Cruisers 4050
Length overall  42'6"
Beam  13'8"
Draft  42"
Displacement  27,500 lb
Fuel Capacity  380 gals
Water Capacity 100 gals
Freeboard forward 6'6"
Headroom 6'8"
Standard power twin Yanmar 6LYA-STP IB Diesels 370 hp

(Above) The windshields add to the open, airy feel of the 4050's saloon. (Below) Mike Piasecki at the helm in the Cruisers' express-style flybridge.

Cruisers has once again come up with an ingenious use of space, packing a lot of luxurious amenities into a 40-foot boat. I got a chance to inspect the new Cruisers 4050 on Kent Narrows on Maryland's Eastern Shore, by the invitation of Mike Piasecki of Warehouse Creek Yacht Sales. The first thing that strikes you is the express-style flybridge sitting high up atop the aft cabin.

Access to the bridge from the broad swim platform is as easy as it is elegant, with a molded spiral staircase leading you up. Once there, you'll notice the lounge area protected by an optional hard top, underneath which you'll find lots of seating around an entertainment console with a refrigerator/freezer and a sink. A removable dining/cocktail table stows neatly underneath one of the bench seats. Plexiglas wing doors lead out onto the side decks and on up to the foredeck.

The helm has double bench seats, all quite adjustable, under a canvas top and full plastic enclosure. The helm station features an attractive faux burl dash and gold-rimmed analog gauges. There's room for a Furuno display on one side and an Icom VHF transceiver and a Northstar GPS unit on the other. All of the switches for the engines, including the keyless ignition, windshield wipers and running lights, are set into an ergodynamically designed control pad at the driver's right fingertips. The Clarion CD/radio unit is set into its own dash by the lounge to port. In between is the companionway, which leads five steps down to the saloon.

The most striking impression of the saloon is that of its sheer volume, thanks in part to the broad beam of the boat, partly to the light ecru of the faux leather upholstery and headliners, but mainly to the broad "windshield," which, even though it's tinted, allows lots of light into the space, along with the side windows. The brightly finished cherry cabinetry and paneling also add to the light feel. The Panasonic TV/DVD/VHS player is set into the cabinet above the refrigerator, easily viewable from the settee or the aft-facing dinette bench.

The galley is well appointed, with an over/under refrigerator/freezer, a two-burner flush-mounted electric stove, a small conventional oven, a nice touch for the gourmet chef that's overlooked in most boats these days, as well as the ubiquitous microwave, plus a double-bowl sink, and lots of storage under the Corian counter.

Just across the countertop from the galley, well within "please-pass-the-salt" distance, is a traditional dinette with facing bench seats. Along the port side, there's a comfortable L-shaped settee that pulls out to serve as a double berth for occasional guests. Regular guests, of course, would stay in the forward cabin, another three steps down.

These guests will enjoy a full-sized island berth with huge drawers underneath and a round hatch overhead that serves as a skylight. There are deep hanging lockers on either side and a somewhat ingenious spatial treatment for the head. The shower is situated in its own separate compartment on the port side, while the actual head compartment, with its Vacuflush toilet, vanity and sink, are set to starboard, accessible through doors to the stateroom as well as to the saloon. The shower is quite roomy, and, with its molded-in seat, could even serve as a small dressing room.

The owner's stateroom is aft of the saloon, down three steps to a beautifully paneled space. The queen-sized island berth is surrounded by cabinets and drawers. The forward bulkhead has a small Toshiba TV/DVD player set into a built-in hutch with a Corian counter, mirror, and lots of drawers and cabinets. Behind another cabinet in the aft starboard corner, you'll discover a "Splendide 2000" washer/dryer unit built in Italy. The head is through a door to starboard and features a Vacuflush toilet, molded-in sink and a separate shower stall.

Mike took us out through Kent Narrows on a beautiful crisp autumn day, and once out past the jetty, opened up to see what the Yanmars would do. "We ordered this one with the optional 440 hp Yanmars, but we noticed that this same boat goes just as fast with the standard 370's. The 440's are $19,000 more, but they're heavier, and we're using the same gear box and the same props as we would with the 370's, so it's not surprising we're not getting better performance," Piasecki explained. As it happened, we did a sound 27 knots for a top speed at about 3300 rpm, with a cruising speed of about 25 knots at 3000 rpm. "I'll have you back when we have the larger wheels on, and we'll see what that does to the performance."

I'll look forward to that. Meanwhile, the ride was fairly impressive as we headed out behind Parson's Island and into Eastern Bay. The acceleration was quite remarkable, and to my surprise, this quite large amount of boat came right up on plane in no time flat. Once up out of the pocket, the boat tracked well, the standard hydraulic steering provided sure control, and the boat banked very little in tight turns. Visibility is good across the bow through that rakishly curved windshield.

Back at the dock in Kent Narrows, I picked up on some other thoughtful touches, like the storage compartments under the stairs leading up from the swim platform, where the shore power cables and fenders stow neatly away, handily where you need them.