|Length Overall||38' 6''||Dry Weight||22,275 lbs.|
|Beam||13' 7''||Tested Weight||N/A|
|Draft||3' 4''||Fuel Cap||300 gal.|
|Deadrise/Transom||N/A||Water Cap||125 gal.|
|Max Headroom||6' 4''||Bridge Clearance||14' 1''|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||2x300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG Horizon gas inboards|
|Tested Power||2 x 370-hp MerCruiser 8.1 MPI gas inboards|
2x370-hp MerCruiser 8.1 MPI gas inboards
2x320-hp MerCruiser MX6.2 gas inboards
2x270- or 330hp Cummins diesels
Your summer cottage on the water.
A good family sedan with plenty of creature comforts and good performance. For the weekend or the extended coastal vacation the average family would be hard pressed to want for more than what the Mer
Large sliding door allows easy access in and out.
The cockpit is an open area having two large hatches with gas-assisted cylinders for easy opening. The steps leading to the bridge as well as those from the cockpit to the side decks, were part of th
The interior is roomy and nicely appointed.
A small winged table with a fixed base is also part of the salon furnishing. All the seating is covered in Mirage leather.The center has a large 20” Sony Trinitron TV and VCR. The salon, galley, and
The galley is spacious and features good storage.
The galley comes complete with refrigerator, two-burner cooktop, microwave, and good counterspace to prepare meals.
Four can sit comfortably for any meal of the day.
On the starboard side is a raised dedicated settee allowing additional headroom for the second stateroom below. This is a conventional unit with facing bench seats and a center table having storage a
Good seating for family and friends.
The helm was not adjustable, but was well installed for a person of my height, and hydraulic steering was used making life much easier. The most innovative thing found on the boat was the D-O-C, dock
Your Summer Cottage on the Water
The 381 Sedan we tested is the second largest vessel in the all-new Meridian Yachts line. With sleeping accommodations for up to six in two separate private staterooms and numerous other creature comforts Meridian Yachts has succeeded in creating a well-suited family sedan.
The hull is based on a time proven design that provided not only a comfortable ride but a surprisingly dry one as well, under the conditions tested. The vessel’s response to the helm was anything but quick which reduced the possibility of dangerous snap turns that can rack havoc on passengers, dinner, and worst of all one’s wife’s nerves. I tried to bury the gunwale and even though the vessel laid over into the turn it was smooth and even with no snap roll motion. This is not to say that with malice in ones heart the boat couldn’t be made to flop around, but under normal conditions it handled like a lady.
The lower part of the swim platform is part of the fiberglass molded hull and has a boarding ladder that neatly slides into the lower port side. This positioning of the boarding ladder makes it necessary to get down on your knees and lean precariously over the edge to find the ladder just to pull it out. The upper part of the swim platform is part of the deck, cockpit and cabin’s fiberglass mold.
As with all the weather deck surfaces, the swim platform has a non-skid pattern molded into the gelcoat. When I walked on the decks with normal deck shoes I found the non-skid to be a bit slick. On close examination I saw that the points to the pattern were flattened creating a barefoot-friendly surface, but one that could not dig into the soles of deck shoes to prevent sliding no matter if the deck was wet or dry. The transom has storage on the cockpit side making for a clean unbroken appearance aft. Unfortunately this clear transom has the power cord inlets mounted out in the field instead of off to a side or inside the cockpit, compromising the clean look.
The cockpit is an open area having two large hatches with gas-assisted cylinders for easy opening. Below is a large open lazeret with a Kohler 10 kw generator having excellent access and soundproofing. The side decks were adequate in width but the stainless-steel wraparound railings although of substantial height, were not as beefy as I would have hoped. Ample stainless steel grab rails are mounted on the side of the bridge and along the aft edge of the cabin above the cockpit steps making for safer movement around the deck.
The 381 we tested was equipped with a proper size stainless steel plow anchor and line as well as a windlass controllable from both deck or bridge, always nice to have. The bow pulpit was also part of the molded deck and hull and of comfortable size to work on. The exterior of the vessel is totally void of any woodwork, making for an easy vessel to maintain.
The steps leading to the bridge as well as those from the cockpit to the side decks, were part of the deck mold and had a comfortable enough angel to come down facing aft. On the bridge there is a large U-shaped seat with abundant storage below on the portside and a pedestal helm chair on the starboard side. A full beam wraparound smoked wind deflector provided enough protection so I didn’t lose my hat when heading into the wind at speed.
The aft section of the bridge is cantilevered over the aft deck to provide protection from the elements for the cockpit and could be used for sunning, director chairs, or dingy storage. The opening for the bridge stairs has a gasket weather hatch for added protection from the elements to the cockpit. The console had a bird eye maple Formica style multi-level surface with a large electronics pod located on the starboard side, cup holders and even a place for keys or glasses. Rocker switches are used for lights, pumps, trim tabs, etc. The helm did not have a tilt wheel, but was well installed for a person of my height, and hydraulic steering was used making life much easier.
One thing that bears caution was the location of the throttles and transmission controls being so close to each other and on the same side of the helm. On more than one occasion I found myself grabbing the trans levers when meaning to pull back on the throttles. The throttles did have two deep groves painted red around the ball handles, helpful but not great. I was told that this was to be changed in the future, good idea. The radar arch had a power tower mounted midships to raise the radar antenna well above head level on the bridge.
The most innovative thing found on the boat was the D-O-C, dock on command system. This system has a bow thruster, only there’s a lot more involved. A conventional through hull thruster is installed in the bow, but hang on to your fenders, a second external thruster is mounted in the center of the transom below the waterline and swim platform, and above the boat’s bottom so as not to create any drag. The hull has been molded specially to mount the aft thruster on. The controls are also simple and fun to use. A small boat shape is mounted on the switch on the console that represents the vessel. By twisting the boat clockwise the vessel will turn clockwise, if twisted the other way, the vessel will also respond. If you push the boat evenly right or left she will respond accordingly and move sideways. I found early on two things about the system that bears noting. One is that this is an aid for docking and works best when used sparingly to fine-tune docking. Second, that the bow has a tendency of moving faster than the stern when in sideway mode.
The interior of the vessel was very roomy and nicely appointed. All the woodwork is solid cherry and enhanced the spacious feeling of the cabin. In the forward stateroom a large twin pedestal style berth was located under the large Bomar deck hatch making the compartment bright and airy. There are two cedar-lined hanging lockers, one with an automatic light and a standard three-drawer storage unit below the foot of the berth. I felt that the exposed plywood drawer edgings throughout the vessel detracted from the quality of the cabinetry’s finish. A small Toshiba TV is mounted into the forward side of the starboard side hanging locker for viewing from the berth. There is also a separate access door to the head that just adds to the already spacious, bright and airy compartment.
The head on this boat was very roomy and well laid out, located on the port side and had access doors to both the forward stateroom and the companionway. A full-size separate shower stall with a glass and aluminum partition is neatly tucked into the corner of the compartment with a counter and sink along the aft bulkhead. The head itself is situated in such a way as to allow lots of room when in use. The compartment sole and bulkheads are a fiberglass insert for easier cleaning.
Opposite the head was the second stateroom that also has a cedar lined hanging locker and three-drawer storage. The large double berth is cleverly placed to the rear of the stateroom just forward of the engine room and below the settee and galley deck. Changing the bed sheets will offer a bit of a challenge as the berth has access only from one corner and has a low overhead over the majority of the berth, but quite adequate for sleeping. There’s a porthole for light and ventilation, and the overhead in both staterooms is 6’4” which adds to her roomy feeling.
Up a short companionway is the galley on the portside, equipped with a large under the counter side-by-side Nova Kool refrigerator. It faces forward so the contents will slide to the rear and not out the door when you open it after cruising. Karadon solid surface countertops are installed with a double stainless sink and two-burner cooktop. Above the counter is a microwave in its own cabinet, which keeps it off the counter and out of the way. Below the counter is ample storage with a lazy Susan in the corner cabinet with a light that turns on when you open the door. Below the stove is a pullout drawer with a coffee maker just at knee height. The deck in the galley is teak and holly unlike the rest of the vessel, which is carpeted with a heavy padding for comfort and added noise control.
On the starboard side is a raised dedicated settee allowing additional headroom for the second stateroom below. This is a conventional unit with facing bench seats and a center table having storage and a U-line icemaker below. It doesn’t appear that the table lowers to make an additional bed. As with the seating in the salon the bench seats are covered with a light tan soft leather that felt nice and went well with the rest of the décor. Aft of the galley and settee is the salon all three are on the same level. The salon has no built in furniture aside from the cheery wood entertainment center in the aft starboard corner. The center has a large 20” Sony Trinitron TV and VCR, but no DVD. Along the port side is a Flexsteel double incliner and a small couch on the starboard side. A small winged table with a fixed base is also part of the salon furnishing. All the seating is covered in Mirage leather. The AC/DC power panel is located on the starboard side below the windows forward, and the panel is a fairly complete unit even having a water tank gauge.
There are three large engine room hatches in the center of the salon deck with small fabric pull-tabs. Even though the hatches, once removed, allow good access to the engine room the location of the furniture and these tiny tabs make removal difficult. Against that, the salon, galley, and settee are all on the same level and share abundant natural lighting from large side windows and patio style sliding door.
Our test boat was equipped with twin 8.1 liter MerCursers V-8s. The installation appeared good, a bit tight, but workable. The oil dip sticks are both inboard which is a very nice touch, but you still have to reach over the port engine to check the cooling water if you don’t want to remove the recliners in order to remove the port hatch. The engine mounts are standard adjustable units that rest on the longitudinal stringers with heavy aluminum L brackets. And last but not least the shafts are equipped with dripless shift logs.
This is a good family sedan with plenty of creature comforts and good performance. For the weekend or the extended coastal vacation the average family would be hard pressed to want for more than what the Meridian Yacht 381 Sedan offers.
By Capt. Manny Rebelo
|Trim Tabs||Bennett Hydraulic|
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
|Oil Change System|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!