Wellcraft 330 Coastal
Length overall  38'5"
Beam 12'5"
Draft  36"
Displacement  6,000 lb
Fuel Capacity  370 gals
Standard power  Twin Volvo 8.1-liter, 375hp gas engines
Base Price  $229,000

The well appointed cabin has all the necessities for offshore comfort.

The 330 Coastal is Wellcraft's tried-and-true workhorse of an express-style sportfisher, with a seaworthy deep-V hull, plenty of room to fish and all the necessary standard features and power to perform that function well offshore, plus a commodious cabin with all the amenities to keep you in comfort while you're out there.

Thanks to Ed Trainor of Anchor Marine, the Wellcraft dealership in North East, Maryland, I had a chance to run a late-model 330 Coastal around the northern tip of the Chesapeake Bay one recent summer morning. There was a light breeze out of the north, but not enough to kick up much in the way of chop against the ebbing tide. Powered by standard twin Volvo 8.1-liter 375-hp gas engines, I clocked a top speed of 32 knots wide-open at about 4800 rpm and a cruising speed of 27 knots at 4000 rpm.

While there wasn't much in the way of waves or wakes, the boat's 16-degree deadrise hull and generous 12-foot-6-inch beam certainly gave a surefooted, solid ride. The hydraulic steering was smooth and responsive. Volvo diesel engines are a popular option. The hull is covered by a 10-year limited warranty.

Note that the model I tested did not have the upper helm station as shown in the photograph above, but it did have the fiberglass hard top with no fewer than a dozen rocket-launcher style rod holders and optional 15-foot outriggers. The cockpit takes full advantage of the beam providing a wide open expanse of working space. A hefty gate leads through the transom to the swim platform. Bolsters protect the gunwales and a settee across the transom folds down out of the way. There are two large, removable fishboxes in the sole.

A bait prep station forward on the port side features a molded-in sink with a cushioned lid above and loads of tackle drawers below. To starboard, a similar arrangement houses a deep circulating livewell.

The side decks are recessed a few inches. A molded bow pulpit secures a Danforth anchor operated by a Maxwell windlass.

Step up from the cockpit to the helm deck with its roomy, matching benches for helmsman and companions. Each is adjustable fore and aft and has a flip-up foot rest and plenty of storage underneath. Visibility from the helm is good all around, whether seated or standing. The helm features a custom Wellcraft brushed aluminum steering wheel with a 'suicide' knob. A row of analog gauges is topped by a panel large enough to accommodate an array of chartplotter screens.

A sliding hatch leads down to the cabin, where there's good headroom all around, and the light-colored upholstery, headliner and cherry cabinets combine to make for an open, airy feel. A spacious V-berth can be curtained off, a traditional dinette with facing bench seats converts to a double berth, and a stylish, yet functional galley provides all the basics: microwave, coffeemaker, two-burner electric stove, sink molded into the countertop with a small fridge and storage in drawers and cabinets underneath. The enclosed head doubles as a shower stall. The SeaLand VacuFlush toilet has a 20-gallon holding tank. Battery switches are conveniently located just inside the companionway, and the AC/DC distribution panel is mounted on the starboard bulkhead. Storage is plentiful throughout,under the V-berth and settees, as well as in a hanging locker and a second locker for vertical rod storage.

The 2005 model year marks Wellcraft's 50th year as a builder of fiberglass pleasure boats. In addition to five express-style/walk-around Coastal series models between 23 and 36 feet long, the product line includes seven models in the Wellcraft Fisherman center console series and a 22-foot Sportsman dual console.