Cruisers 4050 Express MY — By George L. Petrie — October 2002
Having It Your Way
|Part 2: The biggest surprise, however, was the size of the two staterooms.|
One thing that impressed me about the 4050 was her clean, uncluttered deck surfaces. For example, an articulated boarding ladder stows neatly beneath a small hatch in the swim platform, and there's a large stowage area for fenders and lines through another hatch in the platform. Connections for shore power, cable TV, and phone jacks are in a compartment beneath the steps to the bridge deck. Forward, the optional foredeck sunpads are recessed, and her Maxwell windlass is even mounted beneath a hatch to eliminate a possible trip hazard.
From a gull's-eye view, you might easily mistake the layout of the 4050 for an express cruiser. But below deck, her interior is unmistakably aft cabin. Big upper and lower side windows in the saloon let guests enjoy the view whether they're standing or seated. A port-side L-shape sofa/sleeper is standard, but I was intrigued to learn that double recliners are an option. Opposite, the fully equipped galley boasts double stainless steel sinks, an 8.5-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer, two-burner stove, and built-in microwave. There's abundant stowage, and overhead cabinets are suspended, allowing a pass-through to the adjoining dinette.
The biggest surprise, however, was the size of the two staterooms, each larger than one might expect on any 40-footer. The 6'6" x 4'10" queen berth in the guest stateroom is as big as you'd find in the master on many express cruisers, and the aft master stateroom, with a similarly sized berth, has stowage that would rival a shore-side condominium. I counted at least a dozen large cabinets plus a full-size cedar hanging locker and four large drawers. There are even big stowage bins beneath the berths in both the master and guest staterooms.
With all her interior volume, it was hard to fathom that this motoryacht would be capable of express cruiser speeds. It was time to hook up our test gear and find out. Easing out into Green Bay, we shoved the throttles forward, and I watched the radar gun as the twin 425-hp MerCruiser V-8s pushed us to a speed of nearly 36 mph. Typical of big gasoline-powered boats, she was a bit sluggish from 2500 to 3500 rpm, but once on plane she was responsive. You do need to plan ahead, however, because at speed the 4050 has a turning radius that seems bigger than a football field. She banks nicely but needs lots of territory, and while she's turning, her underwater exhausts tend to ventilate, causing no harm but producing a disconcerting change in her sound level.
A few weeks later, during Cruisers' annual dealer meeting in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, I was able to test a sistership powered by a pair of 420-hp Caterpillar diesels. With greater low-end torque, the diesels got the hull out of the hole about three seconds quicker than the gasoline engines, but with those diesels adding some 3,500 pounds (more than ten percent), top speed was reduced by the same percentage, to about 321⁄2 knots.
Top speed is only part of the story, though. Big diesel engines cruise easily at 90 percent of full rpm, which on the 4050 translates to about 30 mph while burning around 38 gph. Gasoline engines, on the other hand, are better suited for cruising at about 75 percent of maximum rpm, in this case delivering 23 mph at 3600 rpm and still using about 38 gph. By comparison, at 23 mph the Cats would burn just 29 gph.
Regardless of power, I found the 4050's engine access to be excellent, although since it's through a large hatch in the saloon sole, potentially inconvenient. Wiring was neatly run and labeled, and all systems were readily accessible, thanks to more than a foot of clearance around each side of the engines.
I was equally impressed by the 4050's structure: two hefty longitudinal stringers flank her centerline, a second pair runs outboard of the engines, and a third pair extends along the inboard edges of her aluminum fuel tanks. Her hull bottom, sides, decks, and superstructure are cored with balsa.
Multipurpose boats often end up doing nothing well, but the 4050 Express Motoryacht fulfills her promise, and she's well constructed to boot. So you may not have to choose between an express cruiser and a motoryacht after all. If the 4050 fulfills your needs, all you'll have to decide is, will it be gasoline or diesel?
Cruisers Yachts Phone: (920) 834-2211. Fax: (920) 834-2797. www.cruisersyachts.com.
George L. Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at Webb Institute and provides maritime consulting services. His Web site is www.maritimeanalysis.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.