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Fabulous Features – More Manageable Size

The introduction of a new yacht is always a time for excitement, but this one was particularly special for me.

I had seen the original engineering mock-up of the 41 in the development stages when I visited KCS International Incorporated over a year ago. They are, of course, the manufacturers of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts located in Oconto, Wisconsin. I had gone there to test the 48 Cantius – a breakthrough new design and a yacht that has already had impressive sales success.

Even as the engineers at Cruisers Yachts were developing the 48 Cantius, they realized that the design progress and virtues of the 48 would be really compelling if they could carry it down to a smaller boat. That was where the 41 Cantius started.

Canadian Yachting was flattered to be the first magazine to publish a review of the 48 and now, we are among the first to review the 41 Cantius. We think you'll be impressed with the design and high level of innovation.

The innovation is apparent from the moment you first see it. Recognizing the way people are using their boats, the living area starts right at the swim platform with its pull-down boarding ladder, transom shower and portside electrical connections, including a 50-amp shore power cord on a Cablemaster. Our test boat was the prototype. Some things may change in the production version, but one design element we know will stay is the amazing removable stools and tabletop across the transom. We've never seen anything like it.

The design flows into the cockpit area beautifully. It's up one small step through the transom gate and from there, it's all one level right to the windshield. Consumers are asking for large, continuous living areas and ease-of-use. Cruisers gives you weather covers for the stools and cockpit seating, but that is the only canvas on board.

You enter the cabin through a tri-sliding door by Aluminum 2000. This glass aft bulkhead measures 94" x 73” with a 54” opening. At the end of your day onboard, slide the doors closed, lock it and walk away. How easy is that!

More cockpit details include the removable picnic tables that stow under the port bench seat, storage under the seats, a convenient trash locker plus, the transom countertop where the stools are, lifts to reveal a trunk that can store boat hooks, mops, buckets and four fenders as well.

Also in the cockpit, by the glass door is a storage locker with grab rail, loads of storage inside; under the lid, there is an optional Kenyon electric grill.

Staying on exterior features, the design of the cabin roof facilitates a stainless steel handrail all the way up to the windshield. Three steps up from the cockpit takes you to the generously wide side decks with a raised edge for more secure footing when you go forward to the reclining sun loungers or to use the electric windlass for anchoring. An emergency crank is included and the anchor locker door is on a gas strut to hold it open.

A 41-footer is a pretty big boat, but still, we were surprised at how spacious the engine room is. A large hatch in the cockpit floor leads to a four-step ladder. The engine room has a 50-inch ceiling height and it's all finished in white gelcoat with thoughtfully placed lighting and good access all around. Like the 48 Cantius, the engine room on the 41 lies outside the cabin area, has large exterior air intakes and plenty of sound deadening. So, the 41 shares the impressively quiet operation and even at high speeds so conversation in normal tones is possible.

To starboard as you enter the cabin is the entertainment centre featuring a wet bar with sink, bottle storage and optional combination fridge/ice maker and food prep counter space, plus storage. Above this is a 22-inch Sony flat screen that can pivot out for the best viewing angles. To port is seating for six adults around the dinette: four at the table and two at the captain's bench. The built-in seating cleverly includes fold-down armrests and drink holders too.

Huge cabin windows bring in plenty of daylight and the blinds can be lifted right up out of the way. One of the most appealing features is the standard Taylor-made 54” square, sliding electric sunroof. You feel like you are outside, but there was no buffeting or wind noise. If you want more air to flow through, slide open the cabin door; for even more, open the port and starboard power vent wings.

What we think most passengers will like best is that all the seating is at same level; there isn’t a bad seat in the house. From the double-wide helm seat with fold-up armrests, the captain can see almost 360°. Massive windshield wipers keep the front glass clean. You get 6' 4" of headroom and the navigation centre seems to float in front of the driver with excellent placement of the twin Raymarine E 90 displays, HD radar with an open array, autopilot, depth finder, VHF radio and GPS. Other options are available. The tilt steering is an excellent feature and we found that standing or sitting, everything was in clear view and the throttle controls for the twin Volvo Penta D6 diesel engines making 370 hp each, were comfortable to use.

Note that this boat also has joystick control and it really is easy to handle around the docks.

Yet another feature we loved about the 48 was that the area ahead of the helm and over the lower decks where the galley and staterooms are located had been left open to the huge windshield and sunroof above. This means that the lower deck is flooded with sunlight so you never feel like you're going below into a cave.

Going down a few steps, the head is on your right with composite countertops, a vessel sink, opening porthole, storage under the vanity and mirrored medicine cabinet doors. The separate shower stall is generously sized.

The master stateroom forward, has a queen island berth with a pair of pullout bins below the bed, two hanging lockers and overhead cabinets all around for additional storage. There is a pair of opening portholes on each side and a deck hatch above the bed for added airflow and light. There's a blackout screen for night use and also privacy covers for the front windshield. Back to the master, there's an optional 22-inch Sony television available and the whole area has 6' 9" of headroom for a really spacious feeling.

On the port side is a generously sized galley with attractive light-coloured composite counters, Vitrifrigo stainless steel refrigerator, big round stainless steel sink with a filler to add counter space. There is a Kenyon two-burner stovetop, three drawers, and a locker below as well as more storage above; there is also a Contoure microwave is built-in. The great thing about the galley is all the daylight streaming in and augmented by big hull side windows.

The test boat had handsome wood floors throughout as well as Wenge cabinetry. It is a rich, dark finish that contrasts sharply with the white upholstery for a more spacious look.

One of the highlights of the 41 Cabtius is the midship guest suite, which has a very clever split bunk arrangement. There is sitting height over the berths, but 6' 3" as you enter with a private wet head compartment with shower. A vanity with sink is open and there are two opening portholes for cross ventilation. The convertible berths let you choose two singles or a full queen. The fillers store under the berths.

We were amazed to learn that the interior panels here are removable giving open access to many mechanical systems like air-conditioning, central vacuum, wiring and more. Servicing is very well planned. And, notice that the cockpit hatch to the engine room means mechanics can do service work without unlocking the cabin, or coming inside.

Finally, let’s talk about performance. Because we ran the prototype, Cruisers is refining the power options, but our test boat had twin Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrives hooked to 370 HP D6 diesels. These are just sweet running diesels: smooth and quiet at all speeds. For fuel economy, the boat seems to like cruising at 2800 RPM doing 27+ MPH and achieving 1.15 miles per gallon – very impressive for a boat with an as tested weight of over 27,000 pounds! In addition, the Volvos spun up past 3500 RPM running more than 40 MPH. Even then, it was nearly doing one mile per gallon. This is a big boat for sterndrives and it needed a bit of attention at the helm to keep on course (or autopilot), but these keep costs down and perform well. The bow never interfered with our forward visibility, even when planing off. Using the trim tabs to best advantage, the boat had a time to plane of approximately nine seconds and that was with nearly full fuel, but only two people on board.

Overall, the cruisers yachts people have done a remarkable job of maintaining the feel of their larger 48 Cantius while dialing the price tag down very significantly. There was nothing skimpy or downsized about the 41 and yet when we pulled up to the dock beside the 48, the size difference was significant. The 48 is a substantially larger boat and yet somehow the cruiser's engineers have magically made the 41 seem almost equally nice!

By Andy Adams

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!