2007 SILVERTON 330 SUN BRIDGE CRUISER -- Courtesy of Canadian Yachting
New for 2007 and looking extremely contemporary in its styling is Silverton’s new 330 Sun Bridge sedan.
It's great to see so much design effort going into boats that are in the more popular [and more practical] sizes. The designers have obviously taken a clean sheet of paper and in our opinion have come up with an outstanding design in this size range.
Including swim platform and bow pulpit the Silverton 330 is 35'4" on a hefty 12’4” beam. The vee hull has a 16° deadrise and all in, the boat weighs something over 15,000 pounds dry.
Our test boat had the base power which is twin Crusader 5.7 liter MPI V8 gas engines, each making 330 hp and they are set up in a vee-drive configuration to conserve cabin space.
Cabin space is what this boat is all about. You enter the salon through a sliding door with screen but it is a single width. As you step down three stairs into the salon, to port is a bulk head finished in cherry wood with four lockers including a convenient spot to hang coats and jackets, and directly ahead of that is where the Silverton designers have positioned the dinette.
The dinette can be made into a spacious double berth with storage underneath. The dinette would be generous in size for four people. In the companionway there is an access hatch for the fuel tanks and there are interior lights as you enter. Another interesting design feature is that Silverton placed the head all the way aft against the bulkhead on the starboard side. This gives generous height for an enclosed shower stall with glass door, head, sink in a vanity, mirror and storage there is large side glass. The head feels more like a bathroom in your home than a head aboard a boat and it's convenient to be near the cockpit and companionway.
This saloon arrangement allows an impressively spacious galley. This features a granite-type counter top with two levels so you can lay out plates for serving. We think you could really put a great meal together in this galley, with the convection microwave and large Norcold double door ‘fridge that is standard. Other galley features include a large provisions locker under the sink, four good size drawers, locker under the stovetop, more storage in the sides and a small appliance garage with 110V power.
It's a very impressive galley for a boat this size but we were surprised to find carpeting in some of the lockers. That will be hard to clean if something spills.
Opposite the galley to starboard is a home-size wraparound coach with storage underneath and a Sole flat screen television and DVD system mounted above the ‘fridge. The salon headliner is nicely finished in light beige vinyl for easy cleaning. There is indirect lighting and large glass areas, making the salon feel more like home.
Forward is a bulkhead handsomely finished in cherry wood with a pocket door to the forward stateroom. Again Silverton has done something innovative placing the queen size berth sideways rather than fore and aft. There two drawers underneath, storage lockers on either side and a mirrored forepeak. The advantage to having the bed this way is that you can actually reach three sides to make it up and it is a fairly regular size and shape; something many people will appreciate. There is a large opening deck hatch for ventilation which will be very important on hot days but the 330 Sun Bridge has reverse cycle heating and air-conditioning although we felt that the positioning of the events in the state room might not deliver optimum air circulation and we would suggest the Silverton investigate ways to reposition that in future boats.
Silverton has given the 330 Sun Bridge an impressive cabin but you get an impressive flying bridge as well.
There is a double width helm seat that adjusts for reach and a tilt steering wheel for the drivers comfort. The captain also gets a nice right hand side arm rest with a drink holder and ahead of that are the throttles.
Also near at hand are the switches and the ignition keys but it might be nice to position them elsewhere given that they're kind of in the way of your throttle hand when driving. We also found for our six-foot frame that the helm height left us looking at the upper bar of the venturi windscreen and we suspect most owners will wind up driving the boat standing up. That's often the most comfortable way anyway.
The helm features a full array of analog gauges, and our test boat had a Raymarine Tridata system, VHF radio, Bennett trim tabs, bow thruster and a Ritchie compass mounted on the binnacle top.
To port is an L-shaped seat suitable for up to four with storage underneath making a great spot for conversation.
This very spacious flying bridge also has an enormous aft bench and a sun lounge behind. Behind the helm seat is a refreshment center with a Raritan icemaker, locker, sink with cold water, 120 V shore power, Sony CD stereo system and we particularly liked the hefty hand rail surrounding it. This is a convenient place for the crew to stand and hang on when negotiating a rough passage.
Another remarkable feature of the flying bridge is that there is a staircase leading down to the forward deck on either side. This makes it very convenient to go from the flying bridge to the bow when mooring or anchoring the boat. The large welded stainless steel handrails have lifelines, integrated fender baskets and because of the unusual berth arrangement in the forward vee, Silverton was able to provide a cavernous anchor well under a cover which protects the electric windlass.
Underway, even with the standard power, the Silverton 330SD turned in an impressive performance. It track nicely at low speeds, was easy to handle dockside with the twin engines aided by the bow thruster. It's not easy to see the stern for backing into a slip but the view forward is very good. For a boat of this size, we felt the ride was at least at the class average and we were very impressed with how tightly the boat would turn even at high speed. It would be very maneuverable for making your way through bad weather or in a sudden evasive maneuver. The best cruising speed seem to be around 3500 with the boat solidly planed off and riding quite nicely without the aid of any trim tabs. The 5.7 liter Crusaders are relatively light and deliver their 330 hp with a broad range of torque resulting in strong acceleration and a top speed of 33.3 at 5000 rpm.
This is a very important boat for boating because it represents a really spacious and feature laden step up from an entry-level boat in the 20 foot range. A novice boater could purchase a smaller boat secondhand to try out cruising and then move up to something like the Silverton to really start to experience some of the great yachting lifestyle features. All in all, we felt this was a very impressive package.
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Re-published and produced with permission from Canadian Yachting Magazine. For more Boat Reviews click on CANADIAN YACHTING