Maxum 3300 Sportscruiser Review

Issue: September 2002
Manufacturer: Maxum

Maxum’s latest 3300 Sportscruiser is a boat with plenty of get up and go that’s complimented by a spacious, airy interior and accommodation for six. But before we start getting into the layout and performance of this new cruiser – and because I like getting into the who’s who of the boating industry – let’s have a look at the Maxum’s breeding.

The Maxum range is part of the huge American Brunswick Corporation, which owns many boat building stables including Sea Ray, Bayliner and Boston Whaler. But considering that all these brands build similar length craft, it is interesting to see where the Maxum rests in the group. Essentially, the Maxum is seen as a higher performance product with less of the bells and whistles, albeit only a few.

Performance wise the figures do show that the Maxum has the edge over similar Bayliners and Sea Rays, because the Maxum hulls are not as beamy at the waterline and are relatively light. But this rig also has a hefty amount of grunt, courtesy of her twin 300hp donks, which puts this Maxum in the running with other slender sportsboats such as the Queensland-built Mustang Cruisers. So, her breeding pretty darn good, but what about this test?

Magazine deadlines, boat production schedules and unpredictable winter weather worked together to make reviewing this new Maxum 3300, in time for this issue of Modern Boating a bit touch and go. But Greg Wright from Berowra Waters Marina had gone all out to deliver the Maxum in time for this review. Besides, the day after our scheduled wranglings, the craft was heading across to WA to another Maxum Dealer, so the pressure was on.

Given these circumstances we didn’t want to go cancelling a test just because of the weather. But after a 32 day dry spell, Sydney skies were delivering some much needed rain, right on cue, just before the test and it looked set in.

After much deliberation the team made its decision. “Bugger the weather.” “It’s only for the running shots that we need good conditions for, so let’s go out for a burl anyway and see what happens”.

So with the rain covers on we powered up the becalmed Berowra Waters. Going out in the wet turned out to be the right decision. Rarely do we get to test a sportscruiser at around 40mph with all the rain cover on. During this test the camera gear and all onboard stayed nice and dry. Then, to top it all off, the clouds cleared for about half an hour and we got some great shots. The whole exercise turned out to be a perfect morning on the water.

Because it was raining at the beginning of the test, we spent some time below decks on this well equipped sportscruiser. The first thing that grabbed our attention was the vast aft cabin – or more accurately the mid berth. It even had its own table. Initially, it seemed rather strange having a table in the second cabin, but it converted the area into a cushion room and who knows what could go on in there.

It is one of the least claustrophobic aft/mid cabins that we have seen for some time. And hey, if you have young kids that’s where they will want to be in the evenings, wreaking havoc in the cushion room. The main cabin follows a traditional layout with the head to starboard as you come down the companionway. Forward of this is a settee that converts to a bunk, followed by the main forward Vee-berth that has a privacy curtain to separate it from the rest of the cabin for sleeping.

All berths have good reading lights, plenty of storage and hanging lockers. From the forward Vee-berth you can also access the CD player. To port, the beautiful wood grain finished galley is roomy and equipped with microwave, electric/metho stove, 12v fridge/freezer and shore power outlet. Other features include a storage area accessed through a small wooden hatch in the table and a sliding window from the cockpit to the mid cabin.

But the most notable point about the area below decks was the amount of available natural light. This is because there are three large Bomar hatches in the cabin roof and three potholes down each side. These remove any sense of being in a dungeon. Even on this rainy day there was enough light to take photos without a flash. The toilet was a good size, but it shares the bathroom with the shower. This can lead to the wet loo syndrome observed by my wife on other craft.

Moving on up to the deck areas I found that the helm had a good driving position and good visibility – even in the wet weather. The double plus helm seat converts to a sun lounge, which supplements the bow sundeck. But on this rainy day the sunpad cushions stayed stored in the aft cabin. In the transom there was a shower, fender storage areas and a stern door that gives easy access to the swim platform and its retractable stainless steel ladder. The whole area was finished with practical boat carpets and vinyls. There was also well-placed deck lighting that would not interfere with night navigation as well as plenty of drink holders, which is the American way.

The Maxum features extensive instrumentation including tachos, oil, temp, fuel, engine hours and a speedo. There was also a remote control for the CD player, trim tab controls, toggle for the remote bow spotlight – a handy feature for finding moorings at night – and the controls for the anchor winch. Engine room access was had through two manual lift hatches positioned in the aft cockpit floor. When opened the engine room appeared spacious although the optional Kohler 5KVA genset had not been installed in the test boat.

Performance and handling are Maxum’s claim to fame and by looking at the specs you can see why. The 10m plus vessel weighs-in like an average 9m craft and is well powered by twin 300hp MerCruiser 350 MPIs. The end result is a big-bodied cruiser capable of hurling down the bay at speeds approaching 40mph. The 3300 is a big boat with plenty of accommodation below, but when we gave it a bit of stick she got on the plane like a runabout. The slender hull took a bit more time to trim, but is common with all craft of this style.

We would need more time to get used to the hull before we knew where to set the trim tabs at various speeds. There were leg trim gauges, but a trim tab gauge would have helped with this pursuit. A good cruising speed was obtained in the low to mid 3000rpm. At 3200 rpm the boat pulled 25 knots, while at 3500rpm, the Maxum produced a gutsy 31 knots. Anything above those speeds was a bonus that would not need to be used that often. The craft revved out to around 5000 rpm producing a 40 knot top speed.

I was afraid to ask about fuel consumption at those high speeds, but I do get the feeling that the moderate cruise speeds would produce reasonable results. Using the specifications provided with the craft, Maxum estimate with a fuel capacity of 678lt, the boat’s cruising range is around 187 miles. Do the sums and you get an approximate fuel consumption of 112lt per hour at cruise speed.

Overall, the Maxum 3300 is a well-balanced package that delivers sprightly performance combined with a very comfortable layout. Expect to pay around $299,000 for the pleasure of owning this classy sportscruiser. 

Engine Room
The test boat was powered by twin small block 350 cu in 300hp fuel injected MerCruiser driving through single prop Bravo II sterndrives. Rpm to speed figures were: 2200rpm, 10 knots; 2500rpm, 14 knots; 3000rpm, 21 knots; 3200rpm, 25 knots; 3500rpm, 31 knots; 4000rpm, 32.5 knots; and 5000rpm, 39 knots.

Story by Andrew Richardson