It isn't like you need to charge around at 50 mph on a 35-foot sport yacht. But let's say you're 50 miles from home port. The water's calm, but radar shows a storm approaching. You have a little more than an hour to beat it home. On our test boat, with twin MerCruiser 496 Mags, you could make it - with about 160 gallons (210 gallon capacity) of fuel to spare.
Impressive as that is for a vacation cruiser, what we found just as significant was the way the 350 SY handled around its slip with the optional Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) system. Smooth shifting and easy throttle adjustments let us slip into moorings while smaller 26-foot and 29-foot express cruisers struggled with cross currents.
Easing the transition for boaters into the bigger cruiser segment is a crucial part of Monterey's plan with the 350 SY. So is comfort. In the 92-degree heat during our test day, we manned the helm beneath an inventive hardtop. Within it are an acrylic hatch and blinds control the natural sunlight. On the cockpit's port side, and also protected by the hardtop, is a U-shaped seat for three passengers in a conversational setting.
To be honest, we spent more than half our time belowdecks. The designers dashed all our preconceived notions with the large size of the middle stateroom with its own flat-screen TV, eight lights and the space to accommodate a king mattress. In the salon and galley, we found hardwood cabinetry, a solid cherry pedestal table on a hydraulic stand (making its conversion to a berth quick and easy), teak flooring and wood blinds. It's a warm area for entertaining and, because the upholstery has extra layers of sealant and the carpet is removable, it should be an easy cleanup even if the weather hit before it makes port.
* A switch on the helm moves the middle section of the windshield up or down for ventilation.
* Headroom in the salon is 6 feet, 5 inches, with a U-shaped seat on a raised platform.
* Hardtop instead of a radar arch maintains a controlled environment and holds changeable red and white lights.
* Deep transom storage holds shore-power and water hookups, and is flanked by steps on both sides leading into the cockpit.
* Wet bar behind the driver is streamlined with fridge (or ice maker), sink and storage in one unit.
At a Glance
Boaters moving into the long-range cruiser segment would find a natural transition with the 350 SY.
Dry Weight: 16,500 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 230 gal.
Water Capacity: 48 gal.
Maximum HP: 850
MSRP (w/ twin MerCruiser 496 Mags): $292,079
NMMA Certified: Yes
Test Engine: Twin MerCruiser 496 Mags Bravo 3
Test Load: People (380 lb.), Fuel (210 gal.)
Top Speed: 50.0 mph @ 5,000 rpm
Time to Plane: 8.3 sec.
Time to 30 mph: 12.9 sec.