Broom is the longest established builder of motor cruisers in the UK. Its modern incarnation was formalized in 1971 building fiberglass boats, but its roots go back to 1898 when Charles J. Broom started building boats out of wood in the Norfolk Broads area of England. His grandson, Martin, is the current CEO of the company which has remained in the family for over 100 years. There are few if any boat builders that can claim that sort of longevity.
And while Broom’s boat-building heritage is remarkable, what really caught our eye, as we said, was the concept of boat that Broom is building – all six of its models from 36’ to 53’ are “cabin cruisers” and all have an aft cabin. In fact all six models are pretty much the same layout both below and on deck. There are still a few companies in the world that build these tri-cabin designs, mostly in Scandinavia, but the largest of them is Broom, located in Brundall on the River Yare which is in the Broadlands in the “East.” Brundall is on a latitude of Amsterdam which is about 175 miles due east across the English Channel. And it is at the south end of the North Sea. This geography says it all about what the mission statement is for the Broom line of boats.With so many canals and rivers to explore in the UK, to say nothing of all of those across the English Channel, even a busy yachtsman could spend many long seasons exploring the incredible navigable water system of Europe. That is what a lot of the Brooms are used for, and the builder is careful to make its radar arches hinged – so its boats can make it under low bridges, some dating back hundreds of years. This is definitely not the kind of cruising you can do with a high-clearance flybridge boat.
Aft Cabins R Us
All of Broom yachts have one common theme to their layout: the aft master cabin. This feature, along with her large saloon, makes Broom’s 395 a standout. While the Broom 395 may be slightly more costly than a comparable 39' 6'' (12.04 m) express cruisier, a closer look at the layout also shows that there is roughly a third more area inside than you will find even in a hard top express. Having a retractable covering over the helm, makes the 395 appealing to yachtsmen cruising in the UK, the Channel Islands, and the Baltic where the weather can be variable -- or, just downright cold.
Starting topside, we think there are a lot of features to recommend this boat. First, her helm is large with plenty of room for a radar screen and chartplotter. To the left is a dedicated chart table with hinged plexiglass under which to keep paper charts. The wheel is all the way to the starboard side, and inboard there are two companion seats so with three sets of eyes looking forward, navigation should be flawless.The bridge is placed farther aft than it would be on a standard express cruiser, and we like that design as it means the helm will be dryer when the canvas top is stowed and green water is not apt to travel that far back when punching in to short, steep seas that one is likely to encounter in places such as the English Channel and the Solent.
The cockpit is behind the helm which shelters it from the wind, and because it is high, all the guests will have a wonderful view of the passing scenery. There are two pedestal tables aft so the wrap-around seating can comfortably handle six adults. Americans will be looking around for a ice-maker, as it is a long way from the cockpit seating to the galley, down and then back up two sets of steps to fetch some cubes. You'll have to talk to Broom about that.
When going below, the Broom 395 becomes even more interesting. The 395 comes in two interior layouts: 1) the “standard” version which has a dinette down on the port side opposite the galley; and, 2) the “2 plus 2” version which is for living aboard for extend periods with two couples aboard, and which has more seating in the salon and a slightly larger forward cabin at the expense of the dinette opposite the galley. This area is converted into an office or storeroom in this version.
Either way, the salon is good-sized and comes with a “U”-shaped lounger to starboard and cabinets to port for the telly and whatever. The “2 plus 2” version has two seats to port. The engine room is directly below the salon with crouching headroom.
Down another set of steps and forward we find the galley which also is good-sized. There is a gas oven and stove top along with an electric refrigerator. A generator is an option, which we recommend (then you could have heat and A/C as well). In the standard version, the dinette table drops down to form a platform for a berth. Forward is the guest cabin stateroom which has a traditional “V”-berth. Regular readers know that we prefer this arrangement in the forward cabin because of the versatility that it affords. The guest head is wet, but remember this is only a 39-footer, and few boats that size even have a second head.
Going from the salon down a few steps is the master stateroom which is huge. There is a large bed on the centerline and plenty of room to port and starboard of it. Forward is a head and sink to port and a separate shower to starboard. There are two relatively large hanging lockers and the cabin is wrapped in cabinetry providing the kind of storage one might find on a far larger boat.
General specs of the boat are a beam of 13’ (3.96 m), draft of 3’6” (1.06 m), height with radar arch down is 10’8” (3.26 m), and the boat displaces about (depending on engines and options) 22,820 lbs. (10,180 kgs.) When we compare these basic specs to several popular 39’ American-built express cruisers we find that the Broom 395 has a similar beam and falls in the middle range for displacement and draft. Broom offers optional fuel capacity of 319 U.S. gallons (1210 L) which is more that the other boats compared.The list of standard equipment on the Broom 395 is somewhat different than what one might find on boat built in this class in the U.S. or even Italy, so buyers should study the standard and optional list carefully. In summary, we like the concept of the Broom line of aft-cabin cabin cruisers and we think they make good sense for cruising couples most anywhere with the exception, perhaps of the tropics. Because of Broom’s longevity, it has obviously hit a responsive cord with British and northern European boaters. But for the same reasons, we think they are idea for cruising folks in the Pacific Northwest, New England and the Canadian Maritimes, and the Great Lakes.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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