|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||2 x 370-hp Mercury Inboards with fresh water cooling 8.1L|
|Tested Power||2 x 380-hp Cummins QSB 6.7L|
1 x 420-hp Mercury HO DTS Inboards 8.2
2 x 330-hp Cummins QSB Diesels
2 x 380-hp Cummins QSB Diesels
2 x 425-hp Cummins QSB Diesels
We tested the Meridian 391 with a pair of Cummins QSB 6.7L 380-hp engines with V-drives.
The Mission of the Meridian 391 Sedan
Meridian put a lot of thought into its 391 Sedan. It has managed to create a comfortable handling boat, that easily accommodates two couples or a small family for either weekends or mini-vacations away from the home port. Because she is so easy to handle, she also makes a good transitional yacht for those moving up from day boats or bowriders.
The Meridian Yachts 391 Sedan Flying Bridge.
The Meridian 391 Sedan main deck, cockpit and master stateroom. The red arrow indicates the location of the guest stateroom which is under the settee.
The guest stateroom has full standing headroom at the entrance, but these guests must duck down to get into the double bed.
The best place to begin this report is with the ships systems. As this was a blistering hot Florida test day, the first order of business was to get the optional two zone air-conditioning fired up. That meant a check out of the generator first. It's accessed from a hatch under the cockpit deck and installation leaves plenty of room for storage around the generator itself. Meridian offers two choices for generators based on the main power choice. If gas power is chosen, then a 10 kW Koehler gas genset is available. With the diesel power of our test boat, we also have the optional 9 kW Onan generator with sound shield.
The generator is accessed from a hatch in the main cockpit, one of two access points.
The ship’s main batteries are in the same compartment as the generator and there's space left over for storage.
Let There Be Power
With the generator checked out it's time to move in to the salon and turn it on via the ship’s main power panel. The panel is located in a cabinet to the port side of the sliding glass entry door. 12V systems are to one side, 120V to the other. In the center of the panel are two gauges giving capacity readouts for the water tank and holding tank, and of course the controls for the generator. The generator started, and power transferred, the air conditioning was activated and a cooling effect was immediate.
The ship's main power panel is located just inside the salon, and concealed in a nicely finished cabinet.
Main Engine Checkout
With the generator purring away it was time to move to the main engines. This ignition key position does not start the engines, it just activates power to the helm and engine room start/stop buttons. The engines themselves are located under the well-soundproofed deck in the main salon and they can be accessed by either a main salon hatch (useful when maintenance is required), or by lifting the stairs to the flybridge exposing another set of stairs to the engine room (convenient for daily engine checks). The hatch in the salon is just under the movable pedestal table, so it’s a bit easier to use the cockpit entrance.
The engine room is well lit with crawlspace access to both outboard sides, and between the engines. Note the battery switches to the right.
Once the engines are checked out they can be started from right inside the engine room as well as from the helm.
Just to the right of the stairs are the main battery switches. The twin Cummins diesels are easily reached via crawl space both between the engines and to the outboard sides. On the aft bulkhead are engine start/stop buttons and I always like to look at the engines running to check for any fluid leaks under pressure, so to me, this is a much appreciated feature, and it is the reason I activated the ignitions before entering the engine compartment. I also found the compartment to be well lit leaving no areas in the dark.
With the mains warming up, running normally, and showing no signs of any leakage it's time to move to the helm.
Meridian went with a helm layout that is as attractive as it is functional. Twin optional Raymarine navigational displays are to either side of the digital depth gauge. Large analog gauges for each engine are to the outboard sides of the panel. The panel lifts to expose all the connections for easy service.
Meridian created a functional workstation with the helm of the 391 Sedan. Note how the controls for the thruster are just to the right of the main engine controls.
There are analog gauges, as well as the SmartCraft VesselView display giving a steady flow of information on the two main engines.
Below and to the right are the SmartCraft display and autopilot. To the right of the wheel are the engine start/stop buttons and the digital throttle and shift controls, and I’ve really come to appreciate the long sticks on these controls that allow for making operating while standing a comfortable affair. Behind are the thruster controls and ancillary switches.
The helm seat is butter soft, swivels and slides, and also includes a comfortable flip up bolster.
The Meridian 391 Sedan has a LOA of 40’11” (12.5 m), a beam of 13’11” (4.2 m), and a draft of 2’9”(0.84 m). With an empty weight of 25,000 lbs. (11,340 kg), full fuel, and three people onboard, we had a test weight of 28,705 lbs. (13,020 kg).
The flying bridge helm offers an unobstructed view, a lower helm station is offered as an option.
With a pair of optional 380-hp Cummins QSB 6.7L engines driving our test boat we reached a top speed at 3158 rpm of 30 mph even. At that speed we were burning a total of 37.9 gph giving us a range of 249 miles.
The purpose of the Meridian 391 Sedan is to be a comfortable handling boat, that can accommodate two couples or a small family for weekends or a mini-vacation away from home
Best cruise is a bit surprising. Backing the throttle down to 2500 rpm and 19.6 mph only increased the range by 1 mile, and it stayed the same at 2750 rpm and 23.9 mph. For the short runs it does pay to drop the speed, as the fuel burn will be less, but for distance cruising, go ahead and cruise at full speed.
Click on the Test Results tab at the top of this page for full results.
We reached planing speed at 6.7 seconds, and accelerated through 20 mph in 8.6 seconds.
When advancing the throttle, the 391’s bow comes up 11-degrees. Once on plane she settled into a 5-degree bow high cruise attitude. When tuning she leans 10 degrees into the turn which I found to be quite comfortable. Even with her straight shafts and rudders, she doesn’t quite have the tight turning radius of her smaller sister but good response time to the helm is still there. She handles waves well as can be seen cutting through the wakes of the camera boat. Any spray gets thrown well out to the sides for a relatively dry ride.
One characteristic Meridian Yachts all seem to share, is their excellent ability to carve through waves. Aside from their accommodations layout, this is one of the key features that make them such excellent cruising yachts.
The Meridian 391 presents a comfortable 10-degree roll into the turns and has excellent responsiveness to the helm.
Anyone transitioning into this cruiser from a smaller boat will have no trouble acclimating to the 391’s handling characteristics around the dock. I simply used the engine controls to direct the momentum of the 391, with the thrusters proving precise directional control. There are clear sightlines to the starboard side, and the stern is visible through the hatch to the stairs.
With both standard bow and stern thrusters, the 391 is an exceptionally easy boat to bring into a dock, even for a beginner.
When backing into a slip, the stern is easily viewed through the companionway hatch leading up to the flying bridge.
Additional Operational Features
Some additional operational features include these convenient fender holders in the steps to the side decks.
At the transom there’s a conveniently placed grab rail. A fresh water shower is to port and the shore power connections are to starboard. The hatches are not only gasketed, but notched to accommodate the cord.
Even the platform has a channel for the cord to run through, eliminating the tripping hazard.
The side decks are narrow but easily traveled thanks to grab handles in all the right spots.
There are two deck hatches with notches in the bow eliminating any tripping hazards when the ground tackle is not being used.
With the hatch open, the windlass is easily managed with foot controls to the left. Hot and cold fresh water washdowns are to either side of a hatch leading under the windlass for managing tangles.
If the waterfront views aren’t enough, the comfort level of the Ultraleather sofa will definitely do the trick. Karadon solid surface countertops continue here as well.
Where others would simply add a high-low coffee table and a filler cushion and call the salon couch a “guest berth”, Meridian went with a far more comfortable pull-out type bed as an option. Just be sure to work in a timeframe for your extra guests to leave because the comfort level will work against that.
The two chairs are movable, the table is solid cherry. Notice the lower level of windows that allow for clear sightlines to the horizon from the seated position. Notice the optional icemaker under the standard 19” (48.3 cm) flatscreen TV. The ships electrical panel is in the cabinet just above.
Solid wood overhead treatments with LED lighting complement the high ceilings seen throughout the 391 interior.
The raised dinette allows commanding views while enjoying a meal. The area will get swapped out for the optional lower helm station if the 391 is ordered with that option.
Here a filler cushion is the only choice given the space but it adds yet another space for an extra overnight guest.
Belle Ironwood natural flooring and Karadon solid surface countertops highlight the beauty of this recessed galley. A Nova Kool refrigerator and convection microwave round out the functionality. The electric stove can be swapped out for propane.
Sitting space next to the island berth makes a perfect spot for putting shoes on before a night out at the dockside restaurant. Dual LED lights over the berth have individual switches. With the optional air conditioning, this stateroom gets a separate control zone.
Natural light enters the guest stateroom through hull side windows. A 19” (48.3 cm) flatscreen is standard for this room. A DVD player is optional.
The creative use of space can be seen here in the day head. Meridian also strives for quality fit-and-finish with all seams meeting in perfectly straight lines, and solid surface counters giving way to upscale components like this premium faucet and stainless sink.
|Dripless Shaft Seals|
|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!