Aviara is a new brand from parent company MasterCraft boats and the AV36 is the latest and biggest model in the luxury dayboat series. She’s available with sterndrive or outboard power, which is rare, and the focus is on delivering an upscale on-board experience.
- Outboard or stern drive power
- Dinette converts into berth in cabin
- Standard Garmin multifunction display
- Cockpit galley
- Spacious bow seating
- Carbon-reinforced cockpit deck
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.2 sec.|
|0 to 30||6.9 sec.|
|Props||Stainless Steel 20P|
|Load||3 persons, 2/3 fuel, 1/2 water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||65 deg., 37 humid; wind: 0-5 mph; seas: <1 ft|
3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado
Captain's Report by Capt. Martin Frobisher
The flagship of the new Aviara Series, the AV36, is designed to be a forward-thinking large dayboat. She comes with versatile-aft facing lounges at the stern, plus spacious bow and cockpit seats. For entertaining, the cockpit galley can be basic or fully stocked. Belowdecks, there’s seating for a few on a lounge that converts to a berth and there’s a private head with shower. Her lines give the boat a modern, contemporary look.
• Fiberglass hardtop with integrated lights and speakers
• Custom billet aluminum windshield frame
• Touchscreen control for all onboard systems at the bow
• Dedicated wine-bottle chiller
• Two chilled cup holders at the helm
• Standard SeaDek covering on the swim platform
The Cockpit. The AV36’s cockpit has 6’9” (2.06 m) of headroom beneath the fiberglass hardtop and bridge clearance is 8’6” (2.59 m) with lights and antennae on top, folded down. Our test boat also had the optional retractable Make fast shade for the cockpit. The aft bench seat measures 63” (160.02 cm) across and 22” (55.88 cm) deep fore to aft and it wraps around to port with plenty of cupholders, grab handles and USB ports in reach. There’s also storage in the seat bases including a dedicated spot for an Igloo cooler. Across to starboard, our test boat had the optional Gourmet Galley with two Kenyon electric grilles with automatic shutoff switches and dual refrigerators in the base, plus a three-bottle wine chiller. Forward, there’s a sink and aft is storage. All drink holders are equipped with drain hoses and the galley has a 110-volt outlet and a speaker.
The Helm. Forward of the galley to starboard, there are two individual seats at the AV36’s helm. Combined they measure 43” (109.22 cm) wide by 18” (45.72 cm) fore to aft and each seat has a foldup bolster. There’s also an angled footrest forward. The captain has excellent all-around visibility over or through the brushed aluminum-framed windshield. The dash is free of analog-style gauges and instead has a 10” (25.4 cm) touchscreen for all onboard systems to port, a 16” (40.64 cm) Garmin multifunction display in the center and a 7” (17.78 cm) Simrad display for the motors to starboard. Below the engine screen are flush accessory switches. To starboard working fore to aft is the engine start buttons, the trim tab panel with built-in indicator, the digital shift/throttle levers and the joystick. Aft, a padded hatch opens a compartment that contains the VHF radio. Below the controls in the gunwale are the keys to turn on the power, VHF speaker, dual cupholders, a USB port and an air vent. Something we haven’t seen before, to port are twin beverage holders that have power cooling to keep drinks chilled. Across to port is a single seat with a fold-up bolster.
The Stern. Aft to starboard, it’s two steps up to the passage to the AV36’s stern where we found a full-beam aft-facing lounge. Three optional adjustable-height barstools let passengers customize their position. For storage, the entire structure picks up on stainless-steel gas struts to reveal a shallow compartment to starboard. To port, all the battery switches and circuit breakers are in their own area. Close the seat and there’s enough space to pass between the triple outboard motors and the seats, even with the engines tilted all the way out of the water.
The Bow. Now let’s head to the other end of the AV36, which is an easy trip through the uncluttered cockpit. The passage to the bow is to port and there’s a 17” (43 cm) forward, there is seating that wraps around to starboard. Aviara calls the bow seating area “the treehouse” because it’s a place where the kids can escape the adults and have their own private area. One standout is the depth of the seatbacks, 20” (51 cm) to the caprail. In gunwale cutouts, there are cupholders, speakers and USB ports. All of the bottom cushions lift up on tension hinges for storage and there is an insulated cooler in the bow. In the foredeck, the anchor locker hatch raises on a gas strut. Inside on our test boat were the Lewmar windlass and its remote plus controls for the washdown and rode storage.
The Cabin. A door next to the helm opens the entry to the AV36’s optional cabin. It secures with strong magnets in the gunwale and there are three 9” (22.86 cm) tall steps that lead belowdecks. Headroom belowdecks is 5’6” (1.68 m) and forward is a lounge that measures 67” long by 62” wide (170 cm x 157 cm) and converts to a berth. An optional 32” (81.28 cm) TV with a soundbar is to port and below is a microwave oven. To starboard, the private head compartment has 5’6” (1.68 m) of headroom.
The Numbers. Aviara put the power in the hands of the consumer by offering the AV36 with sterndrive and outboard packages. Our test boat was equipped with triple Mercury Verado 300 outboards turning Mercury stainless-steel 20” pitch four-blade propellers. She had an overall length of 38’6” (11.73 m), a 10’10” (3.30 m), and a draft of 3’6” (1.07 m). Measured 40’ (12.19 m) long with a beam of 13’6” (4.11 m) and a draft of 2’7” (.79 m). Empty weight is listed at 14,550 lbs. (6,600 kg). With 200 gallons (757 L) of fuel, 19 gallons (71.92 liters) of water, three people and test equipment on board, we had an estimated test weight of 16,507 lbs. (7,487 kg).
Speed and Range. With the throttles down, we hit a top speed of 55.8 mph (48.5 knots) at 6000 rpm. The best cruise came at 4000 rpm where we measured 33.7 mph and burned 33.4 gph. This gave us 1.0 mpg and a range of 209 statute miles with 10 percent of the boat’s 230-gallon (870.64-liter) fuel capacity in reserve. The minimum planing speed was 12.6 mph. At 600 rpm, the boat ran 2.8 mph and burned 2.4 gph, giving the boat a rating of 1.8 mpg. Bump up to 1000 rpm and the speed goes up to 5.3 mph with a fuel burn of 4.2 gph and 1.3 mpg. In acceleration tests, the AV36 planed in 4.2 seconds. She ran through 20 mph in 5.1 seconds, through 30 mph in 6.9 seconds and through 40 mph in 10.5 seconds.
Two Out of Three. To check out ways to expand the AV36’s range, we trimmed up the center motor to see how the boat would run on two motors. She placed pretty easily and still had more than adequate maneuverability. If twin engines are desired, they would recommend updating to the Mercury 400Rs, but knowing that she can still run on two of the three motors provides peace of mind.
Handling and Docking. In maneuverability tests, the AV36 belies her girth and weight with a nimble feel. In turns, she swung a tight arc at any speed. Lock to lock was four full turns and the boat responded smoothly to steering wheel input. When the time comes to the dock, the joystick makes the process effortless and the captain has a great vantage point with unobstructed 360-degree views.
Base Retail Price
$400,000 with triple 300-hp Mercury Verado four-stroke outboards.
Options to Consider
• 7.5 kW generator
• Cabin and helm HVAC (requires generator or shore power)
• 4-gallon (15 L) water heater (requires generator or shore power)
• Full canvas enclosure
• Mooring cover
• Stowable bow sunshade
• Stowable aft sunshade
• AutoGlide automatic trim tabs
• Mercury Active Trim
• Radar – 4k
• VHF radio with antenna
• Windshield wiper with washer
• Teak bow table with filler cushion
• Battery charger 110v, 60-amp
• Transom shower
Aviara is unabashed about its intention, to build high-end dayboats and the AV36 delivers on those intentions with its spacious cockpit, stern, and bow seating areas.
The boat can be powered with twin sterndrives or twin or triple outboards. For those considering the latter, Mercury lists the weight of 300-hp and 400-hp Verado outboard at 668 lbs. (303 kg) in its lightest configuration. Looking at the power-to-weight ratio, twin 400s would have a power-to-weight ratio of 1.67 lbs. (.76 kg) per horsepower while triple 300s would be 2.22. The triples would more than likely deliver better acceleration and probably more top end, but the twin 400s should have an edge in fuel economy.