It can be argued that a sedan - A flying bridge cruiser - such as the new Silverton 410 Sport Bridge, being there is more important than getting there. But click the 410 Sport Bridge's trannies into gear, push its throttles forward, and you'll agree that getting there can be more fun than you expected. With twin 405-hp Crusader 8.2-liter MPI gasoline inboards turning 23"-by-21" propellers through deep, 2.68:1 Hurth 630A marine gears, our test boat got up and strutted to a respectable 28.2 mph with authority. Turning was responsive. And the 410 Sport Bridge stays on plane at only 15 mph, an often overlooked quality that allows you to keep control in rough seas.
All this confidence you feel at the helm is not surprising when you realize it's the result of all those horses turning the boat's nearly square, cupped propellers through low gears. This combination gets the 410 Sport Bridge up and going at a good pace, despite the fact that it weighs 7,500 pounds more than Bayliner's 3988 Command Bridge ($274,995 with twin 315-bhp Cummins diesels), 7,000 pounds more than Sea Ray's 400 Sedan Bridge ($408,000 with twin 380-hp MerCruiser inboards), and 6,000 pounds more than Jefferson's 43 International ($329,900 also with twin 380-hp MerCruiser inboards).
At $304,427 as tested and with options (add $38,595 for a pair of 315-bhp Cummins diesels), the 410 Sport Bridge isn't the least expensive boat in this group, but it has a wonderful accommodation plan, rugged construction, and don't forget how well it performs while underway.
LOOKIN' GOOD. COOKIN' GOOD. The 410 Sport Bridge's distinct, Euro-wedge styling is more than cosmetic. The gunwales sit lower on the more traditionally styled 400 Sedan Bridge, 3988 Command Bridge, and 43 International than on the 410 Sport Bridge. Starting just above the cockpit, the sidedecks on these competitors run forward, eating up valuable interior space.
THE HIGHS: Galley with a true view. Superior interior joinerwork. From engine installation to towel bars, it's well built. The "sidewalk" sidedecks are great.
THE LOWS: Helm needs nonglare treatment. Cockpit lacks some steps and a latch to secure the boarding door open. Opt for the stainless-steel windshield upgrade.
Why did Silverton's designers raise the 410 Sport Bridge's gunwales? To get better use of the boat's 14'8" beam for the interior. So, where are the sidedecks? They begin atop the flying bridge. Simply walk up the steps - not a ladder - to the bridge. From this roomy entertaining area, it's an easy walk down a gentle incline to the bow. Not only does the 410 Sport Bridge have more beam than its competitors, it has a greater proportion of its beam dedicated to its interior space and provides safe bow access in the process.
And how they used this space is, well, breathtaking. Instead of locating a galley that's "down" several steps below the salon, as aboard the 43 International, or "up" on the salon level, as aboard the 3988 Command Bridge and 400 Sedan Bridge, the 410 Sport Bridge's cooking-and-dining area is placed two steps above the salon level. It's a galley-up-up. Tucked under and against the windshield, this galley offers the cook and crew a 180-degree panorama.
Consider this for a moment: No longer will you and your crew feel trapped inside at mealtime, suffering from de-sight-dration, getting all grumpy and listless. No more fights for the one seat that faces the companionway. No more vistas filled with barnacle-encrusted pilings or your neighbor's topsides while in the slip.
Yeah, I know. You could serve the catch of the day in the cockpit or on the flying bridge. But then you'd have to wrestle with folding tables, dodge mosquitoes, and make the inevitable three trips to the galley for an extra lemon wedge, the salad tongs, and those stupid corn holder things. On the other hand, inside the 410 Sport Bridge you can dine in bug-free, humidity-controlled comfort with a gull's-eye view of the water in which you dropped your hook. Also, it's a great place to keep an eye on the kids as they play with the dink in your anchorage.