- The Express is as much a driver’s boat as it is a social platform…
- … the driving experience is one that will excite and thrill with the performance on tap.
- The hull is refined and efficient with plenty of grip on the water, allowing you to throw the boat around like a small sports boat.
Simon Everett updates us on the progress of something of a blast from the past on these shores and reviews Cruisers’ newest offering, the 35 express…
Cruisers was a name that was well known in the UK in the 80s and 90s, but the then importer disappeared off the face of the earth and the brand had no representation for many years. This year, Ideal Boat in Pwllheli have been awarded the responsibility of distributing these fine-quality motor yachts, so once again they have representation in the UK, which for anyone looking for swift performance with a high level of comfort and quality is very good news indeed.
Once you start getting above the 30ft mark, performance becomes more difficult to achieve unless you throw hundreds of extra horses into the equation. The problem is twofold: the bigger the boat, the greater the wetted area; then add to that the weight of expectations that modern boatbuilders have to satisfy. You cannot add acres of Corian worktops, porcelain heads and basins and all the other trappings of modern life without adding to the weight the engines have to propel.
In the 35 Express, Cruisers seem to have defied the laws of physics by providing a high level of comfort married to genuine 35-knot performance from a pair of 260hp Volvo D4s. That figure in itself points to a superbly efficient hull – when you see her go from standstill to plane in a matter of a few seconds, you realise that the hull is exceptionally well configured. With the bigger engine options, 40 knots+ with the boat fully loaded is genuinely achievable.
The 35 Express is a sports cruiser in the truest sense of the word with a striking profile that really catches the eye, and while Cruisers are not a full custom builder, they are very willing to work with customers to tweak the standard offerings to suit particular needs in order to partially customise the final boat. The approach to the build is one of quality first and foremost, with no cost-cutting to try and shave the price. This obviously increases the cost, but the long-term benefits will be worth the initial investment and potential owners at this level won’t be willing to compromise quality just to try and save a few bob.
The 35’s versatile hardtop layout allows for an open, airy atmosphere during the summer, but start to close off the openings with the dedicated canvas and she becomes an enclosed, weatherproof boat to extend your season into the autumn and get it off to an early start in the spring, ahead of your boating rivals, when the water is less congested.
She is a lovely-looking boat with her own stamp on this class – there is nothing similar, so the boat will always stand out from the row of Fairline Targas that seem to be ubiquitous. Movement throughout the boat is fluid – there are no obstructions to progress from stem to stern, through the windscreen access and out the transom gate. The seating is laid out either side of the through walkway and the foredeck steps are moulded in neatly to the main helm console, blending in unobtrusively, although the top step is a bit narrow, squeezed between the companionway and the dash moulding.
The curves and design features maintain constant eye interest wherever you look. The sweeps of the S-shaped passenger side seating provide a softer aesthetic along with the combination of traditional seat and chaise longue-style lounger. The helm has a split-bolster twin seat with flip-down squab to allow standing at the wheel, while the thickly padded armrests are an example of the additional quality put into Cruisers’ yachts.
The after end of the cockpit is given over to the sun gods, and the back-to-back forward- and aft-facing double seat slides flat so it can become a huge sunbathing deck. Ahead of this, the extendable dining table sits out of the walkway from the transom gate, servicing all the aft cockpit seating. The combination of socialising areas and freedom of movement is well executed to keep all ages happy. Of course, all this is under the canopy of the hardtop, casting shade to provide some respite from the direct rays of the sun.
Cruisers have recognised that the vast majority of boaters don’t actually overnight on their boat, not in company anyway, so down below, the saloon is open plan right through, including as far as the cabin. Instead of trying to cram in two cabins, the space for the occasional cabin is used for a snug slotted in below the helm deck to extend the space available for entertaining. This gives two options – either stay up top under the stars or retire below with just as much seating room and continue the party below deck.
The Express is as much a driver’s boat as it is a social platform, though, and the driving experience is one that will excite and thrill with the performance on tap. The hull is refined and efficient with plenty of grip on the water, allowing you to throw the boat around like a small sports boat. Her response was surprising, and while she isn’t a Tomahawk, she doesn’t have the hunger for power either and offers more in terms of space on board than a single-minded high-performance boat can ever give.
As an exercise in blending high-speed handling with haute cuisine, the Express 35 goes a long way toward bridging the gap – successfully, in my view. The quality doesn’t come cheap, starting at around £338,000, but for that you get a well-found boat that offers luxurious surroundings and great attention to detail. If you want to go faster, there is always the option of bigger engines with no loss of facilities.
- LOA: 35′ 6″ (10.8m)
- Beam: 11′ 8″ (3.8m)
- Draught: 44″ (1.1m)
- Dry weight: 17,500lb (7938kg)
- Air draught: 10′ 3″ (3.1m)
- Fuel tank: 232 gals (878 litres)
- Fresh water: 40 gals (151 litres)
- Holding tank: 30 gals (114 litres)
RPM Speed (knots)
- 700 4.6
- 1000 6.0
- 2000 10.7
- 2500 19.6
- 3000 27.7
- 3500 35.1
Ideal Boat Company
Telephone: 01758 703013
Mobile: 07813 581937