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Cruisers Yachts 300 Express (2011-)
(w/ 2 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3GXi Gas sterndrive)

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Brief Summary

Just one look was all it took to see that Cruisers Yachts didn’t skimp when it came to building the smallest in their fleet, the 300 Express. From the quality woodwork to the stainless steel trim and accessories, the feeling was evident. It also showed Cruisers characteristic flair for making boats seems larger than they actually are. It just solidifies our feeling that when it comes to building family oriented cruisers, Cruisers Yachts takes their job seriously. Just wait till you step aboard and you’ll see what we mean.

Key Features

  • Full-width extended swim platform
  • Easy access shore power, dockside water and TV hookups on transom
  • Easy access to engine compartment
  • Cockpit wet bar with removable 25 qt. cooler
  • Double wide helm seat with storage
  • Walk-thru windshield with heavy-duty handrail
  • Standard electronics package -- VHF radio, depth sounder, and color GPS/chartplotter
  • Zippered smiles in front curtains for natural air flow
  • Full fiberglass cabin liner
  • Drawers are made with 1/2'' wood with metal rollers
  • Standard 15'' TV and DVD player
  • Extra large, user-friendly berth in forward stateroom
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 31' 3''
    9.5 m
    Beam 10' 0''
    3.0 m
    Dry Weight 10,300 lbs.
    4,672 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 36''
    .91 m
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom N/A
    Max Headroom 6'3''
    1.9 m
    Bridge Clearance 10' 0''
    3.0 m
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 125 gal.
    473 L
    Water Capacity 30 gal.
    114 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power 2 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3GXi Gas sterndrive
    Opt. Power 2 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GXi
    2 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi
    2 x 160-hp Volvo Penta D3

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    610 3.2 2.7 1.3 2.4 2.1 273 237 68
    1000 5.1 4.4 2.2 2.3 2.0 258 225 68
    1500 6.9 6.0 3.3 2.1 1.8 234 203 72
    2000 8.5 7.4 5.6 1.5 1.3 171 148 76
    2500 9.6 8.3 8.3 1.1 0.9 121 106 75
    3000 10.7 9.3 13.8 0.8 0.7 87 76 79
    3500 16.1 14.0 18.9 0.9 0.7 96 83 87
    4000 28.4 24.7 20.3 1.4 1.2 157 137 89
    4500 34.4 29.9 24.8 1.4 1.2 156 136 90
    5000 39.7 34.5 36.2 1.1 1.0 123 107 90
    610 237 439 5.10 4.92 1.03 68
    1000 225 415 8.20 8.33 0.98 68
    1500 203 377 11.10 12.49 0.88 72
    2000 148 275 13.70 21.20 0.65 76
    2500 106 195 15.40 31.42 0.46 75
    3000 76 140 17.20 52.24 0.33 79
    3500 83 154 25.90 71.54 0.36 87
    4000 137 253 45.70 76.84 0.60 89
    4500 136 251 55.40 93.88 0.59 90
    5000 107 198 63.90 137.03 0.47 90

    All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane 8.3 sec.
    0 to 30 15.2 sec.
    Ratio 1.79 : 1
    Props 14.5 x 17 4-blade
    Load Load: 3 persons, Fuel: 1/2 full, Water: none, Gear: full
    Climate Temp: 70 deg., Humid: 87%, Wind: 5 knots, Seas: flat

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express (2011-) Line Drawing


    Captain's Report

    Learn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    The 300 Express is the smallest boat in Cruisers lineup that extends to 56’ (17 m). But does the same quality of workmanship go into this boat or is it the neglected stepchild?

    Cinderella Complex?

    For starters, let’s address the first question. Yes it is the smallest boat in the Cruisers catalog, but when we stepped aboard, it was self evident that this was not the neglected stepchild one might expect. Certainly, the company executives were quick to point out that “the same quality that goes into the 560 goes into this boat,” but what else would they say? However, once you step aboard and see it for yourself, you quickly become a believer that you’re still getting quality, even in the smallest boat.

    The Transition

    Which brings us to why this size is so popular. There are a lot of boats smaller than this and a lot of boaters that own them. When the 2-foot rule kicks in (you always need a boat 2-feet bigger than the one you own) and it comes time to move away from the bowrider or small pocket cruiser and into an actual weekender/cruiser, then yes, this is a good size to transition to. The next step is for you to get into the layout and start nitpicking what makes one boat better than the other, so let’s step aboard and start picking away.

    Attention Aft

    The 300 Express is boarded from the swim platform and it’s large, roomy, and molded into the hull. Yes, this adds to the 31’3” (9.5 m) LOA, but keep in mind that we’ve seen others that have a tiny platform and offer an “extended swim platform” as optional. No such option is offered, or needed here. The re-boarding ladder is four-step, and we’ve heard enough of how our test captains feel about that (“beats three steps any day”).

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    Notice the aft cleats raised above the “trip zone.” The cockpit refrigerator is an option, and notice the swim ladder is just outside the transom door so anyone using it is visible from the helm.

    The transom door opens inward, and we like that: When it’s closed, there’s a built in protection from falling into it and having it open outward by accident. We think all transom doors should open inward for that reason alone. There is also a step up into the cockpit which will keep that following wave from washing onto the cockpit when you pull back on the throttles quickly. Once inside, the cockpit is laid out in the usual fashion with wrap-around seating to starboard, sink to port. The tables have lower pedestals to form a sunpad, and we like the removable cooler under the sink. There is an option for a cockpit refrigerator or icemaker, but having a cooler that you can load at home and bring aboard beats a small refrigerator all day.

    Helm Deck

    Moving forward, the port side has the now obligatory lounger, great for conversing with the captain or watching the wake shrinking in the distance. The helm features a double wide seat, and it’s never a bad idea to have a second set of eyes facing forward. The 300 helm is also where the long list of standard features, that are usually on other manufacturer’s options lists, starts becoming apparent.

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    Cruisers calls this an “ergonomic” helm, but we’d rather see the engine controls mounted at a more level angle.

    Items such as a compass, Raymarine Ray55 VHF, a digital depth finder, a Garmin GPSMAP 292C chartplotter, dual hour meters (often not even offered on others), an anchor windlass and a remotely controlled spotlight…. all standard. Not necessarily remarkable for being standard, but notable nonetheless, are the Faria gauges with chrome bezels, power assist steering and electro-hydraulic trim tabs. And we couldn’t help but notice that there are sacrificial zincs on the tabs.

    Down Below

    Moving down below, a trademark Cruisers Yachts feature comes into play… 6’3” (1.9 m) of headroom. Couple that with the boat’s 10’ (3.0 m) beam and any claustrophobic tendencies are out the window.

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    This 300 Express layout lends itself nicely to four people spending a weekend onboard.

    The roominess is helped along with the crescent shaped sofa that doesn’t extend into the salon as far as a typical C-shaped one would. This limits the seating a bit but that is supplemented with the spacious aft settee in the mid-cabin. We’ve always found these spaces abaft the salon to be much more conducive to intimate gathering, especially when the boat is being “weekended” by two couples. Naturally this aft settee converts into a double berth, making comfortable accommodations for those two couples or a family of four. For comfort, there’s the standard 10,000 BTU heat/ac (yes… standard).

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    The salon is completely carpeted and gloss wood finish is used throughout. Notice the open storage spaces above the crescent settee.
    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    The galley features additional hardwood finish that complements the rest of the cabin. Portlights add natural light into the living spaces.
    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    A full sized forward berth has ample storage in full length shelves. Two reading lights can be pivoted for use as indirect light.
    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    While we like the use of this after settee for a convenient gathering area, the ability to convert it into a second berth also has its appeal. Note the privacy curtain at left.

    Optional Extras

    So if the 300 Express is so long on standards, what is left as options? The fact is… not much. There are a few essentials however. We love, and recommend the look of, synthetic teak decking. It’s low maintenance and Cruisers makes it available for the cockpit deck and swim platform. The cockpit refer/icemaker we’ve already decided to leave off the boat.

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    There is a privacy curtain to close off the bow. By eliminating the bulkhead, Cruisers has opened up the space.

    If you are the type to spend nights on the hook, then you might want to consider a generator to allow your standard heat/ac to do its thing. There are four offered, two gas and two diesel, in a 4kw or 5kw version. Then there are power choices. Cruisers has aligned themselves with the good folks at Volvo Penta and you can have a pair of gas 4.3L 225-hp in either raw or freshwater cooled versions, or opt up to 270-hp 5.0L with the same cooling choices. Finally you can go with a 160-hp D3 diesel, which frankly, can only be justified if you live overseas, where the price of fuel dictates if you are fortunate enough to cruise so extensively that the added cost will be offset by the lower fuel burn, so much the better.

    Cruisers Yachts 300 Express
    The 300 Express weighs 10,300 lbs. (4,672 kgs.) dry.


    We tested the 300 Express with twin 4.3L engines and recorded a WOT speed of 39.7 mph (34.5 knots). Best cruise was at 4,000 rpms where the boat traveled at 28.4 mph (24.7 knots). Click on the "Test Results" tab at the top of the page to see the complete test results.Which brings us back to where we started. Is this a good transitional boat? Clearly, the size is manageable to anyone moving up and she can be easily operated by just a couple of people, so we’d have to say a resounding yes. But more to the point, Cruisers Yachts has added so much value for the money, that the 300 Express deserves a place on your short list. Then it’s just a matter of stepping aboard and getting a test ride to do the final convincing for you.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 300 Express (2011-) is 39.7 mph (63.9 kph), burning 36.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 137.02 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 300 Express (2011-) is 28.4 mph (45.7 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 157 miles (252.67 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 2 x 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3GXi Gas sterndrive.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    GPS/Chart Standard
    VHF Radio Standard


    Air Cond./Heat Standard
    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    CD Stereo Standard
    Head: Fixed Standard
    Shore Power Standard
    Trim Tabs Standard
    TV/DVD Standard
    Water Heater Standard
    Windlass Standard


    Icemaker Optional
    Microwave Standard
    Refrigerator Standard
    Stove Standard

    Exterior Features

    Carpet: Cockpit Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Transom Door Standard
    Transom Shower Standard
    Wet bar Optional


    Bimini Top Standard
    Camper Back Optional
    Cockpit Cover Optional

    Boats More Than 30 Feet

    Generator Optional


    Hull Warranty

    Deck Warranty
    5-year Yes
    Gelcoat Warranty

    Blistering Warranty
    3-Year Yes
    Accessories Warranty
    1-Year other parts and components Yes
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