At the end of the workweek, what could be better than heading to the beach house for the weekend and unwinding? Well, what if that beach house could be moved from place to place? Sounds good to us, and an easy way for that to happen is with a weekender on the water. That's exactly how we see the 310 Express from Cruisers Yachts, so let's hop aboard and see how it can fit into one's weekend plans.
- Black, Blue, Mocha and White hull colors
- Aft cockpit seat
- Helm companion lounge
- Swim platform with boarding ladder
- Wet bar with cold faucet and sink
- Convertible lounge to berth
- Electric head with holding tank
- GPS/chartplotter with antenna
- Cherry laminate interior package
- Crescent dinette with cherry table
With a LOA of 31'3" (9.53 m) and a beam of 10' (3.05 m) we found the 310 Express to be plenty roomy enough for a party of 4 to live together comfortably for a long weekend.
Performance and Handling
We're boaters first, and sleeping is a little further down the list of priorities, so let's cut to what matters. Upon accelerating the 310 Express has a roughly 10 degree bow rise, which is less than many boats this size, but on the 310 because the boater is sitting so high in the saddle, there's no loss of visibility to the horizon.
I reached planing speed in 5 seconds, but the bow still takes a little more time to come down after that. Once it settles, one will notice a roughly 5 degree bow high attitude (as it should be) to be the norm which again, gives good sightlines of the surroundings.
I fiddled a little with the outdrive trim, and then the trim tabs and found that neither presented any enhancement to the 310 Express' performance characteristics. (In fact, bringing the bow down lower than that will degrade performance slightly.)
With her spray rails carrying well forward, I was carving through the wake of the camera boat and throwing water well off to the sides. Crossing at a beam angle to the wake caused a list that would reach roughly 12-15 degrees before dropping back down and settling.
Do not get heavy handed with turns because it's always uncomfortable on the passengers in a large boat like this, but if one tries, the 310 will stay relatively docile anyway. It seems to know how to take care of the boater better than they do, especially if one is the type that likes to be rough at the helm.
The Cruisers Yachts 310 Express has a length overall of 31'3" (9.53 m) and a beam of 10' (3.05 m) and a draft of 3' (.9 m). With an empty weight of 10,300 lbs (4672 kg), half fuel and two people onboard we had a test weight of just over 11,000 lbs (4989 kg).
Full test results can be seen by clicking the test tab at the top of this report, but for the meat of the test…
With a pair of 270 horsepower 5.0 GXi Volvo Penta engines turning a pair of DP outdrives we reached a top speed of 44.2 miles per hour at 5000 rpm. At that speed we were burning 38.7 gallons per hour and getting 1.14 miles per gallon for range of 128 miles.
Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 23.2 miles per hour. At that speed we had a 16.5 gallon per hour fuel burn while getting 1.4 miles per gallon for range of 158 miles.
However I found the 310 Express to be the most comfortable at 3500 rpm from both a performance perspective as well as a speed that kept the bow down without artificially manipulating it. So… at 3500 rpm we were running at 29.7 miles per hour with a 22.2 gallon per hour fuel burn and 151 mile range.
That's a very close match to the best cruise and since most of us like to go faster that's the speed that one will probably settle on as well. For acceleration, we reached 20 miles per hour in 7 seconds and 30 miles an hour in 11.4 seconds.
Leave the cockpit table stowed while underway, then bring it out at lunchtime.
Swim Platform and Transom
The swim platform is roomy with plenty of storage and a four-step reboarding ladder.
The carpet extends past where the canvas would cover, so tuck it in at night. To the left of the entry is the hot/cold shower.
Now let's go over the layout, starting from the stern. The swim platform measures 9' (2.74 m) x 3' (.91 m) and there are holders for the fenders to starboard. To port, right in line with the entry way, is a concealed four-step reboarding ladder. Trunk storage accommodates lines, shore power cord, and city water connections. Synthetic teak decking is optional.
The cleats are high and well above the trip zone of the platform deck. A cockpit shower is just inside the cockpit entry.
With opposing seating, accommodations for a cockpit pedestal table, and the ability to convert to a sunpad, this is versatile space. Forward is the helm deck lounger. Notice the Bimini extends well back so when sunning, feel free to fold the canvas forward.
Here is the optional cockpit fridge that can be swapped out for an icemaker. Notice the steps leading to the caprail. This makes the 310 Express easy to board when tied to a fixed pier, either port or starboard.
The cockpit features the usual seating arrangement that keeps everyone within conversational range. Insert a table and there is booth seating for four. To port is an entertainment center with a sink, and below our test boat was fitted with an optional refrigerator. An icemaker can be swapped out for the refrigerator.
The helm deck has the lounger to port. At the helm is a double wide helm seat with a single flip-up bolster for the captain. I'd naturally like to see the companion get a bolster as well, not for his or her comfort, but to add an armrest for me.
The panel is divided up into two halves for the port and starboard gauges. Controls are mounted on a 45 degree angle.
When seated I was looking at the windshield frame at no wake speed, but at cruise I was looking right through the windshield thanks to the natural 5 degree bow high attitude at cruise. We had a Garmin GPSMAP 521 as standard on our test boat. I did not care for it and would go with something else with a far larger screen which the panel can accommodate.
The 310 Express has a huge amount of living space for a 31-footer.
The overhead in the salon is in two sections, one 6'5" (1.97 m), and when moving forward it drops to 6'1" (1.85 m).
Notice the rail next to the stove. Detachable sea rails mount to that to hold the cookware in place.
The galley features the usual cast of appliances, and I noticed that the single basin sink had a cover with a handhold large enough to use the sink without having to remove the cover itself. Flip the cover over and it reveals a cutting board. An opening portlight will help add ventilation when cooking to keep smells at bay (or move them to the bay).
The forward berth is at an angle to provide a little more room and it works as I measured over 6’ (1.8 m) in the length without having the berth intrude into the salon. The 21" (53.3 cm) flatscreen is mounted on a pivot that allows viewing from the salon or the forward berth.
By eliminating the forward bulkhead Cruisers Yachts opens up the boat, plus the bed provides another place to sit.
Just abaft the galley is a wet head, small enough to not take up valuable salon room, but large enough to be functional. There is storage behind the sink and below but not above behind the mirrors.
The sofa is Ultraleather and butter soft. The portlight opens for ventilation. Underneath is storage for the pedestal table. I'd like to see the seatback a tad more reclined.
The aft cabin is roomy and open, but there is a privacy curtain for when one wants to convert it to a berth. The filler cushions are part of the seat backs.
The 310 is called a "pocket cruiser" because even though it is small, it has most of the capabilities of her big sisters.
Take a Bow
The steps to the walkthrough are about the width of one's feet, but they don't need to be much more than that. The foredeck is all non-skid and jumping up and down showed no flexing.
Cruisers Yachts adheres to ABYC's minimum rail height with 24" (61 cm) at the working end of the bow. Beneath a hatch is a Maxwell windlass with foot controls just behind. On top of the rail, a remote spotlight… all standard items.
Nearly everything on our test boat was standard. That says a lot for Cruisers Yachts, as others would simply strip the boat bare for creating an attractive price tag. In this case, the buyer gets a fairly complete boat, but one still does have choices.
For engine options, all choices are Volvo Penta of the same horsepower (except the one diesel choice – 160-hp), but there is the choice of adding the OceanX outdrives (which we would get if we used the boat in saltwater), fresh water cooling, and a joystick for easy docking.
Other options include the already mentioned cockpit fridge or icemaker. There's also a foredeck sunpad, synthetic teak for the cockpit and the swim platform, a macerator pump for the holding tank, and either a 4kW or 5kW generator in gas or diesel.
The 310 Express is easy to handle both at the dock and offshore. And for a weekend retreat, it's just about as large as it needs to be without driving one to the poor house. It's also has the signature Cruisers Yachts headroom below so there isn't a feeling like one is spending their nights in a cramped cave.
We think the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express looks stylish both coming and going.
This is the smallest boat that Cruisers Yachts makes. That is important to know, because Cruisers Yachts is not a builder focused on sportboats which has simply expanded one (and the building culture that goes with it) into the 30' range. On the contrary, the 310 Express benefits from having big sisters up to 56' which sell for well over a million dollars. In order to keep its life as simple as possible, Cruisers Yachts uses as much of the same items on the 310 Express as they do on its bigger boats.
The 310 Express is built to take is, so let her rip!
The beneficiary of this circumstance is the owner of the 310 Express who gets just about the highest quality in all fittings and equipment. These owners also benefit from the culture of the craftsmen who are used to taking pains to get everything right in the million dollar yachts. For these two reasons alone we think a boater should look at the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express if they are in the market.
Cruisers Yachts 310 Express Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express (2014-) is 44.2 mph (71.1 kph), burning 38.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 146.48 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 310 Express (2014-) is 23.2 mph (37.3 kph), and the boat gets 1.40 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.6 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 158 miles (254.28 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0 GXi DP.
Originally Published by Boattest.com