Boat Test Videos
Content courtesy ofThe Meridian 441 comes standard with twin 380-hp QSB Cummins electronically-controlled diesels drive conventional running gear. For that reason Meridian makes both bow and stern thrusters standard to make docking a cinch even in adverse current. Optional engines include 425-hp and 480-hp Cummins diesels with optional Zeus pod drives. She has two large staterooms below, each with ensuite heads. Both the salon and flying bridge seating are large and we particularly like the double-wide companion seat on the flying bridge.
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.
The Meridian Yachts 441 Sedan is a two head/two stateroom with plenty of gathering areas on the main deck despite the fact that it is a galley-up design. The salon has been moved aft and features J shaped seating opposing two movable chairs and a small table. A standard hi-low teak table easily converts the area from casual dining to cocktail parties.
The galley is forward with a dinette to starboard, both elevated one step up from the salon and this design feature adds more headroom for the master stateroom below. The galley includes a full height refrigerator/freezer, cherry cabinetry, a convection microwave, double sink, Karadon solid surface countertops, a lighted corner cabinet and natural hardwood flooring.
Moving below decks, Meridian went with a full beam master stateroom with the island berth mounted athwartships. Forward is a VIP stateroom. A full sized head with separate shower is located to port, the guest head/day head is located to starboard. Both staterooms feature cherry cabinetry and designer fabrics.
But the comfort level of the 441 Sedan is only part of the story. Her real appeal manifests itself once the lines are cast off. Let's start by taking a look at some of her operational features.
The power panel is just inside the sliding glass salon entry doors, nestled into a cabinet at the aft port side of the salon. Both 12V and 120V switches are in the same panel, split side to side. The generator controls are to the right. In the center are two gauges for the water tank and holding tank levels. Turning the two ignition keys activates power to the helm, but they do not start the engines.
Pod Drives or V-Drives
The 441 is available with Cummins diesels with either V-drive transmissions or pod drives. With V-drives the engines will be located under the deck in the main salon. Our boat was powered with Zeus pods which move the engines back underneath the cockpit deck. This freed up space under the salon for a massive amount of storage, as can well be imagined. With V-drives the boat comes standard with bow and stern thrusters and joystick-like devices for easy docking. With the Zeus pod drives the vessel also comes with a joystick, but without a bow thruster since it is not needed for easy docking. Those people wanting a bow thruster in addition to the pod system can order it as an option.
Connections to the underwater exhausts are clearly visible in the corners, so those can easily be checked for leaks. Meridian did a professional job in ensuring that everything is correctly double clamped and the sharp edges of the clamps are covered to protect against harm when rubbing against them. Our test boat was equipped with an optional cable reel system for the shore cord. Pulling two pins eases removal of the steps and allows access to the forward end of the engine compartment where the fire suppression system, engine controls, the oil change system and raw water strainers are all located.
The flying bridge is accessed by molded-in fiberglass stairs on the starboard side. A lockable hatch keeps the flying bridge secure and also as a measure of safety should any children be visiting the upper deck.
Now let’s take a look at the helm. Meridian created a stylish and functional helm for the 441 with optional twin hybrid touch Raymarine nav displays to either side of the digital depth gauge. Electronics installation is amazingly simple as the entire panel lifts up without the need for any tools. Analog gauges are to either side of the panel giving information for each engine.
Below and to the left are the vessel view display and VHF radio, to the right are the engine start/stop buttons, and the optional remote spotlight control. Further to the right are the Zeus joystick, and the Cummins digital engine controls, right next to each other for convenience and good ergonomics. Further aft is a gloss finished subpanel for additional switches, including the emergency engine stop switches.
But as pleasing as the helm layout is, it’s got nothing on the premium helm seat. It’s fabricated from butter-soft leather and is plush padded. A raised headrest adds comfort, and wings project forward for side-to-side support. Armrests flip up, and the bolster is widened to better serve for sitting on. Controls underneath allow it to swivel, slide, raise and lower.
Our Meridian 441 Sedan had a LOA of 47’2” (14.3 m), a beam of 14’3” (4.3 m), and a draft of 3’1” (.9 m). With an empty weight of 31,233 lbs. (14,167 kg.), half fuel and 2 people onboard, we had a test weight of 32,943 lbs. (14,942 kg.). With a pair of 480-hp Cummins QSB 6.7L HO engines turning Zeus pod counter-rotating props, we reached a top speed at 3380 rpm of 35.4 mph. At that speed we were burning 48.1 gph for a range of 286 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 30.1 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 26.1 gph giving the 441 a range of 307 miles and an endurance of 10 hours and 12 minutes. The fuel burns are so close from 3000 on up that it really makes little difference between cruise and full throttle so just run her where she feels more comfortable for the prevailing conditions. We reached planing speed in 8.5 seconds, hit 20 mph in 9.9 seconds, and continued accelerating past 30 mph in 18.9 seconds.
She only presents a 12-degree bow rise upon acceleration, and once at cruise speed settled into a 5-degree bow high attitude. With pods the turning radius is limited at speed to prevent unsafe maneuvers, so the 441 has mild turning characteristics, even though she responds well to the helm. In other words, no matter how aggressive I got with the wheel, she remained comfortable throughout rolling a maximum of 12-degrees into the turns.
She’s also an exceedingly dry boat throwing spray far and low so there’s minimal blow-back onto the boat. From a comfort standpoint, Meridian really nailed the windscreen as the wind was blowing across the top of my head and not into my face. The helm seat is telescoping so captains of differing heights will be able to achieve the same benefit.
With the standard 380-hp V-drive Cummins diesels, bow and stern thrusters are provided to ease her into the dock. With the Zeus propulsion system the joystick is right next to the engine controls and moving the joystick has the boat following the movements of the joystick with exacting precision. Rotating the control will cause the 441 to rotate as well.
The design team at Meridian Yachts tells me that this is their best selling yacht, and I have no trouble believing that. It’s not only well designed, but she handles well, and looks attractive. With two, large staterooms below and six venues -- 1) the stateroom, 2) dinette, 3) salon, 4) cockpit, 5) companion seat at the helm, 6) dinette on the flying bridge -- there is plenty of room and private spaces to make cruising with two couples pleasant, genteel and comfortable.The sedan's long overhang over the cockpit allows it to be enclosed in cruising canvas and the same can (and should) be done on the flying bridge. This extra investment makes the 441 a three-season vessel and at the same time creates more "living" space and a relatively small added expense.
Test Result Highlights
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Test Results - Change Measurement Unit
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.