A modern take on the classic big water fishing boat
Often described as the most versatile fishing boat design of all time, center consoles are easy boats to like. With their 360-degree fishability, easy clean-ups and low maintenance design, center consoles have long been the favorite of serious saltwater anglers. That’s especially true for center consoles in that near-ideal 22- to 24-foot class, which are small enough to be affordable and light enough to tow with a full-size pickup.
Max. Power: 250 hp
Max. Capacity: 10
The new Everglades 223 CC is an outstanding example of why these boats continue to dominate sales figures, and not just in saltwater markets. Its deep-V, 21-degree deadrise hull runs well in shallow water, yet cuts smoothly through high seas, providing a stable, dry ride even when running far offshore. This gives the boat serious all-condition credibility whether an angler is fishing big impoundments, the Great Lakes or the open ocean.
The first thing you notice about this boat when you approach it at the dock is its generous amount of freeboard. Center consoles in the lower 20-foot class sometimes feel a bit small, particularly when the gunnels in the aft cockpit stop just above the knee. But on this boat the freeboard extends well up the thigh, providing a strong sense of security when fishing offshore. Even when standing on the raised bow casting deck that sense of security remains, thanks in some measure to the sturdy stainless steel bow rail. The deck throughout is an effective non-skid fiberglass pattern, offering secure footing while remaining easy to clean at the end of the day.
A large storage compartment under the bow deck accommodates bulky gear. Our review boat included an anchor roller, an in-deck anchor locker, and comfortable combing pads throughout the bow. Available bow cushions can convert this space to a big sunpad when taking the family for a ride.
A forward-facing seat with upholstered back rest mounted on the front face of the console is served by grab handles formed into the gunnels on either side, along with four stainless steel beverage holders. Adjacent stereo speakers keep the tunes flowing, and sound great even when underway. Beneath the seat cushion is a 94-quart insulated cooler, ensuring a cold drink is always close at hand.
The driver’s helm station is all business, with a top-mounted Ritchie compass, stainless steel steering wheel with a turning knob, hydraulic tilt steering, two stainless steel beverage holders and a huge open space in the fiberglass dash to accommodate the owner’s choice of flush-mount multi-function displays. This boat is very much designed for today’s fully-integrated MFD systems, and there’s not a single dial or analog gauge to be seen. Apart from a row of switches for electric accessories, the only other items on the dash are a glove box and a 12-volt power point. This provides the greatest possible flexibility for mounting even the largest displays, and reflects considerable thought on the part of Everglades’ engineers.
The double-wide leaning post is simple but well designed, with a supportive back rest, a flip-up bolster, and a convenient retractable foot rest. The steel frame on the leaning post features a stylish white powder-coated finish for great looks and enhanced corrosion protection. Our review boat included the optional fiberglass hard top, which houses a pair of stereo speakers, courtesy lights, and provides a mounting space for available rear-mounted rocket launchers and outriggers, its supports also finished in that attractive white powder-coat.
The aft cockpit includes plenty of its own tricks, topped by a pair of corner jump seats that fold flat to provide raised casting platforms. Between them, a 36-gallon recirculating live well comes with a clear lid so you can keep an eye on the bait and the fish.
Other impressive features include wide non-skid gunwales that sport four flush-mounted rod holders, and red LED lights under the gunwales and in all storage compartments. Red? Yes – the colored courtesy lights are designed to offer safe illumination without compromising your night vision. With apologies for the pun, that’s just plain brilliant.
Additional standard features on the Everglades 223 CC include a fire extinguisher, locking rod storage, a raw water wash-down system, six stainless steel pull-up cleats (nice that they retract out of the way when fishing) and a swim platform with a telescoping boarding ladder.
A freshwater wash-down system with a nine gallon capacity is available as an upgrade, along with options such as a ski pylon, Kingfish rod holders, a stereo and more.
Rated for a single outboard of up to 250 horsepower, the Everglades 223 CC is thoroughly modern take on the classic big water fishing boat design. Easy to tow, easy to maintain, capable and affordable, this is an easy boat to like – whether you’re fishing big impoundments, large lakes or the open sea.
Everglades 223 CC
- Length: 22’ 3”
- Beam: 8’ 2”
- Draft: 16”
- Dry weight: 2,900 lbs
- Fuel capacity: 70 gal
- Passenger capacity: 10
- Maximum power: 250 hp