Smooth Criminal Page 2

EXCLUSIVE | Marlow Prowler Open 375 By Jeffrey Moser — June 2006

Smooth Criminal

The Prowler Open is a refined gentleman’s runabout with a scandalous past.

Jim Raycroft
 More of this Feature

• Prowler Open 375
• Prowler Open 375 Part 2
• Prowler Open 375 Specs
• Prowler Open 375 Deck Plan
• Prowler Open 375 Acceleration Curve
• Prowler Open 375 Photo Gallery

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• Boat Test Index

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• Marlow Marine

The originality continues below decks, where you won’t find a utilitarian head-stowage space or a spartan V-berth. Instead there are exquisite teak bulkheads and port-side galley cabinetry. Where many builders will use teak from varying sources, Marlow insists on buying entire trees, so that each interior is cut and planed from one source, ensuring an exact grain match. The saloon’s ideal for overnights or for relaxing while the fish aren’t biting: The V-berth that converts to a double with the addition of a cushion to the saloon’s teak dining table, 16,000-Btu air conditioning, and a Sharp 13-inch LCD TV help create a comfort zone here.

Innovative construction techniques also exemplify Marlow’s crooked-road inspirations. The 375 does not have a traditional stringer system: For construction purposes, the vessel utilizes a ring-frame system adapted from airplane fuselage combined with Marlow’s own RIVAT core-infusion process (see “Spotlight on Construction,” this story)that forms longitudinal I-beams within a tough, Kevlar and carbon fiber-reinforced sandwich.

I wanted to run her into a six-foot head sea at 35 mph to see how tough she really is, but conditions were dead-calm on Terra Ceia Bay; still, running her was a blast. “I think we got the hull right,” Marlow commented, and I have to agree. I put the 375 through a series of tight turns at WOT and weaved her through crab pots with ease, and at all speeds she tracked with straight-as-a-string authority. Bow rise never exceeded three degrees. The triple 250-hp Evinrude E-Tec two-strokes are a great match—the torquey powerplants had her out of the hole fast, hitting 40 mph in 15 seconds on her way to an average top hop of 45.5 mph. They’re also stingy: At a fast cruise of 36.8 mph at 4000 rpm, the 375’s are good for better than 1 mpg and a range of 459 miles. For those who prefer diesel power, twin inboards from Yanmar are also available up to 500 hp each.

After visiting with the man behind the superlative Prowler Open 375, I’m glad they march to a different drummer at Marlow Marine. I am also glad that Prohibition was overturned long ago. Otherwise, it wouldn’t take too much wrangling to get me aboard the 375 for a run to Cuba for some fine rum.

Marlow Marine (800) 362-2657.

Gear on Board >> Evinrude E-Tec

David Marlow chose Evinrude E-Tec two-stroke outboards for the Open 375 after attending a daylong, head-to-head competition that pitted them against a bevy of four-stroke powerplants. “They simply blew away the competition,” he adds.

Marlow says he was impressed with the engine’s low-end torque and lower weight, but it was other features that sealed the deal. Those include: no scheduled maintenance for three years, zero break-in period, and 30- to 75-percent less oil consumption compared to carbureted two-strokes. In addition, according to Evinrude, carbon monoxide emissions are 30 to 50 percent lower than a four-stoke of similar power.

Spotlight on | Construction

Construction of the Open 375 adheres to the cutting-edge methods used to build Marlow’s Explorer line of custom yachts. These include Nidacore honeycomb interior bulkheads, Kevlar- and carbon fiber-reinforced hulls, Core-Cell foam coring, and RIVAT, or Resin Infused Vacuum Assisted Transfer.

RIVAT is a proprietary infusion system that claims to take vacuum-bagging a step further. As with core infusion, channels are cut or drilled into core materials to improve resin flow. But what makes RIVAT different, says Marlow, is a near-perfect fiber-to-resin ratio and how the cured resin forms a series of tough, longitudinal I-beams, allowing Marlow’s hulls to be built without a conventional stringer system. RIVAT hulls are purportedly not only lighter than other hulls but also stiffer and stronger and need significantly less layup time. On top of all that, virtually no styrene is released during the process, earning Norsemen Shipbuilding a Green Environmental award from the International Superyacht Society.

Next page > Prowler Open 375: Specs > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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