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To be attractive to today's boating enthusiast, a sport cruiser like the Egg Harbor "30" pictured below needs plenty of speed, a flashy modern appearance and the greatest possible number of bunks comfortably set within a given length—all within a given price range. She must also be sound and seaworthy. From all reports, the "30" seemed to me to be the kind of boat that could meet these demanding specifications. She's a new and larger model introduced this year by the Egg Harbor Boat Company, Inc. of Egg Harbor City, N.J. which has been building able sea-skiff-type two-berth cruisers since 1946. The "30" was made slightly larger than earlier models to permit sleeping accommodations for four. I was anxious to see if this had been accomplished without crowding and without sacrifice of the all-weather performance of her predecessor.
The ideal opportunity for a complete test came when a friend, who had owned one of the previous 29-footers, sold her and bought a new "30." Since he launched her some two months ago, we've had a chance to test the "30" under all conditions—a flat calm, 50-knot squall with steep, short seas, in long rollers and just average winds and weather. We've loaded her down with as many as 10 persons and at other times have gone out alone.
The "30" soon proved her all-round ability and was especially solid in rough weather. Her round-bottom design with generous dead rise and a fine entrance punches through steep seas with little pounding.
We've never taken any solid water aboard, and wide flaring bows and efficient spray rails keep the "30" surprisingly free from spray. With wind abeam and in heavy seas she rolls as any powerboat will, but without the slightest feeling of top-heaviness.
But it's when she runs dead before a steep following sea that the "30" is exceptional. We've had her out in some big ones with never a tendency to broach and always able to steer easily even at slow speed. Twin rudders set immediately behind each screw are only part of the answer. Of greater importance is her hull design—typical of the sport cruisers based on the Jersey Coast which must be capable of making shelter through inlets barricaded by breaking seas.
The "30's" stern is quite broad—almost as broad as the maximum beam—and flat enough to take lots of horsepower, and her forefoot is deep enough to permit easy motion against a sea. However her control running downwind is proof that none of these characteristics has been carried too far.
With her twin screws and hydraulic clutch control her maneuverability at high speeds and also while docking or running through a crowded anchorage is excellent. And unlike the average cruiser the new Egg Harbor will not sail off to leeward when going dead slow across the wind. Her generous displacement (about 8,000 lbs.) and relatively deep hull are responsible.
Once her engine had been broken in we opened her up to test her speed. At full throttle the twin 115 hp Crown Chryslers turning at 3,000 rpm pushed her along at 25 mph—surprisingly good for a rugged, seaworthy boat. At 2,200 rpm she cruises quietly at 18 mph and can maintain this speed when some of her faster cousins would have to call it quits. The standard power plant is a pair of 95 hp Chrysler Aces, with which both cruising and top speeds are about three mph less. The extra cost for the two larger engines is $316, and in my opinion well worth it.
Both on seaworthiness and speed, especially sustained cruising speed, the Egg Harbor "30" rates tops. How about comfort? We've already mentioned her easy motion but now we're thinking of room. The self-bailing cockpit has plenty. Four deck chairs fit in nicely, or there's room enough for two fishing chairs. The freeboard aft is too high for best efficiency in boating a big fish, and the coamings high enough to cause some interference with a rod. For the occasional sport fishing most yachtsmen indulge in, however, she's way above the average stock cruiser, and to lessen freeboard would spoil her for average use.