How many new 33' cruisers have six berths? Right, most of them. Now, how many can honestly sleep that number in comfort over a holiday weekend? Unless your last name is Sardine, you answered "none." Face it, boats this size cruise most comfortably when two's the crew. That's why Silverton's 330 Sportbridge is so refreshing. It wasn't designed in the maximum berths-perfoot mold. Instead, it fulfills a mission few other planing boats this size can: It enables couples to spend an extended amount of time aboard without filing for divorce. Does it fulfill this mission? You betcha.

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Photos and description courtesy: (Silverton Yachts, Boating Magazine)

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The 330 doesn't handle like the midcabin you may be leaving behind. It's tall for its LOA. At 10'3" from waterline to arch, it won't be going under low, fixed bridges. Windage is a factor, too. In close quarters, you'll need to judge-and use-the wind more than you may have in the past. Thankfully it's a V-drive inboard. Our test boat's twin 320-hp Crusader 7.4L MPIs and 18-by-22-inch Nibral propellers provided the torquey bite and counterblast necessary for worryfree docking.

330 Sport Bridge

Does height affect turning? At idle speed, the stern swings with metered precision, Cruising at 20 mph, it comes around after a short beat. Just don't tr y sharp, express boat-style turns when planing: The 330 heeled outboard when we tried them during our test. If you like tubing or skiing, buy a sportmodel RIB dinghy. Wakes and waves? The 330 is a Moderate-V hull design carrying 16 degrees of transom deadrise. It also weighs in at more than 18,000 pounds loaded. With this combination, our test boat shouldered aside a typical ICW chop. For the larger tug and pilotboat wakes, we throttled back to ensure a smooth ride.


Visibility is great at all speeds thanks to the flying bridge helm and the 330's moderate bowrise while achieving plane. And its scant 2'10" draft lets you get off the churned channel. For a boat whose mission is cruising there and being there– not getting there first– the Silverton's performance definitely meets the mark.


"Belowdecks" is a term that sticks in the throat when discussing the 330. As on the comparable Carver 350 Mariner, the Silverton's cockpit and cabin are laid out on a single level. You don't stoop and step down to go below. Instead, you stroll through a full-height sliding glass door. Think sunroom once you do: Light and space are abundant.


It has 8'1" of headroom and an Cinemascope-size windshield forward (buy a sunshade to thwart fabric fade). The galley sports a 5-foot-long sliding port. There's even a skylight. And thanks to the V-drives and lack of a midcabin berth, the 330's salon is long enough to include a breakfast bar tailing off the galley's Corian® counter, this allows cruising couples to leave the convertible starboard-side dinette unconverted. This feature, along with the Ultraleather-covered reclining chair to port, makes the 330 a cozy cruising condo. You go from dinner time to TV time (13" color TV/VCR) without the hassle of reassembly.

So how did Silverton get so much usable space out of a 35'4"-by-12'4" cruiser? They put in a Sidewalk®. That made the catwalk to the bow higher, providing more beam with which to lay out the cabin. Here's how it works. A five-step ladder molded into the house's aft bulkhead provides bridge access. To get to the bow, walk down the gently inclined walkway to port or starboard. Safe and easy. Single-handed docking? You can go from helm to bow in a walk.

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