Tested: Cutwater C30 Command Bridge – Quimby's Cruising Guide

Tested: Cutwater C30 Command Bridge

It’s no exaggeration to say that boats built by Fluid Motion, LLC, are taking the market by storm. In a matter of only a few years, the Ranger Tugs and Cutwater brands are selling like hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Many boat manufacturers have found the last few years challenging, but the Cutwater factory in Monroe, Wash., is a busy, happy and productive bright spot in the recreational boating industry.

If there’s a magic formula for Cutwater’s success, perhaps it’s the innovative use of space and multi-purpose aspect of almost every feature and fixture aboard. Cutwater delivers as much usability in a trailerable 30-foot package as some manufacturers struggle to include in boats six or eight feet longer. Almost everything needed for basic family cruising is standard, with the most appropriate choices, such as an owner’s preferred electronics or ground tackle, available as factory options.

The Cutwater C30 Command Bridge is the first boat in the line to offer an upper deck and helm. Previous Cutwaters were all hardtops. Many boaters feel that nothing compares with the open-air sensation of a flybridge, and the C30 makes that experience available to Cutwater buyers. Boaters who plan to trailer the boat will appreciate that all upper deck hardware and fixtures fold down to venturi level to reduce drag and bridge clearance, as well as to simplify canvassing.

From a nuts and bolts perspective, the C30 is very well built. A unitized grid of fiberglass stringer and frames is bonded to the hull during layup. Cutwater hulls are exceptionally strong and rigid for good seakeeping and performance, yet light enough to operate with satisfying efficiency. The patented Keel Stepped Hull Bottom delivers a smooth ride and remarkable speed. The standard 370-horsepower Volvo Penta D6 engine sits low in the hull, reducing the center of gravity and permitting additional headroom in the cabins. The prop is protected by a skeg keel.

To make the single-screw design user friendly for boaters of all skill levels, bow and stern thrusters are standard.

Spatial Relations
Cutwater maximizes the use of space in a manner that enhances, rather than compromises, the creature comfort of the captain, crew and guests aboard. The 80-square-foot cockpit, for example, is designed so that port, starboard and transom seats cantilever out over the water; the cockpit doesn’t fill up with chairs. A removable panel in the aft bulkhead permits the rear seat for the dinette to flip in place and become a fourth transom seat. There are observation seats and a forward lounge for the foredeck.

Additional main deck features include side decks with stainless-steel safety rails, a swim platform with stowage locker and even a retractable bow ladder (for easy access to the beach when the bow is in the shallows). An optional cockpit control station will prove useful when fishing, or when docking shorthanded — and when so equipped the C30 offers three steering stations.

Fluid Motion designers did a creditable job of adding the flybridge cowling to the original hardtop design. The boat looks good, and that can’t be said for every flybridge boat of similar length. Four adults will find plenty of room on the Command Bridge. The helm seat flips to face the removable table for dining, snacking or a friendly game of cards.

Functional innovation is a theme in the interior as well. The main cabin offers six and a half feet of headroom, with large windows to admit light and enhance the view. The galley is on the port side of the main cabin, with a refrigerator/freezer, cooktop with oven, stainless-steel sink, microwave and even a wine cooler standard. All or a portion of the galley can be covered with a fold-down top when more counter space is desired. The dinette, complete with the reversible aft seat and cherry table, feeds four adults and can be converted to a double bunk.

The lower helm, in the starboard forequarter of the main cabin, features a lot of space for installation of optional electronics.

A quarter berth, under the dinette, sleeps two or can be used as an enormous stowage locker if not required for sleeping space. A cruising couple will enjoy the walk-around double berth in the forward cabin, with convenient access to a head that includes a separate stall shower, hand sink and electric flush toilet.

Anyone shopping for a well-conceived package in a family cruiser would do well to include the Cutwater C30 Command Bridge on the short list. Some shoppers will discover a lot more boat than they expected to find in a 30-foot length; others will just be pleasantly surprised with a lower-than-expected price tag for a well-equipped new boat.

Author: Chuck Gould

Cutwater C30 Command Bridge

LOA: 34’4”
Beam: 10’0”
Draft: 2’5”
Dry Weight: 10,980 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 180 gals.
Water Capacity: 80 gals.
Base Price: $299,937

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