Learn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...Cruisers Entry into the 30-foot Express Class
By Capt. John Wenz
The thirty-foot express class is loaded with competition. Builders face a challenge within this grouping. The popularity of this general design is so popular, that builders can’t stray too far from the general characteristics they all share. Yet they need to include some design features and other goodies that distinguish their boat from the rest of the group. With the 300 CXi, Cruisers Yachts has been successful in accomplishing this goal. They’ve loaded the boat with standard equipment, and there’s a little difference in the cabin layout that makes a lot of sense.Bow Features
Starting up on deck, the bow is pretty straight forward. There’s a remote spotlight and a windlass with roller, all standard. I like the fact that they’ve put foot switches up on the foredeck for the windlass, instead of just at the helm. This is something that is not always included on boats in this size range, and it allows anchor work to be accomplished from up on the bow, where you can see the direction of the anchor rode.
One of the features you’ll see on all of the express yachts in the Cruisers line-up is the walk-thru windshield. This one feels good and sturdy, is easy to handle and the steps make quick work of getting up to the bow to handle lines or your ground tackle.At the Helm
The helm console consists of a full complement of engine instrumentation laid out in two symmetrical clusters around the wheel. In terms of extra goodies, a VHF radio and a color GPS plotter are included as standard, along with a digital depth finder and magnetic compass. The skipper sits in a double-wide seat, which is upholstered in house, like all the models in the Cruisers Yachts line-up. On the port side, opposite the helm is a long lounge. It’s inviting, and I wanted to stretch-out, but work was calling…Deck Seating
The balance of the deck seating consists of a face-to-face lounge back aft, opposite a port side wet-bar with a cooler nested snugly beneath it. By the way, another little extra; the cockpit comes fitted with standard weather-resistant carpeting.
The full width, integrated swim platform has a molded-in, non-slip surface. A hidden ladder is concealed beneath a tilt-up panel and can be deployed from the water. A large locker is provided for storage of dock lines, fender, and other deck gear. At the walkthrough is a convenient cockpit shower with mixing valve.Stepping Below
Down below you’ll find the fit and finish to be worthy of Cruisers Yachts’ reputation. The master berth is forward, elevated and off-center. There’s a large storage locker beneath the mattress, drawers, and a clothing locker. A deck hatch and two opening portholes are provided for fresh air and light and a privacy curtain allows you to close things off. A hinged LCD TV can be viewed from the berth or from the salon, and is on the starboard side. To port is the galley which is well equipped and a pretty conventional layout. A molded countertop houses a stainless sink and a glass, one-burner cooktop. Below the counter is a dual voltage refrigerator/freezer, and several cabinets provide storage space for provisions and gear.
Aft of the galley is the head. This is a fairly typical arrangement for a boat this size. A lift-up faucet and sump pump allow you to take a shower and an electric toilet and holding tank take care of your sanitation needs.
Across from the head is an attractive, crescent shaped table. Above it are some built-in storage nooks; handy for things that you keep below but need to get your hands on without delay. Mid Cabin
Back in the aft sleeping area, they call it a mid cabin, is what makes the 300 CXi stand out. You’ll find a table, surrounded on three sides by seating. Now, of course this converts to a large berth with its own privacy curtain. But when I looked at this space I thought that this is exactly the kind of thing that kids love. My boys would immediately claim this as “their” room. Either underway or alongside, they’d be playing games, drawing, reading, or watching movies on the optional DVD equipped TV. A great feature for a family with young ones!Specifications
The Cruisers Yachts 300 CXi measures 31’ long, 10’ abeam, draws 36” with the drives down, 24” up. She holds 125 gallons of fuel and 30 of water, weighs about 10,300 pounds with gas engines, and about 11,000 with diesels. Standard engines are Volvo T-4.3GXi SX 225-hp gas, raw water cooled. They are available with fresh water cooling, and a Volvo T-D3 Diesel option adds 35 hp per side. All three are sterndrives, and I personally have come to be very impressed by what I’ve been seeing lately from Volvo Penta. In addition, both 4 and 5KW generator packages are available in both gas and diesel configurations.Performance
Our test boat was equipped with the standard gas motors, which put us on plane in 8.3 seconds. We reached thirty on the radar gun in 15.2 seconds and a top speed of 39.7 miles per hour. After running the whole speed range, our calculations indicated that our optimal cruising performance would be 28.4 miles per hour at 4000 rpm yielding a cruising range of 157 statute miles. The visibility from the helm left a little to be desired during acceleration, but overall she handled easily and comfortably through the entire speed range. The ride was smooth and comfortable, and close quarters handling was typical for a twin sterndrive boat of this size.