Keenly priced and fun to drive…this new import makes a great family weekender.
Sports Cruisers are a popular segment of the powerboat market, so it comes as no surprise that there are a lot of boats to choose from in the 24-28ft range. We have tested quite a few vessels in this class of late, but the imported Maxum 2400SE stood out as a solid, value for money, well performing craft that delivers a sweet balance between outdoor and below deck accommodation.
Simplicity is the key to the Maxum 2400SE’s allure. The single petrol engine sterndrive configuration ensures relative efficiency for its good performance and the absence of extras like generators and outdoor bar fridges help keep the vessel at a sub $120,000 price point.
Avante Marine’s Allister Jones explains that the Maxum SEs “work well” for them because they “look smart, offer great performance and the creature comforts ensure that the whole family is included in the boating equation. It’s even got a wake boarding hook for the tow toys”. I want one of these
After a few hours mucking about with the boat on Berowra Waters with John Boyce, also from Avante, and Allister, I started to feel like the family man indeed. I could easily imagine the whole clan having a top weekend out on the Maxum 2400SE. It offers a much better alternative than Sunday at the local shopping centre arguing about kids’ shoe sizes.
The Maxum’s performance is an immediate attention grabber. On paper she doesn’t look too different to others in the class, but the Maxum’s brisk acceleration to the mid 20s gives the vessel a sporting ‘harbour boat’ performance, assuring the skipper that the single engine is no compromise. Once up and running the vessel takes next to no time to trim, carving gracefully in the turns. You could twist this creature on a twenty cent piece. Cavitation seems absent, even when she flicks into a sportsboat style turn. The key to this craft’s nimble performance lies in its comparatively light 2700kg displacement.
The helm is also a comfortable place to be, with excellent visibility, a good throttle position and a bolster helm seat that gives the driver the option of standing up looking over the windscreen, or sitting down looking through the screen. The analogue/digital instruments are well arranged and offer all the necessary information a skipper will require and more, through the use of the Mercury Smartcraft system. Smartcraft not only offers standard data, such as speed and engine revs, it also gets down to the nitty gritty like fuel consumption and range.
Active seating is a dynamic feature of the cockpit layout. A quick twist on the twin helm seat turns it into a lounge seat facing aft, instantly creating a layout that beckons a social lunch on the quiet reaches of any given waterway. The table is removable and opens up the cockpit even more, but during the test we weren’t quite sure where to store the table once removed – there was probably a spot, but we settled for down below aft.
The cockpit also features halogen lighting, a gas-assist engine hatch, top sound system, a wet bar with sink, a ‘carry on’ cooler and a colour co-ordinated Sunbrella bimini cover. There’s a reasonably sized swim platform with ladder and ski hook – there’s also a tow hook located on top of the alloy arch – so for use as an occasional wakeboat, the Maxum will keep the kids keen well into their teens. The swim platform also converts into an aft bench seat that at a snitch can face back onto the swim platform and, finally, the removable carpets make it easy to clean the cockpit.
Access to the bow is through the centre of the windscreen, which utilises decent size steps in the dash. Once forward, the long stainless steel bow rail offers a good security. The anchor is serviced by a windlass, so a trip forward isn’t always required before the picnic can commence. Alternatively, if you choose to keep the vessel on a mooring, the bow roller appears solid enough to take a mooring line, as do the deck fittings.
Below deck the theme of sweet simplicity continues. There is room for four to stay overnight in the aft cabin and on the convertible vee-berth/settee. There’s plenty of stowage underneath the berths and the enclosed head is quite roomy for a vessel of this size. The timber finishes soften the mood while the deck hatch and opening portholes provide enough natural light and ventilation to take ‘the cave-like feel’ out of the cabin. The fully functional galley has all the essentials, including adequate stowage, a cook top, a 12V fridge and a microwave.
A quirky feature of the vessel is that the portholes on one side are not aligned to those on the other. So the aft cabin gets a porthole on the port side while the starboard galley enjoys a more forward porthole on its side.
What do we think?
At $118,500 the Maxum 2400SE is an appealing performance weekender that will please both the family and the bank balance. Maxum supports this vessel with a five-year hull warranty and the Vinylester skin coat below the water line should ensure further longevity.
Maxum do offer a few options such as a teak swim platform and different engines, but this rig seemed to deliver all that you need for a vessel this size. If there was a doctrine that said: “all parents should allow their family the opportunity to muck about on a boat every few weekends”, then this craft would certainly offer a cost effective solution to fulfil the clause. And for a single engined 24 footer she was a lot of fun to drive as well!