Cutwater 302 Coupe Boat Test

The Cutwater 302 is a new cruising boat loaded with features and amenity.

Cutwater 302 Coupe
LOA: 30'0" | Beam: 10'0" | Draft: 2'5" | Displacement: 9,800 lb. (with power) | Transom Deadrise: 11 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 9'9" | Fuel Capacity: 300 gal. | Max Horsepower: 600 | More Information: cutwaterboats.comCourtesy Cutwater Boats

Everything on the Cutwater 302 Coupe transforms into something else. Call it Wavetron, cousin to Maximus Prime.

The first order of business for this outboard-powered pocket trawler is pleasure, and when you flip a hatch, turn a seat back or open a window in the Cutwater, the pleasure of cruising is multiplied and its value increased.

But in our tests, the first order of business is to see how it runs. For its length overall, its draft is diminutive, but its acceleration and cornering are snappy and crisp. Hard-over turns were handled without rattling dishes or opening cupboards. At economical speeds, the 302 Coupe can take you to far ports without refueling.

Cutwater 302 Coupe
The helm is well-organized and makes operating the 302 Coupe a breeze.Courtesy Cutwater Boats
Cutwater 302 Coupe
The cockpit is set up for entertaining outdoors.Courtesy Cutwater Boats

This new 302 pocket trawler is easily managed single-handedly or with a companion. Ours had a bow thruster on it for easy docking and anxiety-free cruising.

Prime examples of transforming features are the galley seating that converts from a double-wide helm seat on the forward side of the dinette and a complementary couch on the aft side. Lay those down and you’re facing a comfortable central berth for two. Flip that aft seat up and open the aft cabin window, and that double seat joins the ­cockpit conversation area. Underneath that aft seat is still ­another berth.

Cutwater 302 Coupe
The finely crafted buffet top on the port side of the salon lifts to reveal a two-burner stove and galley sink.Courtesy Cutwater Boats

Another convertible feature is the electric grill in the transom compartment. Stow it away and enjoy the lounges, or lift it up and access the livewell beneath. If you’re not into live bait, ice it down and stow the catch there as well. There are rod holders on the transom and more in the hardtop.

Spectators can watch the action from still another transforming feature — gunwale seats that fold outward.

The finely crafted buffet top on the port side of the salon lifts to reveal a two-burner stove and galley sink. There’s a microwave below.

Cutwater 302 Coupe
The cabin is equipped for overnighting comfortably.Courtesy Cutwater Boats
Cutwater 302 Coupe
Accommodations are welcoming.Courtesy Cutwater Boats
Cutwater 302 Coupe
The forward stateroom houses a spacious berth.Courtesy Cutwater Boats
Cutwater 302 Coupe
We were impressed with the size and convenience of the head compartment.Courtesy Cutwater Boats
Cutwater 302 Coupe
The Cutwater 302 Coupe is convenient to handle with confidence.Courtesy Cutwater Boats

In the forward stateroom, more finely crafted work trims a closet, drawers and spacious berth. We were impressed with the size and convenience of the head compartment, with an acrylic circular shower enclosure.

The Cutwater 302 Coupe is surprisingly spacious, convenient to handle with confidence, and transforms quickly for you.

Cutwater 302 Coupe
The Cutwater 302 Coupe is surprisingly spacious.Courtesy Cutwater Boats

High Points

  • Convertible transom grill hides a livewell beneath that can also be used as an ice box.
  • Outboard power is easy to maintain.
  • Compact design means this rig is trailerable, and many roll their way right into RV parks as a camper.

Low Points

  • Enclosed salon and cockpit hardtop leave fewer spots to sunbathe but ensure comfort in inclement weather.
  • Low deadrise angle gives a stable cruising ride and offers entry to shallow waters but requires judicious speed in choppy seas.

Toughest Competitors
The Cutwater is a tough boat to find comparisons for. It's combination of outboard power, size and layout make it unique. If we were shopping we would compare this boat against the larger, twin-outboard powered Jeanneau NC 1095 ($265,000 with twin F300 Yamaha outboards), or the also larger single sterndrive-powered Nimbus 305 Coupe, powered by a Volvo Penta diesel sterndrive or Torqeedo Deep Blue electric motor. The Nimbus top speed is slower than the Jeanneau or the Cutwater, at about 22 knots, so it compares on layout, not propulsion or performance.

Price: $309,937 (with test power)

Available Power: Outboards

Cutwater 302 Coupe
Cutwater 302 Coupe Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Twin Yamaha 300s
Drive/Prop: Yamaha SDS 15.25" x 19" 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 40 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.

More Information
Cutwater Boats - Monroe, Washington; 800-349-7198; cutwaterboats.com