By Lenny Rudow
SPACED OUT. Is the loss of the large attic stowage space found on most competitors worth the tradeoff? Are you nuts? Of course it is. It's not like stowage is in short sup¬ply on 50-footers, and the benefits you gain are immea¬surable. Egg Harbor carries this open, airy feel in other areas ofthe boat as well. Walk down the companionway
Most other boats in this class, including the Cabo 48 Sportfish ($1.2 million with twin 1,034-bhp powerplants) keep the companionway tighter and the third stateroom roomier. Either way, both boats provide two full-berth staterooms and the over/under berth stateroom, two heads, and a salon with the galley to port and dinette to starboard. Performance results with these two boats are surprisingly similar, especially when you consider that the Egg weighs 10,000 pounds more than the Cabo, Both boats top out over the 40-mph mark-43.3 mph for the Cabo and 42.9 mph for the Egg Harbor-and share a nearly identical 38-or-so-mph cruising speed at 2100 RPM
FLATLINERS, Although the cabin layout certainly pro¬vides some unique features, the main reason for buying an Egg Harbor 50 is to catch fish. Lots of'em. And once you do, you'll have the place to put them. The 50's fish¬boxes are large enough to house half a dozen 50-pound tuna, and the portside box lifts out. They should be better insulated, though, and the hatches need improve¬ment-those on our test boat weren't gasketed and slammed shut. No complaints when it comes to the bait freezer, which is large enough to blast freeze a season's worth of ballyhoo. There's also stowage for a total of eight tackleboxes, with four by the freezer and four more built into the engine room entry door-a smart design that adds space where it didn't used to exist.
Swing open that engine room door and peek at the guts of the 50. You'll like what you see: three feet of room between the powerplants, room to access all parts of them, and smart touches that make maintenance easy, such as an oil exchange system manifold located aft and a hot/cold shower at the entry. Twin crash pumps boost your safety margin and foam-cored stringers with encap¬sulated steel plates boost your confidence.
That confidence will grow when you charge through the inlet. The waves were sporty during our test, with a 15-mph breeze and plenty of white mixed into the chop. The 50 busted through with no thumps or vibrations and left me impressed: This is one solid boat. No wonder, when you start talking construction. The hull and deck are both vacuum-infused. Not only does pulling a vacuum on the resin as it soaks through the fiberglass result in the best possible resin-to-glass ratio, it also reduces styrene emissions, which can be a serious envi-onmental problem~'Fhe major parts of-this boat are cored with Divinycell, providing maximum stiffness and strength. And Egg Harbor didn't slack off when it comes to fit and finish, either. Be it interior cabinetry and cushions or fiberglass seams on the bridgedeck, you'll need a sharper eye than mine to find imperfections. Of course, there's no such thing as the perfect boat. If, however, you have found the perfect woman, and if she likes fishboats as much as you do, and if she plans to take a few breaks in her fishing schedule, then you'll have no trouble convincing her that Egg Harbor's new 50 is the perfect boat for both of you