Some boat companies only build what everyone else does. It takes much more effort to be truly innovative and creative. That aptly describes the history of Everglades and its founding Dougherty family.
This 32 Express performs just fine: It’s neither blisteringly fast nor molasses slow. On a recent September outing through horrendous wind-versus-tide seas in Florida’s Ponce de Leon Inlet, it turned perfectly well, handled beam seas with rock-solid stability and never seemed to even slow down when climbing the back of one of the six-foot seas rolling into the inlet while we returned. If I seem cavalier about the Everglades’ performance, that’s because it has no apparent faults, and other innovations aboard overshadow its running characteristics. For example, while driving the 320 EX, I found an unobstructed 360-degree “picture-window” view from inside this pilothouse. The gigantic safety-glass windows make you feel all-seeing.
Twin Yamaha 350 hp, V-8 four-strokes topped out at 51.4 mph at 6,100 rpm while using a shade less than 70 gph. Cruising at 35 mph, turning 4,250 rpm, the massive Yammies sipped 25.9 gph.
I also liked a standard feature that helps the helmsman: A digital-electronics touch screen at the helm controls virtually every electrical system aboard, including the generator, pumps, batteries, wipers, air conditioning and even the helm vent windows. This system – made by E-Plex and usually found on much larger vessels – lets you stay safely at the helm to manage ship systems rather than go below to access a distribution panel. And the big-boat-style helm chair makes staying at the helm much more comfortable. The helm console provides room for a pair of 15-inch electronics displays.
Make no mistake: The Doughertys designed this boat to cruise comfortably. But since they cannot build any boat incapable of fishing well, the 320 has outstanding amenities – like storage for 34 rods surrounding the cockpit, in and under gunwales, across the transom, and on and under the hardtop. I imagine filling every rod holder will make your Everglades look like the USS Pueblo!
Not only is the 43-gallon livewell handsome, but it functions perfectly too, with a lighted blue interior, a Lucite lid and the ability to pressurize it to keep your baits from sloshing around while you run through the roughness to your fishing spot.
Every trolling speed leaves plenty of clear space in the wake for lures and baits to be seen, and if drifting beam-to while kite fishing, you’ll be able to stand hands-free with no problem thanks to the remarkably slow roll-moment transitions. Also, despite how narrow the side walkways appear, the fact that they have no toe rail combined with terrific, well-paced handholds and deep access steps means you can walk to and from the bow with rod in hand quite securely.
Design and Construction**
Of course, this represents the place where Everglades truly shines. The bridge deck’s EZ2CY enclosure has a great doorway that unzips and then slides sideways out of the way. Everglades installs a gas generator made by Westerbeke, and I point out two important aspects to this: Most outboard-powered boats with generators have diesel models due to the carbon-monoxide issue (diesels don’t issue CO). Everglades uses Westerbeke’s Zero-CO model that emits no carbon monoxide, and since it uses gasoline, it doesn’t require a separate fuel tank. I always worry about some dock jockey pumping gas into the diesel tank or vice versa.
Additionally, the unit is extremely quiet. Coupled with Everglades’ outstanding soundproofing in the compartment and hatch, you never hear the generator. Everglades set up an auto-start feature where you push the start button on the E-Plex touch screen and walk away. The system automatically runs the blower for four minutes to ventilate the lazarette then starts the generator. Slick. The genset also runs not one but two separate air-conditioning units: one for belowdecks and another for the bridge deck and windshield defrosters.
Belowdecks boasts outstanding headroom. And unlike so many cabin boats of this size, the 320 affords comfortable seating around the dinette for four to five adults. The table drops down to make a double V-berth, and one other person can sleep in the midship single berth.
The galley also smacks of “big-boat styling” with its Corian counters, single-burner ceramic cooktop, microwave with integral coffee maker and pot, and a drawer-style, under-counter refrigerator.
Whether belowdecks or on deck, storage abounds.
I also liked the lazarette and engine-splashwell floors, which sport a molded-fiberglass diamond-plate pattern: unusual and more carefree than nonskid when it gets dirty.
Conveniently, the dockside water, shore power and water fill all mount on centerline on the outside of the transom, so you needn’t run cables or hoses through the cockpit or have lots of deck fittings in each side of your boat. Also in the transom area, Everglades’ superb scupper system is unlike any other.
And one final touch that stops you cold walking down the dock at night: A handrail across the back of the portside bridge-deck seating has the Everglades name cut out, and it lights up at night. Speaking of lights, all lights aboard are LEDs, including the underwater transom lights that come standard. In fact, you’ll find only five items on the Everglades 32 EX options list. That speaks to how the Doughertys want you to boat – in total safety and comfort.
BEAM……10 ft. 8 in.
**HULL DRAFT……2 ft.
WEIGHT……10,800 lb. (w/o power)
MAX HP……Twin 350 hp OB
MSRP……$369,231 (w/ twin 350s)
Everglades Boats / Edgewater, Florida / 386-409-2202 / www.evergladesboats.com