Saturday, April 21, 2012

EdgeWater 318CC innards perfection


I have been looking for a very long time for a boat that has all of the design features that I feel are lacking in so many other boats from my perspective. WTF maintenance, and installation moments are common in the production boat world, so it's truely refreshing I finally found one that is WTF moment free, the 2012 EdgeWater 318CC. I'm not reviewing the number of rod holders it has, whether it has a barbecue grill, how fast it can go, or how colorful the Naugahydes are. Instead I'm reviewing, as they say on Iron Chef, the bitter innards of the boat, and in this case they are very tasty.

Let's start first with the wire pulls. This has always been a pet peeve of mine. Somewhere around one half, or more of the cost of a larger electronics gear install is trying to get wires from A to B. Opening deck plates, dragging a transducer wire painfully inch by inch over the fuel tank, through a jagged crack, around a ninety degree corner, and into the console.

In the 318CC's aft bilge on the port side there are two hard pipe pulls to the console, and there is another two inch pull on the starboard side. The pulls actually go to the console, not near it mind you, where you have to blindly reach down into some unfinished scary void in the boat and drag out the cables leaving copious amounts of your DNA behind.

The hardtop is an excellent piece of work. Encircling the underside 360 degrees is an open channel that allows you to mount antennas and the ilk almost anywhere from the front to the back. Not just in a small area above or adjacent to the electronics box. You want the VHF antenna to mount forward enough to keep it from hanging out the back? Then this is your boat. The spacious hardtop channels connect to the electronics box on both sides.

This is my favorite part. The electronics box has down pulls on both sides that are fully open. On this boat I pulled all of the cabling at once, and I could have pulled twice as much as I did. No sharp tiny half inch holes, no ninety degree turns, no slit peeled, and greased up cables, they just pulled through with no amputation of connectors. This is the way it's supposed to be. And pull strings were in place. Yes Yes Yes!

Getting into the bowels of the console interior is easy and access is everywhere. An acrylic panel gets you to the back of the MFD's and other items mounted on the front console face. A hatch on the port side lets you see the gear mounted on the side of the interior, and the electrical panel is harnessed so you can open it and lay it down.

The batteries, and other gear are located behind the long tip down hatch. This is also where the anchor winch solenoid box is located, it's nice and dry, unlike a soggy anchor locker.

Last but not least inside the lowest hatch is the steering assist pump, and where I installed the autopilot pump, again, room galore. The interior also has an additional mounting bulkhead for other gear. Everything inside is smooth, and coated with gelcoat. No fiberglass splinters here.


This boat builder understands the key word "Accessability". The aft bilge is commodious enough for me to climb into and comfortably sit down. On the forward bulkhead are the fuel filters, and the hand pump gas squeezy thingies you can get to without climbing into the bilge. The other thing I liked was the stop that protects the bilge pump from being swept away if a heavy object like a case of beer came "Sweeping down the plains." Very smart, and pragmatic.

The port and starboard sides hold the pump systems, four in total. You need to work on them, climb in the bilge, sit down, and stay a for a spell. Contrast this arrangement with trying to extract, and replace a pump through a small access plate one handed, while the engine's wiring conduit is making an interesting imprint on your face, and a cramp is spasming in your now weirdly twisted leg.
Lots of console space, is an understatement, and there are good ergonomics in the layout. My only wee gripe is the Yamaha engine gauge (top dead center was installed) at the factory by someone with the dreaded Cyclops Syndrome. That top center location would have made installing larger MDF's more difficult. In this case, 12" displays are not a problem.

Those two black circles are the VHF handset plug and holder. This boat will likely acquire a second MDF. I put the VHF handset in the future cut out real estate. The VHF can be relocated later, and the holes I made for the VHF will be in the cut out piece.

I also liked the use of standard switches rather than modular panel systems. My experience has taught me that in the marine environment, low tech does the trick, costs less, and is easier to maintain over time. 

This is a very well made vessel, no clattering of hatches, and doors, a solid feel on the water, a full bow that gracefully sheds water away from the occupants. This is a boat I would buy. 

Good design is never an after thought, excellent job EdgeWater.

Are there other boats out there, that are worthy of the certificate? I hope so, I just haven't seen one yet. Some are close, but not not this close.
Here is a review of the 318CC written by Lenny Rudow

Just for the record, this review was unsolicited, and no compensation was asked for, or given.


2 comments:

  1. I own the 2013 edgewater 318cc. it is truly a well built boat. I did lose the forward bilge pump and replacement was easy. we installed quite a bit of electronics and it is so easy to see everything you need to see to make the install rather straightforward. I highly recommend Edgewater as a very well built boat and very good in rough seas. with a 10'2" beam and a single piece infusion hull, it is unsinkable. and no, I don't work for Edgewater. I am simply an owner who spent 2 years looking at and researching boats before I bought the Edgewater. It is as good or better than the other top brands like SeaVee, Yellowfin, and yes, even Intrepid. best of all, Edgewater's warranty department, headed by Christine, is simply great., I had some issues with broken plastic switches, a horn, the forward bilge pump, and they quickly shipped new parts and replaced what I found to be an issue. Service is such a huge factor in buying a boat, and Edgewater gets a 10 out of 10 for service.

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  2. Jeff, thanks for the thoughts. The Edgewater to date is the best designed and constructed boat to date I have seen, and that is most of them. Many have great hulls, are pretty, but most of them lack the design forethought and overall maintainability of the Edgewater.

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