Meridian All-New 341 Sedan Bridge — By Capt. Bill Pike
Look Ma, Two Thrusters!
Part 2: Cornering was good, with no hooked chines, hopping in extreme turns, or other disconcerting surprises. And tracking was steady.
The boat performs offshore just as nicely as she does dockside. I did my open-water testing on Skagit Bay, where a light rain was falling on a dark, fog-bound washboard of two-foot seas. Despite the dreariness, I had a blast. Top speed was rousing: 30.3 mph. Acceleration was smooth and sporty, with no stalls or soft spots in the test curve. Cornering was good, with no hooked chines, hopping in extreme turns, or other disconcerting surprises. And tracking was steady.
Moreover, visibility from the helm was superb, all the way around. Faria gauges are sensibly set up for easy, at-a-glance reading, and the Bennett tab indicators proved useful, although I didn’t bother with them for anything but cross-wind correction. After the trial, I returned the test boat to a slip in LaConner using the engines only—look, Ma, no thrusters, and big bows protruding from across the fairway! It was the ease with which I accomplished the maneuver that set me to reminiscing about my struggles in Connecticut. If only I’d had a 341 to drive back then.
Despite chilly temperatures outside, the reverse-cycle Marine Air air-conditioning system did a cozy job of warming up the test’s interior. There’s a beamy master forward, a voluminous guest amidships (separated by a port-side head with large, separate shower stall), a split galley to port on either side of the companionway that leads below decks, and a stretch-out-and-relax saloon all the way aft. Finish on the cherry joinery throughout is good, and the creature-comfort quotient is high.
Construction and engineering details are equally solid. The hull-to-deck joint’s secured with Bostic urethane adhesive as well as stainless steel bolts. Lamination is conventionally done with a vinylester barrier on the hull and a limited ten-year warranty on the hull and the deck. Access is excellent to both the engine room (via hatches in the saloon sole) and the lazarette (via hatches in the cockpit). Noteworthy particulars in the latter include a profusion of six batteries and a BEP smart-charging system that, among other things, nixes chances of draining the starting batteries, which are isolated from nonstart functions as long as the system maintains 12.8 volts or more.
A user-friendly feature? Yes, and totally synched with the underlying theme, too. Take it from a guy who knows—Meridian’s All-New 341 Sedan Bridge makes everything easy, especially for the skipper who’s a bit nervous about moving up to a midrange cruiser.
Meridian Yachts ( (866) 992-2487. www.meridian-yachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.