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September 21, 2007

EdgeWater 265 CC

EdgeWater's big bold center console offers outstanding offshore performance and lots of thoughtful features.

For the many fans of EdgeWater Power Boats, the new 265 CC couldn't have come at a better time. It's a natural evolution for EdgeWater, moving from its well-regarded line of smaller center console and express boats to a full-blown offshore fishing machine with all the bells and whistles. And in typical EdgeWater fashion, the company has jumped in with style.

The flared bow and sloping sheer make it a pretty boat, but looks aren't everything. The 265 has significantly higher sides than did previous models, meaning that it was designed for real offshore work in real rough-water conditions, and its aggressive deep-vee hull will let it run with the big dogs when the going gets tough. Look out SKA!

We ran the new boat off Stuart, Florida, and can attest to its good sea manners. Our test boat was equipped with twin 225-hp, Yamaha F225 four-stroke outboards, which provided plenty of power. The 265 hits a top speed of 55.7 mph at 5800 rpm, according to Yamaha's own sea trials, and cruises at 36.9 mph at 4000 rpm. That's pretty fast, as the 265 is no small boat, but it also rides and handles quite well. The variable-deadrise hull is responsive to trim changes and maneuvers well, while also providing a smooth ride.

EdgeWater 265 CCThe 265 is laid out in a conventional center console design, with raised, wraparound seating in the bow. These seats contain two storage boxes, and the cushions provide comfortable seating. There's a low-profile bow rail and a stainless-steel bow roller with offset cleats. The anchor locker is also offset in the deck, slightly to port.

The sub-console head compartment has some innovative touches, including a porta potty that slides in and out of a storage compartment on rails. You can also order an optional, full marine head. The compartment also contains a sink, located under the front console seat, and a unique combination toilet paper/tackle storage unit keeps all of the "necessities" at your fingertips.

EdgeWater has built a sizeable cockpit into the 265, with a transom bulkhead setup that contains molded boxes in each corner. The starboard box on our test boat held a bait box/rigging station, while the port box contained a live well. The bulkhead between the boxes features a small transom gate, and the bulkhead itself is relatively thin, allowing you to get as close as possible to the engines when fighting fish.

There's a fold-down passenger seat along the forward edge of the transom bulkhead, and an Armstrong swim ladder on the engine platform. Two hatches in the forward side of the bulkhead provide access to the boat's batteries, which are located in the bilge, and you can reach the various pumps through two "pie plates" on the engine platform.

EdgeWater 265 CC

Our test boat featured the optional aluminum leaning post that comes with four rod holders, a couple of drink holders, a knife-and-pliers rack, plus an upscale Frigid-Rigid insulated cooler below. You can also order the boat with a leaning post/work station that features an additional live well, a sink, four rod holders and a backrest.

The 265 is built using EdgeWater's Permagrid stringer system, which features high-tech carbon-fiber materials in the stringers for maximum strength and weight savings. There's no wood in the boat, as EdgeWater relies upon honeycomb composite coring materials and a composite transom. The hull itself is made of hand-laid fiberglass. Closed-cell foam flotation provides peace of mind, and the deck is self-bailing. Lastly, EdgeWater backs the boat up with a limited lifetime structural warranty.

The 265 CC is a big, bold step for EdgeWater, one that's sure to be a hit among anglers looking for a rugged, seaworthy center console that can handle offshore conditions. It will also attract the attention of many folks who hadn't previously considered an EdgeWater.

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

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SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 27' 2"
Beam: 9' 6"
Draft: 17"
Hull weight: 4,500 lbs.
Fuel: 207 gals.
Water: 30 gals.
Max hp: 500
Base price
w/ twin 225-hp
Yamaha F225
four-stroke
outboards: $88,152