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March 20, 2013

Everglades 355T

Every once in a while, you step aboard a boat upon which everything seems perfect. Such is the case with the Everglades 355T.

The stars have aligned in the design and construction of this superb offshore-fishing machine, from the impeccable fit and finish to the ease of handling the 35-footer. However, near perfection comes with a pretty price tag. Let’s look at what you’ll get in terms of ­performance and fishability.

Performance

Triple Yamaha 350 four-strokes propelled my 15,455-pound test boat (rigged with a hardtop and tower) to speeds approaching 60 mph at 6,000 rpm on the Tennessee River near Yamaha’s test facility in northeastern Alabama. At that top end, the boat got about 0.60 mpg.

You can substantially improve ­efficiency to more than 1 mpg by backing off to 3,500 rpm and about 32 mph. Yet, as smooth as the 355T runs, pegging the throttles is a real delight. The 411-gallon, aluminum fuel tank translates to beaucoup range at any speed.

I didn’t get a chance to see how the boat handles big waves, but based on my experience with other Everglades hulls, I have little doubt that this boat, with its 25 degrees of deadrise at the transom, can slice through the nastiest seas. The triple 350s pack plenty of midrange punch, so when the waves build steep and tall, you’ve got the oomph to meet the challenge.

My test boat also showcased Yamaha’s new Helm Master integrated outboard-control system, which features joystick steering for low-speed, close-quarter ­maneuvering, digital throttle and shift, digital steering (with the wheel), push-button speed control, engine rpm synchronization and auto-trim capab­ility, among other features.

new everglades boat
A 38-gallon livewell is built into the transom bulkhead (left). My test boat included Yamaha’s Helm Master joystick control (right).

Fishing

Everglades’ 355T exudes serious fishing — the “T” stands for tournament — with wide-open, diamond-nonskid decks fore and aft, thanks to the center-console design and a 10-foot, 8-inch beam. To help keep the decks clear, storage for rods, tackle and other gear lines the inwales. Thick coaming pads encircle the interior, and a dozen flush-mount rod holders punctuate the gunwale tops.

The twin 39-gallon insulated fish boxes, flanking the 355T’s 38-gallon transom livewell, can be converted to a refrigerator and freezer as an option. An additional 120 gallons of insulated-fish‑box capacity is built into the forward deck.

A covered rigging station abaft the helm seats features dedicated storage for fishing tools, as well as spools of leader material. It also has a molded-in sink, freshwater faucet, twin tackle cabinets and a fold-out, aft-facing seat with a gimbal. Forward of the console is seating for three, but the middle backrest folds down to create an armrest.

The 355T’s big center-console offers excellent weather protection thanks to a tempered-glass three-panel windshield. The hydraulically operated forward panel opens to usher in fresh air. The console accommodates a pair of 15.5-inch multifunction displays, as well as a brace of Yamaha’s new 6Y9 Command Link Plus gauges.

This model includes a standard hardtop with seven rod holders across the back and an angled rod holder on each side. The 355T also comes with a fully functional elevated-second-helm station as an option ($23,077).


Design and Construction

All-composite construction with high‑density, closed-cell, structural-foam flotation renders the 9,500-pound boat (dry, without engines) virtually unsinkable. The hull liner and deck are mated to form a rigid one-piece structure. The hull laminate includes knitted biaxial fiberglass with vinylester barrier and skin coats, polyester print barrier, and premium gelcoat throughout.

rigging station
The 355T features a rigging station abaft the helm seat.

One of the coolest elements is a beefy utility door on the port side, allowing crew to easily board and carry supplies between the dock and the aft cockpit. This also makes it easier to haul aboard a big fish.

Inside the console, a teak-trimmed head compartment features a china-bowl head with a macerator and 15-gallon holding tank. There’s also a cedar-lined cabinet with a Corian countertop and glass-bowl-style sink with a goose-neck freshwater faucet.

Throughout the 355T you’ll see the hallmarks of perfection, such as flawlessly crafted wiring looms with waterproof Deutsch connectors, a heavy-duty rub rail with a 316 stainless-steel insert and end caps, and durable vinyl upholstery with high-density plastic backing and an acrylic top coat.

No boat possesses true perfection, but the Everglades 355T comes as close to this unattainable status as any I have tested.

Specifications

LOA 35 ft. 4 in.

BEAM 10 ft. 8 in.

DRAFT 2 ft.

DEADRISE 25 deg.

WEIGHT 9,500 lb. (w/o power)

FUEL 411 gal.

MAX POWER 1,050 hp OB

 

YAMAHA 360 HP FOUR-STROKE

TYPE V-8

DISPLACEMENT 325.3 cid

MAX RPM 6,000

HP/LB RATIO 0.432

FUEL SYSTEM EFI

GEAR RATIO 1.73:1

WEIGHT 804 lb. to 822 lb.

ALTERNATOR OUTPUT 50 amps

MSRP $421,500 w/ (three) F350 Yamahas (not including Helm Master)

 

Everglades Boats

Edgewater, Florida

877-902-6287

evergladesboats.com

 

NOTABLE STANDARD FEATURES

> Portside utility door

> Recessed anchor roller

> Hardtop

> Rigging station

> Retractable windshield

 

IMPRESSIONS

Everglades’ 355T approaches perfection in the genre of outboard-powered offshore fishing boats. If you’ve got the money to buy one, it’s well worth a test ride.