We Say: It’s hard to design a boat that floats shallow yet handles rough water and offers decent stability at rest. Some builders solve these problems with tunnel-hull boats, a hybrid between a power cat and a flat-bottom boat. The RiversEdge 200 FX is an excellent example, able to run in less than five inches of water yet handle a bay chop. And, in contrast to Texas tunnel hulls, the 200 FX has more freeboard.
As for design, the tunnel funnels water to the prop, allowing it to run high in the water when raised via a jack plate. The tunnel splits the hull, creating two planing surfaces à la a cat, and allows for carrying the beam wider for a stable casting platform. The coring and resin infusion process keeps the weight down yet retains strength.
The coolest feature of the 200 FX is the shock-absorbing deck. The floor is cored with 1½-inch-thick resilient urethane that has a lot of give underfoot. Vertical lines of resin injected into the coring create a strengthening I-beam effect.
On the water, I could feel the floor in action every time we crossed another boat’s wake. It didn’t feel weak or spongy, but had just enough give so I could notice when I paid attention.
Who’d Want One: A skinny-water angler looking for a cushioned ride.
Another Choice: The Shoalwater 21 catamaran ($37,500 dealer listing for base boat with Yamaha F150, shoalwaterboats.com) is a true Texas tunnel boat, with a shallower freeboard and a wider 8-foot-8-inch beam, typically built to custom specs according to the owner’s needs.
Bottom Line: $49,345; riversedgeboats.com