By Doug Thompson
Cutwater’s new towable 30-footer is designed for tropical adventures.
Having the right toy makes the difference between a good boating weekend and a great one. Sure, Cutwater Boats’ new 30 Sport Top is one big toy. However, a closer look reveals a trailerable cruiser loaded with so many innovative features, it would take a year’s worth of boating weekends to discover them all.
Picture that perfect beach—it’s that one found during shallow-water cruising that would make an ideal lunch, sunbathing or exploring spot. The Cutwater 30 Sport Top is built for beaching with its rugged, protected keel and a telescoping ladder off the bow. If it’s safe and legal to nose the boat in, then you’re all set for a secluded few hours, and that’s where the fun really begins. This big toy is loaded with little toys, but they’re more than mere playthings—intelligent space savers, electronics, and conventional and remote operational controls all make boating easier.
The Cutwater 30 Sport Top debuted at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in late October and is the outdoorsier version of the Cutwater 30 introduced earlier in the year. One feature that sets apart the Sport Top model is the pilothouse that now fully opens to the aft deck by rolling up or removing the soft enclosure. The original Cutwater 30 is a hardtop sedan made for colder climates, and the pilothouse is an enclosed structure with an aft cabin door. “We decided to do the Sport Top for markets like Florida where boat owners want it more open,” says Mark Mansfield, Cutwater Boats’ National Sales Manager. Cutwater Boats––based in Monroe, Washington––was founded in 2011 by the Livingston family, which also owns Ranger Tugs. “By being more open the inside is exposed to the weather, so we’ve made the interior fabrics and surfaces more durable. We also added a reversible two-person seat where the aft bulkhead used to be. In the forward-facing position it’s part of a four-person dinette. Reverse the seat and you’re looking off the boat to the water.”
The reversible-seat function is just one of the many space-saving features aboard the 30 Sport Top. This function is smartly used throughout the boat; the two-person helm seat and the transom bench seat also are reversible. Further enhancing space, the port- and starboard-side gunwales on the aft deck have bench seat cutouts. The gunwale seat sections fold out over the water with seating for as many as eight people outside.
Space saving continues on the pilothouse roof, where sport racks are located to safely carry paddleboards or kayaks. Again, having that right toy at the ready can make all the difference. “The sport racks are just a design element that today’s buyers are looking for,” Mansfield explains. “It’s a lot safer to carry paddleboards on the roof rather than on the side rails where the view is blocked, and this is just a smart way to utilize space in a very clean way.”
Mansfield continues, “A word we hear a lot of time from customers is downsizing. “The rising price of fuel is keeping people from going boating, and while people are coming from larger boats they don’t want to give up luxuries like air-conditioning in both the pilothouse and forward stateroom.”
The 30 Sport Top sleeps a total of six guests, with two at the dinette and the other four guests in two cabins. The guest cabin is located under the settee in the pilothouse and features a double bed and two portholes, while the forward stateroom is accessed by a set of steps to port of the helm and includes a queen bed, five windows, two overhead deck hatches, and a storage locker. The boat’s single bathroom is just aft off the stateroom and includes a cleverly designed shower area that can be closed off using a circular clear enclosure to keep water from spraying all over the bathroom interior.
Additional amenities include the fully equipped, portside galley in the pilothouse with stove top, refrigerator, microwave, and wine cooler. The cooktop and sink can be covered when not in use with fold-down countertops for a large amount of surface area for drinks and appetizers. Other creature comfort appointments include flat-screen TVs in both the pilothouse and forward stateroom powered by a robust 12-volt electrical grid.
“Every place we can use 12-volt power, we use it,” Mansfield explains. “This boat has a solar panel on the roof, a very popular option. The advantage is if you enjoy being on the hook a lot, the solar panel will trickle-charge your house batteries. On a sunny day it’s an unbelievable amount of charge you can get. Of course, your starter batteries are always going to have a full charge and an inverter comes standard.”
The use of high-tech Garmin electronics continues at the starboard-side helm, where the optional twin 12-inch multi-function displays guide, track and inform the operator. Windlass, windshield wipers, compass, and VHF come standard, and the controls for the Volvo Penta D6 370-horsepower diesel are fly-by-wire. An aft steering station on the starboard side is also an option, as well as a wireless remote for bow and stern thrusters.
Outstanding fuel economy is another cost-effective benefit. The 30 Sport Top runs on a stepped keel that reduces drag and improves efficiency. Powered by the single Volvo Penta 370-horsepower engine the boat runs to a top speed of 26.3 knots. Reduce the speed to 15.5 knots, and the 30 Sport Top has a cruising range of more than 250 miles utilizing the 180-gallon fuel tank.
The Cutwater 30 Sport Top offers a clean profile with a light blue hull and white top. The Cutwater name and architecture was developed as an alternative to the Ranger Tugs’ line, which was first launched in 1958. By incorporating proven design elements and features from the Ranger Tugs’ line, the Cutwater brand has evolved into a contemporary towable cruiser that puts your toys right where you want them… on the water.
Dry weight: 10,200 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 180/80 U.S. gals.
Power: 1x Volvo Penta D6 370-hp diesel
Cruise/Top Speed: 15.5/26.3 kts
Range: 251 nautical miles @ cruise
MSRP (w/o options): $279,937
17341 Tye St S.E.
Monroe, WA 98272
Southern Boating January 2014