As a keen sailor, powerboats were not typically my thing—until I met the Cutwater series, recently introduced into the 26- to 30-foot cruising segment. Here is a boat I could actually see myself in. A utility vessel that ticked many boxes – extended family cruising, fishing, and socializing. A go anywhere, do anything, throw the kayak and bike on the roof type of boat similar to how I think of Subaru SUVs in the car market.

cutwater 30 command bridge

The Cutwater Command Bridge 30 debuted at the Seattle Boat Show.

The Command Bridge, which at the time of this review costs in the neighborhood of $300,000 rigged and ready to cruise, is the third version of the 30-footer, which already comes in sedan and sport top versions. This new style was introduced based on customer feedback on the other models. I was really intrigued, and had to go peek around this new Cutwater. Luckily for me, they had hull number one at the 2014 Seattle Boat Show.

There were many new flybridge boats in this class on the market 10 years ago, Bayliner Ciera models being a primary example. But recently other manufacturers have gone up in size, leaving a gap in this segment. So, has Cutwater hit a sweet spot with this model?

I think so. What I like most in this new model is the really clever design, with some nice touches and also without impacting what makes the 30 so great to begin with. The angled steps on the port side, for example, do not take away from interior cabin space. A collapsible coaming and seating area keeps total height under the maximum allowed for trailering. And the helm bench seat angle also adjusts when switched from a driving position to a settee.
Displacement10,980 lbs
Fuel capacity180 gal.
Water capacity80 gal.

Sitting up there the visibility was great, which is particularly useful when looking out for dead-heads around Puget Sound. I was a bit concerned about how much the boat would rock in a swell with lots of weight up topside, and it’s hard to tell from inside of the boat show floor, but Cutwater says this is not an issue due to the keel-stepped hull. I would attach a Bimini for shade or weather protection, and note that he settee seating does block visibility aft so the helm station is more appealing underway than when maneuvering.

Overall I can see the Command Bridge being a good option for many people, and think it will be popular. For me personally, with the roof bars for bikes, kayaks, and other extras removed, it has lost a bit of the utility feel that made Cutwater brand stand out in the first place. But they’ve done a nice job of keeping the essence of the 30—maybe it’s more of a crossover than an SUV.

cutwater 30

The original Cutwater 30 sedan, with a cabin top sport rack.

See Cutwater 30 listings.

Want to see a smaller option from Cutwater? Read Cutwater 28: Versatile and Fuel-Efficient.

For more information, visit Cutwater.