By: David Lockwood, Photography by: David Lockwood

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Little is missed as standard in the super-sporty 2008 Maxum 1900 SR3 bowrider from American giant Brunswick Corporation, and Australian clients get some extras too, including a beefier engine package, notes David Lockwood

MAXUM 1900 SR3



It stands to reason that the world's biggest marine multinational, Brunswick Corporation, whose boat brands alone number more than 30 and net sales totalled $US1.44 billion last calendar year, would know a thing or two about bundling. Take its 2008-model Maxum 1900 SR3, a handy sized bowrider that's factory rolled and rearing to go, but even more enticing after the local agents added some clever upgrades.
A boat designed with global appeal - exports helped prop-up Brunswick's ailing American boat sales last year - the 1900 SR3 in fact wears the same hulls as the company's 2008-model Bayliner 195 sistership. But that's where the similarities end. With the Maxum you get more bling for your buck, more sporty spice and, with the S-Series especially, a lot more accoutrements and accessories bundled as standard.
Add the optional tow tower on the demo boat and the 1900 SR3 looks like smart buying in more ways than one. The boat's agent says they sell Maxums with big inventories as the boating equivalent of a Lexus, whereas presumably the popular Bayliner is the Camry.
To this end, instead of the standard 4.3lt 190hp petrol MerCruiser (another Brunswick brand) that's part of the Yankee 1900 SR3 package, the local agents fit a 5.0lt 260hp MerCruiser for a snappier rig and a better towboat. Then there's the new JBL stereo with four-channel amp and MP3 or iPod compatibility…
All of which stood us in good stead on a day that was sublimely summery and beckoned for some bowriding. From rough to smooth water, at high and low speeds and, with family in tow, we touched down at a harbour beach, stretched the legs, and explored with comforts some more.
Things like sun lounges, of which there are three, make this a great boat for kicking back. And with everything from bow infills to covers included, all you need to do is add fuel and water, wakeboards or watertoy, perhaps fun-seeking kiddies to complement your day…




A transferable limited lifetime structural hull warranty is another nice feature of the Maxums. There's nothing too exotic about the construction, however. Composite stringers stiffen the handlaid fibreglass hull, positive foam flotation is fitted just in case, and the cockpit has a full fibreglass liner.
Now for the finish. You get to choose from black, fire blue or radiant red for the hull stripe, but the thick 30oz vinyl upholstery comes standard, as does fade-resistant 100 per cent polypropylene clip-out carpet, which needed a few more press-studs to prevent it flapping about at high speed.
There's also more stainless steel than before on the 1900 SR3. It ranges from bow and transom tow eyes, to the rubrail on the gunwale, the ski hook to the through-hull fittings, and trick new engine vents. A new sports wheel and dash with panache adds style, while resin-transfer moulded (RTM) fittings, such as the GRP lid for storage boot in the transom, reduce weight (albeit marginally) and look way smarter than the old flowcoat finish.
As for the hull, it's a moderate-vee number that strikes a balance between volume and ride comfort, with 19º of deadrise at the transom and 2.41-metre beam - the rigs looks doubly wide on its tandem trailer - taken well forward.
The upshot of the full-beam forward hull is a lot of buoyancy up front and an extra accommodating seating plan in the bow. These things were welcomed during our test on Sydney Harbour, a waterway where boat wash and wind waves challenge some low-profile sportsboats. Same goes for the Gold Coast or Port Phillip Bay.
The verdict? The 1900 SR3 is a seaworthy boat and roomy enough to carry up to, say, six adults or, ideally, a family of four. But, as with most things, there's a compromise, a price you pay for the wide-beam forward. Fact is, the ride isn't quite so smooth as sportier bowriders.
However, pick your days and waterways, and you can enjoy the extra space aboard the Maxum without paying a price for it.




We came aboard from the beach, via the bow, which has a useful amount of non-skid deck for secure footing. The rounded bow seating area includes stainless steel grabrails, branded Maxum cleats, and you get the infill to convert the seating into the first - and best, according to the expert loafers who accompanied us - of the boat's three sun lounges.
Without the infills, but with padded backrests and firm cushioning, the bow seats are truly comfortable. Under the seats, there's provision for stowing an anchor, as well as dry storage for, say, lifejackets. The drinkholders are stainless steel models and, as touched on, the carpet is a clip-in number.
The wraparound windscreen has an anodised-aluminium frame and safety glass panes. The co-pilot gets a back-to-back seat that converts to the boat's second (and private) sun lounge or daybed. And full marks for the padded headrest with tilt function that let's you kick back and read in comfort.
The co-pilot's dash harbours the JBL sound system, small icebox with overboard drain for carrying refreshments, and room for stowing personal effects. The grabrail is a sturdy stainless steel number, too.
Underfloor is an unexpected big wakeboard and ski locker, whose hatch lifts on a gas strut. Additional storage exists in full-length sidepockets, with a split top section, plus there's that boot in the transom ideal for carrying your wet stuff.
While there is a full-width rear lounge seating option, it swallows up a lot of cockpit space. The standard layout with aft-quarter seats seen here is roomier and, if you relocate the seat swabs beside the padded enginebox, you can create the boat's third sun lounge. But, as you're higher off the water here, there's a greater tendency to roll off at washy anchorages.
The pullout tray/table that extends from the enginebox, on which the aft crew can plonk their lunch, is another nice touch. Lift the padded enginebox and you'll find terrific servicing space around the small-block V8 and, you don't always get this, excellent access into the bilge, the fuel sender for the modest 132-litre tank, and to the battery and switch.
Last but not least, the extended swim platform comes standard on the 1900 SR3, thereby improving your waterfront living area. I found it wonderfully comfortable sitting on the boot lid, which doubles as seat, feet planted on the swim platform, while looking back at the views.
A swim ladder is provided, but not a deck shower, and full marks for the lift-out starboard seat and, with that, the walkthrough transom. Note, also, that the 1900 SR3 measures 21 feet or 6.40 metres including its swim platform. In other words, it's a big 19-footer.
The Attwood (there's another Brunswick brand) helm bucket seat with flip-up bolster and suspension is a nice bit of gear and, importantly, supportive, while the non-glare moulded dash console is pretty groovy, too.
There are brushed aluminium bezels on the Faria gauges that relay data on fuel, oil pressure, speed, revs, engine hours, trim, volts, water temperature and depth. You won't find a factory-fitted depthsounder on a Bayliner, for instance.




Steering is power-assisted rack and pinion, the throttle is a side-mount model with built-in tilt and trim switch, and the sports steering wheel has a tilt function. Views through the windscreen are good, though the bow kicks up during the transition to planing speed. Fortunately, that's only briefly as the upgraded V8 guarantees good holeshot, even, I suspect, with a full crew.
Having bounced around the rougher sections of the harbour, we headed upstream to find some more agreeable water which, let's face it, is what any good skipper would do. And it's here, on the wide, smooth track that the 1900 SR3 was happiest.
With full in-trim on the Alpha I sterndrive leg and spinning a High Five prop from Mercury (another Brunswick brand), the Maxum easily held a 15-knot plane speed at 2400rpm. Yet it seemed eager to have its head and 3000rpm produced a snappy 28kts cruise, 3500rpm returned 33kts and 4000rpm gave 37.5kts on the GPS.
Top speed was 45.7kts, interestingly the exact same top speed as the 2008-model Bayliner 205 with the same engine, which we also tested on the day. But unlike the run-of-the-mill bowrider, the Maxum stands out as having more frosting and, with a tower, a cherry on the top.




Great finish
Plenty of eye candy
Very complete inventory
Three sun lounges and extra accommodating seating plan
Stainless steel fittings for saltwater use
Wide-beam forward
Hull is stable, dry and seaworthy
Plenty of acceleration thanks to V8 upgrade
Very well supported thanks to one of the biggest boat importers and retailers in Australia
Resale or trade-in value should be pretty good




You are paying for the eye candy - the same hull and motor can be bought as a pared back Bayliner
Wide-beam forward hull isn't the smoothest riding in its class
Bow kicks up during transition to plan
A swim shower would be nice
Carpet needs more clip





Specifications: Maxum 1900 SR3




Price as tested: $58,470 w/ 5.0lt MerCruiser, tandem trailer, wakeboarding tower, regos, and safety gear
Options fitted: Wakeboarding tow tower
Priced from: $54,870 (sans tower) including 5.0lt MerCruiser and tandem trailer



Type: Monohull with constant moderate deadrise
Material: GRP hull w/ composite stringers and foam flotation
Length overall: 5.79m (6.40m with swim platform)
Beam: 2.41m
Deadrise: 19°




Rec. max. HP: 190 to 260
Weight: 1355kg (hull with 4.3lt motor)
Fuel: 132.5lt
Passengers: 7



Make/model: MerCruiser 5.0L
Type: Carburetted four-stroke V8 petrol inboard
Rated HP: 260 at 5000rpm
Displacement: 5.0lt
Weight: 430kg
Drive (Make/ratio): MerCruiser Alpha I, 1.81:1
Propeller: High Five




Avante Marine,
210 Silverwater Road,
Silverwater, NSW, 2128.
Phone: (02) 9737 0727; 1300 AVANTE



Originally published in TrailerBoat #228

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