Founded by industry veteran Bob Dougherty with his son, Steve, Everglades Boats is their third venture bringing innovative new products to the marine marketplace. This newest venture--a line of Bay/Skiffs ranging in size from 14 to 25 feet--is easily labeled the "most versatile boat on the water."
Everglades Boats has entered the bay boat market with the unsinkable new 243CC. The foundation of the company has its origin in the rich heritage of nearly 50 years of experience engineering, designing and building some of the most popular and recognized boats in the world.
This new line of multi-use boats is destined to follow that tradition. Ideal for shallow water fishing, family fun and general all-purpose activities on the water, they are built using a manufacturing process patented by Everglades founder Bob Dougherty that results in a high-quality, incredibly strong and durable product. These boats are designed to stand up to any conditions. The 243CC is loaded with numerous standard features inside and out, and carries a 10-year transferable hull warranty.
The company is establishing a dealer network so the product line will be available on a worldwide basis. The RAMCAP process for fabricating hulls and fiberglass parts works by sandwiching the hull and deck around a foam core by using a vacuum to bond the glass to the foam. Other foam-filled boats are constructed by simply pouring foam into the empty cavity between the hull and deck. The advantages of the RAMCAP boat are greater strength and durability, lighter weight and greater manufacturing efficiency. For more information on the process contact Everglades Boats, 544 Air Park Road, Edgewater, FL 32132, phone (386) 409-2202, or visit www.evergladesboats.com.
There is a common phrase heard at each boat show I attend for Everglades: "Hey, I gotta tell you, this is the nicest boat I've seen in the show." It's a testament to the boat-building experience and the engineering excellence of the Doughertys. Bob and his son, Steve, have a legacy in the boat industry. Bob was the chief engineer for Boston Whaler from 1960 until 1990. Those were the years that made that boat line a household name. The next move for the Doughertys was Edgewater Boats, another name synonymous with quality to a knowledgeable boater.
With Everglades, their newest venture, the Doughertys continued their special way of building boats: utilizing one-half inch thick fiberglass, patented "RAMCAP" construction, high quality stainless hardware throughout, and military spec electrical systems. These are design features that make it apparent these guys are fishing engineers or engineers that fish, whichever way you want to look at it.
Let's start with the T-top --the thing that immediately grabs your attention is its color-matched hardtop, white epoxy powder coating and multiple shiny rod holders (10 total) welded to 2" pipe. On a slow fishing day you could do pull-ups on this top. Another brilliant and unique feature is the sliding windshield. It is made from clear Lexan and has the ability to slide down to the floor or all the way up to the top for great wind and rain protection. There are permanently mounted Lexan side panels that provide wind and spray protection as well. The Lexan material is optically superior to Plexiglas and is far stronger.
As you look up to the underside of the hardtop there are some other standout features. The electronics box is molded into the hardtop and has well gasketed doors with heavy stainless hatch lifts and latches. Looking further aft there are red L.E.D. lights overhead (and in the lockers and under the gunnels) that provide enough light to read a chart or do some rigging but preserve your night vision.
Then there are the built-in stereo speakers that point down into the cockpit as well as front and rear spreader lights molded into this functional and great looking top.
The console has room to flush mount electronics and is equipped with tilt hydraulic steering. This makes the Everglades combination seat and leaning post comfortable for just about anyone to drive standing or sitting. There is great usable storage in both the console and the leaning post and it also has a white powder-coated grab rail for passengers
Speaking of passengers, the flip-up seats that transform into the rear deck are quite comfortable and are available on all Everglades models. They are heavily built and upholstered with the highest quality vinyl. They have a floating hinge system that is as strong as I have ever seen on any boat. Another seating option is the full bow deck pad with bolsters. This provides enough room for sunbathing or relaxing with a book at the sandbar. There is also an upholstered 94-quart igloo cooler mounted in front of the console Fishing amenities include 22 total rod holders on board, a 75-gallon insulated fish box with a macerator pump, raw water wash down, a 30-gallon lighted live well with a clear Lexan top, lockable rod storage in the bow lockers, standard outrigger mounts in the tee top, and tackle hatches on the port and starboard sides. Pop-up cleats are standard. There are 12-volt power ports under the gunnels for electric reels. Clearly, this boat's main thrust is fishing.
The hull design has been described as sexy. The lines are really appealing and functional. The beam is 8'2". The dead rise is 21 degrees and ends about 2 feet from the stern creating a "pocket drive," allowing higher motor mounting and softer landings when you are putting the boat through its paces. An optional Jackplate is available for shallower fishing and running. Lenco Trim Tabs are standard, with the Lenco/Motorguide Trolling Tabs an option. There are no rattles or squeaks on these boats and they love to run hard.
Everglades has created a boat that has bay and offshore boat features with very little compromise for either fishing venue. It is also a boat the family can enjoy on non-fishing adventures. It is a pleasure to run and is a consistent "head turner" at the launch ramp. Go see one at your local dealer or at the next boat show you attend. You might have to join the chorus of, "It's the nicest boat I've seen in the show!"
In my line of work it's probably safe to say I lay my eyes on more boats than the average guy. And it's also probably safe to say most of those boats are of average quality and appeal. Sure, I like that one for this reason and this one for that, but very few strike me as spot-on winners, or boats that Iwould like to own if I could only have one boat. The Canyon Bay 2475 happens to be one such boat and I knew it from the moment I first laid eyes on it.
It's hard to say why certain boats just do it for me. Call me "old school" maybe, but clean lines and functional, esthetic shapes win me over every time. Of course, the quality has to be there, but rarely does a designer with an eye for "old school" styling build a boat without that same care and attention to detail when it comes time for the fit and finish.
I discovered Canyon Boatworks' Canyon Bay 2475 while walking past their brochure on a desk in my office. Two boats were featured on the cover, both nice, but the bay boat immediately stole my attention. At a glance, I new it was my kind of boat. The deep shadow cast by the bow's flare was a sure sign this boat wasn't just another mass-produced bay boat. I'm a huge fan of "Carolina flare," not just because it looks cool--which it obviously does to me--but also because it works like nothing else. (If you want a dry boat, make sure it has plenty of bow flare.) Drawing my eyes along its classic lines, I knew this was definitely a boat I needed to know more about. One cold-call later and I had a ticket to ride.
Ernie Parsons, the founder of Canyon Boatworks, met me at the companies 45,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Palm City on an overcast day. Naturally, I was quick to begin praising him for developing what I felt was a beautifully- tooled boat, but he would have none of it. It was the man I was to meet next who deserved all the accolades, in his opinion. So, we slipped inside and he introduced me to the mind-behind-the-design, Naval Architect, Jeff Seyler.
To say Jeff knows about boat design is like saying Neal Armstrong went for a walk. As a naval architect and marine engineer for over 25 years, Jeff has designed more than one hundred boats from 13 feet to 130 feet and is regarded as one of the worlds leading authorities in the area of step bottom hull design. Among these are boats he designed for major recreational and sport fishing boat manufacturers like Boston Whaler, Pursuit, Rampage, Sea Craft, Mako, Luhrs, Edgewater, Wellcraft, Hydra-Sports, Aquasport and more.After a satisfying tour of the Canyon Boatworks facility--which featured a briefing on Canyon's integrated stringer system which is bonded to hull and deck systems for dynamic stability, a review of the pouring process of the ceramic transom which creates a transom four times stronger than traditional methods, and an explanation of the companies Squish Mold Process used to manufacture their hatches which is a process they helped pioneer in the industry--we headed down to the intercoastal to partake in my favorite part of the lesson.First Impressions
Stepping onto the Canyon Bay 2475 was every- thing I expected and a lot more. It was immediately apparent that no corners are cut in regards to craftsmanship or materials at Canyon Boatworks. The layout was refreshingly smart and clean, and even though there wasn't an un-utilized spot on the boat, you still got that sense of spaciousness. The console was proportionately large and well-thought out with ample room for big, fl ush-mounted electronics. Every surface was immaculate and every piece of hardware was recessed and stainless. As a fi sherman, I loved the attention given to the bait well design. All three 20-gallon wells (standard size but can be upgraded to 35-gallon wells for real serious live baiters) featured gas springs and additional clear hatches in their lids for bait monitoring and to avoid shocking the bait with changes in light. With about 18 vertical rod holders, including those on the optional Key West- style hard T-top, and room for even more rods in the locking, nine-foot compartments, there's no excuse for leaving any gear at home. And, the bow fl are I've grown so fond of created a massive forward casting deck as I knew it would.
Testing Testing 2475Turning the key cranked the big Evinrude E-TEC 250 and I moved the pretty girl out into the ICW. Advanc- ing the throttle in one fell swoop launched us out of the hole and began our short ride to the St. Lucie Inlet. With the GPS reading 54 mph at wide open, I was surprised by how quiet the two-stroke was, especially since the large windshield was doing such a good job of reducing the wind noise. Dropping her back to 40 mph, I began zigzagging around in an attempt to get a feel for the boat's handling characteristics. This can be a little scary in some boats, but the Canyon Bay 2475 showed the traits that have made Jeff Seyler famous. Carving along as if on a rail, we made it to the inlet and the now worsening conditions. Good, we were going to get to see what she could do.
On the other side of the inlet the seas were running three to four feet and disorganized. At 25 mph she responded just like I had hoped, parting waves and shooting huge blankets of water outward and away from the scooping bow fl ares. The boat felt solid in the rare event we hit awkwardly off the back of a wave. But, it also sounded solid, largely due to the neoprene seals on all of the hatches.At nearly 24 feet long and nine feet wide, the 2475 is a substantial vessel. Even in less than ideal conditions, the boat felt stable and safe. Others have referred to this boat as an inshore/offshore boat, and now I understood why. With an eye on the weather and an easy-going sea, you could confi dently go anywhere the hundred-gallon fuel tank would take you.
I suspected this was a special boat when I fi rst saw it in the brochure and my suspicions were proven accurate in person. The Canyon Bay 2475 deserves your consideration if you are in the market for a dry, go-anywhere, bay boat of excep- tional quality. I'm always looking for the perfect boat for me, and the Canyon Bay just made it to the top of my short-list.
Canyon Boatworks 4313 S.W. Port Way Palm City, FL 34990 Phone: (772) 286-9250 Fax: (772) 286-3860 Toll-free: (866) 205-BOAT firstname.lastname@example.org www.canyonboatworks.net
Pioneer Boats are head-turning boats. It's very clear the folks who build them take a personal interest in every boat they build--almost as if they are building each one for themselves.
The lines get your attention first--graceful, swooping, sexy curves. The traditional elements like bow flare and a very effective modified V hull design are all there, but it's the fit and finish that you notice next. The stainless rubrails are fitted perfectly, the bilge walls have the same gloss finish as the exterior gel coat and the heavy stainless hardware is through bolted where it needs to be. It all feels solid and heavily built. The real test, however, is when you put one on the water. That's when it all comes together and the impression is of a rock-solid boat with an exceptional ride. In fact, the ride convinced me to run a Pioneer 197 Sportfish as my demo boat, and believe me, as a boat dealer I have a lot of choices.
Pioneer Boats' current model lineup consists of three boats. The 175 Baysport and 175 Venture (dual console version), the 186 Cape Island (formerly known as the "Bone Boat") and the 197 Sportfish. More models are on the way as this young company grows, including a 21-foot deep V and a 22-foot bay boat. Their plan is to concentrate on smaller hulls for the near future and do them well. The hulls are designed by Greg Seaward using a CAD system where he tweaks and analyzes them not just to perform, but look great as well. Co-owners Roy McSwain and Mike Holmes insisted upon the combined design elements which resulted in hulls unique to Pioneer.
The company may be young but their experience level is not. Mike and Roy have been involved in the South Carolina boat building community for over 15 years each, with experience at Key West boats and Scout Boats. Roy and Mike wanted to build their own boats and the way they achieved this was by building fiberglass parts like swim platforms and radio boxes and eventually complete boats on a contract basis for other boat builders under the business name "Carolina Composites." That allowed them to build the manufacturing facility they needed to make Pioneer Boats a reality. After much personal financial sacrifice, combined with plain old hard work, they distilled this facility and their knowledge and experience into a brand that is growing steadily and will become a name more and more boaters will recognize as a top manufacturer.
175 Baysport and Venture The model lineup includes the 175 (17'10") platform. It is a surprisingly dry and comfortable hull. There is the center console version "175 Baysport" as well as a dual console model called the "175 Venture." They work well with just 90hp, but with a 115hp motor, they'll get into the mid-40s and ride better than a lot of bigger boats. The hull's spray pattern is low and far behind the driver when on plane and it's very unlikely you'll get wet unless the conditions are severe. The modified V affords exceptional control even in quite bouncy conditions.
186 Cape Island The most visually striking boat in the lineup is the "186 Cape Island." It has a Carolina flare bow design like a miniature offshore sportfisher, and is designed to cut through the bay chop in comfort and style. The interior layout is more akin to a flats boat with its rear deck seating and small pod console. Rod lockers are incorporated in the wide walkable gunnels and there is ample storage, a 30-gallon lighted livewell and a 48-gallon fuel tank. This is a great inshore fishing boat with a reasonable draft, an exceptional ride and a very distinctive look.
Dealer's Choice: The 197 Sportfish The 197 (19'10") platform is a taller hull, slightly deeper in deadrise at 18 degrees and has a higher shear and freeboard than the other models. This hull is capable of handling demanding conditions and will be available very soon as a dual console boat as well. The Sportfish has a very strong and well-designed leaning post/livewell, rear seating with back rests, recessed bow rails, cockpit toe rails and coaming pads that all combine to make this boat unique in its class. The factory T-top is mounted to the sides of the console, conserving deck space for scampering anglers. A lot of thought went into this well-equipped and compact, multi-purpose boat.
Boat designs always involve choices and or compromise. I believe there is no perfect boat. We would all like one boat that could do it all or to be able to afford one for each task. My feeling is that one should choose a boat by considering what kind of boating you do the most. My personal choice of a Pioneer 197 Sportfish is based on the fact that I do mostly inshore fishing and scallop diving in the bays around Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. Joe. And occasionally, when the conditions are nice, I like to go out to the Gulf reefs.
I needed something that fits these criteria:
The Pioneer 197 fits the bill for me. I am looking forward to watching this company grow by continuing to produce high caliber products in the future. Their concern for quality and design sets them apart from a sea of look-alike boats in today's market. Not many boats look as good on the inside (under the decks) as they do on the outside. Pioneer Boats definitely do.