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Egg Harbor 50 - YES! YES! YES!
Come to think of it, bigger is better.
By Lenny Rudow

If you can get a supermodel to join you for a day of fishing, and if you decide to take a fishing break and spend a little time in the master stateroom, and if said supermodel joins you, and if you want to stand upright on the berth for some reason unmentionable in a family magazine, there's only one 50' sportfish in the world that could accommodate your-ahem-desire: Egg Harbor's new 50. The master in this boat is unlike any other, featuring a cathedral ceiling that provides 8'3" of headroom over the 6"-deep quilted queen-size mattress. Instead of enclosing the "attic" space under the forward slope of the flying bridge, Egg opens up this space into the stateroom. Extra-cool bonus feature: The 20" flat-screen TV with DVD player is inset into the slope, providing a theater-like feeling when you stretch out on the berth. Did I mention the padded headboard? This boat may have the best stateroom of any fishboat we've ever tested for when you're ... um ... not fishing.

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
and the first thing you'll notice is generous elbow room, accented by an open area to starboard that's bordered by a washer/dryer and linen locker. This eliminates the cramped feeling you usually get when accessing washer / dryers mounted into the companionway bulkhead or under the stairs. Sure, it cuts into the space dedicated to the third stateroom, but the over/under berths found here are usually relegated to the kids anyway. And since you have a second full stateroom in the bow, complete with flat-screen Tv, DVD player, and stereo, your adult guests will still enjoy the benefits of sleeping aboard a boat that plays in the big leagues.

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

Grab the top berth in the over/under stateroom and flip it up: There's a rodbox built in. We've seen this feature on 60' and bigger boats but never on one in the Egg Harbor 50's class.

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