Mission of the Cruisers Sports Series 259 Cuddy
The mission of the 259 Cuddy is to give boaters such a pleasant experience that they will consider other KCS products when moving into cruisers.
Built by a "big boat" company.
Yes, there are other builders of sportboats that also build cruising boats -- but they didn't start out that way! Virtually all of the competing brands started life at the small boat end, and grew their line to keep pace with their existing customers moving up. Cruisers Sports Series is just the opposite -- it is a big boat company reaching down to build small boats.•
Of the 20 or so brands of sportboats on the market in the U.S., all but a couple compete in the price-point or mid-range categories. There, sharp pricing is the name of the game. The Cruisers Sports Series brand will stay above that fray, aiming instead for owners who appreciate yacht-grade quality in a small boat.•
On the heavy side.
When we compare the 259 Cuddy to other boats in class we see that while she is not as heavy as a couple of well-known names, she is heavier than most of the fleet. That tells us that the boat has been carefully built, not compromising on the hull laminates and bulkheads, but also mindful that weight is a critical factor to a sportboat's performance.
Swim platform extends beyond the lower unit.
Some builders do this but a surprising number -- and surprising brands -- do not. On the 259 Cuddy with the lower unit down swimmers can slide off the swim platform into the water. •
Side mounted, 4-step re-boarding ladder.
Mounting a re-boarding ladder off to one side of the swim platform serves dual purposes: It keeps swimmers away from the sharp edges of the outdrive, and it keeps the ladder in line of sight to the helm. Cruisers Sports Series takes this concept one better and not only mounts their re-boarding ladder to the side of the swim platform, it faces the side of the boat at a 25-degree angle from the hull sides. This is certainly an important feature when getting people aboard easily when pulling up alongside a skier in the water. This is one of the few boats we've seen with a 4-step re-boarding ladder at the stern.•
While we've seen this feature in some bowriders, most do not have it. By adding a step to the hull, air is drawn underneath the bottom to reduce the surface friction of the water making the boat more slippery, and therefore faster and more fuel-efficient.•
Most sportboats in class have from 19 to 20-degrees of deadrise at the transom. This is an acceptable compromise between the 24-degree deadrise of an offshore racer and the 16-degree deadrise of a sportboat designed for small lakes and flat water. At 22-degrees deadrise, the 259 Cuddy is clearly ready to handle rough conditions or a steep chop and keep her guests more comfortable. •
Horizontal hull contour lines.
Cruisers Sports Series is one of the few sportboat builders which molds horizontal contours into its topsides. This makes tooling more exacting and lamination a bit more difficult but it pays off in the looks of the boat. Because these contours catch light, they look like horizontal lines in the hull sides. As a result the boat appears lower and sleeker than it really is. It is a clever optical illusion that boat builders have used for years in the cove stripe of sailboats.
Designed for Big Water.
She has a 22-degree deadrise which is a true deep-V, with little compromise, meaning she is ready for choppy conditions. Her freeboard is also commensurately higher, signaling that that while she will be fine in small lakes, she is ready for bigger water as well, and will be better able to keep her occupants dry. •
Dual bilge pumps.
We've actually seen bowriders in this class with a simple 750 gph bilge pump in the engine compartment and no float switch. This Cruisers Sports Series 259 Cuddy not only has an 1100 gph bilge pump with float switch in the engine compartment, but also a 750 gph bilge pump located amidships. The boat also has a self-draining (overboard) cockpit as all boats in this class should have.•
This is an example of the kind of thing that a builder of large boats might think of but builders of small boats usually do not. The 259 Cuddy has a high water alarm which will give an operator time to take remedial action.•
Wide walk-through steps.
Cruisers Sports Series' sister brand, Cruisers Yachts, was one of the first builders of express cruisers to jump onto the "through-the-windshield" method of getting to the foredeck on large express cruisers. Not surprisingly this company seems to have the best handle on what works and doesn't in this configuration. The 259 Cuddy has one of the widest set of steps up to the foredeck seen in this size boat. The key is molding the steps into the companionway door.
Features We Like
The 259 Cuddy has a number of features that that some other boats will have but are nonetheless important to the pleasurable use of the boat. Some items that caught our eye were--• Bimini top, boot, and trailering struts.• A cockpit cover.• An aft, convertible, 3-position sun pad.• Light in the engine compartment.• Hull-mounted, recessed Halogen docking lights.• SS telescoping 4-step bow ladder.• Composite transom (i.e. no wood).• Bow scuff plate.• Shower in the stern with pressurized freshwater.• Digital depth gauge.
Options We Would Order
As well equipped as the boat is, we usually can manage to find a few things that we would add. The builders has purposely not over-loaded the boat as that just runs the risk of having to charge for items many people will never use. A good example of this is the porta-potti, which is standard, but a flush electric toilet with holding tank is optional ($2,020). For people just using the boat as a day boat on a few weekends a year, the Porta-Potti might be just fine. Others will want the upgraded system.We'd opt for the compass, dual batteries, and an engine room fire suppression system. Regularly readers know that we like colored hulls and for just $730 Cruisers Sports Series would be glad to gel coat in one of five colors in a full band on the sides.
Probably the most important option of all for tall or short people is the one that allows both the helm seat and the companion seat to be adjustable both up and down. There is nothing worse than having a windshield upper frame at eye level when running and the adjustable seat will solve that problem for everyone.
Cruisers Sports Series offers eight engine options, four from MerCruiser and two from Volvo Penta. The standard engine is a Volvo Penta V-8-300C 300-hp engine driving DP drive. The largest engine available is a 320-hp 377 MAG with a Bravo 3 drive from MerCruiser.
The MSRP for the 259 Cuddy with the 300-hp Volvo Penta V8-300C engine is $81,440. With the 320-hp MerCruiser engine she comes in at $87,270. The other engine options fall in between the high and the low prices.
Potential buyers should decide if they want a cuddy such as the 259 Cuddy or a bowrider such as the 258 Bow Rider which is built on the same hull. The open-bow boat, of course, can hold more people, but the closed bow has more versatility to our way of thinking and is much more suitable for big water situations.The 259 Cuddy is a closed bow (aka cuddy) sportboat that is built for serious boaters who want a rugged boat that can handle choppy water and do it in style. One of the most compelling aspects of the boat to us is the fact that the builder wants to create a long-term relationship with is customers, hoping over time to accommodate those people with constant 2-feet-it is into a Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts or Cruisers Yachts someday in the future. That says to us that KCS International Inc. is dedicated to customer satisfaction and providing a happy boat-ownership experience. This is probably the most important consideration of all when selecting a boat. KCS International Inc. is a family-owned business and it clearly is laying down a long-term business strategy. Our experience after 43 years in the boat business is that family-owned businesses stand the best chance of providing a good owner experience because -- for the most part -- their managers tend to focus on repeat business and keeping their reputation untarnished as opposed to maximizing the bottom line every quarter.
Standard and Optional Features