15 Full Size Express Cruisers with the Right Stuff
The market for big, late model express cruisers up to 42 feet is one of the most competitive in the brokerage industry. We decided to get an up-close look at this market recently by running a Yachtworld search to determine the best-represented models in this high-end segment. Setting the search parameters to find express cruisers produced in the past ten years from 37 to 42 feet, we found over 300 current U.S. listings. It is from those results that we uncovered the 15 most popular models profiled below. One cautionary note: While these boats dominated our search results on this particular day in May, 2017, it's entirely possible that a future search will come up with completely different results.
At a Glance: A bold Eurostyle express loaded with features — one of the coolest Regals ever! The full-beam retractable hardtop and walk-thru windshield open the entire cockpit to the outdoors. Should the weather turn bad the upper deck convets into a weatherproof, climate-controlled salon. The two-stateroom two-head interior includes a private owner’s stateroom forward with island queen berth and aft stateroom with twin berths and privacy door. A U-shaped sofa and full-service galley occupy the salon which is notable for its excellent headroom. The cockpit can be entered from both sides of the extended swim platform, and the center section of the deck lifts for access the the engines and drives. The helm and aft cockpit area are separated by sliding glass doors. The hull was designed specifically for Volvo IPS pod drives. Cruise at 24–26 knots (low 30s top) with twin 300hp IPS diesels.
Price Range: From the high $200s to $600K-plus.
Regal 42 Sport Coupe
At a Glance: Traditional Tiara quality and versatility — one of the few boats able to serve equally well as a serious fishing platform or high-end cruising yacht. Built on a solid fiberglass hull with wide 14'11" beam and prop pockets to level the engines, generous bow flare and wide reverse chines provide an exceptionally dry open-water ride. Two interior layouts were offered: Plan A, the original floorplan, has an extended portside lounge/dinette with the galley and head opposite, while Plan B adds a starboard lounge with privacy enclosure, sort of a second stateroom. In both configurations Tiara’s satin-finished teak joinery and teak-and-holly sole offer a pleasant contrast to the high-gloss interiors found in many modern yachts. The cockpit could be configured for fishing with an optional livewell, tackle center and freezer. Cummins 670hp diesels cruise at 27–28 knots (low 30s top).
Price Range: From the mid $200s to mid/high $400s.
Tiara 4200 Open
At Glance: One of the most elegant boats in the Sea Ray line — a great cruising yacht with tons of sex appeal. Built on a deep-V hull with prop pockets, the luxurious two-stateroom, two-head floorplan of the 420 Sundancer is an impressive blend of high-gloss cherry joinery, Ultraleather seating, and designer fabrics. Privacy doors separate both staterooms from the salon, and the full-service galley includes an under-counter refrigerator/freezer in addition to Corian counters and hardwood flooring. Topside, the entire cockpit sole can be raised at the push of a button for engine access. An extended swim platform, split forward head compartments, and underwater exhaust system were standard. MerCruiser 8.1L 370hp V-drive gas inboards cruise at 16 knots (mid 20s top). Cummins 480hp V-drive diesels cruise in the mid/high 20s (30+ top). Sea Ray sold a ton of these yachts.
Price Range: From low/mid $100s to over $300K.
Sea Ray 420/44 Sundancer
At Glance: A distinctive yacht with an innovative layout — comfortable, stylish, and perfect for entertaining. The Cantius is a spacious 41-footer with a fully enclosed pilothouse, expansive cockpit, and a large midship stateroom with twin bunks and a private head. The forward stateroom offers a queen island berth and 6'9" of headroom. Note that the floorplan has the galley, cockpit, helm, and salon all on the same level so whether you’re driving, cooking in the galley, or relaxing in the cockpit everyone is part of the fun. Panoramic side windows and an electric sunroof provide plenty of natural lighting, and L-shaped lounge seating dominates the aft cockpit. The extended swim platform has two removable bar stools—very clever. The helm deck is accessed through triple-wide sliding glass doors. A teak cockpit sole and power windshield vents are standard. Volvo 370hp Volvo diesel I/Os cruise at 26–28 knots.
Price Range: From about $400K to $650K-plus.
Cruisers 41 Cantius
At a Glance: Named a Boating magazine “Best Boat of 2012” — Sea Ray styling and luxury at its best. Built on a deep-V hull, the 410 Sundancer is offered with an open, partially enclosed or fully enclosed hardtop. The open hardtop is full fiberglass with a vent hatch and overhead lighting, while the enclosed hardtop is fiberglass with a radar arch and a bonded-in windshield. Belowdecks, a single-stateroom interior with a lounge area aft is standard, and a two-stateroom layout with an enclosed aft cabin (with twin berths) is optional. Both floorplans include two heads, elongated hullside windows, Ultraleather upholstery, wood flooring in the salon and galley, and walnut cabinetry. Cockpit AC is standard. Twin 420hp Cummins V-drive diesels cruise the 410 Sundancer at 25 knots (30 top). Cummins 380hp Zeus pod drives offer similar performance with improved fuel efficiency.
Price Range: From low $400s to over $750K (used).
Sea Ray 410 Sundancer
At a Glance: A powerful diesel cruiser built to the highest standards — sleek, luxurious, and impeccibly finished. The cabin accommodations are a tasteful blend of high-gloss cherry cabinetry, Ultraleather upholstery, and high-end appliances and furnishings. The crescent-shaped dinette features a solid cherry table and two fixed stools, and the Formula’s fully equipped galley includes a round stainless steel sink, under-counter refrigeration, tons of storage, and Corian countertop. Aft of the salon, the spacious midcabin area boasts a huge U-shaped lounge able to seat six people. A forward privacy curtain was standard in the Formula 40 PC until 2004 when hidden pocket doors offered improved stateroom seclusion. A walk-thru windshield provides easy access to the foredeck. Yanmar 420hp V-drive diesels cruise at 22–24 knots (low 30s top). Volvo IPS pod drives became standard in 2013.
Price Range: From $75K to over $600K new.
Formula 40 PC
At a Glance: A styling masterpiece when she was introduced in 2006 — called the 38 Sundancer in 2006–09 and the 390 Sundancer in 2010-12. The lush accommodations of the 38 Sundancer are a match for the best European sportyachts her size. With 6'7" of cabin headroom, a huge midcabin stateroom, and private bow stateroom, the interior has the look of a small motoryacht. The wide-open cockpit with centerline walk-through provides facing lounge seating for a small crowd. The swivel helm seat with flip-up bolster is a nice touch. A transom storage locker, power engine room hatch, foredeck sun pads, underwater exhausts, and anchor washdown system were standard. Standard MerCruiser 375hp V-drive gas inboards cruise at 20 knots (28–30 top). Cummins 380hp diesels with Zeus pod drives cruise at 24–26 knots (low 30s top).
Price Range: From the mid $100s to mid/high $200s.
Sea Ray 38-390 Sundancer
At a Glance: One of the first boats to come standard with IPS pod drives. Tiara designers were quick to take advantage of that extra space pod drives offer by creating an expansive interior with a huge step-down ‘theater” room area aft of the salon complete with a wall-mounted TV and facing leather settees. The master stateroom is forward with curved sliding pocket privacy doors, 19" TV, and pedestal island berth. The fully equipped galley is to port in the Sovran’s beautifully appointed salon, and the large head compartment forward of the galley includes a separate stall shower. The hardtop shades much of the forward cockpit area where two A/C units provide year-round climate control. The windshield is integrated with the hardtop, and glass surrounds the bridge deck and helm area. The lower cockpit features a wraparound lounge. Volvo IPS 500 370hp diesels cruise at 28–29 knots (low 30s top).
Price Range: From the mid $200s to the low $400s.
Tiara 3900 Sovran
At a Glance: A great choice for serious fishing or extended cruising — a true dual-purpose yacht from a company that gets things right. A huge U-shaped settee dominates her elegant single-stateroom interior. There’s a separate stall shower in the head, and the beautiful teak-and-holly cabin sole gives the interior of the 3800 a traditional feel found in few other boats. (An alternate floorplan has a smaller head but adds a portside settee.) The cockpit could be ordered with an aft-facing jump seat or full tackle center. The helm deck lifts for easy access to the large engine room. Additional features include a hideaway TV in the salon, a cockpit wet bar, a fold-down transom seat, transom door and shower, side exhausts and wide side decks. Prop pockets reduce the shaft angles and draft. Cummins 480hp diesels cruise the Tiara 3800 at 25–26 knots (about 30 knots top).
Price Range: From the mid $100s to mid $200s.
Tiara 3800 Open
At a Glance: A popular model with distinctive styling and an open interior layout — this is an easy boat to like. A hardtop shades the entire helm deck, and an integrated swim platform, sunlounge/table, cockpit shower and refrigerator offer the open-air amenities expected in a quality family cruiser. Belowdecks, the natural cherry wood interior, premium furnishings, and lofty 6'5" headroom create the perfect environment for entertaining. In the midcabin area aft of the salon, Cruisers offered two different layouts.—the standard plan has an aft settee/lounge open to the salon, while the optional layout encloses this area behind a bulkhead and door. Both have a private stateroom forward with island queen berth and two full heads with stall showers. A walk-thru windshield provides access to the foredeck sun pads. Yanmar 370hp diesels cruise in the low 20s.
Price Range: From about $100K to $200K-plus.
Cruisers 3970/400/420 Express
At a Glance: Modern Downeast cruiser with economical IPS pod drives — this kind of quality never comes cheap. The interior, 5 inches above the cockpit level, allows for an open-plan salon with more living space than one expects in a boat this size. A U-shaped settee with fixed table is to port. Aft of the helm seat is a long cabinet housing an LED television and storage compartments. On the lower level are the master stateroom with island berth and a huge head with separate stall shower. A full-service galley is opposite, within easy reach of the salon. In the salon, the large rear window in the aft bulkhead drops down to open the salon to the outdoors. Below the helm deck is the lower lounge which converts into a sleeping berth. Note the cockpit seating arrangement—the aft bench seat with attached table slides back to expand the cockpit. Volvo 300hp pod drives cruise at 24–26 knots.
Price Range: From about $500K to $600K-plus.
Sabre 38 Salon Express
Back Cove 37
At a Glance: Another Back Cove success story — more than just beautiful, this single-engine cruiser is fuel efficient, easy to handle, and beautifully finished. The galley-up layout is ideal for two couples. An island queen bed in found in the forward stateroom, and a double berth in the (smallish) guest stateroom. The large head includes a separate stall shower. Opposite the galley are two Stidd chairs for the helmsman and guest, and aft of the helm is an L-shaped settee with adjustable table and a shorter settee opposite to port. The 37’s enclosed salon is surrounded by large windows, and an overhead hatch provides ventilation. Folding doors completely open up the salon to the cockpit with its built-in seating and centerline transom door. A single 480hp Cummins QSB engine delivers a top speed of 24–26 knots.
Price Range: From the high $200s to high $500s.
Carver C37 Coupe
At a Glance: Home-like comfort for families and guests — a big 37-footer at an affordable price. The C37 features a single-level floorplan from the cockpit forward, and there are two staterooms below sharing a single large head. Her beam is well forward of amidships to permit a spacious master stateroom in the bow. The open layout flows seamlessly to the guest seating/lounge/dining area, which features U-shaped dinette with room for a small crowd. The 6'8" salon headroom is a plus. Oversized windows and bi-fold glass entry doors bring the outside in to make the salon and the aft cockpit one huge entertaining zone. An electric sunroof, foredeck sun pad, and entertainment center are standard, and wide side decks make it easy to get around. Twin 320hp MerCruiser sterndrives—rare in an American boat this size—cruise the Carver C37 at 24–25 knots (low 30s top).
Price Range: Used prices start in the high $300s.
Formua 37 PC
At a Glance: A big, expensive performance cruiser from a company that takes quality seriously — this top-tier express has been in production for nearly 20 years! Formula is the only builder in this class that offers Imron hull graphics; with proper care the boat will always look new. With 6'6" of headroom below, the wide-open cabin sleeps six people—two forward, two in the midcabin lounge, and two in the salon with the sofa converted. The enclosed head has a separate shower stall, and the dinette features Ultraleather upholstery and a solid cherry table. Privacy curtains were standard until 2007 when pocket doors offered better forward stateroom seclusion. The U-shaped cockpit lounge seats 8 adults and converts into a large sun pad. The transom and rear seat unit lift electrically for engine access. MerCruiser 430hp 8.2L I/Os cruise at 26–28 knots (high 30s top).
Price Range: From $75–80K to $400K-plus.
At a Glance: A popular boat — the graceful lines and aggressive styling are unmistakenly Regal. The spacious interior offers a level of comfort and elegance found in the finest European sportyachts. A solid wood pocket door ensures privacy in the forward stateroom, and the salon flows seamlessly into the midcabin creating a wide-open area for entertaining. The starboard settee folds out to become a double berth, and the chest-level refrigerator is positioned above the galley rather than below—very thoughtful and very convenient. The galley also includes a two-burner stove, microwave, coffee maker, and a tip-out trash bin. The Regal’s unique cockpit is designed with a horseshoe lounge opposite the helm and a foldaway seat aft. The entire aft section of the cockpit deck lifts for engine access. Volvo 420hp 8.1L gas I/Os cruise at 28 knots (mid 40 top).
Price Range: From $75–80K to the mid $100s.
Regal 3560/3760 Commodore