The lines between fishing and luxury cruising are blurred in boats today. Hardcore fishability and family comfort need to exist on the same platform to coax open the wallet of even the most avid angler. You begin to wonder if the boat is a showboat or a fish boat. But moments after we’d dropped hooks and baited lines, a yank on mine reminded us we were fishing.
My quarry dashed for the dual outboards, and I braced against the starboard coaming pad amidships. I lurched aft, following the fish, stabbing the stiff, spinning rod deep in the water. The fish was going to port at a high rate of speed, but when the line cleared the props, I was pretty sure he was mine. And then the bull red rolled onto the surface.
We had five anglers on board the 273 CC and always at least three lines baited with croakers, some weighted, some free-lined. We could’ve fished more. Cockpit rod holders were ample: three per side and all snazzy Mate Series cup holder/rod holder combos. Everglades stands ready to place more where you want them. Rod stowage consists of rocket launchers in the leaning post and hardtop. Three more sticks nest in hangers beneath each gunwale.
A livewell in the leaning post was fitted with a standpipe, which was a surprise to us because side-mounted drains eliminate obstructions, improve water flow and provide a more durable setup. But our bait stayed lively, and a rigging sink to the left made for easy fishing.
We could’ve done a cruising test of the 273 — lots of owners will use it as a showboat, a corporate entertainer and the beautiful trophy it is. But unique to this boat is the space offered to anglers scrambling back and forth to bait hooks and fight fish. Too often, boats with an aft casting platform have scant deck space to move about. Too often, rods in the rocket launchers encroach on headroom, and the bulkhead to the platform narrows the foot space to nearly impassable. But on the 273 CC, we never felt crowded as we battled several big reds and lost what we believed were two tarpon.
A windlass made mooring easy, and it was controlled through the switches in the locker rather than the helm on our boat. We would’ve liked windlass control on the helm as well, but access to the anchor was easy via the wraparound bench that stepped up to it. The insulated compartments drained overboard, enhancing safety and making them ideal fish boxes. You could also stow a good catch of trigger, snapper, slot reds or trout in the insulated compartment beneath the forward console seat. Convertible seats in the aft casting deck were wide, deep and comfortable.
The look of the 273 CC is low and sleek, with gunwales that sweep lower toward the stern than the average offshore fisher. That’s a nod to inshore fishing and reduces windage to assist with positioning when using a trolling motor; with one, the 273 CC would be a great boat to fish for tarpon on the beach. Yet the stem is tall, the ample flare providing protection from offshore seas. Its 18-inch draft is a compromise between aggressive offshore hulls (24 or more inches) and inshore and bay boats (12 to 14 inches), but its SUV versatility makes the 273 more desirable to us for its ability to chase fish inshore, on the beach, and even offshore without compromising fishability or safety. In fact, our unsinkable tester had already spent several weeks cruising in and out of the Bahamas, crossing the boundaries between shallow and deepwater fishing and offshore cruising.
The helm station is also designed for long trips. The dual-station seat has flip-up bolsters for comfort while standing or sitting. Dual Garmin GPSMap displays gave us the ultimate in navigation and fish-finding reliability, and a radar array on top let us overlay targets on our charts. Everglades’ patented hydraulic glass windshield proved awesome.
Yamaha and Everglades connected engine data to our displays, eliminating standard gauges and including one Command Link display. A VHF radio, Fusion stereo and the SeaStar Solutions Optimus 360 Joystick display are standard on all 273 CCs.
During testing, we experienced terrific acceleration and a quick jump to plane from the dual 250s. The boat loses about 7 mph with a single 350, but it shaves off nearly 500 pounds and gets 3.6 mpg, though at a slower-paced 3,000 rpm at 18.5 mph. You still burn less gas across the power range, extending range and lowering maintenance costs. We were impressed with the access to the pumps, filters and fittings in the bilge. The entire aft seating deck lifts and stays up on struts, putting everything, including battery switches, fuses and seacocks, in unfettered reach. The 273’s accessibility, fishability, comfort, economy and performance make it a pleasure to own and operate for the conflicted angler who can’t commit to just one style of angling and wants to impress the neighbors.
You might be conflicted with your plans to fish or cruise, but the Everglades 273 CC ingeniously accommodates you — no matter your mood.