Rinker 360 Fiesta Vee
Length overall  39'4"
Beam 12'
Draft  36"
Displacement  18,200 lb
Fuel Capacity  235 gals
Base Price  $232,279

The faux burled dash is large enough  for one  Raymarine C80 chartplotter.

Rinker's new 360 Fiesta Vee express cruiser combines 40- knot performance with accommodating layouts above decks and below. Rinker designers and engineers continue to provide thoughtful, practical features, obviously developed from real-life boating experience.

The aft cockpit features a settee spanning the transom and an entertainment console. The sole lifts up, hinged at the transom, revealing an extraordinarily deep engine compartment housing the optional twin 375-hp Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi DP has engines, which are linked to duoprop outdrives. There's also a standard 5 kilowatt generator with a soundproof shield and CO monitor.

The helm features a double bench seat with a bolster that pops up for driving while standing. The faux burled dash is large enough for one Raymarine C80 chartplotter. The L-shaped passenger seat has loads of storage underneath.

From the cockpit, molded-in steps lead up to the side decks, providing relatively easy access to the bow. You can also get up there through the center pane of the windshield. Extrawide molded steps lead up the console for easy access.

The three-cabin interior layout is unusual for an express cruiser this size. The V-berth is enclosed behind a cherry-paneled bulkhead and door. The aft cabin underneath the helm deck has a lounge that converts to one huge berth, making it ideal for kids at bedtime or dinnertime. The main saloon is elegantly appointed, with bright cherry cabinetry to offset the light tan upholstery and headliner. The galley has plenty of work space, with a sixfoot-long Corian countertop and all the basic necessities. An enclosed head has a separate shower stall and a vacuum-flush porcelain toilet. Add such luxurious standard features as a central vacuum system, 18,000 Btu heating and air conditioning, and a 15-inch flatscreen TV/DVD, and you've got some nice accommodations.

My host, Bery Edmondson of Hartley Marine, the Rinker dealership just south of Annapolis, took me out for a spin on a recent breezy summer afternoon. Like other Rinkers I've had the opportunity to try out, the 360 lifted gracefully up onto plane with very little bow rise. You never lose sight of the horizon, even while driving from a seated position. If I have one critique, it's that the top of the windshield is too low for this 6-foot, 2-inch tall boater.

The twin Volvos provided plenty of power, and the power steering and transmission were smooth and responsive. The handling was agile. We turned tight circles with very little banking, tracked quite well in the chop, and experienced a soft ride despite the wind and waves. The bow was absolutely dry when we got back to the dock. We topped out at an impressive 42 knots at 4600 rpm heading downwind, 40 knots upwind. A 'low' cruising speed of 27.5 knots at 3400 rpm will get you anywhere you need to be in plenty of time; or you can run at a 'high' cruise of 32 knots at 3800 rpm if you're in a rush.