Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
Performance and Handling
We're boaters first, and sleeping is a little further down the list of priorities, so let's cut to what matters. Upon accelerating the 310 Express has a roughly 10 degree bow rise, which is less than many boats this size, but on the 310 because the boater is sitting so high in the saddle, there's no loss of visibility to the horizon. I reached planing speed in 5 seconds, but the bow still takes a little more time to come down after that. Once it settles, one will notice a roughly 5 degree bow high attitude (as it should be) to be the norm which again, gives good sightlines of the surroundings.
With her spray rails carrying well forward, I was carving through the wake of the camera boat and throwing water well off to the sides. Crossing at a beam angle to the wake caused a list that would reach roughly 12-15 degrees before dropping back down and settling.
Do not get heavy handed with turns because it's always uncomfortable on the passengers in a large boat like this, but if one tries, the 310 will stay relatively docile anyway. It seems to know how to take care of the boater better than they do, especially if one is the type that likes to be rough at the helm.
The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express has a length overall of 31'3" (9.53 m) and a beam of 10' (3.05 m) and a draft of 3' (.9 m). With an empty weight of 10,300 lbs (4672 kg), half fuel and two people onboard we had a test weight of just over 11,000 lbs (4989 kg). Full test results can be seen by clicking the test tab at the top of this report, but for the meat of the test…With a pair of 270 horsepower 5.0 GXi Volvo Penta engines turning a pair of DP outdrives we reached a top speed of 44.2 miles per hour at 5000 rpm. At that speed we were burning 38.7 gallons per hour and getting 1.14 miles per gallon for range of 128 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23.2 miles per hour. At that speed we had a 16.5 gallon per hour fuel burn while getting 1.4 miles per gallon for range of 158 miles. However I found the 310 Express to be the most comfortable at 3500 rpm from both a performance perspective as well as a speed that kept the bow down without artificially manipulating it. So… at 3500 rpm we were running at 29.7 miles per hour with a 22.2 gallon per hour fuel burn and 151 mile range. That's a very close match to the best cruise and since most of us like to go faster that's the speed that one will probably settle on as well. For acceleration, we reached 20 miles per hour in 7 seconds and 30 miles an hour in 11.4 seconds.
Swim Platform and Transom
Now let's go over the layout, starting from the stern. The swim platform measures 9' (2.74 m) x 3' (.91 m) and there are holders for the fenders to starboard. To port, right in line with the entry way, is a concealed four-step reboarding ladder. Trunk storage accommodates lines, shore power cord, and city water connections. Synthetic teak decking is optional. The cleats are high and well above the trip zone of the platform deck. A cockpit shower is just inside the cockpit entry.
The cockpit features the usual seating arrangement that keeps everyone within conversational range. Insert a table and there is booth seating for four. To port is an entertainment center with a sink, and below our test boat was fitted with an optional refrigerator. An icemaker can be swapped out for the refrigerator. The helm deck has the lounger to port. At the helm is a double wide helm seat with a single flip-up bolster for the captain. I'd naturally like to see the companion get a bolster as well, not for his or her comfort, but to add an armrest for me.
When seated I was looking at the windshield frame at no wake speed, but at cruise I was looking right through the windshield thanks to the natural 5 degree bow high attitude at cruise. We had a Garmin GPSMAP 521 as standard on our test boat. I did not care for it and would go with something else with a far larger screen which the panel can accommodate.
The aft cabin is roomy and open, but there is a privacy curtain for when one wants to convert it to a berth. The filler cushions are part of the seat backs.
Take a Bow
Cruisers Yachts adheres to ABYC's minimum rail height with 24" (61 cm) at the working end of the bow. Beneath a hatch is a Maxwell windlass with foot controls just behind. On top of the rail, a remote spotlight… all standard items.
Nearly everything on our test boat was standard. That says a lot for Cruisers Yachts, as others would simply strip the boat bare for creating an attractive price tag. In this case, the buyer gets a fairly complete boat, but one still does have choices. For engine options, all choices are Volvo Penta of the same horsepower (except the one diesel choice – 160-hp), but there is the choice of adding the OceanX outdrives (which we would get if we used the boat in saltwater), fresh water cooling, and a joystick for easy docking.
The 310 Express is easy to handle both at the dock and offshore. And for a weekend retreat, it's just about as large as it needs to be without driving one to the poor house. It's also has the signature Cruisers Yachts headroom below so there isn't a feeling like one is spending their nights in a cramped cave.
This is the smallest boat that Cruisers Yachts makes. That is important to know, because Cruisers Yachts is not a builder focused on sportboats which has simply expanded one (and the building culture that goes with it) into the 30' range. On the contrary, the 310 Express benefits from having big sisters up to 56' which sell for well over a million dollars. In order to keep its life as simple as possible, Cruisers Yachts uses as much of the same items on the 310 Express as they do on its bigger boats.
The beneficiary of this circumstance is the owner of the 310 Express who gets just about the highest quality in all fittings and equipment. These owners also benefit from the culture of the craftsmen who are used to taking pains to get everything right in the million dollar yachts. For these two reasons alone we think a boater should look at the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express if they are in the market.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express (2014-) is 44.2 mph (71.1 kph), burning 38.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 146.48 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express (2014-) is 23.2 mph (37.3 kph), and the boat gets 1.40 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.6 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 158 miles (254.28 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi DP.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!