Last year, I reviewed a couple of Cruisers Yachts for Silver Seas Yachts and was more than pleased to be told that in December I again would have the opportunity to step foot on two other Cruisers Yachts: the new 2014 430 Sports Coupe and the 48 Cantius. Who would have guessed that the weather would still be nice in early December?
As usual, Ty Mellott was to be the photographer while I had to put in all the work of running the boats, and we had both the 430 SC and 48 Cantius at our disposal. Just one hitch in the plan: Silver Seas sold both of these boats just before our scheduled sea trials, but, fortunately, both new owners agreed to let us use their brand new boats for our review.
Ty and I planned to meet George Lang, the proud new owner of the 430 SC, at the Loch Lomond Marina where he berths while Rob Newman of Silver Seas brought the 48 Cantius over from her home in Alameda. With the weather forecast to be clear and sunny, after the light morning fog burned off, and slack high tide at the Golden Gate predicted to be at 1100, we planned to get both boats underway around 1030 and use the morning calm in Loch Lomond for a tour of the boats.
The Large And Open Deck
You board the sports coupe at the port quarter by lifting and swinging a stainless steel gate and one of the first things you notice is the open feeling of the cockpit and helm area. There is U-shaped cockpit seating to starboard with generous room for six, a wet bar/food preparation area to port with a grill over a refrigerator/icemaker, storage cabinets on both sides, and a stainless steel sink just forward.
This is a great entertainment area and if you want to stretch out and lounge. The seating at the transom extends, via electric motor of course, and transforms into a double-wide lounger with lift-up backrests at both ends. All of the outdoor seating is latte color with a dark accent stripe.
The large cockpit is also home to the engine room hatch that lifts, via electric motor, to expose the large and well-designed engine room.
The hatch lifts toward the rear and access to the engine room is just a few steps down a starboard ladder that brings you down between the big Volvo's and staring right at the Cummins 13.5 kw generator.
Getting to all the routine service points for the engines, pods and generator are about as easy as it can get. Everything is right in front, even the pods.
Turning around and looking forward, we find the fixed fire extinguishing system, battery charger, the electrical control panel, and the main battery disconnect switches. Everything is neatly arranged and marked well.
Stepping out of the engine room and looking forward, we see the helm station to starboard and more passenger seating to port.
The helm seating is double-wide with bolsters for both the skipper and the navigator where both get a near 360-degree view out the glass on all three sides. There is a molded-in footrest under the dash that fit me just perfectly. I usually prefer to stand at the helm, but there are times you just want to sit and relax, and these seats are so comfortable.
Since purchasing the SC, George has added a full suite of Raymarine touchscreen navigation equipment that was professionally installed by Ian Wall of Star Marine Electronics. At near-perfect eye level, and centered above a stylish helm, are two 12-inch displays with analog gauges above for the essential information: engine RPM, fuel level and a rudder angle indicator. Just at the edges are two outlets for heat/AC.
To the right are the engine controls with the joystick prominently located just in front of the electronic levers; once again your hands seem to fall in place when using either. To the left is the Volvo system monitor display mounted just above the VHF radio and entertainment system control panel. Just above the knees, we find the Raymarine autopilot control head and the E-Plex switch panel.
Just to the left of the helm, three steps lead to an opening walk-through windshield up to the foredeck. A nice touch is just a single handle to twist to control the top and bottom latches; no fiddling around needed and it opens like a door. Just above the walk-through is the latch for opening the large sunroof. If this space was not already open and bright enough, pulling the roof open gave the feeling of a convertible.
Set all the way to the port is more seating, with room for three to sit or one to use the aft facing lounger.
Access to the cabin area is centerline and down five steps that lead into the saloon with the galley to starboard, a settee to port, the main head just abaft the galley, and the master stateroom set forward. The cabinets on this boat have what Cruisers calls Shitake Walnut and Ebony accent fabrics that combine to make a very modern and appealing interior.
The galley has a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer under a convection microwave and flat screen TV. Just forward is the food preparation area, a two-burner electric cooktop, and dual stainless steel sink. With storage cabinets above, under, and on both sides, there is plenty of room for galley essentials. The three vertical ports above the cooktop provide a lot of natural lighting.
Aft of the galley is the main head with separate shower and plenty of headroom.
The saloon seating is set to port with more storage lockers and three more ports to brighten up the area.
The forward master has a centerline queen island berth over drawer storage and the overhead hatch and opening ports provide light and fresh air. There are two large cedar-lined hanging lockers on either side that provide for adequate storage.
The midship berth is abaft the dinette on the port side and has split twin berths that convert into a full-size berth with the filler cushion. There is a sink and separate wet head behind a privacy door.
With George and me on Grace Note and Ty and Rob on the 48, we made our way out of the marina into the San Rafael Creek and to San Pablo Strait. While navigating our way down the creek at a slow pace, I had the chance to talk boats with George.
Turns out that like a lot of us, George was an avid boater in his younger years, having lived aboard for several years while working as a journalist and then took a break while building a career, a business and a family. He just got back into boating a few years ago when he purchased a 26-foot Regal.
After a short time, he sold the Regal and purchased a 29-foot Cobalt. Then earlier in 2013 he purchased the Cruisers 350 express that I did the review on for the April issue of Yachtsman. If you missed the print edition of that review, it can found online at http://yachtsmanmagazine.com/reviews/350_Express.html.
I suggested to George that Cruisers Yachts has a 540 Sports Coupe and that I would put in a request to Silver Seas to do a review on that boat in 2014 when he was ready to move up again.
We were 10 minutes ahead of the 48 Cantius as we entered San Pablo Strait when George handed over the controls to me. This boat had just arrived from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and had been put back together just four days earlier. With just 17 hours on the clock, this was only the second time George had the boat out of the marina.
We were both getting familiar with the boat and decided to head west toward the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and let the camera boat get a few shots of us running at a modest cruise of 20 knots as they exited the creek.
We made our way under the bridge and ran alongside the North Bay Channel while adjusting speed and trim for best cruise speed. With nearly full trim, we found that at 3050 RPM we were getting 24.6 knots and burning just 28 gallons per hour for an efficient 0.9 miles per gallon. Pretty good for a 24,000-pound boat with full fuel tanks and full water.
As we approached Raccoon Strait, we found calm waters and decided that this was a good time for our wide-open throttle (WOT) run.
Wide open, the Volvo's spun up to 3550 RPM and propelled the SC at 33.6 knots with a fuel burn rate of 40 GPH. While not quite as fast as his last boat, that 350 Express topped 40 knots, George's smile was as big as mine as we flew toward the Golden Gate Bridge. From a standing start, the SC planed in less than 6 seconds, hit 24 knots in 18 seconds, and was climbing north of 30 knots in 30 seconds. I think Cruisers got the name right; this is a Sports Coupe.
Before trading boats at Yellow Bluff, we did a few more high-speed runs by the Golden Gate Bridge where we had a 4-foot swell and the start of the ebb. We kept the boat at cruise speed as we made runs both east and west, into the swell, and crossing the wake of the 48. Nothing upset our SC as she cut right through the wakes keeping a stable heading.
We paused for a few beauty shots at the Golden Gate and then set off for calm waters at Yellow Bluff for a few more shots and then trade boats. We wrapped up the day with me on the 48 Cantius with Rob while Ty rode with George on the SC. After we finished the sea trial and photos of the 48 Cantius, Ty and I got back on the SC with George and Rob headed back to Alameda with the 48.
With George at the helm, we cruised back to Loch Lomond at a comfortable 24 knots. As we varied engine RPM and trim, we discovered the efficiency curve is pretty linear between 1700 and 3100 RPM delivering a pretty consistent 0.9 MPG.
We ended the day with George showing how easy the Volvo IPS joystick makes docking a 13-foot 6-inch wide boat into a 15-foot wide slip with light winds and a slight ebb.
The 430 Sports Coupe has a few power options: the larger Volvo IPS600 (435 HP), the Volvo gasoline IPS550G (400 HP), or the 425 HP Mercruiser 8.2L MAG HO. I'm not sure that I would change the power. This coupe had lots of sport and good fuel economy with the IPS500's.
Silver Seas Yachts opened their Sausalito office in the summer of 2012 with veteran boat personnel and have been selling boats to happy customers ever since. The company started in San Diego and also has offices in Newport Beach and Phoenix, Arizona.
To arrange for your own Cruisers Yachts experience, contact Silver Seas Yachts, 400 Harbor Way Suite E in Sausalito. Call them at 415/367-4022. If Cruisers Yachts doesn't offer quite the boat you are looking for, Silver Seas is the new boat dealer for Carver, Marquis, Tiara Yachts, Destination Yachts and Four Winns.
430 Sports Coupe
2014 Cruisers Yachts 430 Sports Coupe
LOA – 43' 0" Beam – 13' 6"
Draft – 3' 8" Air Clearance – 10' 3"
Generator – 13.5 KW Fuel – 300 gals.
Water – 75 gals. Waste – 40 gals.
Displacement – 23,500 lbs. dry
Power – Two Volvo IPS500 370HP
Max. measured speed – 33.6 knots at 3550 RPM burning 40 GPH
Best cruise speed – 24.6 knots at 3050 RPM burning 28 GPH
Minimum plane speed – 14.4 knots at 2100 RPM burning 17 GPH