ON A MISSION. So, you can take it on Buzzard's Bay or Lake of the Ozarks when wind and wakes keep other boats in their slips. But how does it fare as a party platform? Step onto the teak swim platform (option pricing for the 360 had not been established at press time) and stroll through the wide centerline walkway. There's no scuttling over a sunpad as you would aboard a go-fast. In fact, the transition from swim platform to sunpad to cockpit is seamless. Run this scenario: With the hook set in a quiet cove, you leave the helm. Popping an hors d'oeuvre in your mouth as you pass the Corian-topped wetbar, you strip off your shirt and dive overboard. Having checked the dash-mounted water temperature and depth gauges, you know the water is just right. You come up smiling as your two teenagers and their friends sun themselves on the aft sunlounge. Elbows on the platform now, you adjust the stereo's volume using the optional transom-mounted remote. You smile at your wife who is rattling ice cubes in her gin and tonic, despite the fact that she's reclining at the companion lounge opposite the helm. On the way home, no one feels left out. Unlike many cruisers, this dayboat provides a view of where the boat's headed from every luxuriously upholstered seat in the cockpit.
Ergonomic balance of this order is an intangible. But there are some facts to which we can point. One of these is the 360's deck profile. From the rubrail, below which the deck joins the hull, you'll note that the deck rises almost vertically rather than curving inboard as on most other boats. This produces an interior cockpit width we taped at 9'11" - as wide as those aboard boats sporting a 12' beam. Of course, this eliminates the sidedecks you might find aboard a similarly sized cruiser. By making the 360 look too high in profile, we could argue that this detracts from its otherwise sleek looks. But that's another intangible. Because at 9'6" to the top of the arch (11' with our test boat's radar installed), its bridge clearance is lower and its lines sportier than a conventional express cruiser's.
Still, the 360 is very much a dayboat, so don't expect a cruiser's accommodations belowdecks. For instance, the cabin offers just 6' of headroom and a mid-cabin berth that's best suited for stowage. Its highly raked, performance-oriented bow stem means there's less stowage below the Ultraleather V-berth. The focus here is on the head, which, with shower and faux-granite lid concealing the commode, we found to be as comfortable as those aboard 40-footers. Another positive factor is the wedge-shaped, faux-granite-topped galley, which is an ideal spot for making snacks and sandwiches. Fine carpentry describes the hardwood shelves and cabinets. A fiddle on the dinette table kept the soda I spilled from caffeinating my notes. This is a boat for those who already have a waterfront cottage, not those seeking a floating variation of one.