Drop any number of names on Rinker's new 310 Express Cruiser: weekender, peoplepleaser, portable vacation station. I prefer to call it a switch-hitter, a more-than-competent boat at serving two primary cruising functions. First, it's the largest-volume cruiser for its length that I've tested, with enough space to sleep eight for a weekend and stow all their gear, plus food and supplies, in an organized fashion. Yet, some nifty engineering applied to the topsides arrangement also makes it ideal for those whose boating pleasure comes from entertaining a crowd for a day on the bay. Doubling the possibilities for using the boat means more value.
Step onto the swim platform and settle into the rumble seat. It's a great place to view the harbor while nursing a sundowner. Move the lines from the boat-mounted cleats to the pop-up cleats mounted on the platform's aft edge, and you can mill about without playing jumprope. The four-step ladder, a rung more than many cruisers sport, eases reboarding after a dip.
Swing open the transom door. The cockpit galley's solid-surface counter is fiddled so your salsa won't slide off when you're rocked by a wake. a hidden blender flips into service from below. The sink is lidded, and a shelved locker resides below (many of the stowage areas aboard the boat are shelved, providing better organization than builders who simply provide large, open spaces). There's also room for an optional grill, plus your choice of either the ice maker or refrigerator/freezer options. In the backsplash are electric battery switches. Close to the boarding door, this location is convenient for powering up when coming aboard or powering down after buttoning up.
The amenities keep coming. The aft lounge offers sitting, reclining and laying-out positions. The long portside lounge can seat a crowd. slide out its optional filler to create a cockpit sun pad in the european style. now swivel the helm bench to face aft, and you've created a conversation pit. This arrangement, plus standard camper canvas, means you can party on despite the weather.
I wasn't overjoyed with the little 6-inch-by-6-inch bow-access steps, though the big, wide helm console and equally generous companionway might have suffered were the steps larger. once forward, I found the pitch of the bow pleasantly shallow. The windlass is fitted with foot switches and hides beneath a hatch.