|Dry Weight :||12,500 Ibs.|
|Price as Tested:||Upon Request|
The Redefinition of Elegance
The new MasterCraft 300 is nothing less than another work of brilliance from the company that has become synonymous with watersports. For the past seven years, MasterCraft has taken a radical departure from its basic roots by offering products other than boats associated with water skiing and wakeboarding. Nonetheless, nobody expected MasterCrafts latest model to be a 12,500-lb. Cruiser. Makes one wonder what their next offering will be in the future?
MasterCraft realized that some of its customer base was not only growing old, they were becoming empty nesters. Did I say growing old? I meant to say maturing. As the kids go off to college and Mom and Dad change their priorities, suddenly cruising the lakes and rivers in comfort doesnt look so bad.
In addition, there seems to be a recent trend toward downsizing for many cruising couples. Many would rather have a smaller boat, but dont want to give up the amenities that they have become accustomed to. Personally, I know several cruising couples that would gladly give up their 50-foot boats for something smaller and more manageable with less maintenance.
Back in August, the folks from MasterCraft loaded up the new 300, Hull #1, and hit the road for a cross-country unveiling. San Francisco was the 11th stop on a 22-stop tour. Fortunately, we were asked by Chris Lamanna from Nor Cal MasterCraft to go for a much-anticipated ride in the new 300 when it came to San Francisco.
On the hard, the new 300 looks more like a pregnant guppy than an elegant cruiser. However, in the water, the 300 takes on a whole different persona with graceful lines and a purposeful attitude.
Many have described the 300s hull as a picklefork or twin-tip. I would describe it more as a cathedral style hull with a deep-V and reminiscent of the Aristocrafts from the late 1960s. This design is definitely unique for a boat of this class.
Being the skeptic that I am, I questioned if the ride would be jarring and wet. Much to my surprise, the 300 had an amazingly soft ride even in the three-foot chop of San Francisco Bay. Even more impressive was the lack of spray coming from the bow while crossing ferry wakes.
How much luxury can a manufacturer incorporate into a 33-foot hull without making it gaudy or overbearing? Only the designers from MasterCraft know the answer to this question. The 300 is tasteful but bursting with innovative surprises from bow to stern.
Step aboard and surround yourself in luxurious appointments such as exterior grade Ultraleather upholstery, teak flooring and Karadon countertops. The cockpit also includes an outdoor electric grill, wet bar, refrigerator and waterproof flat screen TV. There is no question that the folks from MasterCraft had warm summer nights, and friends and family in mind when they designed this spacious cockpit.
Another revolutionary design feature of the 300 is its unique hardtop. The tinted-glass hardtop has an ultraviolet coating that will prevent sunburns, but not your view of the sky. Additionally, the hard top has a mist system designed to keep you and your guests cool on the hottest of summer days.
I almost forgot to mention that you can wakeboard or ski behind this luxury cruiser if you so desire. I guess it wouldnt be a MasterCraft if it didnt include a tow pole. In fact, after our morning test of the 300, the factory guys took the boat out the gate later in the afternoon for a photo shoot and on the way back some of the MasterCraft pro riders actually surfed behind the boat while coming into the Oakland Estuary.
The ergonomically designed helm includes features normally found on much larger yachts. Electronic throttles, Raymarine C-80 display and optional joystick make driving this mini-yacht a snap.
Below deck, the cabin owes its large dimensions to the 300s unique bow design. Remarkably, this pocket cruisers cabin offers more than you would expect from a boat of this size. Full-sized head with combination shower, fully equipped galley, lounge with settee and double berth make this boat a comfortable weekender.
Diesel engines are definitely not the norm for boats in the size range. Our test boat was powered by the Cummins 350 HP QSD4.2s, which pushed the 300 past the 40-mph mark. MasterCraft also offers two gasoline engine options with up to 400 HP.
Also included on our test boat was a 6KW Onan diesel generator with sound shield. This is a great option for those who enjoy spending hours drifting in the middle of the lake. You can run the air-conditioning, TV or stereo, microwave and any other electronic option without having to worry about running down your batteries.
Keep in mind when looking at the as tested price tag for this opulent cruiser that our test boat/Hull #1 was equipped with every option possible. Everything from satellite TV to a custom hull color is included on this particular boat. MasterCraft will work with each customer to determine which options best fit his or her lifestyle and build the boat accordingly. However, the base boat includes as many options as most fully optioned boats.
Im excited about this boat because I think it will fit a growing need for many couples and families. The 300 provides options that you cant get with a runabout, but isnt too big that you cant enjoy inland lakes and rivers. I believe that this would be a great weekend boat for the Bay and Delta.
By the way, if you happen to attend the Miami Boat Show Feb. 11-15 make sure to seek out the MasterCraft display to check out the new MasterCraft 300. I think you will be impressed.
For more information, contact Bill Belamey at 916/851-5808. H