John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.

Cruisers 390 sports coupe
AUGUST 2009
 
   
Length overall  40'2"
Beam  13'
Draft  3'1"
Bridge10'
Fuel  300 gal
Water  75 gal
Price as Tested  $154,200

Cruisers 390 Salon
When couples tell me that they want to go cruising and are looking for some advice, I know that this is the beginning of a much longer conversation. Imagine someone asking where to go on a vacation. The possibilities are nearly endless. Ultimately, the answer depends on the interests and personalities of the people themselves.

There are as many different ways to cruise as there are types of boats to do it on. Some folks like to anchor in secluded harbors; others prefer to find a party, either in a bustling marina or in a big raft-up. Some folks cruise aboard sailboats, some on trawlers; others like to go a little faster and get to their destination sooner. No matter how you like to cruise, it is important that the boat you choose provides comfortable accommodations, is capable of the intended use, and (perhaps most importantly,) is a boat that you can handle with ease. If you are intimidated by maneuvering, uncomfortable down below, or the boat just doesn't perform the way you would like, then cruising won't be fun and you may find yourself with a very expensive boat that you don't use very often.

The strengths of the Cruisers 390 Coupe are its speed, maneuverability and versatility. Many express cruisers are designed primarily for fair weather use. With busy work and family schedules, many folks have a limited number of days when they can use their boat. If it's a little cold or maybe a little rainy that day, it may not be fun to be in an open cockpit exposed to the elements. The 390 solves that problem with a covered bridge deck area that is surrounded by glass on three sides and has drop down canvas with isinglass to close off the back if needed. With reverse-cycle air-conditioning and excellent visibility, you can enjoy the scenery without having to be exposed to wind and spray. This also extends your cruising season into those colder months, offering owners more bang for the buck.

When the weather is nice, you can open her up by sliding back a large sunroof hatch and opening the windshield in the center. Built-in steps on the dash make it easy to walk forward onto the sundeck. A forward-facing, two-seat island bench is on center-line and is raised to give its occupants a clear view ahead and plenty of breeze at cruise speed. Aft of the bridge deck, the cockpit is down one step. An L-shaped settee to starboard comfortably seats four or five, and a small counter area provides a great place to set out some snacks.

The swim platform is large and has plenty of storage locker space for fenders, lines and power cords. There is also a transom door leading to the cockpit and a hot-and-cold freshwater shower.

Down below, the 390 feels very spacious. There is one stateroom forward with an offset double bunk. The head is to port and features a separate stall shower. A crescent-shaped settee is to starboard, and there is a forward-facing settee along the aft bulkhead. An efficient galley to port is equipped with refrigerator, cook-top, microwave and coffee maker–just enough for weekending and light cruising.

The Cruisers 390 comes with a variety of power options from gas to diesel, and either a V-drive inboard or Volvo's IPS pod drive system. Our test boat was equipped with the IPS system. Paul Lash from Clarke's Landing Yacht Sales invited me to take the boat in and out of her slip. I had fun maneuvering her effortlessly with the twist of a joystick. Under way, the 390 cruises around 20 knots and tops out around 30 knots. With speed, comfortable accommodations, a protected bridge, and Volvo IPS, the Cruisers 390 fits the bill for a couple or young family looking to cruise on a schedule.