Captain's ReportThe 290 Delivers Serious Offshore Fishing with High ComfortBy Capt. Bob SmithTest CaptainEven after one day at a boat show, so many boats begin to look alike. There are models that have been around for years and ones fresh off the line with the latest twist from the builder. Everglades has a brand new model which isn’t your typical offshore fishing boat. The 290 Pilot is high-end offshore fishing rig with rugged design and first-class fishability. The first thing you will notice is the fully integrated hard top with full-framed windshield and wing vents. This system not only keeps you dry, but gives you a very comfortable feeling of security even in some of the roughest conditions. The seat in front of the “pilot house” looks like it belongs on an expensive go-fast boat. It is thickly padded with a curved backrest for added comfort. Below the helm is a large head area with a sink, shower, and good storage space.At the HelmThe helm station is logically laid out. Instruments are covered with an electric door that drops down with the flip of a switch. Hydraulic tilt steering is standard as is the 15” stainless destroyer wheel. Besides room for the electronics, there are two outlets for your portable gear. Recessed trim tabs are also standard for a more accurate ride control. Docking lights make night approaches easier and red LEDs provide safer movement at night without blasting out your vision.Fishing FeaturesFishing amenities include under gunwale rod racks on each side. Rod holders include 4 in the gunwales, 6 in the transom and 6 across the back of the hardtop. Up front is room to lock away 8 rods when you are off the boat. The front fish locker is a 160-gallon box and the aft box is a 90-gallon. The leaning post has a bait station behind it with a 66- gallon circulating livewell, fresh and raw water sink, tackle storage center and cutting board. The transom has a bait prep area, slide out cooler and raw water washdown.Bow FeaturesHeavy duty powder coated hand rails surround the front of the boat for safety. The anchor locker is plenty large for a good size anchor and lots of line. An anchor windlass system is also standard on this model. In addition, there are full coaming bolsters for comfort while working a fish. Eight stainless cup holders handle the beverages at your favorite fishing hole. You can easily slip through the transom door and extend a telescoping swim ladder for a cool dip at sea.SpecsThe 290 Pilot measures in at 28’7” length overall with a 9’9” beam width. As large as she is, the 290 can still get through skinny water with only a 20” draft requirement. She also surprises you at the scales with a hull weight of only 5,500 lbs. The 290 carries 200 gallons of fuel and 25 gallons of fresh water for a long day out where the fish are running. She has a sharp entry with a 37 degree average deadrise and a sporty 21 degree deadrise at the stern. Although our boat was powered with 450 horses from Honda, she can handle up to 600-horsepower strapped to her transom.PerformanceOur test boat was outfitted with twin Honda 225-horsepower Four-Stroke outboards and we were carrying two people on board with ½ tank of fuel. We found her best cruise to be around 3500 rpm traveling 21.6mph. At cruise speed, she burned 9.7gph and had a range of 401 miles on a full tank of fuel. She topped out at 6000 rpm running 49.8mph for a range of 217 miles. Hole shot times were 4.5 seconds on average with a time to 30mph of 7 seconds. Sound levels were good with 68 dBa at idle and 85 dBa at cruise.If you are looking for a high-end offshore fishboat with solid features and creature comforts, make your reservation today for a test ride. You’ll be happy you did, or you’ll be wishing you had when your buddies show up with their new boat.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Everglades 290 Pilot (2005-) is 49.8 mph (80.1 kph), burning 41.4 gallons per hour (gph) or 156.7 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Everglades 290 Pilot (2005-) is 21.6 mph (34.8 kph), and the boat gets 2.23 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.95 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 401 miles (645.35 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 225-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboards).
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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