3275 Express — By Capt. Bill Pike—February 2002
|Part 2: Cruisers 3275 Express continued|
Major-league gutsiness results. For example, upon entering the interior of the test boat for the first time, I jumped with characteristic fervor from a step just a ways below the threshold of the companionway onto the sole of the saloon. The thunk that ensued was remarkable. In fact, I promptly jumped up and down a few times on the sole to confirm my initial impression. It felt like bedrock, an effect attributable to stringers and transversals that all belong to one big, integrated part ferociously bonded into the hull bottom and hull sides.
A slightly different sort of thunk signaled another example of gutsiness. During sea trials on the busy Intracoastal Waterway near Pompano, I launched the Express off the crests of a couple of three-foot motoryacht wakes, only to land with the same confidence-inspiring solid feeling my antics inside the boat had generated. Moreover, the top-of-the-line driving experience I enjoyed at the helm was further enhanced by a comfortable, extra-wide helmseat, with great visibility, smooth Teleflex hydraulic steering, a nicely laid-out gauge array, and a top speed of 43.5 mph--pretty sporty, given the small powerplants.
Only one complaint marred all this sweetness and light. The single-lever Volvo Penta engine controls for our twin 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi stern drives had two drive-trim toggles, both in a housing at the top of the port stick. A single toggle that activates both drives at once would have been more convenient--trying to thumb two separate toggles equally is a pain. Sure, separate drive adjustment is a necessary aspect of any savvy steering station, but give it the secondary priority it deserves: Put the dual toggles on the dashboard.
One more minor complaint surfaced as I checked out the Express dockside after the sea trial. Maintenance access to the optional air conditioning unit in the compartment under the companionway steps was difficult: It requires moving the sofa/bed and removing a panel secured with several screws. Cruisers says future models will have fast access for routine maintenance via a hinged portion of the companionway steps. Leaving this feature off the prototype was an oversight, the company says.
Otherwise, I came across a bunch of nifty features and details. In the engine room, highlights included massive engine mounts, the installation of ancillaries like the Bennett trim tab reservoir, the Johnson bilge pump, and the seawater strainer for the genset on beefy aluminum L-brackets, and an electrical system with top-shelf components (see the standard equipment list). Below decks, the decor seemed to benefit as much from Cruisers' advanced boatbuilding methods as it does from a nice fit and finish. Prior to the deck molding being joined to the hull with methacrylate, four separate all-glass modules--for the head, galley, V-berth, and settee area on the starboard side--are precisely bonded into the interior. Besides imparting additional strength and rigidity, the use of so much fiberglass makes for a clean, modern-looking, easy-to-care-for living space.
The base price for the Cruisers 3275 Express is $142,490, a reasonable figure that points up yet another virtue of the futuristic boatbuilding methods Cruisers is using these days--speedier, easier, and ultimately more cost-effective production. Just one more reason why this progressively built, nice-looking little cruiser with the big, practical midcabin, should sell like hot cakes.
Cruisers Yachts Phone: (920) 834-2211. Fax: (920) 834-2797. www.cruisersyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.