John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
EdgeWater 318 CC
Length 32'4"
Beam 10'2"
Draft 22"
Fuel capacity 300 gals
Capacity 12 persons
Weight  6500lb
Maximum HP 600hp
Price as Tested $187,000

Taking a center-console boat out on the Chesapeake Bay in mid-December can be dicey, but Mother Nature was smiling on the day I was scheduled to take a spin on the new EdgeWater 318 CC. It was a relatively balmy 50-degrees, clear and calm, but the weather wasn't the only pleasant surprise. When I met up with Rick and Wendy Gordon of Annapolis Boat Sales to take the 318 through its paces, I saw in a glance that this would be as much a joy ride as a test. As Rick began to point out the 318's features, I took note of the high level of finish detail and the quality of the hardware aboard. This is a premium boat.

The EdgeWater 318 is built using a unique single-piece infusion (SPI) method in which the structural grid and the hull laminates are simultaneously vacuum-bag infused with vinylester resin. This process allows the grid and the hull laminate to cure at the same time and essentially makes the boat one solid piece. No wood is used in the construction so the boat's structural integrity won't be compromised by rot or delamination. The SPI process also adds strength and rigidity without a lot of extra weight, so the boat is lighter than it looks--a terrific asset when it comes to maneuverability and fuel consumption. In addition, closed-cell foam is injected between the structural grid members to make the EdgeWater practically unsinkable.

Given the layout, I could easily use this boat for fishing, water sports or just running downriver to the nearest crab house. Beginning forward, the anchor locker has a finished gelcoat interior equipped with an anchor windlass and wash-down system. Just aft, an integral bench seat conceals self-bailing storage. A fish locker (equipped with a macerator pump) fits snugly underfoot. The bench seat just forward of the console comes with a removable Igloo cooler. Both side decks have lockable rod storage lockers hidden in the outboard bulwarks. One thing I noted in particular was the fire extinguisher built into the portside deck--a safety feature that can't be underestimated.  

The stern accommodates two live wells and a transom door that leads to the integral swim platform and engine-mounting area. To starboard is a sink with a freshwater washdown/shower hose. The test boat came equipped with an optional fold-down transom bench seat. A fish-cleaning station, rocket launchers and a cooler are located conveniently behind the helm seating. Pumps, tanks and storage are easily accessible through the aft deck hatch.

The console "dashboard" has plenty of room for multiple electronic displays and offers access to the head, located below. The head compartment is roomy and provides excellent access to the batteries and electrical connections--a great way to keep everything dry. The test boat has an optional T-top with built-in lights and speakers, plus an overhead emergency equipment bag.

Under way, the EdgeWater 318 CC really shone. Twin Yamaha 250s responded to the lightest touch on the throttle, and the boat climbed onto a plane with minimal engine noise. I easily carved tight turns at speed, slicing through my own wake. With a 24-degree deadrise at the transom and a fine entry forward, the hull is built to handle big water. At a cruising rpm of 4500, we made 33 knots and only burned 25.5 gallons of fuel per hour. Because the engines were new, we couldn't open her up, but according to Yamaha's test results, the twin 250s should top out just over 50 mph.  

We finally headed in, but I'd have been just as happy to zip down to Solomons Island for lunch. Mother Nature wouldn't have minded a bit, and it would have been all in a day's work for this boat.