408 Motoryacht — By Capt. Ken Kreisler
— May 2003
A Case For Space
|Roominess and comfort abound aboard a new aft-cabin cruiser from a new boat company.|
Maximizing room and comfort aboard is a daunting task for designers and builders. Big boats obviously have big space to work with, but when you get down around 40 feet, just a few feet--and in some cases even inches--can make a world of difference. So just how much space can you build into a 40-foot aft-cabin cruiser? In the case of Meridian's 408, the answer is plenty.
The 408 is the first really new model from newly created (last summer) Meridian Yachts, part of the Brunswick Boat Group, which includes such familiar brands as Sea Ray and Bayliner. With relatives like those, buyers are bound to expect generous helpings of room and comfort, and they won't be disappointed.
Take the galley-down setup, for example. Here I found lots of workspace for food preparation atop the Karadon counters, along with enough cabinet and drawer stowage for a week's worth of stores. Standard appliances include a three-burner stovetop, Sharp microwave, Princess convection oven, and Norcold refrigerator/freezer. The sole is Pergo, a laminate that looks like wood and is both durable and easy to maintain. However, it was the headroom here that most impressed me and made the area seem larger than it is. I measured eight and a half feet from sole to overhead.
Another nice touch that illustrates the judicious use of space aboard is the optional Splendide combo washer/dryer that's neatly tucked in a compartment under the steps that lead from the saloon to the galley. The steps lift easily via a gas-assisted ram, and a pair of lights in the compartment illuminates the interior space.
It doesn't stop there. The saloon, with 6'8" of headroom, has large, two-tiered windows on both sides to make the room light and airy. The Mirage leather couch to port is actually a trio of reclining sectionals, and as I found out, a gentle tug on a leather strap on each effortlessly transforms it into a comfortable lounger.
A J-shape couch to port, which has stowage beneath it and also converts to a berth, provides additional seating. A hi-lo coffee table adjoins it. Additional stowage areas include a pair of end tables and, on the end of the aft-most recliner, a slide-out cabinet for holding magazines or books. An entertainment center is aft and to port and features both a Sony 24-inch TV and DVD player.
The two-stateroom, two-head layout also exemplifies a good combination of space and comfort. The forepeak has a centerline queen berth with stowage in three drawers in the berth's base and two closets. My test boat also had the optional 13-inch TV and DVD installed here. There's an entrance to the day head from these quarters--there's also one opposite the galley--and a large hatch overhead with screen and blackout slide provides light and air to the sleeping space.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.