You won’t need to stow your cell phone in a drink holder while running Intrepid’s 327 Cuddy. The top of its console features a recess that serves as a catchall, a thing every boat’s helm should have. A small thing? Perhaps. But this was just one out of dozens of great details I discovered during my test. The short story is that the more experience you have, the more you’ll appreciate Intrepid’s latest boat. For the longer version, keep reading.
Let’s start in the cuddy, where I was impressed by the amenities. No, there’s no book-matched teak, nor jack-in-the-box TV, though Intrepid would likely jump at the chance to add such customizations, were you inclined to write the check. Instead, the amenities I refer to come in the form of conveniences that make owning the boat, and being aboard it, more enjoyable. It’s a theme that pops out everywhere aboard the 327 Cuddy.
Push back the slider and step below. The headliner is fiberglass, easy to clean and reflective; it enhances the light streaming through the flush deck hatch and the opaque companionway hatch. As with all true offshore boats, there are no cabin portholes, which eventually leak. Flush-mount cabinets ring the lounge, each with a positive latch and frameless doors. The berth filler ingeniously fits on the sole, between the bases of the opposing settees, and so takes up no stowage space. I wish a drain were installed in the fiberglass pan, and I also would suggest adding a fiddle to the galley counter’s top to help keep loose gear in place. There’s a drawer-style refrigerator, and a hanging locker just inside the companionway makes for an easy reach to grab a windbreaker. Access to the rode locker is through the forward bulkhead, a boon aboard any boat. The shower and commode? They’re located elsewhere.
Step out into the cockpit, past the expansive wraparound lounge, and push a button. The front of the console slides athwartships, allowing you to walk into the head, rather than climb down as you must aboard boats in which head access is in the side of the console. A skylight overhead provides light, and the entire compartment is more of that reflective gelcoat for sanitary reasons — it also keeps the space bright. There’s a mirror, a solid-surface topped vanity with sink and shower, and plenty of room to change or use a blow-dryer. Perhaps the best feature is that, by locating the WC in the console rather than the cabin, the 327 Cuddy achieves more privacy when nature calls than some boats twice its size.
Standard seating aboard the 327 accommodates a crowd. The forward lounge seats six easily and allows four to sprawl; backrests provide for reclining while facing either forward or aft. To port of the leaning post is an aft-facing seat that makes it easy for a mate to relax while still keeping the skipper company. Though the boat has a center-console helm, you walk forward along the starboard side of the 327 Cuddy’s console, since the port side is filled with that aft-facing seat and a cooler that places beverages and snacks within reach of those in the forward cockpit or those in the helm area. The arrangement is similar to that aboard Regulator’s 34SS ($252,995 with twin 350 hp Yamaha outboards), which features a bow full of seats and a cuddy in the console. Additionally, there is a host of stock and custom seating for the 327 Cuddy, such as removable aft benches and the electric helm bench my test boat featured.
Access to the water is via a finely fitted fiberglass door in the tumblehome transom. Dual boarding platforms and a recessed swim ladder come standard. One of Intrepid’s hallmark optional features, a hullside dive door, is now available in both manual and hydraulic versions. I tested the hydraulic model, which extends out and retracts with the push of a button. It’s slick, but diminishes the stowage capacity in the locker on that side of the sole in order to give the ladder a place to retract. The manual ladder does not affect stowage.
The 327 Cuddy runs on the latest iteration of Intrepid’s vaunted transverse step hull, which now features twin keel vents, a lower motor bracket “bucket” location and other refinements intended to accommodate larger and heavier outboards while retaining the efficiency and ride for which the brand’s boats have been heralded.
With twin 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards bolted on, the 327 rushed to 58 mph with full fuel and three crew aboard. At any speed between 16 mph and 48 mph, it delivered nearly 1.5 mpg fuel efficiency. I put it through a battery of test maneuvers and couldn’t wriggle out a handling glitch. My call? The 327 Cuddy’s hull refinements hit the mark.
Comparable model: Regulator 34SS