3470 Express — By Capt. Bill Pike — November 2000
|Part 2: Cruisers 3470 Express continued|
While the 3470’s impeccable waterborne deportment was a source of fast-planing, turn-carving joy, it was when I examined the boat back at the marina that I discovered that much of the standard ancillary equipment is either oversize or redundant. For example, in the machinery spaces (accessed via a heavy, gas-assisted cockpit hatch), there’s a veritable monster of a fire-extinguishing cylinder, a fixed unit from Fireboy with a 450-cubic-foot capacity, way more than my 300-cubic-foot estimate of the area’s volume. Also here is the lion’s share of an electrical system that’s loaded with beef, reliability, and backup. Its essence is an Inteli-Power battery charger from Progressive Dynamics, a new breed of "smart charger" that uses a microprocessor to complexly, completely, and constantly monitor and maintain battery health. A Sure Power Industries battery isolator throws even more versatility into the mix by allowing for simultaneous charging of the two cranking batteries and the single house battery without back-feeding the system and frying alternator diodes. Three battery switches, instead of the common single "Off-1-Both-2" unit, complete the sophisticated scenario. Separate starter, house, and battery paralleling circuitry seamlessly obviates switching mistakes and the dead batteries that result.
The way most equipment is installed on the 3470 is as compelling as the equipment’s size and abundance. Consider the 2,000-gph Rule bilge pump in the machinery spaces. Bolted onto the foot of a deep steel bracket attached at floor level, it can be easily removed for cleaning and repair by simply extracting a few screws and pulling some quick-disconnects in the waterproof wiring harness. Consider also the Maxwell windlass, a back-saving option. It’s recessed in a pan molded into the foredeck and covered by a flush-mounted, tight-fitting hatch, and its underbody is gasket-sealed so motor windings and wiring connections beneath are protected from water.
An array of layout choices and a crisp, clean finish characterize the 3470’s interior. While the curved settee/table ensemble in the starboard-side dinette area of our test boat was comfortable as well as fashionable, thanks to an optional, expertly joined, natural-cherry package, another configuration is available, with a rectangular, athwartship table and opposed bench seats. In the midcabin, there’s a standard double berth, with an optional convertible U-shape settee. With either version, an extra-large entry with stand-up vestibule and curtain expedites dressing and undressing in comfort and privacy.
The forward stateroom, which has a big diagonal double berth, can be either curtained off or fitted with a bulkhead for privacy. A Panasonic TV on a turntable above the dinette spins to face either the forward berth or the rest of the interior. And the head, which offers a large stand-up shower stall as well as an equally large sink/MSD area, virtually guarantees ease of upkeep thanks to the two smooth fiberglass units that comprise it. The upper module fits snugly and almost seamlessly into a lower receiver that’s part of a complex inner liner stretching from firewall to anchor-locker bulkhead.
That liner adds rigidity to the boat. Formed with a wide perimeter flange and cored on the bottom with Baltek AL-600/10 polymer-coated balsa, it is uni-bonded with 3M 5200 to the inner surfaces of the hull sides and transom, all the way around, as well as to the tops of the glass-encapsulated marine-ply stringers and transversals. The 3470’s hull and deck are also cored with AL-600/10 and fastened together with 3M 5200. Fade-resistant ISO-NPG gelcoat as well as general-purpose resins are used in most laminates, although an osmosis-resistant barrier coat laid up with expensive vinylester resin is used by Cruisers below the waterline.
During most boat tests I do, I encounter a few features that are worth grousing about, and this one was no different. For example, while I found that access to the optional genset in the machinery spaces was excellent, access to the water heater nearby was poor. Also, I suspect the presence of a whirring air handler hard by the midcabin will evoke roars instead of snores from any light snoozers. Regardless of these faults, though, my overall opinion of the boat was more in keeping with the dazzling facets of the sunset I saw while driving away at the end of the day than anything else.
A jewel of a sunset after a jewel of a boat test. Pretty appropriate, I’d say.
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.