Everglades Boats is a brand of offshore and bay boats made in Florida. They focus on center and dual consoles and some cabin models in the 23- to 45-foot range.
They have been around for over two decades now and are common along the east coast of the United States.
Are Everglades boats a good and reliable brand?
Here’s How Good Everglades Boats Are:
Everglades boats are an upper-tier brand of offshore fishing and recreation boats, focusing on comfort and safety. They have built a solid reputation for innovation, quality construction, comfort, and a smooth and stable ride with one of the best warranties in the marine industry.
A Brief History of Everglades Boats
Bob Dougherty began experimenting with fiberglass manufacturing in various capacities in Boston in the 1950s.
In 1960, he went to work for the new Boston Whaler company.
His work there was developing the foam-core construction to make the boats unsinkable, earning him the nickname in the industry “Mr. Unsinkable.” He also developed the first center console boat.
He retired from Boston Whaler after over 40 years in 1990. In 1992, he started the Edgewater Boat company and sold it in 1995.
In 1997 (though some sources claim the year was 2001), still with a passion for the marine industry, he started Everglades Boats. He focused on manufacturing upper-tier center and dual console boats to be used offshore and as bay boats and a few cabin models.
The initial boats ranged from 23 to 43 feet, emphasizing the quality of construction, comfort, and water safety.
He brought his knowledge as chief designer for Boston Whaler to design a smooth-riding hull that was the safest in the industry. The brand quickly earned a reputation for being a top-quality boat, among the best in the entire marine industry.
In 2015, he sold the company to Grand Crossing Capital Partners LP and retired as CEO. Dougherty passed away in 2016 at 85 years of age.
With the financial stability brought on by the sale, Everglades Boats expanded its offerings, and today the company employs over 1,000 people.
How Reliable Are Everglades Boats?
Comfort and safety are the primary focuses of the company.
The boats are heavier than many comparable models due to the thick construction, but this is part of the safety focus. They are among the most solidly-built boats in the industry.
Because of this heaviness, they are not perceived as fast as some other brands, either in acceleration or in the top speed, and their miles-per-gallon is not noted for being efficient. But those are secondary concerns in the design philosophy and process.
Despite this common perception, most reviews of Everglades Boats done by online magazines find them fairly fast boats despite their weight.
Reliability of the materials and design and the instruments are one of the primary features of the brand.
Some of the layouts were designed ergonomically for comfort, and a few fishing purists say these layouts are not as convenient for fishing as for families relaxing about the boat. Despite this, Everglades are still very popular among offshore fishermen.
How Durable Are Everglades Boats?
One of the revolutionary construction methods that Dougherty developed was in 1999, when he molded the foam core separately and then built it into the boat’s hull, rather than injecting foam into cavities in the hull.
This new process ensured that there were no gaps in the foam core of the hull.
This process became known as the Rapid Molded Core Assembly Process, or RAMCAP. It won the Marine Manufacturers Innovation Award that year, again revolutionizing the way boats are constructed.
The heavy fiberglass construction of the boats is designed to take the pounding of offshore waves sustained while fishing for the big ones. The company claims to make the best-built boats in the industry (as many do), but the manufacturing quality seems to back this up.
There are very few complaints about the quality of construction or components online.
The company stands behind the construction of their boats with a Lifetime Warranty on the hull and a 3-year warranty on components. This warranty transfers to a new owner, as long as it is done in the 30-day window after the purchase.
What About Older Everglades Boats?
Everglades Boats has only been around for a couple of decades, and their focus on comfort, quality, and durability has remained constant throughout their existence.
Everything said above applies to the earliest models as well.
A typical quote from an owner in 2011 sums it up well:
“I had the 26cc for 4 years. It was an ’06 and was pretty much flawless during the time I had it…It is a heavy/dry boat that will keep you and the family safe with much comfort. There are better boats out there for mpg, but I preferred the solid ride of the Everglades.”
[Source: The Hull Truth]
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Many parts for older models are still being made, though it is unclear how far back their replacement parts go from the company’s website.
Owners needing replacement parts are led to contact either one of their few dealers across the country or contact the company directly.
They have the manuals for all boats manufactured as PDFs on their website as a convenient resource for identifying specific parts.
Several online retailers carry replacement parts for Everglades Boats, such as boatoutfitters.com and replacementboatparts.com, though the inventory at these sites is pretty slim.
There is an Everglades Owners Group on Facebook that is active, and it may be possible to track down obscure parts using that resource.
What Are Typical Problems With Everglades Boats?
Being a boutique brand with a lot of labor and oversight going into every boat, there have been few typical problems associated with Everglades Boats over the two decades of its existence.
One notable problem involved some of the powder coating of surfaces in the 2005 and 2006 model years. There were many instances of the coating flaking off.
The company acknowledged and identified the problem and worked toward fixing all occurrences of this problem under warranty.
A very few owners online have claimed to have problems with drainage, leading to online discussions about self-draining and bilge pumps. The instances were so few and unsubstantiated that was doubted to be an actual problem with the boat.
In the mid-2010s, there were some wiring issues in some of the boats being manufactured by Everglades. A few owners posted pictures online of leads that were not properly crimped and heat shrink connectors that were not properly shrunk.
It seems that there was a problem with the oversight of certain workers and that the issue was rapidly addressed.
There have been no recalls of any Everglades boats during the company’s existence.
How Long Do Everglades Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
While they have only been around for a couple of decades, there is every reason to believe that the brand of Everglades is among the most durable on the market.
A search online revealed no issues with the fiberglass construction of the boats. The quality of the fiberglass has met with acclaim and is acknowledged in the industry to be among the best.
While a boat’s longevity is obviously dependent upon the care that the owner takes of the boat, Everglades’ boats seem like they will last as long as any other quality brand available.
Do Everglades Boats Hold Their Value?
While Everglades Boats are on the pricey side, they hold their value very well.
Most of the NADA entries do not include the cost of the motors, so keep that in mind.
A 2015 243 CC 24-foot center console cost $67,963 that year, not including the value of the outboard motor. Currently, that boat has an average resale price of $59,250. That comes out to a depreciation of 13%, which is outstanding after 5 years.
The 43-foot 435 CC center console cost $712,307 new in 2015.
That same model currently has an average resale value of $625,450, again a depreciation of 13%, which is remarkable on a boat of that size.
Are Everglades Boats Still Being Made?
Everglades boats are still being manufactured in Edgewater, Florida.
They will give factory tours to prospective customers, but they do not advertise the prices online. There is a certain amount of customization available for every model they make.
They have three lines of boats.
They have 6 models of center consoles from 23 to 45 feet in length. They have one model of the dual console currently being manufactured, the 340 DCC.
Finally, they have 3 models of bay boats ranging from 24 to 27 feet in length.
In a short time, Everglades Boats has built a solid reputation in the marine industry for quality in construction and unrivaled comfort.
They are an upper-tier brand and thus expensive, but they hold their value very well.
They are one of the premier brands of offshore recreational boats.