Captain's ReportLearn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...Cruisers 360 Express with Volvo Penta IPSBy Capt. Rob SmithThe Cruisers Yachts 360 Express has been doing just fine with multiple engine options from MerCruiser, Volvo Penta and Yanmar, but now they are adding Volvo Penta IPS joystick drives, either gas or diesel, to the mix. This will open up the opportunity for more people to enjoy the pleasures of cruising without the fear associated with docking and tight maneuvering. They also won’t have as much sticker shock at the pumps as their contemporarily propelled friends. To me, at least, 38’ or 11.6 meters is a good fit for the weekend warrior to have room enough for the kids and mom to “camp out” overnight onboard. With Cruisers, you will be camping out in style.HullThe 360 Express has a solid fiberglass hull below the waterline and end-grain balsa that is glassed in to reinforce above the water line and the decks. Around all the thru-hulls, the balsa core is relieved with solid fiberglass to help prevent any intrusion. Stringers are marine plywood encased in fiberglass. The cabin liner is bonded to the stringers and sides increasing stiffness and improving ride.Stepping aboardI really liked the care free synthetic teak decking that is an option for the swim platform and cockpit. It sure is a time and labor saving product if you like the look of teak and hate the work it takes to keep it that way. The 360 Express has an integrated swim platform which you can use to strap on skis or take a breather out of the water. Entry into the cockpit is through the port transom entry or down molded-in steps to port.Open cockpit designCruisers Yachts uses an open cockpit design with large U-shaped lounge aft. Seats are built with no wood and hidden welts to prevent damage and cuts from staples. Seating forward in the helm deck includes a port side lounger and double wide helm seat. To port aft is a standard wet bar. The optional electric grill and cockpit refrigerator just make too much sense not to have. You will be bringing friends and family onboard; you may as well make it convenient to keep the beverages flowing and the burgers cooking.At the controlsThe helm has an upscale look and feel with a lot of technology at your fingertips. The 6.4” Murphy Helm View is part of the Volvo Penta system. With the MerCruisers you have the Mercury Smartcraft VesselView Color monitor with GPS. Inboard versions also have a rudder indicator. There is plenty of landscape to mount the optional Basic or Premium electronics packages that include a C80 8” chart plotter.Power and spaceThe motor driven hatch rises up to reveal the key to successful (and no-sweat) docking solutions. The Volvo Penta IPS system shows one of their secrets in the engine spaces with much better access to all sides of the engine. Two IPS500 gas engines and a Kohler Low CO generator were mounted in there with room to spare. Wiring was well loomed and labeled and fuel tanks were on port and starboard ahead of the engines.Down belowThe interior is bathed in cherry wood and cooled or heated with 16,000 BTUs of standard air conditioning. There are two layouts available, one with a forward stateroom with bulkhead or twin bunks forward which will offer more sleeping arrangements for a larger family. Cruisers Yachts also offers a straight sleeper sofa further expanding the sleeping arrangement possibilities. Cabin headroom reaches 6’5” in the salon. The galley has Mystera solid surface counters on cherry veneer cabinets. The sole is Amtico synthetic cherry and maple.SpecificationsThe 360 Express with Volvo Penta gas IPS joystick drive measures 38’ length on average (11.6 meters) and is 12’6” in beam (3.8 meters). She tips the scales at approximately 20,000 lbs. (9072 kilos) with gas propulsion and carries 300 gallons (1135 liters) of fuel. With IPS drives, she draws 44” (1.12 meters) and bridge clearance with the hardtop is 11’ (3.4 meters).Test resultsIt was a calm day on the Great Lakes when I tested and the 360 Express with Volvo Penta IPS drives ran smoothly. The 16 degrees of deadrise at the stern and chine flats and sharp entry sliced the waves away leaving us with a very dry ride. Turns seemed flatter with the IPS system and maneuvering around the docks was super simple. She climbed up on plane in 6.5 seconds and passed 30 mph (48.2 kph) in 9.7 seconds. She managed a top speed of 41.9 mph (67.4 kph). I found the most economical cruising speed to be at 3500 rpm and 27.6 mph (44.4 kph) burning 30 gph (113.5 lph). Compared to a model with gas inboard engines I already have tested, this model is up to 17% more efficient and tops out 5 mph (8 kph) faster.ConclusionIn conclusion, I found the 360 Express performed very well, especially around the docks. She is more efficient and well designed for entertainment and relaxation aboard. If you have been hesitant to move up in size to a larger cruiser that you actually can stay overnight on without feeling like a sardine, the Volvo Penta IPS joystick drive will liberate you and is simple enough that the whole family can handle the boat like a pro.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 360 Express with Volvo IPS (2009-2010) is 41.9 mph (67.4 kph), burning 62.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 234.67 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 360 Express with Volvo IPS (2009-2010) is 19.6 mph (31.5 kph), and the boat gets 0.73 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.31 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 196 miles (315.43 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 375-hp Volvo Penta IPS500G.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
||Engine warranties vary by manufacturer|
|1-Year other parts and components Yes|
|ISO Certification NMMA Certification||Yes|
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