One of the cool things about my job is the chance to see boat models before anyone else. A few months ago, the video team was invited to climb aboard the not-yet-splashed hull #1 of the Cruisers Sport Series 328. And while I haven't inspected nearly as many powerboats as reviewer Lenny Rudow (read what he has to say in Sneak Peek at the Cruisers Yachts 328 Bowrider), I'd been helping with video boat reviews on five 2014 Cruisers Sport Series for the previous two days. So even I could see this was something very different.

Yes it's a bowrider—a BIG beefy bowrider. And yes, it's got a cabin, just like some of its smaller siblings. But for the first time in two days I was able to choose my place to lounge without changing boats: relax down below, or go up forward and stretch out on the cushy loungers. This boat has both a bow cockpit and a real cabin.

And that cabin has amenities (galley, settees, entertainment center) that were finished out as nicely as the Cruisers Cantius line. This is more than just a typical dayboat—though still much simpler than today's typical liveaboard. In fact it has a mama bear feel: Bigger than the Cruisers Sport Series, but easier to manage than the full-sized, full-featured, Cruisers Cantius line. See for yourself:

Yes there are still boxes, tools, and plastic everywhere... this was hull number 1, a prototype, which was due to splash a few days after we interrupted the workers for our tour. We'll have to wait for the full review to see how it handles, but I'm guessing this mama bear will be just right for a lot of folks who will appreciate all the options it provides.

How do you see the 328 - as more of a sportboat, or closer to a cruiser?


Though still covered in plastic, the bow cushions were very comfortable and there was room for several adults.

For comparison, here's the largest of the Sport Series, the 298:
Cruisers Sport Series 298: Video Boat Review

And here's the smallest member of the Cantius family, the 41:
Cruisers Cantius 41: Video Boat Review

Photo courtesy Paul Cronin Studios