The thrill of exploration and discovering new places on the water is why we love boating, and cruising boats like the ones we picked in 10 Top Express Cruisers: Favorites for Family Boating Fun will be ideal for a large number of boaters. But 2016 has ushered in a new crop of top-notch cruisers and whatever type of cruising you do—whether its long-distance passage making or poking into a local river for a closer look—there’s a brand-new cruising vessel that will be perfect for you. These are 10 of the new cruisers (ordered by length) our team checked out during the past year, which we believe represent the best of 2016. Dream about your next cruising destination and read on for the details.
Princess Yachts 30M
Princess Yachts, based in Plymouth, England, is a renowned builder of some of the finest high-performance motor and megayachts in the world. Sleek, sexy, and providing the ultimate in build quality and luxury, a Princess Yacht is a definitive statement in long-distance passage making in comfort, style, and speed.
The main deck features a large living area with an L-shaped couch, large coffee table, and four additional leather-upholstered chairs. Behind it is the formal dining area with dining for eight folks around an expansive custom wood dining table. The galley is located forward, an L-shaped affair with plenty of stowage and more appliances than a Top Chef cooking set. Oh, and we can’t help but mention the starboard side balcony, which slides out hydraulically from the main deck to provide a commanding view of the scenery below. Sliding glass doors open to provide access to it.
Just because this boat is big doesn’t mean it can’t get you to your next cruising destination in a hurry. Upgrade the standard pair of 1,948 HP MTU diesels to the 16-cylinder M94s and the 30M will thunder up to between 25 and 27 knots with a range of about 1,000 nautical miles. Now that’s what we call cruising.
To learn more, watch our Princess 30M First Look Video.
See Princess 30M listings.
Outer Reef 860 Deluxbridge
Let’s get this right out of the way: you’re not going to buy an Outer Reef passage-making yacht of any type for short day trips. No, Outer Reef is a builder known for producing some of the most capable ocean-going cruising vessels on the market. Think “New York to St. Thomas in a single hop” type of stuff, not a jaunt across the bay.
With an enclosed bridge fitted with a huge galley, the 860 Deluxbridge makes those long passages even more comfortable. That enclosed flybridge not only has the galley (with refrigeration, coffee makers, sink, and other goodies), but also a seating/living room area set across from a huge flat-screen TV. Why all the enclosed coziness? The 860 Deluxbridge has only one helm, and it’s up here in climate-controlled heaven. If natural breezes are your thing, plenty of sliding windows allow you to let the outside in, as well.
A level below is a full, home-style galley replete with island dining area, range, microwave oven, massive refrigeration units, dishwasher, and, well, just about everything you’d need to cook hearty meals at sea. A massive dinette rounds out the forward end of the main level, set just behind an expanse of glass windows. As you’d expect, there are massive accommodations farther below, with a master stateroom and four additional guest staterooms and crew quarters.
Learn more by watching our Outer Reef 860 Deluxbridge First Look Video.
See Outer Reef 860 Deluxbridge listings.
Azimut 66 Flybridge
The 66 Flybridge sits in the middle of Azimut’s Flybridge Collection, keeping company among a range of 42 to 100 footers. But it feels much larger than its length, especially in the multi-level main saloon. The dinette and galley are pushed all the way forward and just behind the helm, while the main living area is set down in a sort of basin, which gives it a cozy, secure feeling. The layering gives it a multidimensional feel. Of course the interior is also layered with Azimut’s luxurious design and style touches, including leather, polished metal, and distinctive touches of wood. Four additional cabins round out the accommodations, and our reviewer said the master stateroom’s spaciousness was notable.
The outside spaces on the Azimut 66 Flybridge are quite noteworthy as well. Up on the foredeck we found a massive sunpad situated ahead of a clever U-shaped lounge that’s protected by a simple but substantial pull-out Bimini. There’s more relaxation space up on the flybridge, and the aft cockpit has enough room for at least 10 folks to hang out and socialize. Twin diesels churning out 2,300 HP push the 66 up to 32 knots.
Learn more by watching our Azimut 66 Flybridge First Look Video.
See Azimut 66 Flybridge listings.
Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius
While most folks are familiar with Cruisers Yachts, which has been building everything from bowriders to luxurious express boats for ages, the Cantius is an upscale lineup of Mediterranean-inspired sport yachts with an express-boat bend and a ton of luxury cooked into the mix. One model that wowed us at the Miami boat show was the 54 Cantius.
The stunning single-level layout is what strikes most folks on first glance, replete with a large, U-shaped galley, large dinette, lounging couch, helm, and lots of glass. It’s one of the most open and airy main saloons we’ve ever seen. There’s also a power sunroof to further improve light and ventilation. This main saloon flows right out into the main cockpit to create a great entertaining space with the galley right in the middle of it all for easy serving. The whole setup feels amazingly luxurious and modern.
There’s more of that luxury and modern style below. The master stateroom is full beam, and accented on each side by hull-side glass with opening ports. Our reviewer liked how the washer/dryer was installed right in the stateroom where it’s needed. Guests are accommodated in two additional staterooms, one situated in the bow.
To find out more about the boat, watch our 54 Cantius First Look Video. And read the full review, Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius: Completing the Dream.
See Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius listings.
Chris-Craft Commander 42
Chris-Craft has been building boats since 1874, being one of the most prolific boat builders of all time. At its height the company was building everything from small runabouts to large motoryachts. The builder downsized somewhat with the advent of fiberglass boats, but it’s experienced a full-blown resurgence in popularity in the last 10 years. There’s no better example of the company’s renaissance than its new Commander 42, a sophisticated power cruiser with a ton of Chris-Craft flair.
There are two large social areas on the Chris-Craft Commander 42—one in the aft cockpit and one in the main cabin. Both are on the same level, and opening a large sliding glass door connects the two effortlessly. The aft cockpit features a huge lounging area set caddy-corner to an outside grill and wet bar. Access to the massive teak-decked swim platform is easy, only a single step through a wide transom door. The main cabin has lots more seating, another food prep area with a two-burner electric stove and beautiful views through massive expanses of curved glass.
Down below is a master stateroom in the bow, a shared enclosed head and shower, and a midcabin guest stateroom tucked off to port and slightly aft, all with plenty of room and ample light and ventilation. You can opt for twin Volvo Penta 435 HP diesels, or twin Volvo Penta IPS pod drives of the same horsepower.
Find out more by watching our Chris-Craft Commander 42 First Look Video.
See Chris-Craft Commander 42 listings.
Sea Ray 400 Sundancer
The first thing we noticed is that the 400 is the first Sundancer of its size with a fully enclosed helm deck. Luckily, it’s easily opened to the outside by simply pulling back a series of sliding glass doors. That provides a single cohesive entertaining area between the main saloon and the aft cockpit. Inside, there’s a galley up in the main saloon, which is another new twist for a Sundancer. It’s well-equipped, too, with a sink, microwave, two-burner electric stove, and a refrigerator. Hey, there’s even a huge electric sunroof in the cabin overhead.
Farther down below is a master stateroom situated in the bow with an island berth and large expanses of glass in the hull sides to let natural light in. There’s also a spacious guest cabin and head/shower compartments, and this layout is customizable with each build. When it’s time to go, throttle up the twin 480 HP Cummins turbo diesels, cruise in the high 20s, and top out near 40 MPH.
Watch our Sea Ray Sundancer 400 First Look Video or read the full review, Sea Ray Sundancer 400: Dance and Fly to learn more.
See Sea Ray Sundancer 400 listings.
Tiara Yachts has long been known for building exquisite, fast, luxury-packed cruising boats, but it’s enjoyed an especially good reputation in the express boat world. The builder’s steadily updated coupe lineup is a departure from those elegant express roots, but by all accounts Tiara’s hit a home run with these new boats. Folks looking for a bit of expanded interior space that connects seamlessly with the outside world, this means you.
The Tiara 39 is the smallest member of Tiara’s new coupe line, queuing in behind the builder’s 44 Coupe and 50 Coupe models. Like all of Tiara’s boats, the feel of quality and luxury is everywhere. From glossy solid teak tables to highly polished stainless-steel hardware and buttery leather upholstery, most every surface and component on the 39 Coupe oozes luxury. Heck, even the enclosed head/shower areas made us feel as if we were in a lavish spa.
What lots of folks like about the layout of the 39 Coupe is its emphasis on creating a convertible indoor/outdoor space in the main saloon. The aft end opens up with doors to the cockpit, huge sliding side windows open up each side of the main saloon, and a massive power sunroof makes you feel just like you’re outside. Go ahead, soak it in.
To learn more watch our Tiara 39 Coupe First Look Video.
See Tiara 39 Coupe listings.
Jeanneau Leader 36
While the Jeanneau Leader 36 can best be described as an express cruiser by means of its deck plan and overall look, it’s got an amazing amount of innovation in its DNA that makes it as smart and utilitarian as some longer-distance cruising boats. Don’t worry, though; it’s still a feisty performer with lots of luxury baked in—just what you’d expect from a true high-end express cruiser.
Most innovative and unique, perhaps, is the Leader 36’s interior. It has an open concept like most express cruisers do, but this openness can cut down on the privacy factor come bedtime, especially for owners who like to do couples cruising. Jeanneau has solved this problem by engineering sliding panels into the main saloon bulkhead. When open, the forward island berth and its shared dinette are open to the main saloon. Slide the panels closed and you’ve got a private master stateroom forward. A private mid-cabin guest stateroom is situated aft, to port. The Leader 36 also has a smooth, quiet ride that begs you to stretch your cruising legs farther from home than you’ve gone before. And, once you get there, comfort and luxurious touches help up your relaxation game.
Read our full review of the Jeanneau Leader 36 or watch our First Look Video to learn more.
See Jeanneau Leader 36 listings.
Okay, we know what you’re thinking… How in the heck is this beast from Everglades a cruising boat? Well, hear us out. In addition to being a great platform for fishing, this dual console boat has a bevy of above-deck accommodations for entertaining and a well-equipped cabin for overnight cruising or fishing adventures. And, with a top end near 60 MPH, it won’t take long to get where you’re going.
The first thing you’ll notice when you hop onboard is that there’s cushy seating everywhere. A huge U-shaped lounge rounds out the aft cockpit and another large, convertible U-shaped lounge that can be converted to a dinette or sunpad sits ahead of the helm station. There’s a flat-screen TV that pops up from under a cabinet just across from this versatile seating area. Entertaining is a big focus, as evidenced by the large wet bar and electric grill in the aft cockpit. We’re thinking Super Bowl cruise, folks.
There’s a well-equipped cabin snuggled up in the bow replete with a galley to starboard (with a microwave, refrigerator and sink), an offset berth forward with companion seating, and an enclosed head/shower to port. There’s no reason why a long weekend itinerary of offshore port-hopping couldn’t be on your schedule. Us? We’re headed for the Bahamas—a quick, one-hour jaunt for this speedy, multipurpose fishing machine, err… cruiser.
Get the full scoop by reading our full review, Everglades 360LXC: Fish or Cut Bait.
See Everglades 360LXC listings.
Beneteau Swift Trawler 30
Back in 2011, Beneteau introduced a lineup of trawlers that were totally new to the North American market. While some folks who weren’t familiar with Beneteau’s powerboat roots viewed these new trawlers skeptically, models like the Swift Trawler 44 have sold by the hundreds. The newest member of the Swift Trawler family, the Swift Trawler 30, aims to provide the same capability, luxury, and efficiency, but in a smaller package.
Sharing a lot of design queues with its big sister, the Swift Trawler 34, the Swift Trawler 30 has a very “trawler-like” look but with lines that give it a more contemporary appearance. Still, there’s no mistaking this boat as a trawler on the water, thanks to her semi-plumb bow, vertical cabin house glass, stout main cabin, and shippy-looking round ports. Best of all, the Swift Trawler 30 has the same great flybridge scheme as the 34, which means tons of room for laying out and relaxing, as well as a commanding view from the upper helm.
Some unique features on the Swift Trawler 30 include an almost full-width transom door that opens up the aft cockpit to the swim platform, an opening entry door in the starboard hullside, and full-width sliding glass doors that expand the main saloon space into the aft cockpit. A 370 HP Volvo Penta D4 makes the Swift Trawler 30 go, providing a top speed of around 26 MPH and an efficient 14 to 16 MPH cruise. We’re dreaming of an Intracoastal Waterway trip south on the Swift Trawler 30—she’s got everything to do it comfortably and efficiently.
To learn more, read the Swift Trawler 30 review or watch the Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 First Look Video.
See Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 listings.