Captain's ReportTested by Capt. Vince DanielloSince the company’s beginnings in 1987, Maxum has strived to be on the cutting edge of boat design, paying special attention to accommodations, creature comforts, and the small details that make boating simpler, safer, or just more enjoyable. Knowing the company’s commitment to such details, when I tested the newly redesigned 2004 Maxum 3700 Sport Yacht it did not surprise to see many subtle changes that, when combined, made big differences in the new boat’s performance, comfort, and interior spaciousness.Design and LayoutComparing the specifications between the 2003 and 2004 models shows very minor changes to the boat for the new model year: two inches longer, an inch wider – not much larger. But a new deck design with a few well-placed expansions and without the integrated anchor well of the 2003 model noticeably increased the volume of the interior, particularly in the bow. While the new layout is similar to last year’s boat, the forward stateroom is now separated from the main cabin by a wide sliding double door. This creates a very open feeling below decks without sacrificing nighttime privacy. Just aft of these doors on the starboard side, the settee pulls out like a giant drawer to form a double bed, making one of the easier bed conversions I’ve run across. Farther aft, the midship cabin is enclosed with a privacy curtain. As in all similar boats, headroom is tight in this cabin because of its location beneath the helm, but the bed is large and would certainly be comfortable for a couple for several nights. The head includes a separate stall shower, plenty of storage, and one often overlooked appointment, an air conditioning vent inside the head. While this doesn’t matter in some parts of the country, the additional vent significantly reduces dampness in the head in humid climates.GalleyThe boat features a well-appointed galley with a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, microwave oven, and a built in coffee pot. One interesting design detail, the two-burner stove is set sideways in the countertop, putting one burner behind the other. While this may be slightly less convenient when cooking with two burners, it appreciably increases useable counter space. In my experience, the extra counter space will be used far more often than the second stove burner. This also indicates an impressive willingness to “think outside the box” on the part of Maxum’s design team. There is plenty of storage, particularly in the galley, with ample drawers, cabinets, and overhead bins. Something that is often overlooked by boat manufacturers, the cabinets are properly fitted with shelves; even the cabinet beneath the galley sink. This simple addition doesn’t seem like much, but makes a huge difference when it comes time to stow the weekend’s provisions. The cubby hole above the stove by the opening porthole is trimmed with Corian, creating extra counter space; but if Maxum added a fiddle rail this space would become valuable storage while underway.Interestingly, the spec sheet shows the new boat has an inch less draft in the hull, but an inch more draft overall. This places the propellers deeper beneath the hull where they bite into cleaner water. And while I was told that there were almost no changes in hull shape, the new boat weighs about 1,200 pounds less. While neither of these changes seems significant, their effect is undeniable. At the HelmThe helm is laid out well, with good visibility, an adjustable seat, and a flip-up seat bottom to allow room for the skipper to stand while docking. Unfortunately, on our test boat the lever to lock the seat projected out when the seat bottom was raised, right where it can painfully catch the captain’s calves. On the plus side, Maxum provided built-in storage at the helm for cellular phones, portable electronics, sunglasses, binoculars, and whatever other loose equipment needs to be close at hand. They also thoughtfully installed two 12-volt outlets convenient to this storage area for chargers and power cords.On the starboard side aft of the helm seat, the huge lounge quickly and easily converts for sunning, seating, or dining. Across the boat, a wet bar and icemaker are convenient for cool drinks on a hot day. There is excellent access to the huge stern platform, and two sets of molded steps make the transition to the side decks easy and safe from either the cockpit or stern platform.Performance NumbersOur test runs of the new boat produced a top speed over 40 miles-per-hour with the optional 370 horsepower 8.1 liter MPI engines. A company representative indicated that the 2003 would max out around 32 miles-per-hour with the same engines. That is a huge difference from seemingly minor but apparently important design tweaks. Alternately, the new boat can be fitted with 320 horsepower 6.2 liter inboards for performance, rivaling the 2003 model fitted with 8.1 liter engines, but with better fuel economy. While the boat’s underway performance was quite impressive, I really appreciated the close-quarters maneuvering, in part because of the V-drive transmissions and inboard engines. Stern drives have their place, but they certainly don’t handle as well at the dock as twin conventional inboards. While barely different from its predecessor on paper, small changes to the 2004 Maxum 3700 Sport Yacht have made a big difference. Attention to detail, whether minor conveniences to enhance boater-friendliness, or design alterations to increase speed and economy, seem to have paid off well without substantially changing what was already a very popular boat.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Maxum 3700 SY Sport Yacht is 40.4 mph (65 kph), burning 65.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 246.78 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Maxum 3700 SY Sport Yacht is 23.8 mph (38.3 kph), and the boat gets 0.88 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.37 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 236 miles (379.81 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 425-hp MerCruiser 8.1L HO.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|