Sitting there on its trailer, ready to be backed down the ramp for the test, I immediately realized this boat’s true value: The Ebbtide 2500 Mystique Midcabin is an overnight cruiser that you can take home with you. That can be good – or bad. And it’s an important judgment call you’ll have to make for yourself. Many boats over 26′ are wider than the maximum 8’6″ allowed for trailering without the need for a special permit. If you’re going to keep the boat in one body of water and dock it at one marina, then go for the extra beam. But if you plan on hauling it to different areas, a 25′ boat, albeit more cramped inside, gives you a lot of cruising freedom and room to roam.Among 25′ cruisers, how does the 2500 Mystique distinguish itself? To start with, most companies usually shrink down one of their bigger boats to make a trailerable cruiser. Ebbtide, known for its runabouts, built up. The 2500 Mystique is Ebbtide’s largest boat, and so the company treats it like a big vessel, not one that has been shrunk down to fit.
Belowdecks, there’s 6’3″ of headroom in the cabin, compared to 6’1″ in the trailerable Regal 2460 ($57,428 with a 260-hp MerCruiser). Two inches doesn’t seem like much, but it makes a difference if you spend a night aboard. Feature-wise, the 2500 Mystique comes standard with an Origo microwave, alcohol/electric stove, and refrigerator. The 2500 Mystique’s head is also spacious, with 5’10” of headroom and a molded-fiberglass liner. The nonslip on the sole and giant scupper make this a decent place to take a hot shower, not just a quick spray down.
On the water, the 2500 Mystique planes quickly and with minimal bowrise – good traits for a heavy boat. But in hard turns it heels over to a steep angle that makes it difficult to see until you’ve completed the arc. And the captain’s bench is not adjustable, making it hard to stand up to improve your view. One cool thing at the helm is the control module for the Bennett trim tabs. Many buyers of 25′ cruisers tend to be rather green at handling boats this size and may not be familiar with trim tabs. The joystick-like control makes working the tabs easy. Want to put the starboard bow down? Move the joystick that way.
Other nice touches include thick 40-ounce vinyl, stainless-steel hardware that’s been backed with aluminum plates, and chrome-over-bronze through-hulls – signs of good-quality construction. Note, too, the stainless-steel grabrail around the aft lounge, though the port bench opposite the helm could use one, too.
LOA…..24’8″ Beam…..8’6″ Draft…..3’0″ Displacement (lbs., approx.) ……….5,300 Transom deadrise…19° Bridge clearance…6’8″ Minimum cockpit depth..2’0″ Max. cabin headroom..6’3″ Fuel capacity (gal.)…70 Water capacity (gal.)..28 Price (w/standard power) ……….$48,167 Price (w/test power) ……….$49,780
Standard Power: Single 250-hp 5.7L MerCruiser Alpha V-8 gasoline stern drive.|Optional Power: Single MerCruiser stern drive to 320 hp. Test Boat Power: Single 260-hp 5.7L EFI MerCruiser Bravo Three V-8 gasoline stern drive with 350 cid, 4.00″ bore x 3.48″ stroke, swinging a 22″ three-bladed ss propset through a 2.0:1 reduction. Standard Equipment: (major items): Retractable ss transom swim ladder; ss ski-tow-eye; Bimini top and boot; AM/FM/CD stereo w/remote and 4 speakers; windshield wiper; alcohol/electric stove; microwave; refrigerator; Halon fire extinguisher; pumpout MSD; depthfinder; transom shower; tilt steering; 2 CO sensors; trim tabs.
Last Word. Big-cruiser features packed into a trailerable 25?footer. For more information, contact: Ebbtide Boats, Dept. B, 2545 Jones Creek Rd., White Bluff, TN 37187, 615/797-3193, www.ebbtideboats.com.