The wilds of the Pacific Northwest are not to be taken lightly. Though beautiful, the rocky shores, verdant outcrops and deserted scenery—much of it accessible only by boat—come with their own unique challenges. Hard-to-spot deadheads float in the water. A long rainy season, coupled with chilly climes, necessitates an enclosed helm. And far-flung ports require a large fuel capacity.
For that reason, from the San Juan Islands to Desolation Sound, you can find trawlers cruising all over the Pacific Northwest. But you also see the faster Cutwaters: cruisers with a little more pickup that are able to get places in a hurry. Built in Arlington, Washington, by Fluid Motion (the company also owns Ranger Tugs), Cutwaters are no-fuss, easy-to-maintain vessels packed with features. The brand shirks any air of pretentiousness for a more utilitarian approach to design. I like to think of Cutwaters—and Ranger Tugs, for that matter—as the Jeep Wranglers of boating. They’re rugged, dependable, versatile and built for exploring the great outdoors. And they won’t necessarily break the bank, either.
If Cutwaters are akin to Jeeps, then the 32 Command Bridge is a Wrangler with the top down. Across the industry, few boats offer a flybridge with outboard power. (I can see that changing soon.) “Adding a command bridge to one of our outboard-powered boats is something we’ve been excited to do since we began developing our Cutwater outboard lineup,” says John Livingston, president of Fluid Motion. “Our Volvo Penta diesel inboard-powered C-30 CB has been an incredibly popular model for years. The primary concept behind the C-32 CB was to keep the cruising performance and comfort of the C-30 and add the versatility and speed that outboard power and a planing hull provide.”
To that end, a double-stepped deep-V hull—with the company’s patented Laminar Flow Interrupters, which produce smooth, positive cornering—provides a comfortable ride. Power is supplied by twin 300-hp Yamahas, neither of which impede the 32-square-foot swim platform that provides families with good access to the water. Stainless-steel handrails provide an added element of safety when boarding.
While I can see the flybridge being the helm of choice for year-round boaters in warmer climes, in the Pacific Northwest, you don’t want to leave home without an enclosed helm station. The C-32 CB has both—each equipped with Garmin 8612 multifunction displays.
As far as sleeping arrangements go, the C-32 CB has a stateroom forward with a slightly canted berth for easy access on both sides. Abaft the helm is a dinette that seats four; if necessary, the table can be lowered to create an additional sleeping space. The surprise is underneath that table: a quarter berth complete with reading lights and a porthole. According to the manufacturer, the C-32 CB sleeps five or more. Though I had visions of a Griswold vacation playing in my head, you’re free to cruise this family boat with as many passengers as you wish.
There are too many features to list here, though I will add the boat has a full galley and rear-facing lounge seat, an electric grill, a sink and another refrigerator in the cockpit. It’s also trailerable, with a bridge-friendly clearance of 13 feet, 6 inches. (The flybridge and radar arch are designed to fold—a reported easy, two-minute affair.)
The C-32 CB is a boat that was designed to really go places. Fluid Motion has seen to that.
“We have customers that have trailered their boats to and from every corner of the continent, to cruise and fish in places like the Sea of Cortez, Lake Powell and along the Great Loop,” Livingston says. “And because the 10-foot beam makes it easy to trailer the boat behind your own truck, no waterway is out of reach.”
Displ.: 12,000 lbs.
Fuel: 300 gals.
Water: 80 gals.
Power: (2) 300-hp Yamahas
This article was originally published in the February 2021 issue.