Egg Harbor 33

By Jack Hornor

Revised by BoatUS editors in October 2012
Egg Harbor 33
Principal Dimensions & Specifications
Measurements should be considered approximate and the manufacturer’s specifications may be relied upon. Bow & stern appendages are generally excluded.
Length Overall33’
Maximum Beam13’ 2"
Maximum Draft2’ 5"
Displacement/Weight17,000 lbs
Fuel Capacity320 Gallons
Water Capacity50 Gallons
Speed Range18-28 Knots

Many years ago, my first summer job was scraping and painting the bottoms of boats in a marina nearby our home. I can't honestly say that this was the most fun job that I ever had, but it was my introduction to the marine business and to amuse myself I tried to learned to recognize the various boat makes and models from their hull shapes. There were a number of boat manufacturers around the Mullica River area of New Jersey whose models always had a strong family resemblance but it wasn't long before I could tell an Egg Harbor from a Pacemaker as well as I could spot as the difference between a 1961 Ford and 1961 Chevy.

In the future, hopefully there will much to be written and said about Egg Harbor's new models but, for now, I would like to take a look at one of the models that helped build Egg Harbor's reputation for finely crafted, tastefully finished and solidly built family cruisers and sport fishermen - the Egg Harbor 33.

Egg Harbor built two quite different 33' models between 1971 and 1989 and the two should not be confused. The first fiberglass boat ever built by Egg Harbor was introduced in 1971 as the Egg Harbor 33 and it remained in production until 1981. In 1982 the new Egg Harbor 33 was introduced. Although it shared the same length and beam of the old model, this was a completely new version and the hull form was quite different. It had a hard rather than rounded chine and nearly a 15-degree deadrise at the transom compared to around 5 degrees on the older version. Top end as well as cruising speeds were improved considerably by these design changes and some additional horsepower. So as to not cause confusion, I am going to confine this look to the post 1981 model.

The Egg Harbor 33 utilizes traditional fiberglass construction methods of hand-laid fiberglass cloths and plastic resins. According to the manufacturer, hulls are built with one layer of 1.5-ounce fiberglass cloth followed by five layers of Fabmat on the bottom and three layers of Fabmat on the sides. Fabmat is a material made from heavy 24-oz. woven fiberglass cloth and 1.5-oz. chopped strand fiberglass mat. The hull is strengthened by a grid of fiberglass stringers and frames that are foam filled. Aluminum plates are glassed into the stringers in the area of the engines for additional support and fastening. The hull and deck are joined at an external flange with 5200 sealant and 1/4" stainless steel machine screws on 3" centers. A plastic molding and stainless steel rub rail cover the joint. Time has shown the construction method of the 33 to be very sturdy.

The same 33' hull was used to produce three different variations of the model. They were the 33 Convertible, the 33 Tournament Fisherman and the 33 Express Fisherman. The Convertible and the Tournament were flybridge models with the helm seat further aft on the Tournament for a better view of the cockpit. Rather than having a flybridge, the Fisherman model was fitted with a small tower with steering and throttle controls. The Convertible was the most popular of the models.

The interior was offered with two basic arrangement plans that featured a galley up or galley down position. The galley up arrangement features the galley along the port side of the main saloon with an L-shaped couch that converts to a double berth along the starboard side.

Going forward and down three steps there is a double-bunk stateroom along the port side. The berths are upper and lower and are large enough for a single adult each. Opposite the stateroom is the head compartment with separate shower stall. The head is a bit tight but is about as good as could be expected on a 33 footer and still fit a separate shower.

Forward is the master stateroom that has two berths in the typical "V" configuration. A filler cushion was provided to convert to a large single berth. However, the only place to stand up, with the door closed, is between the berths and the filler becomes a rather impractical addition.

There are two hanging lockers, one in the port side and one in the forward stateroom. The port side locker is quite large and useful while the forward locker is oddly shaped, due to the hull configuration, and not much use. Generally storage is good throughout the vessel.

The galley down version sacrifices the port side double-bunk stateroom and moves the galley to this location. The arrangement opens up the saloon area and makes the boat seem considerably roomier at the sacrifice of two berths.

On deck the cockpit area is nearly 75 sq. ft. and is unobstructed for fishing or lounging. There is teak decking in the cockpit and teak cover boards on the coamings. There are no deck-mounted cleats in the cockpit area to interfere with fishing or to trip over. Going forward the side decks are narrow but there are good handholds for security. The foredeck is unobstructed except for a deck hatch. However, there is no non-skid finish except for about 15" at the deck edge. The smooth surface on this deck can be treacherous when wet. There is a bow pulpit (not included in the measured overall length) integral with the deck that allows for easy handling and storage of ground tackle.

The standard auxiliary power package of the 33 Egg Harbor was twin 350 horsepower Crusader marine engines with 2:1 reduction gears. With minimal passengers, gear, fuel and water aboard, cruising speed, with the standard power option, is about 26 knots with top end at about 32 knots. A more reasonable cruise speed, with full fuel and water and normal passengers and gear, would likely be nearer 22 knots. Both Caterpillar and Johnson & Tower diesel engines were offered as options on various models. The diesel engine option slowed the boat about two knots and added more than 50% to the initial cost. At this price, very few boats were sold with diesel engine options. In fact, my research for this article, found (19) 33' Eggs offered for sale in the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic seaboard. Of them only one was equipped with diesel engines.

At 17,000 lbs. this is a moderately heavy 33' boat. The displacement combined with 14.5 degrees deadrise and sound engineering combines to provide a solid feel, comfortable ride and responsive handling.

The Egg Harbor 33 was one of the most successful models ever built by the company and still today, more than 10 years after production ended, it remains a popular choice of used boat buyers in this size range.

The most popular version, the 33 Convertible, is so named not because its top retracts but for its dual-purpose role as a combination family cruiser/sport fisherman. It is well suited to family cruising with a cockpit large enough to keep the fishermen in the family happy. It should be an excellent choice for boaters looking to fill these needs in this size and price range.

Naval architect Jack Hornor was the principal surveyor and designer for Marine Survey & Design, Co., based in Annapolis, MD. He was on the boards of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, and the Society of Boat and Yacht Designers. He and his wife sailed their Catalina 42, Legacy, based on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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