Issue: July 2004
Hovering stealthily around the pristine shores of Lion Island, waiting for the photo chopper to arrive, I couldn’t help thinking that this might be the closest I will ever get to being on a James Bond movie set. But it’s mid week and here we are five guys in lairy shirts on a big luxury express cruiser lurking around Lion Island waiting for a chopper. It sound a bit like a scene out of the Renee Rivkin’s story, hope it isn’t used against me in the future. Whatever scenario, the Modern Boating team are onboard a stylish craft, it’s a perfect day and the only ‘difficult’ task ahead is to go for a burl on the latest high powered 37ft Maxum.
The lure of these larger craft is amazing. I started my day in Modern Boating’s 20ft Trophy ‘ a craft that has always impressed me with its array of big boat features ‘ but once I leapt onboard the 3700, I sort of had to be prised like an oyster from a rock back into the Trophy for the home trip. We are also surprised to find that now even more people can afford to own a Maxum 3700 by purchasing a quarter share @ $130,000, plus monthly running costs through a boat Syndicate managed by AP Marine Services. If you don’t plan on spending every weekend out on your boat, then the lure of a small boat syndicate is no doubt tempting.
The first thing that grabs my attention on the Maxum 3700 is the more than average V8 BURRRRBBBBLLLLE that’s permeating from the engine room ‘ this is a good hint that the combined 840hp of the engines below decks are going to deliver some solid performances from a craft that displaced around 8 tonnes. The rig has a range of cruise speed around 26 knots and a maximum speed of 37 knots ‘ not bad considering she’s got two double beds down below. The 8.1lt petrol engines are freshwatercooled, which is great news as far as engine life is concerned. We have ideal offshore conditions for a vessel of this type operating in open waters ‘ a bit of slush and small swell, but nothing to beat the hell out of the interior fittings.
The hull cut through the smaller chop and had a balanced, soft approach to the bigger swell thanks to the modest beam and 15-degrees deadrise. The craft needed a bit of extra stick to keep her up in tight turns and generally the Maxum 3700 stayed fairly flat in all but the hardest of turns. The helm station is comprehensive with analogue instruments covering everything from fuel to engine revs. One feature that does stand out is the ‘Control Max’ bowthruster toggle. It’s shaped like a boat’s hull and you simply twist the control in the direction you want the hull to go and ‘viola’ she follows that course. With such a long high bow and mild deadrise, the wind can really mess with the low speed handling of this type of craft, so bow thrusters are great to have on board. Plus, the Control Max is so simple to operate.
The deck layout of this craft is also above average for this class of boat, with the wide walkways and big full-length bowrail. This makes a trip to the bow a safe and secure affair. There’s also an oversized chain locker with Lumar windlass, spotlight and two big sun pads serviced by drink holders. The main cockpit area offered a range of seating options from the massive lounge area to the helm seating that had enough space to take four across the screen. One thing that did grab my attention was the icemaker located in the wet bar. It’s an option chosen by Ainsley Henderson, because in his own words ‘he likes his beer cold’. And large under seat cool zone combined with the cockpit icemaker was the best way to deliver cool drinks fast.
There is still a fridge below decks for all those things that need to stay dry, so I reckon the icemaker is a great choice for those who do a lot of entertaining. The aft swim platform is accessed through the transom door and has plenty of room to move about. There is also easy access to a large aft storage area for fenders, lines or a deflated dingy. It is worth noting that the stainless steel bowrail extends right back to the stern meaning that getting around sure footed on this boat is easy. Grab handles are located in a lot of well thought out places including one in the radar arch and one in the galley. Below deck the spacious saloon is split into three segments. The forward berth has all-round access to the queen-size island bed, two hanging lockers, a divider and natural light from deck hatches.
In the main saloon the maple and holly galley is on the portside. It has an electric stove, sink and mixer tap unit, fridge, microwave and good storage. Across from the galley is a spacious lounge area that looks at a small TV incorporated in the galley area. The second double berth is located under the helm area with small windows that open to the cockpit. The head is located on the portside near the stairs. It is roomy with a great automatic ‘VacuFlush’ loo ‘ kind of like the ones you find on aeroplanes. The bathroom is spacious, which is important and has some good storage areas, but these might require the odd baffle to stop things rolling around.
Overall, the saloon balances wood veneers, carpets and down lights to provide a very pleasant ambiance below decks in the evening. With a few deck and hull hatches dispersed throughout the boat, below decks also enjoys a reasonable level of natural light for daytime activities and the galley even has it’s own little porthole. Essentially, the Maxum 3700 offers the best of both worlds ‘ good accommodation, well priced and swift performance (if you don’t mind the fuel bill) from two low maintenance freshwatercooled engines. The outside areas of this craft gleam and the helm is designed to impress all those who embrace her.
Prepare for blast off! The 3700 was powered by twin 8.1lt freshwater cooled, 420hp MerCruisers through a V-shaft drive that use water-cooled packless shaft seals that don’t drip like the traditional stern glands. The engine hatch lifts by an optional hydraulic ram and once opened offers reasonable access to both motors and the Kohler 7kVa generator. And there’s still space for more goodies if required. The room is also equipped with four bilge pumps (two manual and two electric) and a fire suppression system. Cruising at 3000rpm the fuel consumption is approximately 80lt per hour, giving a range of approx 285 nautical miles for the 1136lt fuel tank. But a faster cruise speed of 3500rpm will still deliver a similar range.
As far as pricing goes, the base price for a Maxum 3700 is $431,090. The price as tested is$485,000.
Words by Andrew Richardson.