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October 31, 2008

Bluewater 355e

If you want to be "in-the-know," sea trial a Bluewater prior to purchasing your next boat. There's nothing it doesn't do well.


 
Find 12-volt electrical outlets for downriggers and kite reels under both aft gunwales, and request more if you wish.
 
The 355e boasts a big in-deck livewell to augment the large pressurized one in the transom. The transom well comes with a removable wall to separate diverse baits should you require that.

Design and Construction
Bluewater does several things better than many of its competitors: The large anchor locker has a molded hanger and a great lock-in system to keep the hook from bouncing around under way. A radius curve on top of the console door affords you greatly increased headroom when entering and exiting the "belowdecks" space. I say belowdecks because, in this case, you actually get full standing headroom in the console - about 6 1/2 feet, in fact. Bluewater manages this by placing the sole of this space all the way down on the keel. You'll also find superb access to wiring and the back of your electronics suite through hatches here, plus considerable shelf storage.
 
Find quick-connect outlets for washdown hoses at five points around the boat. Overall, Bluewater has always paid superb attention to detail. For example, the rocket launcher across the back of the leaning post features individual hoses channeling any water that enters the rod holders down into the bilge rather than letting it run into the storage areas of the tackle center, which by the way, has hangers for leader bags as well as built-in leader dispensers. Handholds - one of my pet peeves on most boats - are plentiful and perfectly placed. The hardtop doesn't whack the tip of your rod as you fight a fish from stem to stern, and its underside matches the hull color.
 
Being larger than average, I particularly appreciate the excellent access to pumps, plumbing, wiring and hydraulics in the lazarette, and the fold-down frame there that holds two 5-gallon buckets is a nice touch too.
 
Bluewater installs much-better-than-average hardware on this boat, from the cleats and running lights to the rod holders and even the transom door latch. And the indirect lighting under all gunwales makes this boat look killer at night.
 
One construction feature particularly impressed me. The stringer grid, bonded into the hull prior to the boat being pulled from the mold, has 56 "holes" between stringers. Each of these ultimately gets filled with closed-cell foam. Then the deck bonds to the stringers. Not only does this make the boat pretty much one solid piece, it also assures that every in-deck box has more insulation than any other boat on the market. Your ice, drinks and the like will stay cold forever.
 
Since the Bluewater family doesn't publicly pat itself on the back or boast of its quality of design and performance, please allow me to do it for them. Bluewater makes terrific boats!
 
 
LOA......35 ft. 9 in.
BEAM......10 ft.
HULL DRAFT......2 ft.
DEADRISE......24 deg.
WEIGHT......12,980 lb. (as tested)
FUEL......380 gal.
MAX HP......Triple 300 hp OB
MSRP......$153,610 (w/ twin 300s)

Bluewater Boats / Fort Pierce, Florida / 772-464-3735 / www.bluewaterboats.com