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September 21, 2007

Edgewater 225 CC

This new 22-footer from Edgewater combines the company's now-famous level of fit-and-finish with a wealth of clever fishing features. As with previous Edgewaters we've tested, the 225 is built with rugged, no-wood construction techniques, and features exemplary glass work and detail. It's almost impossible to find a rough edge on these boats, and it's clear that a great deal of care and thought go into building them.

Edgewater uses a stringer system that its calls "Permagrid," which is essentially an interlocking grid that combines longitudinal stringers with transverse beams, creating opposing right angles. This structure is chemically bonded to the deck, the hull and the transom, after which the whole boat is injected with foam. All Edgewaters are built with either Nidacore or Klegecell coring, and the 225 has over eight layers of glass in the keel. Construction techniques like this yield a boat that's very solid.


Built for Fishermen

Edgewater 225 CCBut fishing features are what most of us look for first in a boat, and the 225 excels here, too. It has a spacious cockpit for a 22-footer, with a notched-transom design surrounded by a fiberglass transom well. Edgewater utilizes the well by building in drink holders and inserts for knives and pliers, maximizing the available space. A sink is built into the starboard transom corner, and a small live well occupies the port corner. Both of these are positioned at waist level, right where the action takes place.

Access to the inner hull is gained through hatches beneath the sink and live well, enabling you to reach the pumps and through-hulls. The cockpit comes with coaming pads along the sides, and there are racks for storing three rods per side under the gunwales. A large rocket launcher provides four more rod holders, two of which were taken up by the removable backrest on our test boat. A 94-quart Igloo cooler fits under the launcher.

The bow area in the 225 is a split, walk-through design with two large storage boxes to port and starboard. The port box is a designated fishbox that drains overboard. It's rare to see such a large fishbox on a boat of this size. The box to starboard will hold loose gear, and it drains onto the deck. A welded stainless-steel bow rail surrounds the front of the boat, and an anchor locker forward contains a receiver that will store a Danforth-style anchor vertically.

The console also features some trick design touches, including a flat surface for mounting electronics that's bigger than what you typically find on many 30-footers. A PVC storage box below the wheel holds the inevitable "stuff" that floats around loose on a center console, and a wrapped acrylic windshield keeps the wind out of your face. There's a small sub-console compartment that can house a porta-potty, but it's a tight fit - definitely not for big guys or the claustrophobic. This space might be better used as additional stowage than as a true head compartment.

Edgewater 225 CC specificationsWe ran the 225 out of Ponce Inlet, Florida, on a day when a falling tide met a stiff easterly breeze. This created a maze of vertical waves at the inlet's mouth that provided a perfect, nasty testing ground. Although the 225 would pound when pushed hard into this chop, it was rock-solid and absolutely dry. When lying in the troughs, the little boat simply bobbed up and over the steep waves in an easy and predictable motion. It was a very stable platform. As the old-timers would say, "she sits on the water like a duck."

The 200-hp Yamaha HPDI outboard on our test boat (the 225 CC accepts only single outboards) pushed it respectably at 31.3 mph at a 4000 rpm cruise. Wide-open, the boat ran 44.4 mph at 5500 rpm. It's interesting to note that at 4000 rpm, the HPDI only burns 8.4 gph, so the boat is getting 3.73 mpg. That's outstanding fuel economy in anyone's book.

The combination of solid construction, exemplary fit-and-finish, and practical fishing features add up to a boat that's hard to beat. Edgewater's 225 CC should definitely be on the short list of anyone looking at a boat in this size range.

Edgewater Power Boats, Edgewater, FL; (904) 426-5457; www.ewboats.com