BOAT TEST: WHITTLEY CR 2380

By: HERB LONSING


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Herb Lonsing reckons Whittley's roomy and luxurious CR 2380 cruiser will convince just about anyone of the merits of boating.

BOAT TEST: WHITTLEY CR 2380
The Whittley CR 2380 is a solid family cruiser. A few modifications will turn it into a capable fishing rig.

The enduring Aussie brand Whittley has been around for nearly 60 years now, and its products certainly benefit from all that hard-won experience. It's a family concern and always has been, and these days it's great to see the whole Whittley clan following in their grandfather's footsteps.

At just over 23ft, the subject of this review - Whittley's CR 2380 - sits smack bang in the middle of the firm's cruiser range. The model, which serves as a replacement for the slightly smaller Whittley Monterey, features a totally new CAD-designed hull that incorporates lovely, modern curved deck mouldings with a new shape. To my mind it's reminiscent of a modern Jaguar car; it's high tech, luxurious and predictable, but it can still "get up and boogie" when required.

ACCOMMODATING DESIGN

While it's angled as a family cruiser, fishermen needn't worry - the factory can make modifications to accommodate their needs. The rear platform in conjunction with the optional railing is a perfect spot for rodholders or even a barbecue, for that matter.

The cabin and cockpit are plush and well appointed, with a dedicated space for every available feature. The roof-mounted, drop-down DVD player is a neat feature, and there's plenty of room for entertaining on the sumptuous lounge with removable table. A fridge, sink, stove and cutting board are all standard. A bimini is also standard and there's a toilet tucked away inside the cabin. You won't get your hands dirty dropping anchor, either - it's operated via remote control from the helm. Proper fitted sheets, pillows and doonas are available as well as a full line of dining packages incorporating the Whittley logo (waaheeey! - Ed).

HANDLING AND RIDE

The package was fitted with a 225hp Volvo 4.3lt V6 sterndrive. The engine had plenty of grunt when required and I found it just loved to sit at 3400rpm, where it burnt around 29lt/h. Overall its performance is impressive and the absence of steering torque was noted. The unique Volvo propellers go a long way to explaining the reason why it was nearly impossible to induce any form of cavitation or slide.

The Volvo is based on a Chevy block and it's a proven design. Another power highlight is the engine's unique "QL" neutral salt system, which means you never have to flush the engine while wearing ear muffs again. To operate it you simply push and hold the QL switch for 45 seconds while the engine is idling with an adequate supply of salt or fresh water. The engine fitup is completed at the Whittley factory by specifically trained technicians.

Sadly, the day of the test saw us greeted with unusually calm conditions on Victoria's Port Phillip Bay - lovely for recreational boating but not ideal for boat review purposes. Nonetheless, the CR displayed nothing but thoroughly sure-footed and predictable handling. The underfloor area incorporates a modern fibreglass stringer system for strength, with foam filling available upon request.

With a 20° deep-vee it would be difficult to get into trouble with this girl. It felt extremely secure and I struggled to find fault. Even with the engine leg trimmed out it was near impossible to break traction, so to speak. I threw the CR 2380 into some really tight ski turns and it never looked like losing its bite. I didn't even touch the trim tabs, because the boat's standard tilt and trim took everything in its stride. Certainly, I wouldn't have any problem taking it on bigger seas.

AT THE HELM

Height-adjustable power steering made light work of manoeuvring and it was very easy to come alongside when back at the ramp. Both the helm and the driver's seat are adjustable too, so there's no problem in terms of ergonomics when either sitting or standing.

The traditional EVC gauges incor-porate a digital readout that brings up a variety of information from the trip computer, while a transducer is wired into the gauges for constant depth readings. The throttle features an electronic wireless system for snappy, hassle-free control. There's plenty of dash space for your preferred choice of fishfinder / GPS, and radar if you want it.

THE WRAP

The CR 2380 is a perfect size for cruising: it's roomy enough to sleep four if required yet its 2.4m beam means it can be towed without a wide load permit. The gelcoat and overall finish was top notch - this boat truly showcases Whittley's world-class manufacturing standard.

Considering the typical cost of a fully-featured sportfisher these days, the CR 2380 is a lot of cruiser for the bucks. Beautifully finished, comfortable and potent, in its class this Whittley is up there with the world's best.

On the plane...
* Foam-filled hull
* Superb seating / entertainment arrangements
* High-quality internal trimming
* Fully lockable cabin (with brilliant sliding system)

Dragging the chain...
* Some engine noise
* Windscreen height

WHITTLEY CR 2380
HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $100,000
Options: Electric anchor winch, rear deckrail, hot water service, trim tabs, windscreen wiper, electric toilet and holding tank, drop-down DVD player
Priced from: $83,000

GENERAL
Type: Sterndrive monohull cruiser
Material: Fibreglass
Length (LOA): 7.05m
Beam: 2.4m
Weight (BMT): Approx. 2400kg

CAPACITIES
People: 7
Fuel: 208lt
Water: 100lt

ENGINE
Make/model: Volvo Penta 4.3 CXiE DPS EVC-D
Type: V6 petrol sterndrive with Duoprop and autotrim
Max HP: 225
Propeller: 2 x stainless counter-rotating single-leg Duoprop

SUPPLIED BY
JV Marine World
878 Springvale Road
Braeside, Vic, 3195
Tel: (03) 9798 8883
Web: www.jvmarine.com.au

MANUFACTURED BY
Whittley Marine Group
99 Freight Drive
Somerton, Vic, 3062
Tel: (03) 8339 1800
Web: www.whittleymarine.com

Originally published in TrailerBoat #284, July 2012

Find Whittley boats for sale.

 


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