Cruising on By: The Greatest Express Cruisers

Sam Kessler (Online Editor)
In the murky waters between speed boats and sports yachts, express cruisers rule the seas

Superyachts may be the height of luxury but let’s be fair, they’re not all that practical. If you’re all set for elaborate cocktail parties aboard, all well and good, however if all you need it for is a spot of island hopping then you might want something a little smaller. On the other hand, having a decent-sized berth to sleep through the heat of the day is sometimes a necessity, eliminating simple speed boats from the equation.

That leaves express cruisers. Ranging anywhere from 30 to 38 feet, the express cruiser has everything you need, just on a smaller scale. They don’t need crews, can manage far shallower waters than larger vessels and are altogether far easier to handle, while maintaining the same extraordinary level of luxury. So without further ado, here are our picks of the finest express cruisers in any waters.

Chris-Craft Corsair 36, £345,000

Chris Craft Corsair 36

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A more performance-oriented cruiser, Christ-Craft’s stunningly sleek Corsair 36 is not a boat that passes by without comment. Curves rendered in heritage teak, matching leather trims and a silhouette worthy of any classic boat; it’s a beautiful vessel. It doesn’t just look the part either; a top speed of 44mph makes it a very swift boat, especially given its size.

Leather-upholstered seating at the rear can be arranged and rearranged in a good number of ways, depending on how many of your guests feel like reclining in the sun. Seats wrapping around the Corsair’s transom, the cockpit provides the perfect space for conversation. Inside there’s a bit less space than other cruisers, but what there is has been perfectly crafted, particularly in grained Cherrywood. Inside or out, it’s fit for cruising along the Riviera and putting many an on looking owner into a fit of elegance-induced envy.

Cruisers Yachts 35 Express, £248,000

Cruisers Yachts 35 Express

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Speedy and sporty, the aptly-named Cruiser Yacht’s 35 feet vessel really lives up to the Express in its name, with a cutting-edge, comfortably acquitted helm to make steering a pleasure. At quicker speeds, you’ll be glad of the more enclosed cockpit which, while possessed of less space than some others in this size range, has been inventively design to make the most of what it has. Fold out sunbeds, soft weather-proof vinyl and a fridge / ice-maker combo make lounging on the cruiser all the more comfortable.

If it’s smaller than you’d expect on deck, it’s the opposite case below. The gallery has everything you need for a few days aboard, including a microwave, hob, various electrical appliances and a well-appointed master stateroom.

Hinckley Picnic Boat MK III, £537,000

Hinckley Picnic Boat MKIII

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Despite its relative rarity after it didn’t quite catch on, Hinckley are still rightly proud of their position as pioneers of jet propulsion. While it’s more usual to see jets on smaller boats – particularly racing speedsters – Hinckley’s Picnic Boat has become an iconic model in its size range.

Its name says it all; it’s a boat designed for relaxing out on the water, whiling the day away. There shouldn’t be any issues with spilling drinks either, as the main problems with jet drive systems – difficult steering, jerky acceleration, etc. – have been all but eliminated. In fact, Hinckley’s novel Jetstick driving system makes things simple even for someone that’s never experienced jet power before which, let’s be honest, is most people. There’s a spacious enough berth for an overnight stay, but the Picnic Boat MKIII is best used for one thing: entertaining a few good friends.

Sea Ray Sundancer 370, £305,000

Sea Ray 370 Sundancer

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There isn’t generally that much call – or room – for cooking aboard a cruiser, even when entertaining. A wine cooler and a fridge are what you’re normally restricted to. Sea Ray’s Sundancer however turns a day out on the water into a fully-fledged barbeque. If you don’t mind forsaking a bit of seating, the transom can be kitted out with a gourmet station with solid counters, a faucet and a cockpit grill.

In the berth, the leather sofas a complimented by an entertainment system, if watching the beautiful scenery going by becomes tiresome for whatever reason, or you need to put something on for the kids. Able to sleep six people – including a large ‘master’ bed - there’s always a place to stay if, for example, someone has one burger too many.

Regal 32 Express, £160,000

Regal 32 Express Cruiser

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Despite being the smallest on this list by a good few feet, Regal’s 32’’ express cruiser has more than its fair share of interior space. The step before Regal head straight into the far larger sport coupe range, it’s sporty despite its stocky nature, especially is you opt for the brighter Newport blue hull. You won’t take long to find it at the marina if that’s the case.

What is lacks in length, the Regal 32 more than makes up below decks. For one, it’s the only boat in its class to house a full king sized bed; for another, long hull side windows let in a surprising amount of natural light, the lack of which can become stifling aboard other yachts. The deck is just as impressive, with pretty much everything quick and easy to slide away if and when necessary, including the entire tower.

Rinker Express Cruiser 360, £213,300

Rinker Express Cruiser 360

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At the smaller end of the Express Cruiser field, Rinker’s 310 is one of the most popular in its class, with its accessible size and versatile nature. The 360 is all that, kicked up a few sizes. It’s essentially a jack of all trades; it has a fair amount of space both above and below decks, it’s comfortably luxurious and has a good amount of power to motor along with, topping out at around 44mph. Yet it’s the smaller details that really set Rinker’s EC 360 apart from the rest.

The salon has two hatches overhead and three large parallelogram-shaped port lights along the hull sides, providing light and a view outdoors usually only found on sedans or much larger express cruisers. A 5-KW generator keeps the power flowing so you can see what you’re doing among the Corian countertops and marble cabinetry. Even if it doesn’t stand out for any one point in particular, the Rinker EC 360 ticks pretty much all the boxes.

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