385 Express Motoryacht — By Capt. Bill Pike
— December 2005
Part 2: Steering was sporty, visibility from the helm was excellent, and running attitudes were shallow and efficient.
Other possibilities presented themselves. In the aft starboard corner, within easy reach of my incliner, was a top-of-the-line entertainment center with a standard Sharp Aquos TV and an optional Sony Home Theater system. And forward on the port side, beyond the dinette, was a U-shape galley that was the equal of any other I’ve seen on a midrange motoryacht. “Better wring this puppy out soon,” I told DePouw. “If I get any more relaxed, I’ll never get up!”
We sea trialed the 385 on the Atlantic, just south of Lauderdale’s jetties. The experience was an eye-opener. While liveaboard comfort and roominess are characteristics that stand out dockside, speed’s the biggie offshore. Average top hop was 36.5 mph. When I dialed our 420-hp Volvo Penta 8.1 GXi gasoline inboards back to a 4,000-rpm fast cruise, we still got approximately 30 mph, 0.72 mpg, and a range of 192 statute miles. Not bad for gasoline propulsion, and optional diesels are likely to do even better.
I enjoyed my test drive. The ride in two- to three-foot seas was smooth and bone-dry. Steering was sporty, visibility from the helm was excellent, and running attitudes were shallow and efficient. In fact, the boat evinced no bow rise whatsoever up to and slightly beyond 2000 rpm, thanks to the effects of saddle-type fuel tanks amidships and the lift inherent in comparatively small prop pockets with reduced shaft angle. My only complaint was the way the split Teleflex Marine mechanical engine controls behaved while I was backing the 385 into her slip: They felt stiff and in need of adjustment.
Once we were tied up, it was déjà vu all over again. DePouw and I went back to the air-conditioned ambiance of the interior to check out the VIP forward, with its unusual double berth to port and single berth to starboard. The master, with its walk-around, semidiagonal queen, was aft, and the engine room, accessed via hatches in the saloon, was cooled by the frosty wafts prevailing there. Details included two large heads with roomy, separate stall showers; clean, schematic wiring and plumbing runs, and excellent access to the centerline genset in the ER.
I actually felt rested once I’d completed the test of the Cruisers 385 Express Motoryacht, to such an extent that I was able to ease on over to 15th Street Fisheries for stone crabs soon afterwards. DePouw went along, and as I remember, I promised not to tell his wife if he wouldn’t tell mine.
Cruisers Yachts ( (920) 834-2211. www.cruisersyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.