Maxum 2100 SC3 for Cuddy Lovers - 05/06/2009
Believe it or not, 86% of the runabouts sold these days are bowriders. They have lots of room for passengers and kids love them. Nevertheless, we still have a fond spot in our institutional heart for the traditional cuddy cabin runabout. Maxum has managed to capture some of the elegance, style and class of the old cuddies with their 2100 SC3. We think the Maxum designers have done a good job of styling a modern boat, yet one that remembers its traditional roots. Just look at that picture below. Note the beautiful black hull (no Clorox bottle here), teak swim platform, the graceful bustle in the stern curving down to an ever-so-modern seat on the transom.

   Maxum 2100 SC3
It is the traditional sportboat design, and we still love the looks of a cuddy.

Usually we put the price of the boats we review at the end of the article because it seems a bit crass to plop it into the first paragraph of a review. But in fact, we always ask the salesman the price before we look at a boat, or a car or a house or most anything else. It doesn’t have to be the “last” price, MSRP will do. Price puts the boat into context. Is it a high price, low price or somewhere in the middle? If the price of the boat is low compared to her peers in class, then we subdue our expectations and find that we can more easily forgive the absence of many amenities. And while we always expect the important aspect of the boat to be constructed correctly and the boat to be seaworthy no matter how low the price, there are many details about a boat that are “nice to have” but frankly, they just drive up the price.

   Maxum 2100 SC3
Maxum designer have created a huge amount of storage space for watersports ear right where it should be – by the swim platform.
When getting on a boat that is at the high end of the price spectrum, we expect everything to not only be done right, but be done with the best materials available and be accompanied with customer service found only at places like the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida (where all American employees are trained in Old World European service).

The Price

The MSRP of the Maxum 2100SC3 is $39,719 with the standard engine which is the 220-hp 4.3L MPI Alpha I MerCruiser. (If you were born yesterday, MSRP in the boat business means you can actually buy the boat for somewhat less.)

So where does Maxum fall in the overall plot of boat pricing? We think the best answer to that question can come from Maxum owners who have taken the time to provide our readers and researchers with their opinions of Maxum products.

Maxum Owner Reviews

If you have not taken the time to read over BoatTEST’s “Owner Reviews” that accompany most boat tests, we urge you to do so, as it will be an exercise in seeing expectations met or disappointed.

   Maxum 2100 SC3
The convertible top hides completely out of the way behind the seat backs in the stern of the boat.
Great Expectations

There are 18 Maxum owner reports posted. Interestingly, there is not an irate customer in the lot. This is a bit unusual, as generally no matter what the brand, there is someone who is out of sorts. This indicates to us that customers’ expectations are being met by the Maxum products. A thread that ran through a number of the reviews was that of “value.” The owner of a 3000SRC said his boat was “one of the best dollar values in today’s market.” The owner of a 35 said that “This is a very under-rated boat.” The owner of an 1800SR3 said his boat was a “great value.”

The owner of a 25 said his boat “Handled better than I expected the first time I found myself in 5’ to 6’ seas.”

Maxums are not at the low end of the price-point scale and if our reading of the Maxum owners’ perceptions is correct, the company has found the sweet spot of quality, amenities and price and has met its customers’ expectations.

Power for the Glory

A second theme we found in some of these 18 reviews, as well as in those for many other brands: boats being under-powered. For example, the owner of a 1800 said his boat was “OK for my needs, but for skiing it needs more power.” He had a boat with the 3.0L 135-hp engine.

A 2500 SR owner said “Underpowered with the 260-hp Mercury, runs great with the 300-hp PCM repower.” An owner of an 1800 SR3 said his “Boat runs great with 190-hp – I recommend.”

   Maxum 2100 SC3
The helm seat has been carefully designed to have plenty of clearance behind it so that it can be moved back when the skipper is standing. Also it rises vertically. Note that there are five bolts holding the pedestal to the deck instead of three which you often find.

Performance vs. Application

Maxum has done a good job of filling its customer in on the basic performance characteristics of the 2100 SR3. It says that with full tanks and four people aboard and appropriate gear, the boat has a WOT of 44.5 mph and a best cruise of 32.3 mph with the 4.3L MPI Alpha I 220-hp engine. Maxum does not tell us what the time to plane is or the 0 to 30 time, so if you are planning on skiing or wakeboarding you’ll need to investigate this further.

(Please note: has not tested the 2100 SR3 so we can make no judgment on performance, boat handling, or other aspects of the boat, nor can we provide you with independent 3rd party test data.)

Maxum offers both a 260-hp option and a 300-hp option for the boat. The 260-hp 5.0L Mercury costs an extra $2,243 and the 350 MAG MPI with 300-hp boosts the price $4,636. We recommend that you check out the performance tables under the engine section on for the three engines involved, in order to get a better handle on which engine would be best for your application.

Please note that Maxum also offers a 1.7L diesel engine rated at 120-hp. While its speed is predictably less than with the gas engines, Maxum reports that it gives the boat a range of 327 miles using 90% of the fuel capacity. While Americans might not be interested in such capabilities, boat buyers around the world may well give this option serious consideration.

   Maxum 2100 SC3
The 2100 SR3 has a well-designed instrument panel.
Height of Eye

Another theme that runs through many owners’ reports of runabout boats is the difficulty of finding a seat that is the “right” height. The 5’10” owner of an 1800 said “…the helm seat needs to be higher.” The owner of an 1800 SR3 who complained that he could not stand at the helm because the seat was “…too far forward” praised the seat for being just the “right height.”

In this regard, we note that on the 2100 SC3 the helm seat swivels, slides fore and aft and can be adjusted vertically! Hooray! We have been urging builders to do just this for years, and full marks to Maxum for doing it.

Fit and Finish


Now we come to expectations, both met and unmet. The owner of an 1800 SR3 said “Overall Maxum is a great product, however some of the workmanship and quality are disappointing.” The owner of a 1900 SR3 agreed saying “A little disappointed with the finishing touches on the boat. Could have been better.” Then he added, “..would recommend [the Maxum] to anyone looking for a good overall boat.”

So there you have our boiled-down version of the most notable owner comments we have received on Maxum boats. To read the un-edited versions yourself, click here. 

High Points of the 2100 SR3

In going over the specifications of the 2100 and the list of standard equipment, we found a few things we’d like to point out. As standard equipment the boat has courtesy lights in the cockpit, a convertible top with boot, an alarm for high engine water temperature, a non-glare dash in front of the helm, a remote oil drain for the engine, stainless steel thru-hull fittings, and a rigid rub rail with a stainless steel insert. These are all important items.

   Maxum 2100 SC3
A great safety feature: note that the swim platform extends beyond the lower unit.

Probably the standard item we like the most is the extended swim platform. Maxum has done a good job of this feature, extending it beyond the stern drive lower unit so that when swimmers slide into the water they won’t cut their foot on the prop (which, of course, is always turned off when people are in the water nearby).