Another feature that sets the 360 Express apart from the 380 Sundancer and other cruisers, such as the 41'3", 18,500-pound Four Winns V378 ($347,938 with twin 375-hp Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi gasoline V-drives, standard hardtop, and generator) is its variety of propulsion choices. Beneath the hatches aboard the 360 Express, you can install stern drives, V-drives, or tractor drives. You can choose gas or diesel. However, MerCruisers are no longer available.
My test boat, perhaps the last MerCruiser-equipped 360 Express, housed twin 370-hp 8.1S gasoline V-drive inboards. The installation and serviceability is as good as it gets. From chafe-protection and electrical bonding to labeling and the ability to lay hands upon filters, dipsticks, batteries, seacocks, and bilge switches, I found no flaws. The high-water alarm is an uncommon safety feature and conforms to the ABYC recommendation for boats with enclosed accommodation spaces. The only goof I uncovered was at the well that houses the windlass under a hatch at the bow. It's pitched aft and holds water. Cruisers Yachts says this glitch will be rectified. Grab a dock hose and see for yourself.
Hit the throttles. You'll find the 360 Express' performance as smart as its accommodations and rigging. Although undue inclination and hanging at hump speed are characteristic of many V-drive-powered cruisers, the 360 Express escapes this fate. It planes readily without loss of forward visibility. The prop pockets deliver a nozzle effect that increases the speed of water flowing through them. This counteracts the loss of buoyancy typical of pockets. Lift is increased because of the faster stream. While cruising, a gentle touch results in a quick turning response. With a top speed of nearly 39 mph, this boat feels as if it's loafing at a 30-mph cruise with these engines. That's good for engine wear. It's also good any time you're running in following seas. Having plenty of acceleration on tap is another fine feature found on yet another nice Cruisers Yacht.
Extra Point: The transom rumble seat is upholstered with high-density foam, better suited to handle the soaking it gets as the boat comes off plane.