: 5'8"
Fuel capacity (gal.): 163
Water capacity (gal.): 20
Price (w/standard power): $103,455
Price (w/test power): $112,975
STANDARD POWER Single 225-hp Honda outboard.
OPTIONAL POWER Twin 150-hp Honda outboards.
TEST BOAT POWER Twin 150-hp Honda in-line-4 four-stroke outboards with 144 cid, swinging 151/4" x 19" three-bladed ss props through 2.14:1 ratios.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items) Electric sliding windshield; leaning post/livewell/rigging station; folding stern seat; 129-gal. fishbox forward; 50-gal. fishbox aft; electric head; raw/freshwater washdowns; retractable swim ladder; battery management system; powder-coated T-top; anchor windlass; Ultra-Cool cooler seat; porcelain commode.