Boat Test - Cutwater Boats
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Boat Test - Cutwater Boats

Shipwreck Survivor Tells All Choosing a BoatyardHuron | Ontario | Michigan | Erie | SuperiorCutwater26 and 28(28 PICTURED)RenovationsBOAT15 POPULAR PROJECTSlakelandboating.comNovember / December 2011Display Until December 31, 20111,000’SOF BOATSFOR SALEBOAT SPOTLIGHT: Jeanneau NC9

oattestboattestCutwaterA versatile, trailerable cruiser in 26- and 28-foot packages. by roger mcafee20LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011Photo courtesy of cutwater21LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011

oattestTThe Washington State builder of the very successful RangerTug line of trawlers recently introduced two new boats,and if early response is any indicator, the new vessel willrapidly become as popular as its famous Tugs.The new fiberglass sedan cruisers, 26 and 28 footers,are produced by the Livingston family, one of the mostexperienced boatbuilding groups in the United States.The new cruisers are, like the Rangers, easily trailerable.The Cutwater is a new boat from the keel up, and themajor difference between it and most other boats in itsclass is what the company calls its “keel stepped hull.”Most stepped hulls are built for high speed and thereforehave no keel; but one of the features of the Cutwater isthat is has a substantial keel aft of the hull bottom. Thisimproves tracking and adds a bit of roll dampening whilethe boat’s at rest.The bottom of this semi-displacement hull has beenwidened slightly at the engine space, allowing the engineto be mounted lower in the hull. This lowers the boat’scenter of gravity and improves stability. These features,combined with a hull prop pocket, reduces the shaft downangle and allows for a more straight line application ofpower, improving fuel efficiency and reducing draft.Our test boat was the 28-footer. It is smartly styled witha crisp, chiseled look, and bears no cosmetic similaritiesto its Ranger Tug stablemates. Fiberglass work on theCutwater is excellent, without ripple, haze or printthrough, but this is to be expected from a boatbuilderof Livingston’s experience and expertise.Vessel access is through a starboard transom door offthe swim platform. An obvious feature in the transomis the reversible, comfortably padded seat that, in goodweather, makes the self-bailing cockpit an ideal placeto congregate. The cockpit is most certainly fishingfriendly;no floor mounted cleats or other toe-stubbersto worry about.While the cockpit sides are high enough to be safe andsecure, that opening transom gate and large swim gridmake landing a large fish easy. Should, by accident, anangler slip off the swim grid (something many seriousanglers have done, or is it only me?), the built-in boardingladder can be quickly deployed. Our test boat wasequipped with the optional cockpit throttle and steeringcontrols, useful while fishing, docking or close-quartermaneuvering through crowded marinas.The cockpit includes a fresh water sink and shower, aspace for a cooler and an optional barbeque. The electric/hydraulic engine cover hatch in the cockpit sole, whenopened, provides full, easy access to the machinery space.The machinery space itself is neat and tidy, and routineengine service will present no problems.The foredeck, accessed along narrow side decks withthe help of roof-mounted grab rails, features substantialhand rails and a bow platform ladder that allows beachaccess over the bow.Access to the deck house is through a metal framed,full-length glass door leading to a traditionally laid outmain salon/galley, complete with a microwave/convectionoven, double stainless sink and refrigerator/freezer alongthe port side and convertible settee/dinette along thestarboard. Forward of the galley is a mate’s seat, andforward of the dinette is a double helm seat with winecooler underneath. When the vessel is not underway,the backs of both these seats pivot forward to increaseuseable galley countertop and settee space. There also isa double berth under the dinette which, when not usedas intended, provides great storage space.The deckhouse of the new Cutwater contains morewindow glass than fiberglass, and that makes for a bright,cheery interior even on the dullest of days. The salonroof features four opening glass hatches that add to thenatural light inside. The opening roof hatches also helpThe Cutwater’s interior remainsairy and bright, thanks to aplethora of glass surrounding thedeckhouse. The salon roof addsto the boat’s cheerful dispositionwith a total of four opening glasshatches that flood the cabin withlight on the gloomy days.22LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011Photos courtest of cutwater23LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011

oattestThe Cutwater’s head is illuminated by an overheadfrosted glass panel that acts as a skylight, usheringin light from the deckhouse (above). Our test boatfeatured the standard Yanmar 6BY2 260-hp engine,which performed well and ran both quiet and smooth(above, right). Because the Cutwater 26 and 28 aretrailerable, it’s easy to load them up with gear toexplore your favorite spots and trek overland to thenearest launch ramp for a day of cruising fun (right).with ventilation. In fact, they are designed to be left opena crack and still be dogged down, allowing the boat tosimultaneously ventilate and remain secure.Forward and down two steps is the foc’s’le, with a fewfeatures unavailable on any other boat in this marketsegment. The first, and most obvious, is what Cutwatercalls a “breakfast bar,” containing a stainless sink andmicrowave.The forward double berth converts to seating for fouraround a hi/lo table that’s part of the berth base whenthe foc’s’le is set up as a master stateroom. A full standuphead is complete with sink, hot and cold water showerand an electric flush toilet. An overhead frosted glasspanel in the head acts as a skylight, allowing light fromthe deckhouse to flood down into the head. This is a nicetouch; the only other new vessel currently incorporatingthis feature is much larger than the Cutwater and costsalmost a million dollars.We fired up the diesel main engine and, with a touch ofthe bow and stern thrusters (both standard equipment),eased away from the dock. The thrusters make dockingand maneuvering the boat a cinch. The main engine, aYanmar 6BY2 260-hp, started easily with no clatter orsmoke. This 183-cubic-inch, 694-pound common railengine ran smoothly and quietly on startup and performedwell during our test.We idled away from the dock at 670 RPM, making3.9 knots and burning 0.3 gallons of diesel per hour. At1000 RPM, we made 5.4 knots and sipped 0.6 gallonsof fuel per hour. Even with the aft door wide open, thenoise level only measured 67 decibels. As a comparison,normal conversation is about 70 decibels. At 2000 RPM,we burned 3 gallons per hour and made 9 knots. At 3000RPM, we made 18.6 knots and burned 6.6 gph. At 3500RPM, we were at 23.1 knots. At WOT—about 4080RPM—we scooted along at 28.2 knots and burned 13.4gph. All speeds were measured by an independent GPS,and fuel consumption figures were generated by theengine’s onboard computer.The vessel tracked well and responded smartly andprecisely to the helm at all speeds. Whether beam-on,close to a passing ferry wake, or pounding throughthe wake at speed, the vessel had no problem. In tightturns, the Cutwater 28 stuck well without skiddingor skipping.This is a solid vessel, made by a pedigree U.S. builder.It handles well, is comfortable and very economicalto operate. At 9 knots (10.3 mph), it gets 3 miles ona gallon of diesel. It has plenty of space inside, a gooduseable cockpit, and has the speed necessary to outrunthe weather. It’s also Great Lakes friendly; being fullytrailerable, it can easily, quickly and inexpensivelybe pulled out for the winter. The overhead hatchescan be dogged, but still allow a small opening forwinter ventilation, thereby helping to keep moldand mildew at bay over the layup. It is nicely styledand well fitted out.And at a price of $169,937 for the 28 footer and$30,000 less for the 26-foot version, either is excellentvalue for money. rCutwater 26SpecificationsLOA molded: 25'7"LOA (swim step, pulpit): 30'1"Bridge clearance (mast folded): 9'1"Beam: 8'6"Draft: 2'4"Fuel: 80 gals.Water: 40 gals.Holding: 30 gals.Weight (dry): 5,900 lbs.Engine: Yanmar 6BY2 180 hpBase Price: $139,937Reed Yacht Sales is theexclusive dealer for Cutwaterin the Midwest. The dealershiphas three locations in Michigan.For more information,contact Brent Reed at616-402-0180 or 28Optional EquipmentAft canopy bimini top; aft side enclosures;aft steering station w/ electronic controls;air conditioning w/ reverse cycle 16,000-BTUheat; anchor package; autopilot; Coast Guardsafety kit; cockpit carpet; Wallas diesel stove/heater; Mase 2.7 KW generator; maceratordischarge w/ Y-valve; Garmin navigationpackage; 135-watt solar panel w/ controller;thruster wireless remote; transom platform(swim step) rails w/ gate.SpecificationsLOA molded: 28'LOA (rigged swim step, pulpit): 32'4"Bridge clearance (mast folded): 9'1"Beam: 8'6"Draft: 2'4"Fuel: 100 gals.Water: 40 gals.Holding: 30 gals.Weight (dry): 6,400 lbs.Engine: Yanmar 6BY2 260 hpBase Price: $169,937cutwaterboats.com24LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011photos courtesy of cutwater25LAKELANDBOATING.COMnovember / december 2011

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