I always like it when I get on a boat and find things that tell me people who actually spend time aboard were involved in designing it. When I stepped up to move forward on the side passageways of the Silverton 33 Sport Coupe, I put my hand up to catch my balance, and voilà, there was a grabhandle on the underside of the pilothouse overhang. And as I made my way to the bow, the 3'-tall rails flared outboard just enough to give me some extra space while remaining within easy reach.
During my engine compartment inspection, the sliding section of the salon sole abaft the hatch let me get a clear look at everything. Move the section forward or aft, or just pull it out of the way to improve access or your view.
In the cockpit, not only is there a huge stowage tub in the lazarette, it pulls out so you can check on the steering system, genset, and trim tab pump. Topping off the fluid in the Bennett reservoir, for example, is easy because of its location. This is a rarity. Rejoice.
Finally, there's the construction. The 33 Sport Coupe has a solid fiberglass bottom and balsa-cored hullsides and deck, which are pretty typical. It's the hull-to-deck joint that sets apart this boat. It's sealed with butyl tape and 3M 5200, through-bolted every 8", and fiberglassed around the perimeter. That's not what you'd expect on a 33' cruiser. On a custom-built 33' offshore go-fast or bluewater sportfisher? Sure.
The good feelings carry over to the 33 Sport Coupe's performance. The twin 375-hp Crusader Captain's Choice 6.0 MPIs push the boat to 36.5 mph and provide a comfortable cruise of 23.6 mph at 3500 rpm. On test day the boat cleanly worked its way through maneuvers and responded well when I backed it into the slip.
Because Silverton is one of the first manufacturers to go back to a true sedan with the 33 Sport Coupe, there aren't any exact competitors. There are, however, boats you will likely consider. Riviera's 3600 is a bigger sedan-style model with a full hardtop. It retails for $382,615 with twin Volvo Penta D6-330 engines. If you want the same living space but prefer the second helm to have a flying bridge, check out the Meridian 341 Sedan ($352,000 with twin MerCruiser MX 6.2 MPI inboards).
The only gauges you'll see at the 33 Sport Coupe's helm are fuel gauges. Otherwise, Murphy PowerView LCD engine-monitoring screens keep you apprised of all that's happening with the motors. There's a compass forward and an open section for electronics. Controls are comfortably placed and I had an excellent view of my surroundings while running.
The 33 Sport Coupe uses the same layout as the Silverton 33 Convertible belowdecks, including the spacious head to starboard. There's expansive headroom, an air conditioning duct to quickly remove steam, and double-clamped, color-coded water hoses in the sink-base cabinet. Slick.
To port, the aft stateroom has a berth set athwartship. Removable panels provide access to the helm (because real boaters know you need this), and there's a hanging locker that's deep enough for a sport jacket. Silverton smartly lined the locker with soft vinyl that gives when pressed against so clothes won't get wrinkled.
Forward, the master stateroom has the island queen berth offset to starboard. Another example of practicality is that your primary stowage in the berth is in drawers. If you want to grab a fresh shirt, it's much easier to pull open a drawer than lift up a mattress. Panels beneath the berth provide access to the air conditioning system. As in the aft quarters, the hanging locker in the master stateroom has ample depth and a soft interior liner.
To expand the 33 Sport Coupe's sleeping capacity, there's a convertible lounge to starboard. If you want an easy place to stash the linens, just pull out the drawers in the base of the port sofa. Thanks to the immense VistaAire power sunroof, you'll feel like you're sleeping under the stars.
Forward to port, the galley has everything you'll need to whip up lunch, but don't spill anything, because the Corian countertop isn't fiddled. Also, there's carpet in the sink cabinet, mold waiting to happen.
For outstanding access, a removable panel in the galley sole opens up to let you get to the water heater and offers enough open space to stow bulk items such as paper towels or cases of beer. Limber holes are coated in gel coat, but the bulkhead should have been finished better. There was a rough edge on one side. Silverton says it will be finished cleanly in the future. Check on your walkthrough.
Aft, the engine compartment hatch and afore-mentioned aft sliding section of the sole let you get to anything you need, no small feat in a 33' boat. There's a nonslip walkway between the engines, which are installed with standard mounts to the marine-plywood-cored stringers. All fuel and water lines are double-clamped and wires are secured in screwed-in tiewraps. Aft, all three batteries are in plastic hold-down trays in a spot where you could actually remove one without slipping a disc.
Out in the cockpit, when I first lifted the large lazarette hatch, I assumed I had found a negative because I thought the hatch had no means of securing it in the "up" position. Then I found a strap with a snap on the end to secure the hatch to the transom. What did I expect? The 33 Sport Coupe was designed by real boaters.
EXTRA POINT: If you were a 10-year-old when sedan-style boats were popular in the 1960s, Silverton figures the 33 Sport Coupe is the boat for you. The average age of a Silverton owner is 53 years old.