3 FISHING MACHINES WITH CREATURE COMFORT: Egg Harbor 48, Jersey 48, and Post 42.

When it comes to luxury interiors, these custom-care traditionalists from the Garden State are in the business of wish-fulfillment.

EGG HARBOR 48

Any true map of America’s boating origins should have several prominent push-pins jabbed along the eastern edge of New Jersey to mark the yards that built the first Jersey sea skiffs - hardy little commercial fishing craft that were rowed out through the surf. They date back to the early years of the last century when fishing villages dotted the coastline.

Today's New Jersey fishing boats are a far cry from the box-keeled skiffs in the history books. But the blood lines are there. The tradition of rugged, ready-to-rumble sturdiness still prevails - inspired, no doubt, by the area's rough coastal conditions. lf a boat can stand the test of sportfishing off Jersey, it can hold its own anywhere.

Little wonder, then, that the men who build sportfishing boats in New Jersey are proud of this heritage - especially men like Phil Boyd who still take close-to-custom care in the construction of every hull. Phil Boyd builds “Sedan Cruisers" and “Tournament Fishermen" in five sizes from 33 to 48 feet. He also builds motor yachts. And the name that goes on all of them places them in the mainstream of the New Jersey tradition - Egg Harbor.

The first Egg Harbor sea skiffs - which appeared almost 40 years ago - were trend-setting boats. They combined impeccable workmanship with a simple, practical design and admirable sea-keeping ability. Above all, they were rugged.

And they still are. But, oh! . . . such opulent ruggedness. At the top of the Egg Harbor Sedan/Sportfisherman line for I982 is the 48-foot Golden Egg - an uncompromising boat for purists who appreciate craftsmanship and who want to cruise and fish in style. The Golden Egg comes about as close to being a custom boat as can be found in today's production market. She’s a treasure chest of hand-crafted features.

While the Golden Egg is available in three basic interior configurations, the possible combinations of fabrics, furniture and colors are virtually limitless.

Since taking over as president of Egg Harbor, Phil Boyd has remained committed to offering a boat which a buyer can design as he pleases. To say that the Golden Egg offers a wide range of interior configurations is an understatement. There's a radical forward stateroom lay-out fit for Hugh Hefner. One recent customer's concept called for blue suede headliners and track lighting.

If the interiors of modern sportfishing boats are meant to rival one's living room at home - as a quick look around the industry will confirm - then why not let the owner in on the planning? Semi-custom firms like Egg Harbor can accommodate almost any whim. As such, they are fun to do business with. “Eggs" are built from the inside — that is, carpenters, not modular units, go in and create the look you're after.

The Golden Egg‘s “standard” list leaves little room for options. The saloon is equipped with AM/FM stereo, color TV, carpeting, convertible sofa, lined and pleated drapes and a wet bar with icemaker - all top quality. Master staterooms have full length mirrors, hanging lockers with mildew lights and five-inch foam mattresses. Heads have electric toilets, exhaust fans and stall showers. A microwave is standard galley gear. Four-zone reverse cycle air conditioning, Duplex service throughout, stainless steel shafts, cockpit lockers, teak cockpit sole and covering boards, tinted safety glass, hydraulic steering, solid mahogany bulkheads and cabinetry — these are basics.

“We try to put only tried and proven techniques and components into our boats," says Boyd. “There is absolutely no compromise in the quality of the materials or the attention to detail, from the glasswork to the fabrics. The efficient hull and engine configuration - which is the result of many years of experience - makes the Golden Egg a particularly lively boat with a soft, dry ride. Our limited schedule assures a buyer that every effort has been made to give him the finest product."

ln the pre-fiberglass era, Egg Harbor built its reputation on roundbilged, keeled hulls. A look beneath the waterlines of today’s Eggs reveals a hard-chimed, modified-V design. The 48’s hull is one-piece, hand-laid fiberglass internally reinforced with longitudinal stringers fiberglassed in place. Her classic topside lines are lean and low with subtle reverse sheer, sharp entry and graceful flare. Twin GM 8V-92TIs deliver over 1,100 horsepower and close to 25 knots at 2,000 rpm.

The Golden Egg will get you to the fish on time. And, once there – whether it be the Canyon or the Cays – she’s formidably equipped for big game action. The low freeboard and gunwale height of the spacious cockpit are immediate tip-offs that the folks at Egg Harbor have done some serious fishing. The flying bridge helm positioning is excellent, as is the instrument grouping. Outriggers, mahogany overhead rodholders, circulating live bait sell, cockpit control station and tackle cabinet with sink are all available. So is the gin pole – but, as the saloon is raised two full steps above the cockpit sole, the Golden Egg can just back down and welcome a billfish in the transom door.

The bottom line on the boat is sturdy elegance. For all the opulence of the designer décor and interior appointments, and for all the brawny machinery that makes her go, everything about the Golden Egg is wonderfully understated, giving an overall impression of dignity and self-confidence. The teak toe rail, teak window molding and teak flying bridge from are in tasteful proportions which make one stop and mutter, “That’s class.”