Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
Open Fishing Space…
There is plenty of room on the aft deck for fishing, the 3600VX’s primary mission. Three massive 350-hp Yamaha outboards hang off the stern, which limits you to hauling in the big catch over the sides. Not a big concern as on the starboard side, you can opt for a tuna door and either haul in a monster, or exit the boat with scuba tanks and gear. This also makes dockside boarding much easier than swinging a leg over the wide caprail. The usual fishing amenities are present… a 40-gallon (151.4 L) transom livewell, two 80 qt (75.7 L) fish boxes in the deck, toe rails for that extra hang-on factor, the bait prep centers with running water and, as expected, the now common rumble seat at the stern. Honestly, after seeing how other boats engineer their rumble seats, I'm much more impressed with Hydra-Sports' version. It's easy to deploy by one person and stows away flush to the transom and out of the way when it's time to go to work.
As usual, Hydra-Sports didn’t skimp on the helm. It’s humongous, with enough real estate for dual 12" (30.5 cm) displays and then some, and Hydra-Sports offers options for factory installed C or E class 12" (30.5cm) Raymarine or Garmin widescreens. Full instrumentation is present including digital readouts for engine tachs and speeds, plus trim condition. Dual independent helm seats keep both the driver and observer comfortable, and visibility is great thanks to the curved hardtop supports that also keep from intruding on the side walkway. Inside the console, where I was expecting a head, is a generator/storage room. It’s walk in, with plenty of standup headroom. Vertical rod storage is forward, and the electrical panels are aft. It’s also here that I got to see the underside of the drink holders that surround the console. Guess what? They all had hoses connected to them that allowed any condensate to drain into the bilge. It’s that level of attention to the little details that keeps setting the standard at Hydra-Sports.
You can get to the bow two ways: One, the center walkthrough - big steps and easy grab rails make the transition from main deck to bow a snap. A low profile windshield is easily stepped over. Secondly, right at the side of the center console is a pair of steps built into the side bulwarks. Once forward you have bow rails that seem to be an afterthought as they're relatively low. A standard windlass will haul in your stainless anchor and 400' (121.9 m) of chain. A hatch to starboard allows you easy access to reach in and deal with any tangles that may occur.
Forward Console Seating
Just ahead of the center console is L-shaped seating. It looks more comfortable than it is, at least if there are more than two people using it. If kept at two, then it is more functional, even allowing one to face aft, down the side of the console. With more than two it gets cramped and knees start knocking. But it is a cool feature and one that I suspect will get a lot of use in the family arena. It’s a great place for the kids to hang and stay sheltered, while still getting fresh air.
It’s hard to believe that this cabin comes from a company run by such die hard anglers, but here it is. A teak and holly sole, Corian countertops, top notch appliances, air conditioning… it’s all here. The usual forward seating and a table convert to a V-berth, and at the aft end of the cabin is a double berth under the deck, just as you would see in an express cruiser. I did a quick count of “sleeps four” and then I caught the small hooks over the forward seats. Ah ha…. Lifting up the seat backs reveal Pullman berths that connect to those overhead hooks. So it’s a “sleeps six”. Very nice. Now to be sure, this V-berth is a narrow sleeping area, at least in the lower berths, and the wives may have a hard time with it. But there is a “good news” trade-off. First, just move mom and dad to the aft berth and leave the four V-sleepers to the kids. Secondly, step off the boat and check out the bow from the showroom floor. That narrow entry reveals a bow that will tame the heavy seas that this boat will typically encounter, and the bow flares wide as it moves up, so by all appearances, this will be a boat that will be nearly impossible to “stuff” while cutting through just about anything. This is just one more item to add to my “test” list, but that, added to the 23-degree deadrise sure takes the edge out of any shortcomings in width from a V-berth perspective.
For a boat that was made by a fish savvy company the likes of Hydra-Sports, this 3600 VX has the makings of a very family friendly cruising boat that will appeal to a lot of people. And with the Hydra-Sports heritage, it will be around for the long haul too.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
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