I’d be lying if I said my brain conjures up images of a 43-footer when I think of a center console, but an increasing number of manufacturers are pushing the boundaries and building impressive crafts that rival traditional game boats in size and offer the versatility center consoles are famous for. The Everglades 435CC, the newest addition to the Florida boatbuilder’s lineup and the largest it has ever built, is a great example of the new generation of jumbo center consoles.
Upon coming aboard, the superb fit and finish were obvious everywhere. So was the ergonomic design, which takes full advantage of the 435’s massive footprint to merge luxury and functionality without sacrificing storage or fishing room.
RAMCAP, Everglades’ patented construction technique which bonds major components and compresses high-density foam between the deck and hull renders the hull unsinkable, minimizes the potential for creaking and rattling and makes every inch of the boat feel solid.
Up front, raised 80-gallon compartments on both sides stow gear or serve as secondary fish boxes. They also double as casting platforms or bench seats that, with the push-button electric table, make the bow a scenic picnic spot. Outlets with USB ports to starboard and port supply power for electric kite reels or phone chargers and iPods. A couple of steps back along the centerline, a 200-gallon in-deck fish box provides ample space to ice down the day’s catch. And should your crew require additional room for fish or gear, another 200-gallon box hides under the seat, in front of the console.
The extended console with forward seating facilitates an air-conditioned cabin below. In it, you find a galley with fridge and microwave, a queen-size berth that transforms into a settee or a dinette, and a private head with pump-out toilet, sink and a shower.
For added ventilation or wind protection at the helm, the console windshield rises with the touch of a button. The wide dashboard offers more than enough real estate for gauges, rocker switches and three 15-inch multifunction displays.
Two rows of seats remain shaded under the hardtop. The front one, a cluster of three bucket seats with bolsters and armrests sits over a pullout 110-quart cooler. The other is a fold-down bench seat with twin five-tier pull-out tackle drawers on the sides, a full rigging station with plumbed sink in the back, and a flip-up seat that faces the cockpit.
A hatch near the back edge of the hardtop provides access to the bridge with enough space for outriggers, radar antenna and an optional second helm with full electronics suite. A pair of 60-gallon baitwells finished in blue sit in the transom corners. And a roomy lazarette enables inspection and repair of all systems, fuel filters, pumps and the single seacock controlling water flow to the baitwells and all raw-water pumps.
Along the gunwales, a total of 11 flush-mounted rod holders allow anglers to take up battle stations anywhere. Two rod lockers under the gunwales midship house four outfits each. Horizontal racks store four rods on the port side and six on the starboard side, while hanging racks under the hardtop hold another six outfits; vertical tubes on the hardtop frame and the bridge accept eight more.
Leaving Miami Harbor entrance astern, we jumped on plane. Pushed by four Yamaha F350s controlled by Yamaha’s Helm Master Integrated Boat Control System (standard on the 435CC), it took the big girl just seven seconds to get up and settle down to the proper cruising angle. She performed beautifully in the slalom test, making predictable turns while visibility remained unobstructed.
We reached 60 mph at wide-open throttle (6,200 rpm), burning 138 gph. At 4,000 rpm, we burned 57 gph doing 37.2 mph, the ideal cruising speed. Since chasing a hooked billfish could require backing down, I kicked the quads in reverse and zigzagged after an imaginary sail. The 435CC turned well and was quick and responsive going backward without flooding the cockpit or gathering water in the bilge.
The folks at Everglades have earned a reputation for their uncompromising quest to build quality boats with innovative features. On the 435CC, that is glaringly evident. It’s a boat designed to please the hardcore offshore angler and anyone looking to enjoy creature comforts while cruising or fishing with family or friends.