Wellcraft 360 Coastal
Some people reach a point in their lives when they still want to enjoy the thrill of fishing offshore but prefer to pamper themselves a bit rather than stand up all day on a center console. That uncommon blend of aesthetic form and fishing function – done well – can be hard to find. Unfortunately pampering and those worthy attributes often carry a hefty price tag. The aptly named Wellcraft 360 Coastal pulls it off masterfully and at a more reasonable price than you might expect.
Performance The thunderstorms started early, and conditions loomed dark and windy when we ran the 360 on Sarasota Bay. I have no doubt that this Wellcraft designed by C. Raymond Hunt could have handled the storm. But I make it a policy never to deliberately go out into thunder and lightning, so we stayed in the choppy bay where we could seek shelter more readily.
After planing in seven seconds, the twin 370-hp Volvo Penta D-6 diesels pushed the 360 to a top speed of 34 mph at 3,500 rpm while burning a total of 53 gph. Cruising speed, at 3,200 rpm, hit 311¼2 mph burning 311¼2 gph for a range of 394 miles from the 417-gallon tank. But drop down to displacement-hull speed – say 8 mph – and you get a range of 1,000 miles. That’s far enough to reach some pretty remote fishing spots. The 360’s profile reminds one of an Il Duce kind of confidence, chin jutting out and ready to take on the world. In fact, that high freeboard forward goes a long way toward protecting the bridge deck from spray. You’ll also never stuff the bow of this boat when heading down-sea, thanks to that same freeboard and the wide shoulders borne of a voluminous interior forward. Both provide copious buoyancy.
The 360 really shines when fighting fish. It backs down well at a moderate speed and spins on a fish beautifully with just the engines. Kick in the bow thruster and watch out – the 360 might make you dizzy.
Even though the 360 Coastal may boast more luxury than you’re used to in a fishing machine, the cockpit is still the heart of this boat. For example, six rod holders surround the cockpit. The two large in-deck fish boxes are completely gasketed, dogged down tightly and have stainless rams to hold the heavily insulated lids open while you deposit your fish.
The portside module holds the tackle and rigging station with a bait freezer, a sink with cutting board, and permanent tackle drawers. Opposite to starboard, the module boasts a 38-gallon livewell with a gasketed top and adjustable outflow. This allows you to pressurize the baitwell, effectively putting your baits into suspended animation while running out to your fishing spot. Under pressure, the baits no longer slosh around in the well. A well-designed foldaway seat on this module offers aft-facing comfort while trolling.
In addition to the transom door with lift-up gunwale section, Wellcraft mounts a stainless-steel grab handle on the outside of the transom by the door to facilitate climbing back aboard from the water.
Design and Construction You can enter the engine room two ways: through a hatch in the bridge-deck sole for quick inspections or by lifting the entire deck on electric rams. This gives you full 360-degree access to each engine for all routine maintenance.
The bridge deck features L-shaped settees to port and starboard of the centerline helm station. Each settee supplies considerable storage area beneath the seats.
Wellcraft provides a beautiful hardtop with opening ventilation hatches and excellent handholds. I find this unusual because most builders consider the hardtop an option.
Besides clean, reliable power supplied by the Volvo Penta engines, the company provides several other notable features. These engines come with electronic controls, including synchronization and digital gauges. SeaKey, a push-button system that acts exactly like OnStar in automobiles, also comes with every Volvo-powered Wellcraft.
Wellcraft can also save you time, money and frustration when you opt for its electronics package. This consists of a top-of-the-line Raymarine electronics suite, including chart plotter, radar and sounder on large interfaced displays flush-mounted on the expansive helm console. Other standard equipment items include a remote-controlled searchlight and windlass controls at the helm.
Belowdecks, beautiful joinerwork and luxurious fabrics showcase all the latest appliances and a comfortable queen-sized island berth in the bow. The 360 displays your expensive rods and reels in a lighted locker above the starboard-side settee. Oh, and the settee converts into a double berth, too. To wrap it up, Wellcraft provides substantial and unique storage beneath the main berth, as well as in hanging boxes just below the floorboards that hide additional rod storage.
So if you’ve reached the point that your personal comfort counts for more, consider a Wellcraft 360 Coastal.
LOA: 40 ft. 4 in.
BEAM: 13 ft. 8 in.
DEADRISE: 18 deg.
DRAFT: 3 ft.
WEIGHT: 20,000 lb.
FUEL: 400 gal.
MAX POWER (2): 540-hp diesels
MSRP: $350,000 (base boat)
Volvo penta D-6
TYPE In-line 6
DISPL. 336 cid
MAX RPM 3,500
HP/LB RATIO 0.25
FUEL SYSTEM Common rail
GEAR RATIO 1.50-2.5:1
WEIGHT 1,493 lb.
ALT. OUTPUT 115 amps
MSRP Price on request
Notable Standard Equipment
* Single-lever electronic controls
* Deluxe hardtop
* 37-gallon baitwell
* 18-gallon cockpit freezer
* Wiring for electric reels/downriggers
* Sirius satellite radio
Wellcraft has blended hard-core fishing with luxury to suit discriminating tastes and done it exceptionally well.