By: Scott Way
The cruiser category is one of the most popular in recreational boating, and for good reason. It's a platform that offers arguably the widest array of functionality and allows boaters to accomplish nearly everything they'd like in one vessel. They can serve as a day boat or provide accommodations for extended travel, and depending on their size even allow for extended living aboard. Some can be trailered depending on their size, and most contain enough space, power, and amenities for nearly any ambition.
2020 will see some great mid-size developments from Sea Ray, Beneteau, Jeanneau, and Four Winns all measuring between 34 and 42 feet. The classic Sea Ray Sundancer and the Beneteau Gran Turismo both exude a wealth of luxury comforts that make for a spectacular layout both inside and out, and the Jeanneau NC 1095 and Four Winns Vista 355 Coupe are two similar boats that offer incredible value in the price category. Of course, all but the Sea Ray fall under the Beneteau Boat Group ledger, but there are distinct identities to each that become immediately identifiable as soon as you step aboard.
Here's a look at the highlights for each, including a summary of features and a 360 virtual tour that allows you to explore each model from top to bottom:
Fuel Capacity: 870 L
Weight: 15,780 lbs
Certification: Yacht Certified
Draft: 40" Down
Draft: 30" Up
Deadrise: 20 degrees
The Sundancer 350 packs a lot into 35 feet of luxury. The optional transom galley is an intelligent design for hosting gatherings on the aft deck. The addition of an extended swim platform only increases the possibility at the stern. The helm has a custom SmartCraft instrumentation system that's available with a Simrad G09 or G012 display and comes preloaded with charts, depth, water temperature, and engine data. Best feature? Arguably the VesselView® app that allows you to connect your phone via Bluetooth and display gauge information on your iPhone or Android. You can monitor all engines, customize your dashboard to display your preferred data, and receive alerts if something fall outside standard parameters. Pretty handy if you're enjoying a sunset dinner back at the transom galley.
You can see just how much the Sundancer 350 brings to the dock with the full virtual tour below (*double click any individual area for a close-up):
Fuel Capacity: 650 L
Weight: 17,490 lbs
Certification: CE B10/C10
Beneteau offers incredible value for the price point, there's no denying it. With a top speed of 38 knots provided by your choice of 3 different matched pairs of Volvo diesel engines, it knows how to move. Like the Sea Ray, it also boasts a stern outdoor galley but with the added features of a 50L fridge, sink, storage, electric grill, and dry bar. It's also a unique layout, the cockpit alone has seating for 11 with a helm station that seats 3. One of the most notable features is the Air Step® technology that produces an 'air cushion' while underway. This proprietary tech allows the hull to gain an additional 1.5 knots at max speed, reduce fuel consumption, provide faster acceleration, and generate a smoother ride through waves. The motorized swim platform also descends below water level making for great anchoring festivities, and the retractable hard top means chill time at midships is a chance to work on your tan. This French sport cruiser is worth a second look.
Take that second look here with a full 360 virtual tour (*double click any individual area for a close-up):
Fuel Capacity: 800 L
Weight: 10, 255 lbs
Certification: CE B8/C10
Deadrise- 16 Degrees
The Jeanneau NC 1095 is under the Beneteau umbrella, but that's about where the comparisons end. The NC series is a flagship line for Jeanneau and comes with the aim to provide the ideal family cruiser for days and weekends on the water. The family concept reverberates throughout the design, providing a great value for families seeking to maximize their time on the water (and their budget). Power comes from twin Yahama 300 HP gas engines while the hull layout is offered in either 2 cabin or 3 cabin iterations. The forward 'owner's cabin' comes with a large centreline bed, access to head and shower, overhead hatches, and a wide angle view provided by ample windows. Guest cabin(s) round out the accessibility and provide sleeping quarters with up to 8 berths. Most notably, compared to other boats in the category the NC 1095 is single level, so 'life on one level' allows easy all-around access from bow to stern. This layout and hull platform also provides a smaller draft, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and offering flatter acceleration with a smoother overall ride.
You can explore 'life on one level' in the Jeanneau NC 1095 right here (*double click any individual area for a close-up):
Fuel Capacity: 757 L
Weight: 16,000 lbs
Certification: Yacht Certified
Draft: 32" Down
Draft: 24" Up
Deadrise- 19 Degrees
The Four Winns V355 Coupe is refreshingly straightforward in its design and functionality, and that's a compliment. Gone are fluffy adjectives and marketing catchphrases, the V355 does exactly as described with a subtle elegance that's hard to find. The V355 Coupe OB has an asymmetrical walk-around layout that maximizes a utilitarian design with a host of clever features. The aft bench seating compliments the 'gourmet centre' nicely, and the nearby swim platform and lounge naturally encourage aft gatherings. The bi-folding patio doors separate the aft from the well-designed pilothouse if you're hosting a bevy of guests, yet the full galley has immediate access to the stern festivities should you choose. If you head down below the atrium-style saloon feels as spacious as the pilothouse, giving the boat a sensation of being deceptively large for its size. A full-beam master suite has seascape hull windows and a king size mattress, and a secondary forward stateroom sleeps an additional two. Clever features sprinkled throughout the hull including LED lights, cupholders, rod holders, storage, and assist handles makes for a comfortable trip. No matter where you seem to be sitting, you tend to find exactly what you're looking for right next to you.
You can read a comprehensive review of the V355 Coupe OB, or cruise your way from the 'gourmet centre' to the atrium salon with the virtual tour below (*double click any individual area for a close-up):