Edgewater 205 EX
JULY 2005
Length overall  20'6"
Beam  8'6"
Draft  20"
Displacement  2,500 lb
Fuel Capacity  90 gals
Standard power Single Yamaha F150

The helm is simple and uncluttered. The center pane of the windshield opens to allow access to the foredeck.

I first caught a glimpse of the EdgeWater 205 Express inside a convention center at a winter boat show, but it wasn't until I saw it in its natural habitat, in the water at the Bay Bridge Marina on Maryland's Eastern Shore, that I fully appreciated the beauty of this nifty little family trailerable. The style is nostalgic, with the helm positioned way forward, bringing classic Bertram-esque thoughts to mind. The custom, light-yellow hull color added a nice touch to the appearance.

The forward position of the helm leaves scant room for the cuddy, but that's just what it is-a cuddy cabin suitable for stowing lots of bulky items like inflatable tow toys, skis or kids, or a place to duck in out of sudden weather. There is a portable toilet rather ingeniously mounted on a skid that slides out from underneath the cockpit sole. The batteries skid out in a similar fashion from either side of the toilet. This keeps the batteries out of the bilges, which is a good thing. The battery switch is conveniently located at the helm, just below the dash.

The helm itself is simple, yet functional, with room on the dash for electronic displays. The digital Yamaha readouts are easy to read, and the outboard motor trim indicator is particularly handily placed right next to the tachometer. The hydraulic steering wheel is tiltable and the Yamaha throttle control is adequately smooth and responsive.

The helm chair is adjustable fore and aft. This model, actually a 2004, was equipped with the optional lounge in lieu of the co-pilot's chair. This unit has commodious storage underneath. The helm area is protected by a brushed-aluminum framed windshield, the center pane of which hinges open to provide access to the foredeck. There's also a Bimini with plastic enclosures.

Thanks to the abbreviated size of the cuddy, the cockpit is a relatively large 66 square feet of uncluttered, open space. It's a great fishing platform, with under-the-gunwale rod storage, toe bars on either side, and a large circulating bait well mounted in the transom. Additional seating is available in the way of jump seats in either corner or a bench seat that spans the transom.

I met with the new local dealers, Wendy and Rick Gordon of Annapolis Boat Sales, on a calm, sunny spring day. Rick was elected to take me out for a ride. Equipped with a single Yamaha 150-hp two-stroke outboard, the hull picked right up on plane at about 3700 to 3800 rpm, and trimming down the engine, we were soon cruising at 34.9 knots wide open at 5500 rpm. We found a comfortable cruising speed at 4800 rpm, which gave us a reading of 28 knots on the hand held GPS. It was quite a fun ride, spry, quick and agile, yet remarkably solid.

That solid feel is a result of the fact that EdgeWater's variable-deadrise hulls are built with all-fiberglass, foam-filled construction. Filling all the hollow voids with foam makes them unsinkable. The deck and hull are chemically bonded for strength and rigidity. The transom is constructed of a high-density composite, then reinforced with layers of multiaxial fiberglass. The resulting hull weight of about 2,500 pounds keeps it eminently trailerable. And the simplicity of the layout makes for easy maintenance. You can hose it down, virtually inside and out, and stow it away for the next day out on the water.

All this leads me to believe that the 205 EX would make for a delightfully versatile little family day runner.