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BOATS

BOAT TESTS

Maxum 3700 SY

I’m all for skin treatments like facials, but I’d rather have them courtesy of relaxing experiences at a spa than the continuous pelting of horizontal rain at the helm.

Actually, it felt more like I was being sandblasted. I was steadily pushing the throttles forward on the Maxum 3700 Sport Yacht (SY), getting a sense for how she handled the two- to four-footers stirred up by heavy traffic, when suddenly my baseball cap blew off my head. As if it weren’t bad enough that my mop of hair was now unleashed and blowing into my eyes, the dismal skies over Miami chose that very instant to open up—sideways—straight into my face. Even when I throttled back as I approached the Sealine Marina, I was squinting so hard that anyone taking a quick look at me probably would have wondered why I was driving with my eyes shut.

Now, here’s the part where you’d probably expect me to expand on how I was having an utterly miserable day. But the truth is, a smile was creeping across my face. Because driving this boat was, well, fun. The 3700 SY had responded well throughout the rpm range, and even when we encountered wakes, she handled them with aplomb, surfing down them and righting quickly. She also didn’t pound or slap, and the stinging salt spray I’d been bombarded with hadn’t been generated by her hull but solely by Mother Nature.

While I was grateful she wasn’t breaking my back, if I’d been a buyer, I’d have been equally grateful that this cruiser wasn’t breaking the backs of my friends, either. For it’s apparent the minute you see this 37-footer that she’s set up to allow a pack of people to enjoy a long day’s cruise or even a couple of days bay-hopping without, well, packing ‘em in like sardines.

For example, while I enjoy boating with my Dad—just father and daughter—at my parents’ winter home in Punta Gorda, Florida, I have the most fun when we go out with a few of his neighbors in tow. (Sorry, Dad.) If you prefer this approach when you venture forth, you’ll appreciate that the 3700 lets three friends join you at the helm, thanks to the double helm seat and port-side benchseat. Not enough for you? No worries, a big, U-shape lounge immediately aft in the cockpit provides space for a handful more of the gang.

And if your friends decide they’d rather stretch out and laze in the sun, the 3700’s optional sun package addresses that need. Lower the table accompanying the cockpit lounge, and the area transforms into a sunpad. An additional pad for the foredeck comes with the same package, and there are wisely placed grabrails to each side to keep sunbathers anchored. Regardless of who’s where, the open layout means no one will be sitting (or laying) atop the other.

The 3700 SY’s interior is open as well—particularly important considering as many as six can stay aboard. There are two cabins: the master forward, equipped with a queen-size island berth, plus a midcabin, also outfitted with a queen berth. To accommodate an extra couple, the L-shape lounge in the saloon/dinette also converts to a sleeping space. Personally, I’d forego inviting the additional couple, as everyone would have to share the single head, which is tucked aft to port and equipped with a sink and separate shower.

I was pleased to see that slumberers in the staterooms are guaranteed privacy, however. Pocket doors in the master stateroom’s entryway do the trick there, while a privacy curtain hangs in the midcabin. Even with the curtain open, all that’s visible from the midcabin’s entrance (to starboard) is the L-shape lounge, directly across from the foot of the berth.

Whether you and your guests are in need of a strong cup of coffee after a good night’s sleep or feel like popping into the dinette/galley area during the day for a quick snack, you’ll appreciate seeing the usual assortment of appliances. The under-counter refrigerator and freezer to port are faced with the same maple wood as the cabinets, themselves equipped with positive latches to prevent errant spills of stores. Quick reheats get taken care of by the microwave, which is tucked into a cubby above the refrigerator and freezer. Interestingly, the cooktop to starboard is situated with the two burners fore to aft. As for those caffeinated pick-me-ups, a coffee maker is tucked into another cubby further to starboard, directly above the sink. There’s enough elbowroom for one person to stand in the galley while another person passes behind, and the 6'3" headroom I measured accentuates the roomy feel.

Speaking of feel, the 3700 SY felt solid in the variety of runs I performed. As I explained above, she didn’t pound or slap in the sloppy conditions, and optional twin 370-hp MerCruiser 8.1L MPI stern drives accelerated her smoothly to a top speed just shy of 38 mph at 4200 rpm. (The MerCruisers are housed below a cockpit hatch, but I’d prefer to see the optional, $500 electric/hydraulic lift for it become standard. Regardless, there’s good access to both sides of either engine.) Her Teleflex hydraulic steering was responsive at all speeds, and I especially appreciated the tilt wheel. I’m not exactly what you’d call an average-size person (I stand 5'2"), and though I had to stand to see better, I must admit the helm benchseat is positioned so that most adult drivers will have good sightlines. The seat also flips up to become a bolster, should you prefer to drive while standing.

As you might expect of a mainstream builder, Maxum employs relatively conventional construction methods in the 3700: hand-laid fiberglass with Core-Max coring, glassed-in bulkheads, vinylester hull skincoat, and effective nonskid decks (and yes, they remained so even with the rain). There’s also a limited yet transferable, five-year structural warranty for the hull and deck.

Yes, when it comes to boating, I’m definitely a grab-the-gang kind of girl. The 3700 SY left me with the distinct impression she’ll appeal to people like me, those who want to make sure their guests aren’t wedged into their seats while they enjoy the wind in their hair.

Which reminds me: I’m overdue for another spa appointment...

Maxum
(800) 824-2422

This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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