Bryant Boats designers possess deep roots in the hard-core tow-sports scene. They actively ski, surf and wakeboard behind the boats they build, as well as behind boats built by others.
So it should come as no surprise that the Bryant Calandra Surf delivered one of the best surf wakes we’ve experienced behind a boat equipped with Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive. Credit Forward Drive for tucking the prop safely under the hull, a feature about which other sterndrives, let alone outboard engines, cannot boast. Credit Bryant’s Surf System for truly pumping up wake volume and shaping it to perfection.
The package includes twin, low-profile sub-floor ballast tanks that add up to 1,500 pounds of wake-boosting weight without stealing away stowage space, Wake Worx surf tabs to enhance the wake on either port or starboard side, and Zero Off GPS-based speed control to lock in the perfect speed. Tweaks to the Calandra’s hull bottom, including softening of the chines and elimination of a pair of strakes aft, further fine-tune the surf.
Whether surfing or cruising, the Calandra feels larger and more spacious than many comparable boats in its class. The main cockpit eschews common wraparound seating in favor of individual seating areas designed to enhance the open feel. The nearly 3-foot-wide helm seat gives the captain space for a companion, and it’s mirrored by an identical seat facing aft. To port, the passenger seat flows into a 3-foot-4-inch bench aft, with a shared pivoting backrest. The most versatile seat aboard, however, is the Transitional Rear Lounge — twin back-to-back lounges over 5 feet wide. The configuration offers both cockpit and swim-platform seating, and it lowers to form a flat 5-foot-by-6-foot-4-inch sun pad or reclining lounge.
The 300 hp produced by our test boat’s Volvo Penta V-8 pushed the Calandra onto plane in just over 4 seconds, allowed it to reach 30 mph in another 3.5 seconds and produced a top speed just over 49 mph. Those surf-minded hull tweaks also produced one of the smoothest-handling Forward Drives we’ve tested. The Calandra intuitively banked in and out of aggressive turns with nary a twitch.
- Roomy port console head offers low-maintenance liner.
- Many “extras,” including automatic fire extinguisher in engine compartment, are standard.
- Massive in-sole ski/board locker.
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta V8-300-FWD
Drive/Props: Forward Drive/K5 Propset Gear Ratio: 2.32:1
Fuel Load: 49 gal.
Crew Weight: 330 lb.
Bryant Boats – Sweetwater, Tennessee; 423-337-3639; bryantboats.com