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April 06, 2011

EdgeWater 220IS

EdgeWater's new 220IS caters to shallow-water anglers

EdgeWater Boats has entered the inshore fishing boat market with the all-new 220 Inshore. A clean- and racy-looking rig designed to fish inshore waters, the 220 is up to the task.

We tested the boat on a blustery winter day near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Its clean looks and crisp fit and finish first caught my attention. Its sleek sheer and raked stem make it look like it's running 50 mph while sitting still.

The 220 is based on a good-riding hull design, and the one we tested came rigged with a Yamaha F250 four-stroke outboard, a great power option for the boat. EdgeWater's Roger Taylor came along for the ride, and after he slipped the boat into the water at the local ramp, we headed off to put it through its paces.

Its 8-foot-6-inch beam gives the 220 excellent stability under way and at rest, especially when you're walking a big fish around the boat. It's easy to maneuver around the wide gunwales and never feel as though you might slip overboard. And it's no problem to throw your cast net and walk it back to empty it in the livewells.

As we pushed the throttle up, the 220 jumped on plane and slipped along effortlessly at a leisurely cruise of 37 mph at 4,000 rpm. Wide-open, the boat ran over 54 mph. I was more interested to see how the boat drifted and felt actually running to the grounds. I liked the increased range and comfortable ride afforded when the boat ran in its sweet spot, and I'd say the 220 Inshore was quite sweet at 4,500 rpm, making 42 to 43 mph and burning around 14 gph, for about 3 miles to the gallon.
Our test boat was tricked out for fishing and well done. The clean foredeck has recessed pull-up cleats and is expansive, offering an anchor locker with a large hatch and a large casting deck. There is a dedicated place for the optional bow-mounted trolling motor, and I liked the removable mount set up on the demo boat - the only way to go, in my opinion, for its flexibility to suit your changing fishing situation. Under the wide casting deck, there's a huge storage compartment perfect for keeping tackle bags and extra clothes dry and organized. The hatches are finished with carbon fiber on the underside for a neat and custom look when you open them.
The cockpit offers plenty of room to move around, and with 18 inches of freeboard, the 220 can handle a bit of slop, and you won't feel like you're going to be thrown out of the boat. The console is well thought out, with a forward seat that is plumbed as a livewell but can be used as drink cooler. Batteries are beneath the sole, under the console, and there is a removable door on the backside that offers great access. There are also three-rod vertical racks on each side of the console.