The dual console category is white hot, and the 26-28 foot size range is right in the sweet spot for what many boaters are looking for in the crossover line. With the widespread popularity of outboard motors and the increased willingness of consumers to look beyond the standard center console, dual console boats continue to gain quite a bit of attention in Florida waters.
The EdgeWater 262cx, the Boston Whaler 270 Vantage and the Grady White Freedom 285 are three dual console models commonly compared by boaters looking for a well built, versatile day boat. At initial glance, each of these models have a number of similarities. Like most dual consoles, these boats contain a cockpit built for versatility: either wide open for fishing or with utilized fold-down, adjustable seating for your guests. Moreover, these boats offer comfortable seating in the bow, plenty of shade under the hard top and hulls capable of dealing with rougher seas when compared to a typical bowrider.
The layouts for each of these models are similar: Nice forward seating in the bow, a quality helm station, a fold-down bench at the transom and portside passenger seating that can adjust in various ways.
But experienced boaters know that it’s often the little things that boat manufacturers anticipate and build into their models that can make boat ownership go from good to great. It’s the details that we think make the EdgeWater 262cx shine even when compared to other quality boats such as the Boston Whaler 270 Vantage and the Grady White Freedom 285.
The first distinctive element worth discussing is perhaps not so little. Upon examining the boat in person, many prospective buyers often immediately remark about the starboard side dive door present on the EdgeWater 262cx (and not available on the 270 Vantage or Freedom 285). Whether you’re dockside or swimming at the sandbar, the side entryway is a very nice feature much appreciated by all owners - and typically not found on dual consoles in this size range. The removable ladder is also a nice touch.
Like all EdgeWater boats, the company nails the smaller details on the 262cx. We love the double helm seat with its combination of function and comfort, but additionally, because the double helm seat is wider than many seats at the helm, the walkthrough on the 262cx is offset slightly. This results in two interesting design ramifications. First, the starboard side head is extremely large and roomy. Second, because of the narrow, but deep shape of the portside storage, this storage compartment is extremely useful. It’s perfect for longer objects such as fishing rods, wakeboards, dive tanks and more. Its single latch makes it super easy to use. When you're reading reviews of the 262cx, it's not uncommon to hear efusive praise about this versatile portside storage compartment.
The storage under the bow seating is also worth mentioning. Unlike most models, opening the storage is just a simple latch and doesn’t require undoing the cushions. While perhaps unremarkable at first glance, families with kids’ appreciate will love the convenient, one-step process to getting things in and out of the bow storage.
The Freedom 285 features a powered, adjustable portside seating enabling the passanger seat to convert to a lounge seat or bench. The EdgeWater 262cx and 270 Vantage both offer similar versatility but require manual adjustment. While the power-adjusted portside seating is a fun feature to showcase on a showroom floor or at a boat show, we typically prefer the ruggedly-dependable manually adjusted seating on the 262cx and 270 Vantage. Over the course of many outings on salt water, fewer moving parts - especially with respect to seating - is just what we prefer.
Lastly, with respect to layout and amenities, comparing these boats in person is crucial. When size, performance and major features are similar, it’s often the fit and finish that can help make that final decision. As mentioned earlier, many times when buyers visit the 262cx in person, the presence of the side dive door often clinches the decision when other variables are relatively equal. Interested in seeing the EdgeWater 262cx in person yourself? Contact our team today to schedule a showing.
How do these models compare with respect to power and fuel efficiency? The EdgeWater 262cx and the Boston Whaler 270 Vantage come standard with twin 200-hp outboards while the Grady White Freedom 285 comes with twin 250’s. While maximizing horsepower is normal for center console owners, many dual console buyers value fuel efficiency over other performance metrics and here again, the EdgeWater 262cx shines. The 262cx runs incredibly well with the twin 200s and scores better efficiency marks compared to the Freedom 285’s twin 250s.
While the Freedom 285’s is cruising at its optimum speed of 30MPH at 3500 RPM, it achieves 1.83 MPG. Comparatively, the EdgeWater 262cx burns 2.12 MPG at 31 MPH (4000 RPM) or 2.16 MPG at 24MPH (3500 RPM). The Boston Whaler 270 Vantage also scores well with 2.59 MPG at a speed of 25.6 MPH (3250 RPM) or 2.58 MPG at 29.3 MPH (3500 RPM).
The EdgeWater 262cx weighs approximately 5,750 lbs, and the 270 Vantage carries a light 5,200 pounds with no engines. The larger Freedom 285 comes in at 6,220 pounds.
EdgeWater’s reputation as a high quality boat builder is known throughout the industry. While Grady White and Boston Whaler also indeed make quality boats, EdgeWater’s Single Piece Infusion build process is often recognized as an industry-leading process for creating incredibly strong, unsinkable structures that both maximize strength and fuel efficiency.
Do you have a question about dual console boats or about the comparison between the EdgeWater 262cx, the Boston Whaler 270 Vantage and the Grady White Freedom 285? Our team is ready to help answer your boating questions. Contact us today.