Editor’s Note: This story is a preview of a longer form article by Capt. John Page Williams that discusses a number of boat models that have remained current in their respective builder’s lines for decades. What makes a boat stand up to the test of time? Captain Williams will provide some answers. Look for his story coming in Spring 2023.
In 2004, BOATING tested hull #4 of the brand-new Everglades 243cc, the first “hybrid bay boat” that could run shallow inshore but still handle big seas offshore. Built with Bob Dougherty’s patented, rock-solid RAMCAP process, it was impressive then and still is, eighteen years and 1,400 hulls later, judging by a new one we ran recently in sporty big-water seas. Curious about why the basic 243cc hull remains in the Everglades line, we talked with David Brown, Vice President of Product Development & Engineering at Everglades Boats. “It’s the ride and the variable-deadrise hull shape,” he explained. We still build 70-80 243cc’s each year because demand remains strong. It’s sort of a cult boat.” Even so, Everglades adds features as they become available.
The 243cc was designed for Yamaha’s original 225-hp four-stroke outboard. Today’s engine is the company’s F300, which offers more power on less fuel, plus Helm Master EX electronic steering and controls, with autopilot and joystick.
Other upgrades include switches, lighted stereo speakers, SeaDek pads, a Yeti cooler mounted on a slide under the helm seat, and Garmin electronics. Everglades engineers monitor updates to the systems standards promulgated by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). For example, the three 12-volt trolling motor batteries fit into a bow compartment on mounts that must pass an ABYC pull test. After eighteen years, the Everglades 243cc remains a safe, seaworthy rig, an investment whose working lifespan measures in generations rather than years. It endures.