The Everglades 435 is just what you’d expect from the man behind Boston Whaler and EdgeWater, with one big exception.
All boatbuilders define their boats but some are also defined by them. I’m thinking here of Reggie Fountain and Dick Bertram and any of a number of North Carolinians. You meet the man and almost instantly you know what kind of boat he builds.
I feel that way about Bob Dougherty too. I first met him in the mid-1990s when he was chief designer and engineer at Boston Whaler, a brand that he helped to define and then replicated when he left to help found EdgeWater Powerboats, then again when he started Everglades Boats in 2001. His proven formula was simple: a well-designed, essentially unsinkable, good-performing small fishing boat—usually but not always a center console. So when I got the assignment to test the newest Everglades, the company’s tenth and largest center console, I fully expected that it would reprise Dougherty’s basic design philosophy. And it did—with one big exception.
That exception was performance. My test boat, which just happened to be Dougherty’s personal boat, was a rocket ship. Powered by four 350-horsepower Yamaha outboards (four 300-horsepower Yamahas are standard), she nearly hit 52 knots, proving that this octogenarian still has the fire in the belly.
You may remember that some of those early Whalers did not exactly excel when the seas kicked up. In his later designs, at Whaler and then at EdgeWater and finally at Everglades, Dougherty added more deadrise to smooth out the ride, and that trend has culminated big time in the 435, which has an average deadrise of 41 degrees and a very deep vee of 25 degrees at the transom. The result is a ride that would put a lot of go-fast boats to shame. Even with a nasty 3-foot chop and occasional 4-footer on test day, I was able to actually take notes (fairly legibly) as we were zooming along, although I did have to watch out for the wind blast.
And the 435’s solidity is just as impressive. Most everyone knows that Boston Whaler pioneered a foam-sandwich construction technique that rendered its boats unsinkable, even when they were sawed in half. Initially this involved injecting closed-cell foam into the space between the hull and liner, a process that while effective necessarily left voids in places the foam couldn’t reach. In 1999, Dougherty eliminated this deficiency by installing structural foam panels before the hull and deck went together. Dubbed the Rapid Molded Core Assembly Process or RAMCAP, this innovation won an award for innovation from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Dougherty brought RAMCAP along when he started Everglades.
So yes, the 435 is basically “unsinkable,” which is no small advantage in a fishing boat. But so is structural integrity. That internal core not only displaces voids but also binds the inner and outer fiberglass skins together to create the same sort of monolithic structure found in coring materials like Divinycell and Corecell. So when the 435 hits a wave at near-freeway speeds, as we did numerous times, there’s not a single squeak or rattle.
One criticism of RAMCAP is that it adds weight—as light as the foam is, it’s heavier than air, which is what occupies the spaces between hull and deck in most boats. I was able to peg the 435’s dry weight at 16,880 pounds, but it was near impossible to find a truly similar boat with which to compare it. In any case our performance figures say that whatever additional weight there is is no problem. Besides the impressive top speed, we also recorded 25 knots at 3500 rpm with a reasonable (for 1,000 horsepower) fuel burn of 39.8 gph. With the 435’s fuel capacity of 570 gallons, that will get you a range of 322 nautical miles with a ten-percent safety reserve. Not trawler class but pretty efficient for a big, fast fishing boat.
And this is a fishing boat. When you have performance like this it’s easy to forget that the larger part of the Everglades heritage is sportfishing. More to the point, the 435 is not some performance hull that’s been modified for fishing; it was designed for fishing from the start, and you can tell that from the impressive standard equipment list alone: a 225-gallon in-sole fishbox forward, two 60-gallon illuminated livewells; Lee carbon-fiber outriggers; three under-gunwale rod racks; 11 gunwale-mounted and five transom-mounted rod holders; plus a real angler’s work station, with 10 slide-out tackle drawers, four leader-spool holders, a freshwater sink, raw-water washdown, two cutting boards, and an integral organizer for tools and knives. The entire list is so complete you could actually fill up your new 435 with fuel and take her fishing right from the dealer.
There are two other standards that fishermen will appreciate. One is the surprisingly roomy cabin inside the console. Cognizant of how anglers really use these types of boats, Everglades has properly kept it simple. There’s a V-berth, TV, shower, vanity, and air conditioning (with 5-kilowatt genset), but even so, no one’s going to spend a lot of time down here. This cabin’s real value, I’d say, is as a place to secure valuables when you’re not aboard, which reflects another aspect of this boat’s design philosophy: It’s truly turnkey. Thanks to a ton of dedicated stowage, you can safely keep just about everything you need on board. When you’re ready to go fishing, all you need to bring with you is snacks, drinks, bait and ice—although an ice maker is available.
The other piece of notable standard equipment is the hardtop. It provides welcome shade and shelter, especially when you order the optional, electrically extendable cockpit shade. But it also offers ready access to a dozen rods—in all there’s stowage for a remarkable 40 rods on board—and also provides the base for an elevated auxiliary helm to boot, a real plus when you’re trying to spot baitfish. Built in-house, this top was designed for fishing, right down to its effective windscreen, which you’ll really appreciate after a few minutes of near mile-a-minute cruising.
Speed is just the icing on the cake for this boat. Despite its killer attitude, the 435 excels at the same things all of Dougherty’s boats have: safety, solidity, and seaworthiness. They’re just what you’d expect from the man.
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Noteworthy Options: electrically operated cockpit awning; refrigerator/sink upgrade; full second station; helm seat riser (Prices available upon request).
Generator: Kohler 5-kW, Warranty: 10 years hull structural, 1 year on Everglades components
Conditions During Boat Test
Air temperature: 72ºF; humidity 60%; seas: 3-4’; wind: 20 knots
Load During Boat Test
300 gal. fuel, 30 gal. water, 3 persons, 200 lb. gear.
Test Boat Specifications
- Test Engine: 4/350-hp Yamaha F350 four-stroke outboards
- Transmission/Ratio: Yamaha/1.70:1
- Props: Yamaha 15x19 3-blade s/s
- Price as Tested: $875,746
This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.