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Aviara AV36 (2020-)

3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado

Brief Summary

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.

Key Features

  • Outboard or stern drive power
  • Dinette converts into berth in cabin
  • Standard Garmin multifunction display
  • Cockpit galley
  • Spacious bow seating
  • Carbon-reinforced cockpit deck

Test Results

600 2.8 2.4 1.6 1.8 1.6 374 325.2 57
1000 5.3 4.6 4.2 1.3 1.1 264 229.3 61
1500 8.6 7.4 6.5 1.3 1.1 273 237.7 65
2000 9.4 8.1 11.6 0.8 0.7 166 144.8 70
2500 12.5 10.9 15.8 0.8 0.7 164 142.2 76
3000 16.8 14.6 18.1 0.9 0.8 191 166.5 78
3500 21.3 18.5 26.8 0.8 0.7 164 142.9 81
4000 33.7 29.3 33.4 1 0.9 209 181.4 84
4500 39.7 34.5 41.5 1 0.8 198 171.9 86
5000 43.9 38.1 62.2 0.7 0.6 146 126.8 86
5500 50.8 44.1 72.7 0.7 0.6 144 125.6 88
6000 55.8 48.5 71.8 0.8 0.7 161 139.9 92


Length Overall 38’ 6''
11.73 m
Beam 10’ 10''
3.30 m
Dry Weight 14,550 lbs.
6,600 kg
Draft Up 31''
0.79 m
Draft Down 42''
1.07 m
Deadrise/Transom 20-deg.
Bridge Clearance N/A
Fuel Capacity 214 gal.
810 L
Water Capacity 37 gal.
140 L


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 4.2 sec.
0 to 30 6.9 sec.
Ratio N/A
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

Engine Options

Tested Engine 3 x 300-hp Mercury Verado

Captain's Report

By Capt. Martin Frobisher


The Aviara AV36 is a study in modern design with her plumb bow, angular lines, and integrated hardtop.

Mission Statement

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.

Major Features

  • 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


When looking at the Aviara AV36’s cockpit and stern, the word “versatility” comes to mind.

Features Inspection

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.  


It’s a good thing the AV36 has a good stereo because there’s a dancefloor in the cockpit.


Check out the custom speaker grill in the cockpit. Aviara uses them throughout the boat.

cockpit lounge

The headrest for the port cockpit lounge can be moved into multiple positions.


Aviara uses custom aluminum supports for the gunwale bolsters. There’s plenty of beverage holders and USB ports.


Tension hinges and gas struts make sure the bottom cushions stay up to make it easier to get to contents in the under-seat lockers.

cupholder hose

Even on our test boat, which was a prototype, every cupholder had a drain hose.


Aviara chose a MakeFast shade to provide protection for the AV36’s cockpit.

cockpit galley

Our test boat had the optional gourmet galley with extended Corian countertop space.


With the gourmet galley, owners can go with two full-sized Kenyon electric grills as shown here.


Each grill has its own shutoff switch to ensure safety.


The faucet for the cockpit sink folds away when not in use and the cover is held up by a stainless-steel gas strut.


The twin refrigerators offer plenty of cold storage for a day on the water.


If anyone wants to bring a blender aboard, there’s a 110-volt AC outlet in the galley.

waste basket

A wastebasket is beneath the forward pad in the port cockpit lounge and notice the pass-through-style hatch.


The hardtop on our test boat is finished in a light gray as opposed to bright white that can create some harsh glare.

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.


Because the windshield comes to an end forward of the helm position, the driver has a comfortable place to rest his right arm.


With the bolsters on the helm seats folded up, there’s space for a captain to pilot the AV36 while standing.

foot rest

Below, the angled footrest helps enhance helm comfort.


From on-board systems to port, navigation in the center and engine data to starboard, the three screens at the helm provide all the information a captain needs.


The controls are logically laid out for comfortable operation.


The padded hatch creates a comfy spot for the driver’s right arm and beneath it we found the VHF radio and a USB plug.

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.


A courtesy light in the base of the step illuminates the passage to the AV36’s stern.

aft lounge

Here, all of the headrests are in the down position, creating a super-sized aft-facing lounge.


The barstools can be raised on a ratcheting post to create myriad seating positions.


The aft seat bottoms raise on stainless-steel gas struts for easy access to storage underneath.

battery switches

To port, all the battery switches, circuit breaker sand a 12-volt plug are in the same compartment with the freshwater fill, which is not necessarily a location we would suggest.


With the engines in operating position, there’s plenty of space between them and the aft lounge.


Kudos to Aviara for making sure there’s enough space to pass by the motors when they’re tilted up.

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.


With the air dam and windshield closed, the cockpit is isolated from the bow.


The custom curved arch support for the windshield is evidence of the craftsmanship Aviara is a capable of producing.


Twin bow grabrails will come in handy when the ride gets rough.


The bolster/backrest wraps all the way around, creating a plethora of seating positions.


On each side in the bow are gunwale cutouts with a speaker, beverage holders, stereo remote controls, and USB plugs.

bow storage

Tension hinges that hold up the bow cushions are a good choice because they eliminate the need for a gas strut and they keep the cushions from flying out when the boat is running fast.


The stainless steel anchor is part of an option package that includes the windlass and stainless-steel chain rode.

anchor locker

The nonskid anchor locker hatch stays open on a stainless-steel gas strut so deckhands can use two hands to work with the grounding tackle.


Instead of leaving the access to the rode locker open, Aviara uses the black removable inspection-style hatch, which creates a cleaner compartment.

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.

cabin door

The cabin entry hatch integrates cleanly into the port side of the helm console.

cabin door

Twin magnets ensure that the cabin door is held securely in the open position.

cabin door

The cabin entryway has a spacious feel. Because this boat was the prototype, the head wasn’t fully finished and Aviara didn’t want to show more of it.


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).


The AV36’s streamlined profile hides her spacious 10’10” (3.30 m) beam.

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.


Triple 300-hp Mercury outboards push the Aviara AV36 to speeds exceeding 55.8 mph. She can also be equipped with twin 400-hp outboards.

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.


If the center motor has a problem, the AV36 can run on the outer pair.

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.


In turns, the AV36 had a nimble, agile feel.


When it comes to docking, Mercury’s Joystick Piloting system makes the process easy.

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.

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