Maxum 1800 & 1900 SR3 2006 Review

Issue: January/February 2006

Maximising Your Fun. When the action calls, nothing should stand between you and the time of your life.

Boating today is all about lifestyle and if there’s one style of boat that’s had a profound influence on so many boaties’ lives in recent years, it’s the humble bowrider. They come in most sizes up to around 30 feet and are truly an all-round water sport boat.

Whether you’re into skiing, wakeboarding, water toys, or simply cruising about in comfort, there’s a bowrider model to suit. Bowriders are multi-purpose vessel; you can even fish out of them at a pinch.

Some manufacturers even supply a bow cockpit infill that converts that area into an ideal casting platform.

But in most cases bowriders have become a preferred family boat and the Maxum 1800 and 1900 SR3 are excellent examples of just how far bowrider design has progressed. Grab your family and your gear and take off. Both boats have sleek lines, roomy interiors and a wealth of features that make them an ideal choice for those wanting to do it all.

Maxum boats are solid and designed to withstand the most aggressive use without failing. In order to create a unified hull system to withstand heavy use, Maxum developed parts that lock together. The process started using 3D computer aided design (CAD) soft ware to construct a full-size mock-up to ensure the fit and ergonomics of all parts and to withstand the rigors of hard testing.

Once complete, the CAD information was downloaded into a robotic five-axis router to produce moulds for the actual components with an accuracy of 1/25,000 of an inch. These tight tolerances ensure that every piece fits perfectly and every Maxum that comes off the line is identical to the last.

Every boat has a full-length fibreglass-encapsulated, stiffened grid, hand-laminated into the hull to provide rigidity. A fibreglass liner and key components are then bonded to the stringer system and hull, creating a strong and rigid matrix. These parts become virtually a single unit providing a solid feel, a comfortable ride and ultimate strength.

The 1800 SR3 is powered by a 4.3lt 190hp MerCruiser sterndrive, while the 1900 SR3 was fitted with the bigger 5lt 220hp unit. But both boats displayed plenty of grunt and top-end speed. The 1800 maxed out at 50mph, while the 1900 revved out to 58mph. A little less chop and she’d hit 60mph without any problems.

The 1800 has an length overall of 20′ 1″ and the 1900 21′, with a beam of 7′ 7″ and 7′ 11″ respectively.

At skiing speeds of around 35mph, both boats produced good fl at wakes, but knock them back to 20mph for wakeboarding and they’ll also wall up good wakes for boarding. Sure the wakes weren’t in the professional league, but they where big enough to give new to intermediate riders a top ride. Having their engines right at the transom helps these hulls wall up wakes at slow speeds, but if you add a couple of ‘Fat Sacks’ the professional wakeboarders will want to get in on the act.

Both boats have deep-vee hulls and wide, aggressive chines, which aids stability both underway and at rest. They turn like Go Karts and deliver a soft and dry ride, even in choppy conditions.

Keep the power up to them in the chop and they slice through the water cleanly and don’t bang. It’s a bit like driving a car over corrugations, if you keep your speed up it seems to soften the ride.

Both boats track straight and hold on the plane quite well at slow speeds, but put the hammer down and they tear across the water at exhilarating speeds.

The gunwale on these boats are also quite high, which helps keep all secure and dry and will also allow this boat to handle a bit of rough water. Trips across our bigger harbours and bays, and limited off shore excursions, are well within the capabilities of these excellent all-round boats.

Both boats have big fuel tank (1800?106lt, 1900?135lt), which is plenty for a day’s waterskiing, or a long day cruise up the Hawkesbury River.

The boats have ski tow rings and were also fitted with a sturdy wake tower and a strong bimini top, essential to keep the sun off those in to cockpit during a long day on the water.

The windscreens deflect the slipstream well away when the boats are underway and offers good protection to those seated in the cockpit.

Like most American boats, both of these vessels can boost ample storage, plenty of drink holders and well-positioned grab handles for the security of passengers.

Stretching out and taking a breather during the action is easy in these beamy boats. Both have two convertible sunlounger seats for the observer and driver, but the 1800 SR3 had a full-width transom lounge, while the 1900 SR3 had two aft quarter seats.

Each boat has a ski/wakeboard locker between the driver’s and observer’s seats and yes, they are long enough to house a set of skis, or stow a wakeboard in.

Access to the forward bowrider is through the curved and split windscreen. Two people can stretch out and luxuriate here, or three can sit up in comfort. This cockpit is also deep enough to keep the children secure when underway and is heavily padded for extra comfort.

The boats are fully carpeted and feature quality JBL AM/FM CD stereos capable of cranking out the music hard. The stereo unit is located in the lockable-glove box, which also acts as a drink cooler when you throw a bit of ice in. I don’t know about mixing electrics with water, but it seems most boats of this elk seem to do it this way these days.

Both boats are available in four colour schemes: red/white, black/white, yellow/white and blue/white, so there’s plenty of scope to personalise a boat to suit your own tastes.

Both the Maxum 1800 and 1900 SR3s are driver’s boats that give their owners the ability to take on most water sports with precision and ease. Their build quality is extremely good and at $46,390 and $52,190 respectively, they represent pretty good value for money. Owning one of these boats is a good way of ensuring that the family can get plenty of fun from their time on the water. Whether you want to go waterskiing/wakeboarding, or simply cruise to your favourite restaurant, these boats will more than fit the bill.

Maxum boats are built for action. To stand up to the elements, and your unique sense of adventure, Maxum has developed The PRO System.

The PRO System seeks out only the best manufacturing methods and highest quality parts at the best prices, and then conducts rigorous performance testing. This process produces extremely dependable, smooth-riding boats at an exceptional value to you.

What was it that the brochure said? 

“After all, when the action calls, nothing should stand between you and the time of your life.”

The 1800 SR3 is powered by a 4.3lt 190hp MerCruiser sterndrive, while the 1900 SR3 was fitted with the bigger 5lt 220hp unit.

With a full crew onboard the 1800 had a top speed of 50mph, while the 1900 revved out to 58mph with standard props.


1800 SR3
LOA: 6.12m
BEAM: 2.31m
DRAFT: 0.51m
WEIGHT: 1134kg
FUEL: 106lt
PRICE: $46,390

1900 SR3
LOA: 6.4m
BEAM: 2.41m
DRAFT: 0.53m
WEIGHT: 1355kg
FUEL: 132lt
PRICE: $52,190


+ Top ride; Roomy cockpit 
– No bow cleat