A powerboat manufacturer owned by a sailmaker? Surely you jest. The rivalry between “stinkpots” and “blow boaters” seems to have found a marriage made in Heaven at EdgeWater Boats in Edgewater, Florida. Since 1992, EdgeWater has been producing quality, semi-customizable, unsinkable, deep V-hull boats for serious boating families. Using proprietary technology, EdgeWater Boats are designed to be be stronger and safer while providing room and comfort. Whether sitting at anchor in a quiet cove or fishing off the Atlantic Coast “It’s Better on the Edge.”
The company was founded by Bob Dougherty in 1992 after his career at Boston Whaler. Dougherty is best known for designing the hull for the “classic whaler” and through his many innovations helped grow Boston Whaler. After 30 years, new owners decided it was time for Dougherty to be put out to pasture, however Dougherty had other plans. He moved down the road and along with his son Stephan, began building an 18-foot fiberglass boat. After several years Dougherty moved on and EdgeWater Boats was born.
Today EdgeWater Boats is owned by North Technologies Group (North Sails) whose industry leading technology is found on America’s Cup racing yachts and the space shuttle. North Sails’ technological and financial resources have helped EdgeWater create a stronger, safer and better boat for their discerning customers.
EdgeWater’s marketing coordinator Daniel Robinson led us on a tour around the 94,000 square foot facility. From lay up to shrink wrap, each semi-custom boat receives the attention of top quality employees, many of whom have been with EdgeWater for 10 – 15 years. In the mid-2000s the company was building nearly 600 boats per year, however that all changed in 2008 when the recession hit the marine industry hard. To EdgeWater’s credit, the company did not lay off a single employee during those lean years enabling the company to quickly meet demand once customers began purchasing again. Since the upturn in the market EdgeWater has grown, maintaining a “quality not quantity” philosophy. The company had record sales in 2014 and is on pace to meet or exceed sales numbers in 2015.
Vessels over 22 feet are built using Single Piece Infusion or SPI Technology. With the entire structural components in place, from stringers to transom, a high quality fiberglass is laid into the hull dry, then sealed with a vacuum bag before being infused with Vinylester resin. There is no wood used in the construction. SPI uses 50 percent less resin than traditional construction creating a stronger boat which in turn is lighter, faster, and more fuel efficient. The SPI process is also better for the environment since all fumes are contained within the vacuum bag during manufacturing and the light product uses less fuel on the water.
Debuting at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show was EdgeWater’s new flagship model, the 368 Deep-V Center Console. While on the manufacturing floor we couldn’t help but be drawn to the unique lines created by the twin step hull. The vessel showed pure sophistication, class and beauty.
The 368CC is the first boat EdgeWater has made using SPI for both the hull and deck. Topside we found an integrated carbon fiber windshield hardtop design with additional carbon fiber throughout the helm station. Robinson also detailed the digital integration throughout the engine, navigation and steering which are managed through the NMEA 2000 network. This integration will be found on future Edgewater models.
Customers are very loyal to their EdgeWater boats keeping them on average for seven to 10 years before moving up. The new 368CC is also attracting new customers who are either stepping down from a larger sport fish or yacht. With a limited lifetime warranty and an outstanding customer service team, which has won many award throughout the years, it’s no wonder EdgeWater continues to grow year after year.