Wood-cored stringers, a balsa-cored engine compartment and foam injected between liner and hull made Ebbtide’s 2300 one of the quietest runabouts I’ve tested. With a peak db(a) reading of 90 and readings at cruising rpm in the mid-80s, the meter proves this new bowrider is 20 percent quieter than most others, many of which use fiberglass stringers, which lack the sound-attenuating qualities of wood.
Does wood rot? Sure. Unless, like Ebbtide, you seal the end grain and any fastener penetration where equipment is mounted, and you have experienced, long-term employees hand-laminate the encapsulating fiberglass. Remember: How the job’s done is just as important as the materials used to do it.
I discovered that attention to detail aboard the 2300 goes beyond construction. Caressing a seat, I detected a suppleness that prompted a query. Turns out the upholstery is built to specifications with stuff called SRT (stain-resistant coating) and that supple feel, or “hand,” is unique in the stain-resistant-vinyl business. A feature you can feel just by sitting down is the high-density foam used to provide comfort, and you don’t bottom out when the water’s choppy. I saw through-bolts securing all grab rails, as well as hinges on hatches such as the enormous ski locker, and the equipment access in the engine compartment rates top-notch.
My tester boasted the racy Sport interior, with a checkered flag emblazoning the sun pad and open-back buckets at the helm. A more conservative SL interior is also offered. Its aft bench seats four, and its starboard side lifts, creating a walkway to the platform. This hinged section also can be propped at an angle, making the sun pad a recliner.
The 2300’s Z-Trak hull is a vented chine design with a keel pad that reduces wetted surface without producing the handling glitches some fully stepped hulls exhibit. With the 300 hp Mercruiser 350 Magnum redlined and the alpha drive trimmed to the limit, I hit 54 mph. Hard turns were crisp, wake jump re-entries soft and acceleration exhilarating. And all of it, oh, so quiet.
Comparable model: Cobalt 210