You like fishing from bay boats but you also like fishing blue water? Meet the Everglades 273cc.
While it may be true that the center console design is the undisputed champion of outboard-powered fishing boats, there’s an argument to be made for the superiority of bay boats versus blue water designs. Naturally, which side of that argument you come down on depends on where and how you do your fishing; those of us who enjoy prowling around docks and passes for snook will most likely tilt towards bay boats, while die-hard offshore aficionados are going to lean the other way. Then there are “hybrid” designs, which try to put one foot in each world. While striving for balance, quite often these boats aren’t ideal for inshore action nor are they ideal for offshore fishing. Being mediocre at both missions is the rule of thumb. And then, you get aboard a boat like the Everglades.
Everglades Boats 273cc
- LOA – 27’3”
- Beam – 9’3””
- Draft – 1’6”
- Displacement – 6,400 lbs.
- Transom deadrise – 20 degrees
- Fuel capacity – 157 gal.
- Water Capacity – 20 gal.
The Inshore Mission
To be a decent bay boat, there are a few prerequisites: casting decks, livewells, and a stealthy shallow-water ability, for example. Casting decks are no problem, since Everglades puts a pair of flanking seats in the bow, which are bridged at the front. This creates raised U-shaped decking with enough room for two people to cast from, maybe three if the guys standing aft on either side are careful, or don’t mind an impromptu ear-piercing from a barbed projectile now and again. In the stern, there’s a deep raised deck with a pair of flip-up jump seats to either side, and a 45-quart cooler in the center. The entire affair swings up to provide easy access to the batteries and bilge.
Livewells are also no problem, with a 31-gallon well located in the back of the leaning post. Serious bay boat anglers will miss having a bow livewell, which does make it easier to fish people both forward and aft at the same time without having to shuffle back and forth every time a shrimp gets pecked off the hook. Still, this isn’t exactly an insurmountable problem.
Those stealthy shallow-water abilities are the one area in which you will have to make some sacrifices. The 273cc isn’t set up for a bow-mount trolling motor. True, modern four-stroke outboards are pretty dang quiet, but that bow mount makes it easy to sneak along a shoreline or enjoy virtual anchoring. That’s not to say you can’t put an electric on the boat – you can put one on darn near any boat if you’re willing to shell out whatever it takes – just that it won’t come from the factory that way. Draft-wise this boat doesn’t give much ground, since it only requires a foot and a half to float. Yes, that’s a few inches more that dedicated bay rigs but sheer size is an attribute you can’t mitigate.
On the flip side, that size gives the Everglades far more offshore competence than virtually any bay boat can lay claim to. Running on a 20-degree hull with a 9’3” beam and more freeboard than bay boats commonly provide, combined with a 157-gallon fuel capacity, the 273cc can handle heavy seas and long runs. In fact, it was blowing pretty hard when we rode this boat out into Biscayne Bay, and it effortlessly crushed a tight two-foot chop.
Put these attributes together, and in reasonable sea conditions you won’t hesitate to point the bow at the horizon and cruise just as far as it takes to get to the fish. Rigged with twin Yamaha V6 4.2-liter F250 outboards, a 4500 rpm cruise nets you speeds in the low 40s and a range of right around 200 miles with a 10-percent fuel reserve. If you can hold back on the throttles and survive cruising in the mere 30 mph range, you can stretch that to over 250 miles. More likely, when the weather allows you’ll want to say YOLO, nail the throttle, and beeline for the hot spot at a wide-open throttle 55 mph.
Should an Everglades 273cc be your next boat?
Hey, that’s a question only you and your bank account can answer. (Price: a hair over $200K, rigged and ready). But we can say one thing, for sure: if you want a bay boat that does a pretty dang good job at working the shallows, yet has the size and ride that can get you to blue water, this fishing machine will do the trick.
For more information, visit Everglades Boats.