Today’s sport coupes and express cruisers have come a long way - Soundings Online
Today’s sport coupes and express cruisers have come a long way

Comfort, performance and sheer lavishness are qualities often attributed to luxury automobiles, but today’s sport coupes and express cruisers can lay claim to them, too. They have powerful and efficient engines, elegant and modern lines, comfy accommodations and plenty of space for entertaining and socializing.

The past decade has seen heavy evolution in this class of boats. Remember when express cruisers and sport coupes garnered such unsavory nicknames as “Clorox bottle” and “floating refrigerator”? Models on the market today are svelte and beautiful, and they come kitted out with smooth, buttery upholstery, fine wood trim and loads of features, including outdoor air conditioning, sunroofs and electrically operated swim platforms. These boats are also fast, thanks to modern and efficient power plants.

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Beneteau Gran Turismo 40

Speed and grace define the Beneteau Gran Turismo 40. Sporting sharp, aggressive yet curvaceous lines, this express has a distinctly Mediterranean feel. It also packs a real punch in the performance department, even with standard power.

The Gran Turismo’s bridge deck space is unusual. The helm is mounted on centerline. (Most builders position it to port or starboard.) This allows a two-person helm bench with a swiveling chair beside it, to starboard. Abaft the helm bench is a stowage credenza. Seating is fore and aft; settees line each side. A teak table is between them, and an opening sunroof provides natural light and ventilation. Farther aft is a swim platform that lowers electrically, as well as a grill station at the transom.

Below, Beneteau did a smart job creating separate sleeping areas for owners and guests while maintaining entertaining space for foul-weather days. Forward in the bow is the master, which has a queen-size island berth and natural light from two panes of hull-side glass and an overhead opening hatch. Guests have a stateroom aft under the bridge deck. Both staterooms share an enclosed head/shower. Also below deck are a starboard galley and an L-shaped, port-side dinette.

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The Gran Turismo 40 rides a single-step hull utilizing Beneteau’s Air Step 2 technology, which ventilates the step area with air from topside vents. A variety of power plants are available, including twin 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels or 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels. Joystick controls are included with the D6s and optional with the D4s. Both engines are mated to Duoprop sterndrives. Base power seems to provide plenty of pep, with a 38.4-knot top end and efficient 30-knot cruise.

LOA: 41 feet, 7 inches • BEAM: 12 feet, 8 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 6 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 17,489 pounds • FUEL: 172 gallons • POWER: twin 300-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesels, twin 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels • SPEED: 38.4 knots top, 30 knots cruise • PRICE: $410,800 • CONTACT: Beneteau, Annapolis, Maryland, (410) 990-0270. beneteau.com/us

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Jeanneau Leader 33

Jeanneau is a master at packing smart features into a precisely engineered package that delivers convertibility and performance. The Leader 33 is yet another example of that skill.

The most interesting thing about the Leader 33’s interior is the way Jeanneau utilized the master stateroom space. In sleep mode, the forward island berth is full length, and a pair of sliding pocket doors provide privacy. When guests are aboard, the foot of the bed slides forward and a few cushions can be moved to create a C-shaped lounge with a slide-in dinette. Just abaft this area are a galley and an enclosed head/shower. Guests are accommodated in a midcabin stateroom with a door.

Up a few steps from the accommodations is the bridge deck, which has a couple of its own tricks. To port is a C-shaped lounge with a teak table that has foldout leaves. The forward end of the lounge pulls double duty as a companion seat across from the helm, by flipping the seatback forward. Farther aft, the lounge’s seatbacks lower to form a wide sunpad. There’s no shortage of sunlight thanks to a nearly full-width opening sunroof and cabin-side glass.

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Power choices include a pair of 250-hp MerCruiser gasoline sterndrives, twin 300-hp MerCruisers or 220-hp Volvo Penta diesels. Mercury’s Axius joystick and Volvo Penta’s Sterndrive Joystick systems are available. Running the Leader 33 with the throttles wide open produces a top end of 31 knots at 4,000 rpm. Most owners will cruise around 25 knots for best fuel efficiency.

LOA: 34 feet, 7 inches • BEAM: 10 feet, 10 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 10,829 pounds • FUEL: 137 gallons • POWER: twin 220-hp Volvo Penta D3 diesels, twin MerCruiser 250-hp Bravo Three X, twin MerCruiser 300-hp Bravo Three X • SPEED: 31 knots top, 25 knots cruise • PRICE: $280,000 • CONTACT: Jeanneau America, Annapolis, Maryland, (410) 280-9400. jeanneau.com

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Carver C52 Coupe

If you haven’t been paying attention, you may have missed that there’s a full-blown renaissance going on at Carver Yachts. The builder, which once had a reputation for less-than-graceful boats, now has coupes and flybridge yachts with European-styled lines, and luxury and comfort features. These boats also are top performers in their classes, thanks to modern and efficient power plants.

Inside the C52 Coupe, two stairways in the saloon lead down to separate sleeping areas. The forward stairway accesses a guest stateroom in the bow and a smaller, starboard-side stateroom with twin berths. Those staterooms share an enclosed head/shower, to port. The second stairway winds down to the amidships, full-width master stateroom. It has a queen-size berth, port-side lounge and en-suite head/shower. The saloon has a raised dinette and entertaining area, two-person helm, aft galley and sunroof that opens.

Standard power on the C52 Coupe is a pair of 480-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels. Options are 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesels and 715-hp QSM11 Cummins diesels. Estimated top end with the 715-hp engines is around 33 knots, with a 29-knot cruise. The C52 Coupe rides a vacuum-infused and hand-laid fiberglass hull. Carbon fiber is utilized in the cabin house, especially around the power sunroof opening.

Outside, owners will find a cockpit that ties in with the main saloon via a sliding door. An L-shaped lounge follows the transom curves, and there’s a snack area with a sink, pullout refrigerator and optional electric grill. A sunpad forward rounds out the exterior spaces.

LOA: 51 feet, 10 inches • BEAM: 15 feet, 8 inches • DRAFT: 4 feet • DISPLACEMENT: 43,000 pounds • FUEL: 550 gallons • POWER: twin 480-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels, twin 600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesels, twin 715-hp Cummins QSM11 diesels • SPEED: 33 knots top, 29 knots cruise • PRICE: $1,173,320 • CONTACT: Carver Yachts, Pulaski, Wisconsin, (920) 822-3214. carveryachts.com

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Cruisers 45 Cantius

A good number of trends seen on today’s express cruisers and sport coupes trace back to the Cantius 48 model Cruisers Yachts introduced almost a decade ago. Today, Cruisers has six Cantius models, among them a 45-footer.

Cruisers integrates the galley with the cockpit better than most builders do. Of course, doors open to connect the spaces, but Cruisers also orients the largest part of the galley counter to face aft, into the cockpit. That means it can serve as a breakfast bar. Drop in two pedestal-base stools in the cockpit and order a drink as the electrically powered glass panel slides down and away in the bulkhead. The cockpit also has an electric grill and refrigeration console, a wet bar and a wraparound transom seat that converts to a sunpad. Stowage is underneath.

With the galley up, Cruisers had space for a two-stateroom layout with a separate, enclosed head/shower in each stateroom. The bow and amidships staterooms are similarly sized and equipped, though the forward stateroom with island queen berth has a private head. The central foyer, where the staterooms are accessed, has a washer/dryer and access to the day head.

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Standard power is a pair of 375-hp Volvo Penta IPS500 pod drives. Twin 435-hp IPS600s are an option. With the latter, the Cantius 45 will reportedly top out at 30 knots and cruise around 24 knots. The IPS/joystick combo should make docking easy.

LOA: 45 feet • BEAM: 14 feet, 6 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 5 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 29,500 pounds • FUEL: 362 gallons • POWER: twin 365-hp Volvo Penta IPS500, twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 • SPEED: 30 knots top, 24 knots cruise • PRICE: $992,060 • CONTACT: Cruisers Yachts, Oconto, Wisconsin, (920) 834-2211. cruisersyachts.com

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Pursuit OS 385 Offshore

Folks who have a calendar filled with piscatorial pursuits — no pun intended — need not give up the ability to go after the big ones, especially if an express cruiser is their style of boat. The Pursuit OS 385 Offshore has angling accoutrements and comfort features. Tipped with the optional trio of 350-hp Yamaha F350 4-stroke outboards, this boat also knows how to dance when you feed it a generous dose of throttle.

The OS 385 Offshore is available with two cabin layouts. The standard interior has a U-shaped dinette in the bow that converts to a berth, a galley to port and a midcabin berth aft. The optional layout is more open with a forward berth, an L-shaped lounge/dinette to port, a forward galley to starboard and a midcabin berth aft. Each layout has an enclosed shower/head to port and is fitted out with a Khaya wood sole and Corian countertops.

A triple rack of Yamaha F300 4-strokes is standard, though many buyers opt for the three F350s. Lighting off the three big V-8 Yamahas goes from 0 to 34 knots in 7.7 seconds. Keep the hammer down, and the OS 385 will rocket to a top end of 47 knots. Fishermen headed for the canyons or making long-distance hops can cruise in the mid-30s for best fuel efficiency.

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Pursuit packed in a bunch of features that make the OS 385 a capable angling machine. Among them are a 300-quart insulated fiberglass refrigerator/freezer/icebox, a 50-gallon live well, two 68-gallon fishboxes with overboard macerated discharges, rod holders and preinstalled reinforcements for a downrigger or fighting chair installation.

LOA: 39 feet, 2 inches • BEAM: 13 feet • DRAFT: 2 feet, 1 inch • DISPLACEMENT: 19,450 pounds • FUEL: 370 gallons • POWER: triple 300-hp Yamaha F300 outboards, triple 350-hp Yamaha F350 outboards • SPEED: 47 knots top, 30 knots cruise • PRICE: $577,935 • CONTACT: Pursuit Boats, Fort Pierce, Florida, (800) 947-8778. pursuitboats.com

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Sealine C430

The Sealine C430 is the newest member of Sealine’s ever-expanding lineup. It joins the C330 and C530 in the builder’s Cruiser range, adding a model for Sealine in the mid-40-foot sport coupe market. With Volvo Penta IPS pod drives, panoramic saloon views and two- and three-stateroom layouts, the C430 is designed to be a competitor.

A pair of 300-hp Volvo Penta IPS400 diesel pod drives are standard, with 370-hp and 435-hp IPS500 and IPS600 engines as options. Estimated top end with the base power plants is 25 knots, and IPS500s and IPS600s will speed the C430 up to 30 and 33 knots, respectively.

The standard layout below has an amidships master stateroom with an island berth and en-suite head/shower, and a guest stateroom with island berth in the bow. (The guest stateroom can also be ordered with scissoring berths.) Two layouts with three staterooms are also available. They add twin midcabin guest staterooms with various berth configurations. Leather, fine hardwoods and polished metals come with all the layouts.

In the saloon and cockpit, the outdoors come inside. Taller-than-normal cabin-side glass in the saloon allows a panoramic view, and an opening sunroof and an inset cabin-top skylight add views skyward. Glass sliding doors open to the cockpit. An optional hydraulic swim platform lowers, and the transom has an electric grill, sink and food-prep space.

LOA: 43 feet • BEAM: 13 feet, 9 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 5 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 29,328 pounds • FUEL: 242 gallons • POWER: twin 300-hp Volvo Penta IPS400, twin 370-hp Volvo Penta IPS500, twin 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 • SPEED: unavailable at press time • CONTACT: Hanse Yachts US, Newburyport, Massachusetts, (978) 239-6568. sealine.com

This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue.