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INTERVIEW: Stephen Dougherty On The New 355T
Posted: 15-Oct-12
Kathy Enzerink
Stephen Dougherty has been fishing and tinkering since he was old enough to stand. As a youngster, he took things apart and put them back together, played with wires and asked his dad how everything with moving parts worked. So it is no wonder, as president of Everglades Boats, he is the design visionary and innovative brain behind each and every one of their 17 models.

Known for building luxury family fishing boats, Everglades Boats recently introduced their first tournament design, the 355T. (Editor's note: The new boat is featured on our front cover this month.) "All our boats are worthy of fishing tournaments," Dougherty said. "The 355T has a little more of a tournament-specific design."

Starting with the popular and well-established 35-foot hull, Stephen completely redesigned every detail from the hull up. Fifty new molds were made for the center console "T" design including the deck, hatch covers and work station.

According to Dougherty, the center of gravity moves between the cuddy cabin, center-console and second station designs, so a great deal of effort is put into designing the hull to allow for the variations. "We continue to retool as we learn," he said.

All Everglades Boats hulls are designed by Stephen's father, CEO Bob Dougherty. The senior Dougherty invented and patented the Rapid Molded Core Assembly Process, or RAMCAP, which allows the fiberglass skins to be assembled around pre-molded foam, making it light weight and durable. This is unlike the traditional process of injecting the foam core between the hull and the deck.

"Ours is the best process in the world to manufacture a hull," Stephen said, referring to RAMCAP. "A properly built hull is where everything starts. I've been criticized for building new boats without building a new hull design. It's like when Mercedes builds a new car - they don't build new tires."

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