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However, if you’re seeking a single-level cockpit between helm and aft lounge, your choices narrow. The field shrinks again if you require bridge clearance of less than 12 feet. And if you want a climate-controlled upper salon, separated from the cockpit by a standard hard enclosure instead of canvas, you’ve just picked your boat: Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius.
Well, maybe not so fast. Regal’s 46 Sport Coupe ($890,000 powered like our test boat) can be fitted with an optional glass enclosure for $16,750.
Still, the 45 Cantius stands out in many ways. Cruisers Yachts’ design team married the best elements of a sedan to those of an express, resulting in a cruiser unlike any currently available. The key to the layout is the hardtop, or, if you’ll excuse an old term, the deckhouse. Under its roof you’ll find the boat’s galley, upper salon and helm station. The aft bulkhead of the ’house consists of a swinging glass door and a wide half-height hinged window.
Open, these create a large flag-shaped opening, ensuring free egress between cockpit and the salon/galley/helm. It’s all on one level, from the transom lounge to the windshield. This delivers the layout of a big express boat, making it perfect for entertaining a crowd. There’s copious airflow from the retractable sunroof and the open aft bulkhead. Also, with the aft bulkhead open, you can freely communicate with those in the cockpit while at the controls. This is as great for socializing as it is for directing crew with line-handling duties while docking. Finally, a hinged door with a retainer is safer than the sliding patio doors sometimes seen aboard boats today.
The cockpit features a 2-foot-wide transom access door and steps leading to 12-inch-wide side decks that run to the bow. Grab rails are sturdy and well positioned. Going forward is safe and easy.
Cockpit amenities include a grill and refrigerator and the ability to “serve through” the opened aft bulkhead from the galley proper to the cockpit. The aft lounge converts electrically to a sun lounge, with kickstands serving to create recliners if so desired. Our tester boasted the retractable sunshade that extended to cover the entire cockpit.
Now, with the galley up instead of belowdecks, Cruisers Yachts could really go hog-wild incorporating living quarters that wow.
The master stateroom aboard the 45 Cantius offers a luxurious place to sleep, the convenience of an en suite head, and a place in which waking hours can be spent pleasantly and privately when other crew are aboard. Decor here is “deco,” evidenced by the angular geometry of the berth and the deck-hatch surround and valances. Doors are solid walnut, there is access to the queen-size berth from both sides, and the headroom taped at 6 feet 7 inches.
Aft are two more staterooms and a second head with shower stall. For a cruising couple, the convertible chaise lounges provide a quiet reading nook as light streams in via post-glazed hull windows. When entertaining, one of these staterooms serves as media room, perfect for movie nights.
The compact size of the twin 375 hp Volvo Penta IPS 500 pods combines with the upper galley to allow for this layout. These also delivered confident control of the boat in rough seas. Back at the dock, the joystick eases the stress of docking. And, with the aft bulkhead closed, sound levels are hushed, even running at high speed into the wind.
Marginal electrical power often irks me when inspecting cruising boats. That, however, was not the case aboard the 45 Cantius. I noted with approval that Cruisers Yachts wired this boat for 50-amp shore power. Additionally, this boat’s generator puts out 13.5 kilowatts, whereas 9 kW or 10 kW gennies are too often seen aboard boats this size. Both facts mean you’ll be able to run more gear whether dockside or swinging on the anchor rode, with less need to play “electricity cop” with your crew. The power largesse also allows for the installation of the massive 40,000 Btu reverse-cycle heat and air conditioning, divided into three separate systems throughout the boat.
The layout, propulsion and systems aboard the Cruisers Yachts 45 Cantius integrate and accentuate each other in that rare way that makes the sum equal more than the parts of the whole. That allows this boat to work great as either a long-term cruiser or as day-tripper big enough to handle open water and a large crowd of friends.
Comparable model: Regal 46 Sport Coupe