There’s lots to like about Cutwater’s salty little fleet. Each model is totally ready to rock once it departs the plant in Washington state. Each model is trailerable and comparatively affordable, especially when you consider the lengthy standard equipment list and the price tags hanging from the bowrails of competing vessels. But what about performance?
Let’s just say that speed has never been a Cutwater trademark. But things are changing at the company—or indeed they’ve already changed. By drawing upon the knowledge he’s developed over years working with stepped hulls, Cutwater’s Lead Designer Dave Livingston has just introduced a veritable speedboat to the market, the Cutwater 302 Sport Coupe.
We’re talking an entirely new running surface here. Instead of the single step that energized the inboard-powered C-30 Sedan, the 302 has two. Moreover, she’s also got “Laminar Flow Interrupters” at the bow (more about this in a moment), and, instead of a single 435-horsepower Volvo Penta D6 under the cockpit sole, there are twin 300-horsepower Yamaha outboards abaft her transom.
“She’s fast,” says Cutwater marketing rep Sam Bisset. “We’ve had her well over 50 mph in testing.”
Although the 302’s outfitting is similar to the C-30’s, there are some differences. To facilitate reasonable range numbers given the increased horsepower and reduced fuel efficiency of the outboards, Livingston has virtually doubled the size of the fuel tank, which occupies under-cockpit space that would otherwise be devoted to inboard power. In addition, he nixed the fore-and-aft-facing convertible seating at the transom in favor of a livewell/sink/cutting-board arrangement with a drop-in electric grill. And, to further capitalize on the absence of an inboard engine, he’s added fishboxes to the cockpit sole.
The Laminar Flow Interrupters? Convex hullside surfaces at the bow of a high-speed boat sometimes fall prey to stability-robbing suction as the boat leans into fast, sharp turns—this engenders even more leaning and negatively impacts stability and steering. Strategically placed, suction-breaking “ridges” or “troughs” at the 302’s bow obviate the tendency, says Livingston, who’s not only patented the feature, but come up with a very descriptive term for it.
One last thing: The base price for the Luxury Edition of the new Cutwater 302 Sport Coupe is exactly the same as the base price of the Luxury Edition of the C-30: $299,937. I’m looking to spending more time aboard the 302 soon.
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the images:
This article originally appeared in the February 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.