Review: Whittley 2380 CR
The Whittley 2380 CR cruiser is an oddball of a boat. It isn’t a sports boat missing a roof and it isn’t a liveaboard. Rather, it’s a great balance of performance, comfort and adaptability.
The first thing you notice about the 2380 CR is that it’s a lot more boat than you would expect from the name. That’s because Whittley measures its boats sans the moulded swim platform or bowsprit, which some include. If you were to measure the boat the more modern way, it would come in at 9m or 29 feet, six inches overall – 1.5m longer than expected. So we have plenty of space, space to play and space to relax. The 2380 shares it between the cockpit and the cabin, with a galley splitting the two. Not having a roof overhead does detract from the overnighting capacity of the package, but the open air is there to enjoy while the cabin offers safe, comfortable refuge for overnighting or when the excitement is too much.
Whittley CR 2380
The rear L-lounge, although generally speaking not a new design, is not typically seen on boats this size and is a reflection of the real size of the hull. Not only hiding masses of storage underneath, it also folds flat to create a sunbed worthy of a powerboat. The step-down galley and enormous berth add a further touch of powerboat to the layout, while the elegant glass windscreen is sympathetic to the classical looks of the hull.
Inside the berth, the standard bunks and cabin lining are soft, comfortable and do a great job of softening sound. The centre of the bunks raise to create a full bed easily capable of sleeping two and they also hide masses of stowage and a cassette toilet – an option exists for a pump-out if preferred.
Access to the berth is via a lock-up sliding door which in our test boat was a touch catchy – some lubrication of the runners would help, I suspect.
- Watch: Whittley CR 2380 video.
The cockpit sole of the 2380 steps down on the portside of the helm, lowering the floor height in the cabin and allowing the galley to sit lower. This permits a higher benchtop in the galley with more room underneath for storage and a good-sized fridge, while the inside of the cabin is made more cavernous. On top of the galley is a metho burner – a safer option than compressed gas – a sink and split cover that doubles as a bench.
The helm is at a good height while pedestal seats are height and rake adjustable. The dash is one of the biggest we’ve seen, with room for 16in monitors; ours was filled with a Garmin 7410 and soft membrane switches.
Below the helm is space for radios and stereos with the throttle side-mounted at a good height relative to the wheel. The port seat hid a real gem of design. The folks at Whittley knew fishos would want somewhere for their smelly bait and catch that wouldn’t upset tomorrow’s lunch. Enter a 22L Waeco Cool-Ice tucked neatly away under the seat. Able to take overflow drinks too, the additional cool-store is a welcome feature. Further storage can be found in the L-lounge where a table that doubles as support to create a full-size sun-lounge rounds out the creature comforts.
- See our huge archive of historical Whittley boat reviews.
Quality of finish
During prior testing of other Whittley products and during a recent factory tour where I met some of the key staff, I commented on the quality and pride shown in all Whittley does. The same is instantly evident on the 2380, with tight seat covers and a well-stitched dash cover special highlights. Our test boat was the last of the 2380 CR range with button-down carpet; new boats feature rubber flooring. Although carpet is warmer and more opulent, it’s not as water or fish-friendly as rubber and, as we found, is prone to slip off its domes. The move to rubber flooring is welcome, though carpeting can still be arranged.
The Whittley 2380 is rated up to 280hp in sterndrive applications. Our test boat featured the standard 200hp 200-G V6 but with upgraded Duoprop leg and FH4 propellers. Although well below maximum permissible horsepower, the combination performed well. At wide-open throttle (WOT) a GPS-verified 33.8 knots was easy, while acceleration was adequate but not outstanding. In turns the Duoprop shone both in grip and ease of use. The steering lightened nicely with trim and in tight turns the leg never ventilated. Best cruise came at 4000rpm where the Volvo was consuming 28.8L/h while holding a comfortable 20.5kt. Add a touch more throttle and at 5000rpm the engine uses only a touch more fuel per mile covered (see table) but speed increases almost 8kt. This flexibility and economy is fantastic for anyone needing to cover distance to their favourite spots and should give most users enough range for a weekend’s play.
- Watch: Volvo Penta 200-G video
The economy and performance comes from the high-tech Volvo Penta. The 4.3L V6’s alloy construction, freshwater cooling and modern technologies set it apart from the old model. The heads feature double overhead camshafts with variable timing and direct injection. These combine to get the most from every drop of fuel by holding the timing back and keeping valves open to increase torque under load, or by leaning out the fuel mixture at cruise. The effect is a stern drive that’s almost as efficient as a modern four-stroke outboard. Weight is the only downside to the package, with a 200-G and leg coming in at a whopping 404kg. The package makes full use of the Volvo Penta parts catalogue, integrating OEM parts from steering wheel to propeller, which allows for a 2+3 (five-year) warranty on the complete driveline.
Stability at rest
Stability can make the difference between the family wanting to go out or stay home. It matters that everyone is comfortable and safe when aboard and here the 2380 delivers. It’s a stable platform at rest and underway, on and off the plane. Helped by the heavy V6 slung low down, the hull sits nicely in the water with its chines holding the boat level in wake and swell.
Fully moulded decks can be an issue for seat mounting – Whittley has faced this issue in some of its smaller boats – but the 2380 has a pedestal helm seat giving almost infinite adjustability. The galley is sunken, meaning more space around the benches and more headroom, while the berth is massive. Entry in and out of the boat is simple, thanks to the long swim platform and easy step-through transom. Most hatches have spring supports to lessen finger injuries and the hatches are a decent size. All in all, it’s a well laid-out and easy boat to use for a group of five.
As with all Whittley boats, the 2380 comes with the lot. The rear boarding platform, toilet and canopy are all standard; even the trailer, a custom Mackay, shows no sign of cost-cutting, with a full-length keel support and neat integrated tie-downs. Now featuring Volvo battery management, a 7in Garmin and through-hull transducer in 2017 packages, the 2380 really does arrive ready to go. The additional options we’d consider beyond personalising colour, are an anchor winch, the excellent Zip Wake auto trim tabs and Whittley Pulse, a new touchscreen-based control system we sampled at AGB17 and will review in detail very soon.
Considering what comes with the standard package, the basic boat – if you can call it that – is a fair price at $114,990. As tested ours was closer to $145,000, the upgraded leg and electronics being the major extra costs. In my opinion, the move to the Duoprop over the SX leg is a worthwhile investment. All in all, the boat is good value – especially so when you consider its true size.
Whittley 2380 CR specs
Whittley 2380 CR price: $114,990
Duoprop, NMEA engine data, hot water, flyscreens, side window block outs, marlin board, carpet, s/s rear U-bar and boarding ladder, electric winch, trim tabs, BBQ, 12v outlet, lockable sliding cabin door, Garmin 10in GPS, rear bed
PRICE AS TESTED
TYPE Open cruiser
LENGTH 9m (LOA)
MAX HP 280
WEIGHT 3236kg (stern drive)
PEOPLE 9 (day) 4 (night)
MAKE/MODEL Volvo Penta 200-G marine engine
TYPE Direct injection petrol V6
RATED HP 200
WEIGHT 404kg (inc DPS drive)
GEAR RATIO 1.85
PROPELLER FH4 Duoprop
99 Freight Drive
Phone +61 3 8339 1800
See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #487, February 2017. Why not subscribe today?
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