BOAT TEST: EDGEWATER 205 CENTRE CONSOLE

By: John Ford, Photography by: John Ford

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

EDGE 2.jpg EDGE 2.jpg
EDGE 1.jpg EDGE 1.jpg
EDGE 3.jpg EDGE 3.jpg
EDGE 4.jpg EDGE 4.jpg
EDGE 5.jpg EDGE 5.jpg
EDGE 6.jpg EDGE 6.jpg

John Ford gets the first run in an EdgeWater 205 Centre Console, built by a company that says it would like to “shake up the Australian boating scene”.

BOAT TEST: EDGEWATER 205 CENTRE CONSOLE
EDGEWATER 205

 

TEST: EDGEWATER 205

EdgeWater is an American company that has been building boats in Florida since 1992 and which today employs more than 100 people. Josh Batterson and Chris Turner are the Australian end of the deal. Both have a lot of experience in boating and importing. Josh has brought in more than 250 Skeeters over the last six years.

EdgeWater fills out the larger range of American models not covered by Skeeter Australia. We got to test the 205CC, and took a quick spin in the 170CC, on Sydney Harbour and offshore on a stunning winter's day. As the 205 pulled into the wharf it was hard not to be impressed with the look of it, particularly in its unusual stars and stripes livery. The lines are classic American centre-console, with a deep-vee stepped hull. And it's big, even for a 6.8m boat.

EdgeWater prides itself on producing craft that are soft riding and stable, with a seaworthiness that allows them to safely handle rough conditions. All spaces below deck are filled with closed-cell PVC foam, making this boat "self-bailing" and - in theory at least - unsinkable. In fact, it won't come as a surprise to many readers that there are design and personnel connections between EdgeWater and Boston Whaler.

Structural beams are constructed from handlaid fibreglass with Nida-Core or Divinycell core. Adding to strength and safety, the composite foam and fibreglass-reinforced stringers are permanently bonded to the hull, deck and transom to create a super-strong, 1134kg one-piece hull. EdgeWater claims to have developed a system of construction in its Single Piece Infusion method that is said to be "stronger and lighter than that produced by conventional boatbuilding". Once the structural beams are loaded into the hull mould they're sealed, then a vacuum is applied to draw in the resin for an even glass-to-resin mix.

 



IS IT A GOOD FISHING BOAT?

Yeah, this is a boat with serious fishing credentials. Space is cleverly used to reduce clutter, with storage and holds abundant and cleverly located.

The finish is high quality. From the bow, with its huge anchorwell, to the plumbed livebait-well and rigging station in the transom, it's all about getting things done in an orderly manner without tripping over odds and sods or snagging lines on inappropriate fittings.

It's easy to get around safely, thanks to deep sidedecks and padded coamings, while toeholds and strategically positioned grabrails are everywhere. All the fittings are also heavy-duty 316L stainless.

Underway, the driving position is great, with plenty of support in the adjustable seat. The dash has space for two C120 Raymarine screens, while the new Evinrude ICON throttle and gear controls are easy to operate. The helm seat flips up for dry storage, and foldable footrests offer support and comfort when driving from a seated position. Visibility is unimpeded over and through the 3/8in Lexan screen.

The centre-console has a walk-in compartment with stand-up space for storage as well as room for an optional toilet. Visible below is the electrical system, which demonstrates more attention to detail throughout the boat. The wiring systems use Deutsch industrial connectors and heavy-gauge, tin-plated copper, labelled every 150mm (6in) for easy troubleshooting. Deckwash comes from both fresh and seawater systems, the fresh having a 120lt capacity. Under the floor is a 342lt fuel tank which gives remarkable offshore capability, especially with the 250hp E-TEC's frugal consumption at normal cruising speeds. For the record, 3000rpm at 37kmh (20kts) would last around 380km (with a 10 per cent safety margin) on a full tank.

This boat is all about getting underway and in that we weren't disappointed. In a small swell off Sydney Heads, the boat easily held 40-50kmh across any quarter. As we went into the swell we could feel the sharp entry and deep-vee bite. Closer in, it was equally impressive with a very soft landing and no hint of wanting to take over.

Stability at rest was good, and that was helped by deep reverse chines and a wide 2.6m beam.

We liked the iControl's soft touch too, and that incremental rpm adjustments were easy and accurate, which of course only enhanced our degree of control. The boat remained dry all day and the previously described hull characteristics helped direct spray away from the occupants.





WHAT'S iCON SHIFT CONTROL?

Evinrude's iCON shift control is new to Australia and the one fitted to our test boat was among the first seen here. Evinrude describes the system as "an advanced, intelligent electronic shift and throttle system for E-TEC motors". It's standard on new 250hp and 300hp motors and can be retro-fitted to 150-300hp models going back to 2008.

 



HOW DOES IT WORK?

Here's the deal. The throttle sends an electronic signal to the motor rather than using cables to do the job. It's true that other manufacturers have had this "fly-by-wire" technology for some time but Evinrude has now come up with a great improvement to the range.

Other features include a gear position indicator on the I-Command gauges, and the ability to control multiple engines from the one switch. This includes gears and synchronised speed and trim. You still get the option of individual control and throttle advance when in neutral.

The advantage of iCON is the smoothness of operation and the very small adjustments that can be made to throttle levels. A separate switch allows you to change revs up or down in increments of 50rpm, which is great for controlling trolling or cruising speeds.

It takes a bit of getting used to, because lever pressure is so light, but sensitivity can be adjusted. There's no news yet on iCON being available on smaller motors.

 





LI'L BRO

Josh says the EdgeWater 170CC is small enough to fish estuaries and upper reaches of river systems. The draft is only 300mm and the boat is seaworthy enough to get offshore in the right conditions. It certainly has some great credentials as well as the same rigid construction and allegedly unsinkable characteristics of its bigger brothers.

The 170 is a nice fishing platform and for a 4.9m boat has plenty of space. In fact, the size is actually deceiving because it feels much bigger, and access round the deck is superb. There's plenty of room for three people, with a maximum payload of six. There's plenty of seating too.

The bow casting-deck has room for two, the forward icebox, the double helm and two aft quarter-seats. Adequate storage is well-thought out as well, with holds below deck, in the console and under the seats. Standard features include a self-bailing cockpit, raw water washdown, well-placed grabrails, a stainless bowrail, drink and rodholders, and iceboxes.

Its ride is soft and stable and the handling predictable. Fitted with a 115hp E-TEC it gave us a top speed of 78kmh, which would not only come in handy in bream tournaments but would also be more than adequate at sea.

In my opinion the 170 is more than a fishing platform. Add a bimini for weather protection and it could easily double as a family runabout. Price as sold: $49,990.

 



On the plane...

Great sea handling

Virtually unsinkable and robust

Sporty styling

 



Dragging the chain...

Needs a big tow vehicle

2.6m beam means towing restrictions

 







Specs: EdgeWater 205 Centre Console

 



HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $98,000

Options fitted: Raymarine electronics, 250hp E-TEC

Priced from: $80,000 (with 150hp motor)

 



GENERAL

Type: Monohull

Material: Fibreglass

Hull length: 6.8m

Beam: 2.6m

Deadrise: 22° / variable

Weight: 1134kg (hull only)

Towing weight: Approx. 2300kg

 



CAPACITIES

Fuel: 342lt

People: 9

Water: 120lt

Min HP: 150

Max HP: 225

 



ENGINE

Make: Evinrude V6

Type: E-TEC direct-injection

Rated HP: 250

Displacement: 3279cc

 



SUPPLIED BY

EdgeWater Australia

2/21 Peachtree Road

Penrith, NSW, 2750

Phone: Josh Batterson on 0408 621 426

Web: www.ewboats.com.au

 



MANUFACTURED BY

Edgewater Power Boats

211 Dale Street

Edgewater, FL

United States

Web: www.ewboats.com

 

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat 260.

 

Find Edgewater boats for sale.

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.