2016 Fishing Boat Buyers Guide: Everglades 243CC with Second Station

The optional second station on an Everglades 243CC provides a tern’s-eye view of baitfish and game fish

If you think boats must be divided into luxury craft and fishing specialists, Everglades proves otherwise.

“Everglades boats are built from the ground up to be fierce fishing machines,” the Dougherty company promises, adding, “Every boat that leaves our factory is ready to fish — and look good doing it.”

Everglades boats are built in a 125,000-square-foot facility in Edgewater, Florida, where most parts — fiberglass components, T-top structures and rails, wiring harnesses — are crafted in-house. Each is created for the boat in which it’ll be installed, built to Everglades’ exacting standards. Those standards extend to the construction process, producing yachtlike fit and finish.

The company has developed pleasing innovations, like a sliding side cockpit window that rises or lowers to allow fresh air in — or keep wind and rain out — and a leaning post that can rotate to form either a seat or a comfortable leaning cushion.

Respondents liked the fact that Everglades boats are unsinkable, thanks to high-density foam permanently bonded between hull and deck. High gunwales for its bay-boat class make it family-friendlier without compromising fishability — for which those who know the brand also gave it high marks.

243CC with Second Station

Sight-fishing is as much hunting as it is angling, and hunters of all types know elevation expands your vision exponentially. The optional second station on an Everglades 243CC provides a tern’s-eye view of baitfish and game fish. The center console’s second station features a three-position seat that can be set fully closed, partially open for seating, or fully open as a leaning post. The station features a radio remote and space for electronics.

On the deck, the main helm station offers a tilt helm, storage and a radio box. It accepts large electronics units. Aft, seats fold flat to become part of the nonskid casting platform, within which is housed a 36-gallon lighted livewell with clear lid.

The bow features a 67-gallon fish box and cushioned seating atop dry storage compartments. Another seat fronts the console. Low-profile rails and pull-up cleats, along with casting platform/bow seating, make cast-netting live bait trouble-free.

The 243 stretches its bay-boat moniker in pleasing ways. With a GPS-directed ­trolling motor, a jack plate and a Power-Pole, it can hunt the shallows. Its fans have found it trustworthy offshore when conditions permit, too.

Maybe the best plug came in this bittersweet survey posting: “My wife will never forgive me for selling the 243.”

LOA: 24'3" | Beam: 8'2" | Fuel Capacity: 82 gal. | Dry Weight: 4,000 lb. plus power, station | Max Horsepower: 300 | Certifications: NMMA
243CC owners often add outriggers for trolling offshore in calm weather. The extended running surface adds lift.