Slickcraft 310 SC

Author: BoatingWorld Staff
What’s in a name? Mention Tiara around almost any marina and someone will point out several as the successor to Bertram’s classic 31. And, among anglers, the name Pursuit is well known as a rock-solid fishing platform. Now try name-dropping Slickcraft with your boating buddies. The response usually ranges from â Weren’t they around in the â 60’s⠝ to a blank look and total silence. Well, S2 Yachts produces all three and Slickcraft’s namesake, Leon Slikkers, is CEO and founder of the company. â The Slickcrafts and Tiaras come down the production line side-by-side,⠝ points out Randy Cowley, â so there is no difference in materials or workmanship.⠝ Cowley is the manager of Venwest Yachts in Newport Beach, the Slickcraft dealer who provided our test boat. Name recognition aside, the obvious difference between these boats is design and function. Each boat is produced for a different segment of the boating market. â We feel the usual Slickcraft buyer has had two or three previous boats, but is generally younger than the Tiara buyer,⠝ says Cowley. A top speed of just under 40 knots for the 310 seems to underscore his statement. Although our test boat wandered a bit at five miles per hour through the harbor, once brought up to speed it tracked precisely, needing only the slightest touch of the wheel to bring it to a new heading. With hands off the helm, it feels as if it could follow an infinite course. We were testing the Slickcraft in sea conditions typical for a summer afternoon in the Catalina channel: a light chop with three-to-five foot swells and a 10 knot westerly breeze. In every direction to weather, the 310 flys flat out and dry. Entry into the water is smooth and even, with virtually no pounding or porpoising. Credit must go to the hull design consisting of a deep-V at the stem, which modifies to a flatter surface aft, combined with reverse angle chines. Turning is easy and predictable. With its optional twin Volvo engines, there is no shortage of power when the Morse throttles are punched forward. â The Duo Props (counter-rotation on each outdrive) bring the boat up on plane faster, and with less effort,⠝ Cowley pointed out. Engine exhaust exits through the props as well, which allows the 310 to somewhat bury the fumes and the noise underwater. To be at the wheel of the Slickcraft is a bit like taking off in a mini-offshore racer. There is not only the performance, but all the instrumentation needed for monitoring engine activity. The flush-mounted VDO Blue-Line gauges are placed in a logical sequence at the top of the dash, with a lineup of LED-tipped toggle switches beneath. There is plenty of room left below them for the addition of optional electronics such as Loran. A separate locker in the adjacent coaming is provided to protect a VHF. Creature comfort for the driver has not been forgotten. The helm chair is well-padded and built at a good height for 360-degree visibility. It also may be rotated aft for the social hour at a mooring. A large curved windshield of tempered glass protects the cockpit from wind and possible spray. Built by Taylor, with heavy-duty aluminum framing, it is sure to survive if used for a grab rail. As for the grab rails themselves, the entire foredeck is surrounded by stainless steel stanchions and rails which are impeccably welded into a single unit. This, and other hand rails on the boat, are all of oversized stock. To port from the helm is an L-shaped settee with cushions arranged perfectly for sunning, reading, dozing or all three. Of course, if one had to share, three people would find it quite adequate for just sitting. A padded bench seat runs across the transom, with a middle section that slides out to allow access to the transom door. This door, like the larger version for the cabin, is fabricated in heavy smoked acrylic and slides open and closed with the slightest effort. The Slickcraft has a reverse transom effect, which creates a large built-in swim step and storage locker in the transom itself. Hidden in one locker is a fresh water wash-down hose with a shower head attached â “ a favorite feature among swimmers and divers. Naturally, with a 38 gallon water tank, rinse-offs should be short and infrequent. Along the tops of the cockpit gunwales is one of the 310’s more unique features, and it is practically invisible. The molded cap is elevated slightly above the gunwale, under which air flows to provide ventilation to the engine room. This is an attractive way to solve the problem of supplying enough air to internal combustion engines. Because the outdrive units allow the engines to be mounted close to the transom, the engine room has space to spare forward. A diver might covet the area for tank storage and a compressor, a cruiser would install a genset, and a mechanic would say, â leave it alone, I want the elbow room.⠝ In any event, if major work is needed on the Volvos, the entire cockpit deck can be removed for complete access. The basic hull construction of the Slickcraft is a hand layup of a near-60/40 resin-to-glass ratio, with four longitudinal foam stringers. Hardwood is used at the engine mounts. Overall, the entire bilge has a finished look due to complete coverage with gelcoat. If you like the bilge, you’ll love the quality on deck and in the cockpit. The hand laminated glass is over end-grain balsa for strength, and has a non-skid surface that even worn-out deck shoes stick to. Going belowdecks, it is easy to forget this is a 31 foot boat. In almost every direction amenities abound under a comfortable six foot, four inches of headroom. Directly to port and abaft is an alcove created by the L-shaped settee above in the cockpit. Furnished with a futon-like convertible sofa, it is a cozy nook to hide out in by day and a separate cabin for two at night. The main cabin has a U-shaped dinette/lounge to port, and the galley and head to starboard. The dinette, which seats four with ease, has storage beneath and can be converted into a double berth. For the seagoing chef, standard galley equipment includes a circular stainless steel sink with a pressure water system, a two-burner electric stove, and an under-the-counter AC/DC refrigerator. Of course, for just a bit over $1,500, a microwave oven and hot water heater can be added to ease the workload. The 310’s enclosed head is located conveniently next to the cockpit hatch, and is large enough to prevent claustrophobic reactions from the skipper or guests. space and hardware are utilized to perform double-duty. As an example, the sink faucet extends out on a hose to function as hand-held shower head. Forward of the main cabin, a mushroom-shaped opening frames the forward cabin’s large V-berth. A similar shaped mirror at the head of the berth gives the illusion of an ever-extending forepeak. A curtain provides privacy for this cabin, and as with the entire boat interior, it is done in muted shades of beige and rose. Overall, the Slickcraft 310 has all the ingredients needed to cook up some great times on the water. Or to quote Cowley, â You get a lot of boat to have a lot of fun with.⠝ From the S2 line of boats, Slickcraft is a name to remember.

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