By Matt Spencer
Cuddies are a popular used boat option as they make excellent transition boats for those looking to move from day boating to overnighting. Although the 2010 Ebbtide 224 SE may not know if it’s a sportboat or a cuddy, it still works as either or both.
Chances are, you have not seen a lot of Ebbtides on the water, but that’s for a reason – the company believes in building better boats, not more boats. To this day, proper hand-laid fibreglass techniques are used on all their hulls for quality, strength and durability. When you look at the 224 SE, you can see this mantra carries over to the entire boat.
Some people hesitate to move up to a cuddy because they don’t want to lose the bow lounge. But if you can find one with a nice deck space, like this 224, you’re really not losing that much. The entrance to the berth can also sometimes block access to the bow deck, but on this Ebbtide steps are kept to the side. When you get up to the bow deck, you’ll find a convenient anchor locker and sturdy grab handles.
Overall, the 224 SE is a stylish boat with sleek, flowing lines from bow to stern and a simple, contemporary interior. Aft, this particular model has a moulded-in swim platform, as well as the optional extended platform. There’s wet line storage, along with a telescoping ladder. The sun lounge hinges up on the starboard side to reveal a full transom walk-through, where you’ll also find the batteries and switch.
The rear bench seat easily seats three adults and offers spacious storage underneath, while a pair of sporty bucket seats with flip-up bolsters reminds you the 224 is still a sport boat at heart.
Ebbtide didn’t overthink the helm on the 224 SE. There’s a single row of gauges, a single row of switches and a stereo right at hand. What more could you ask for?
Down below, the 224 has an impressive cuddy space. This is where cuddies are not all created equal, so you really have to do your research. Sometimes, it really just becomes a glorified storage space if it’s too small. This is not the case here, where not only is there quite a bit of headroom but also width. The Porta Potti is a convenient added feature as well. The cuddy space has also been kept in very good condition. Actually, it was hard not to be impressed with the overall condition of the cuddy on this four-year-old boat.
And when it came time to run the 224 SE, I was struck by how the boat looked like a tiger ready to pounce. And when I put the throttle down, that’s exactly what happened. The 260-horsepower, five-litre MerCruiser got the 224 SE up on plane in under four seconds and quickly jumped to 28 mph at just 3000 rpm. From here it was a quick climb to 41 mph at just 4000 rpm. The engine really flexed its muscles with a wide open throttle speed of 50 mph.
Turns were handled with ease. And, even in a bit of chop, the 224 performed extremely well, staying on track and holding speed. It certainly held up to Ebbtide’s mission to produce a hand-laid, quality boat.
The 224 SE is still a current model in the Ebbtide lineup and this 2010 model shows why. The cuddy is a good size for overnighting and the transom area is great for hanging out on the hook. If you’re in the used market for a cuddy but you still want performance, the Ebbtide 224 SE is going to give you the best of both worlds.
This boat is featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Boats&Places.