Let’s take a look at the engine room first,” I suggested, shortly after coming aboard the new Cantius 46 from Cruisers Yachts. Over the years, I’ve decided there’s no better way to gauge a boatbuilder’s commitment to quality control than to give the machinery spaces a close inspection. As soon as I’d dropped through a cockpit hatch into the ER, I spotted a matched set of distinctively green, 435-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels close-coupled to IPS units. Not a giant surprise, of course. If an American builder wants to offer joystick-enabled pod propulsion in a mid-range express these days, the big dog is Sweden’s Volvo Penta.
Access to the mechanicals was excellent, not only to the dipsticks and fuel and oil filters but to the boat’s Duracell maintenance-free batteries, her Bennett trim tab pump, her large-capacity Fireboy GA auto/manual fire-extinguishing system and her 13.5-kW Cummins Onan genset. I made a few measurements. Between the mains, the span was over 3 feet—easily the widest engine-room walkway I’ve seen on a mid-size cruiser in years. Clearances forward and aft of the engines were equally generous and the passages outboard were at least 2 feet wide. And while the stoop headroom was just 5 feet, 6 inches, I had no trouble getting around.
Ultimately, though, it was the smaller details that were most impressive. The labeled, spiral-wrapped electrical harnesses on the forward firewall had obviously been custom-made by Cruisers—there were no sags and no extra wires balled up and hidden away. And all electrics were daisy-chained with top-notch AMP connectors. Then there were the beefy bronze sea strainers for the mains, the air-conditioning system and the genset—each one bore an august, tried-and-true brand name.