Cruisers 5370 Express

Cruisers 5370 Express — By Capt. Bill Pike May 2001

Crème De La Crème
The Cruisers 5370 Express sets new standards for performance, engineering, and finish.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Cruisers 5370
• Part 2: Cruisers 5370 continued
• Cruisers 5370 Specs
• Cruisers 5370 Deck Plan
• Cruisers 5370 Acceleration Curve
• Cruisers 5370 Photo Gallery
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As luck would have it, test day for the new Cruisers 5370 Express featured the passage of a cold front over the St. Petersburg Cruisers dealership of Galati Yacht Sales. With northwest winds blowing a steady 25 mph and gusts honking even harder, Old Tampa Bay south of Gandy Bridge was a mess. Short, steep, confused seas were cresting around six feet, with occasional eight-footers rolling through. And the rain was cold and miserable enough to impart an apocalyptic feel to the whole gloomy scene.

“Great day to test a boat,” said Cruisers marketing director Don DePouw, wiping rain water off the end of his nose. I nodded a brief assent—it was indeed a humdinger—and pushed the Twin Disc electronic engine controls just a tad further forward. Then using a waterproof rubber touchpad containing most of the dashboard switchery, I retracted the tabs via a datalink with a computer hidden in the saloon. Following seas, tabs up.

What a ride! The tachs soon juddered at 2000 rpm while the speed readout on the Northstar 962 danced between 33 and 34 mph. Like a heat-seeking missile, the bow targeted a big suction dredge anchored way out in Tampa Bay and held steady. With my right hand on the Twin Discs and my left on the wheel, I glanced to the side for a moment, catching the rapidity with which the seas were disappearing into history. The smoothness of the transit was impressive, as was its true-tracking nature.

Drawing abeam of MacDill Air Force Base to port, I put the boat into a long, broad turn, tightening it gradually as everyone clung to rails and handholds. The experience was gratifying on two counts. First, although the 5370 ultimately described a tight, high-speed corkscrew under deplorable sea conditions, not a soul onboard got soused. In fact, except for the rain pouring down and what little spray blasted the windshield, virtually no water came aboard. Second, the sweeping ease of the maneuver not only provided me the joy I normally get from top-shelf performance, but it also showcased a few top-shelf elements of design and engineering.

The steering system, for example. The 5370’s helm is energized with both Teleflex Sea-Star hydraulics and a Vickers power-assist pump running off the port main. Trust me, the combined oomph of these two systems engenders all sorts of nifty characteristics, among them fingertip wheel control (four measly turns lock-to-lock) and a sense of driving empowerment that verges on the poetic.

Then there’s hull form. While the essentials of the 5370’s modified-V running surface are conventional, savvy peripheral details push performance into the realm of the extraordinary. Chief among these is a triangular keel that runs two thirds of the LOA, with a maximum depth of about nine inches and a width of just under two inches. Proportioned to impart superb directionality, the keel also has no effect whatsoever on the boat’s agility in turns.

Next page > Cruisers 5370 continued > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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