CruiseCraft's Executive 630 is simply a brilliant weekend cruiser, not only for a boat its size but for a boat any size.
WORDS + PHOTOS: WARREN STEPTOE
If you enjoy weekend cruising, why not do it in style
CruiseCraft's 'Executive' line consists of cruisers boats short on the 'fishing' orientation so ingrained in the company's evergreen Outsider and Explorer boats, but long on as much style and comfort as can be crammed into boats their size.
CruiseCraft hulls are often shared between different (same size) models across the range, but that's not the case with the new Executive 630 it has an all-new hull featuring a higher sheer and fuller bows to create more space inside the boat. Meanwhile, from the chines down, its underwater shape remains identical to CruiseCraft's respected 625 Outsider and Explorer boats widely acknowledged among the leaders in their class.
To build a realistic (that is, comfortable) weekend cruiser around a 6.3m hull is a big task. CruiseCraft has done a fine job of it. The interior space gained by fuller bows is used to provide a generous bunk inside the cabin. A great deal more living space comes from a wide swim platform extending aft above the stern drive leg.
In fact, people who don't know boats may struggle to work out where the motor is in this vessel because not only is the drive leg out of sight and out of mind underneath the swim platform, but the engine disappears completely into the aft lounge/dinette. There's a 4.3L MPI MerCruiser hidden away in there somewhere, complete with the air extraction system necessary for safety with inboard engines. So beautifully is it integrated into the interior design, even jaded boat testers have to wonder where they fitted everything!
Fitting 220 of Mercury's finest horses inside a lounge set across the aft bulkhead leaves room on the outside for a storage locker. When we opened the one in our test boat, we found a heap of snorkelling gear.
To convert that aft lounge to a dining room takes a few moments' work. The table's stowed out of the way, in an inset along the starboard side. When required, it quickly mounts onto a screw-in pedestal.
Moving forward along the portside we find a small yet effective galley with a single burner stove and a stainless steel sink with pressurised freshwater on tap. The passenger seat flops over to make more bench space in the 'kitchen'.
Underneath all this is a pantry, and here again, CruiseCraft has somehow conjured up a generously sized one.
Half beneath the helm seat, half in the cockpit'where its upholstered lid serves as extra seating'there's a large icebox. This can be swapped for a fridge/freezer from the options list, if you prefer.
Cabin access is through a big sliding door, which locks securely'as they must these days. A portable toilet is another option for the cabin. It goes to starboard behind the helm.
And that about completes a quick tour.
To shower, you first have to find a shower head hidden away behind a neat cap sited unobtrusively in the transom walk-through. The shower extends out for use on the swim platform to keep the boat's interior dry. LED lighting around the living area is another unobtrusive feature of the Executive 630. An AM/FM/CD sound system comes standard, as does an EPIRB and fire extinguisher.
One thing I like about CruiseCraft is the firm's refusal to compromise boating common sense, and so the Executive 630 comes standard with a dual battery set-up incorporating isolator switches. There's a quality fuel filter system, sound proofing, and an automatic bilge pump. Quality stainless steel fittings are the norm and workmanship in the bow rail and (standard) targa bar is faultless.
A full length hardtop may not be for everyone, so it's on the options list, as is a full set of camper covers, with insect screens thoughtfully present and accounted for. Swim platform options include a stainless steel barbecue and a bait board with rod holders.
ON THE WATER
The Executive 630 handles chop much like its fishing-oriented stablemates: very well.
While this boat is effectively a caravan in terms of how comfortable it is to spend time aboard, out on the water it handles nothing like a caravan at all. In fact, it reaches a top speed of more than 37 knots, and does not fool around about getting there. At the wheel the Executive 630 feels like every other CruiseCraft I've ever tested, doing what it's told, when it's told and how it's told. I'd expect no less I've been in a lot of CruiseCraft boats over the years and my expectations of any new model are naturally high.
The Nichols family began building boats in 1946. Over the last few years, a third generation of the family has put heart and soul into ensuring CruiseCraft's line is up there among the leaders in their field. With the new Executive 630 their efforts have proved successful.
For more than a day aboard, this is a boat built for two. For day tripping, however, it would easily accommodate two couples, or a couple plus kids. CruiseCraft's Executive 630 is simply a brilliant weekend cruiser, not only for a boat its size but for a boat any size.
Tags: Cruise Craft