Boating - - CERTIFIED TESTS - —Randy Vance

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.

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.

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.

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.

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