Rinker 330 EC

Grin and Win. What you need to get on the water now.

Features designed to catch the eye at boat shows often prove less important on the water. Snoop aboard Rinker's 330 EC. Teak or real tile flooring isn't standard, but the faux-granite galley counter, head vanity, and cockpit wetbar all incorporate fiddled edges to contain spills and keep stuff from falling to the sole. Plus, there's a wastebasket in the head, a feature I've not seen on boats smaller than 40'. Its swim ladder protrudes a few inches aft of the platform when folded and stowed-not as clean an installation as the "invisible" ladders found on some cruisers. But the 330 EC's ladder has four steps, so it deploys deep enough to preclude the need for high-stepping your way aboard after a swim and to comply with ABYC recommendations. Its salon table may not be hewn from rare wood and inset with a compass rose, but there's a place to stow it when it's not needed. Its clear canvas windshield connector may not be EZ2CY, or some other optically perfect plastic, but it can be installed and removed without having to climb out onto the bow. Yes, the 330 EC is priced lower than many other cruisers this size. But it isn't cheap. Rinker just spent the money where you need it, rather than where it might best impress a non-boating guest.

Notable standards include a 5kW generator, windlass with footswitches, cockpit refrigerator and icemaker, and built-in blender at the huge wetbar. On the reliability and serviceability fronts, I discovered shrink-sealed electrical terminals to thwart corrosion and a kickstand to support the engine hatch should its electric lift fail.

Belowdecks, both the salon and aft stateroom have convertible settees. These make for great lounging by day and convert to double berths easily at night, without the need to fuss with, and a find a place to stow, filler cushions. The master berth is roomy, and headroom throughout the cabin is generous.

Twin 320-hp Volvo Penta 5.7 OSXi stern drives-the freshwater-cooled Ocean Series with the composite drive housings and other salt-worthy features-powered the 330 EC smoothly through close, diamond-shaped chop at 26 mph. The 330 EC planes readily, with no loss of visibility over the bow. Top speed: 43.8 mph.