3470 Express — By Capt. Bill Pike
— November 2000
|With oversize equipage and a finish that won’t quit, the Cruisers 3470 Express is an appealing package.|
I love maritime jewelry. Not the shiny stuff that dangles from gold chains, but boats and yachts of a certain kind, small or large, that are so self-contained, so expertly designed and finished, that they have a gem-like quality. The Cruisers 3470 Express is an excellent example. Not only is this compact go-go-getter polished to a standard seldom seen in 30-something production cruisers these days, she’s so loaded with redundant features and thoughtfully installed equipment that she virtually sparkles.
I tested the 3470 at South Seas Plantation, a marina-equipped resort on the west coast of Florida with ready access to an archipelago of palm-shady islands, the perfect venue for showcasing a coastal cruiser intended for weekend outings and occasional longer trips. The first thing I picked up on during the test drive was the boat’s mannerly personality, as evidenced by her modest bow rise coming out of the hole and her tendency to plane quite easily and quickly. Both of these characteristics are related to an intelligent disbursement of furniture, equipment, and machinery weights, of course, but a more subtle factor is involved as well: a set of shallow propeller pockets that have just a smidgen of hook (or concavity) in them. The hook collects and momentarily confines prop turbulence, thereby generating lift at the stern, which in turn reduces bow rise and optimizes on-plane running angle.
The practicality of all this manifests in a couple of ways. First, driving while seated requires absolutely no rubbernecking. Second, the range of efficient, useful throttle settings is enhanced because out-of-the-hole struggle is confined to a comparatively narrow slice of the rpm register, more or less between 1500 and 2500 rpm. Of course, our test boat owed some of her poise to close-coupled V-drive inboards, a more weight-forward configuration than the stern-drive version of the 3470, which has engines virtually up against the transom.
Open-water handling on Pine Island Sound was excellent, although a near-flat sea state precluded any rough-and-tumble analysis. Tabs weren’t necessary and are presumably fitted for leveling in crosswinds and when loading is uneven. The instrument panel is an easy read, with large, open areas for flush-mounting electronics, and the double-wide helmseat is comfortable, thanks to fore-and-aft adjustment. Via a Teleflex SeaStar hydraulic steering system, turning was quick, although the stern-drive version with its steerable props is likely to turn quicker. I recorded a 37.2-mph two-way-average top speed, another aspect of the 3470’s performance that presumably would be quicker with stern drives, trimable lower units being more efficient than fixed props.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.