New for 2023, the 355 leads Wellcraft in a new direction. She has a decidedly Euro look and can be used as a dayboat or coastal cruiser. She sleeps two and is powered by triple outboards.
3 x 350-hp Mercury Verados
3 x 350-hp Mercury Verados
3 x 300-hp Yamahas
A New Adventure/Performance Commuter Takes Wellcraft in a New Direction.
New for 2023, the 355 leads Wellcraft in a new direction by creating a beautifully-crafted new adventure/performance boat that is nothing like any Wellcraft boat we’ve seen before. She has a decidedly Euro look and she’s designed to be used as a dayboat or adventure cruiser.
This new Wellcraft 355 was designed by noted American designer Michael Peters, who teamed up with naval architects Pawel Denert and Camillo Garonni to create a fast, seaworthy American outboard-powered commuter. For much of its 60 years in business, Wellcraft was based in Sarasota, FL. This city is also the headquarters for Michael Peters Yacht Design, so the two collaborating was something of a natural fit.
With triple Mercury or Yamaha outboards totaling a combined 1,050 hp, she can reach a top speed exceeding 60 mph, according to Wellcraft. “There is a new breed of enthusiastic performance boaters. They want to see the world from a different perspective,” says Nick Harvey, Brand Director for Wellcraft. “Instead of gazing at the sea from shore, they shove off and never look back.”
The mission of the Wellcraft 355 is to create a fast, luxurious and seaworthy American outboard-powered commuter.
Wellcraft 355 Major Features
- Triple outboards from Yamaha or Mercury up to 1,050 hp (3 x 300-hp/3 x 350-hp)
- Top hinged window links the salon and cockpit
- Large sun lounges on top of trunk cabin
- Large boarding gates on each side
- Head with separate walk-in shower
- Sliding helm-station door on the starboard side
- Five people facing forward when underway
Wellcraft 355 Features Inspection
Boarding the 355 is easy thanks to side gates on each side of the cockpit or via the swim platforms with gates just ahead. There’s a reboarding ladder to the port platform and pull-up cleats on each side of the stern.
The stern comes standard with a built-in sport tow bar and fender storage that makes up the transom. Otherwise, it’s an open floorplan that measures 3’11” x 9’3” (1.19 m x 2.82 m). A sport tow bar is over the engines and it’s the foot of this bar that the cockpit measurement is taken from.
Options for this area include a three-across bench seat against the transom or an aft grilling station with a sink, a carry-on cooler in a lower drawer, a small livewell and beverage holders to both sides. A full aft cockpit enclosure can convert the 355 into a true three-season boat.
There is an in-deck fish box on both sides measuring 3.44’ x 1.15’ (1.05 m x .35 m) and it includes a macerator pump. At the aft section of the cockpit, there’s a mechanical compartment that keeps all mechanical components in one location. This is also where the 6.4 kW generator will be housed and that runs off a 13-gallon (49.21 L) diesel tank.
The 355 has an asymmetric layout so the side deck to starboard is slightly wider than the one to port. This provides more interior space but there’s still a full 18” (45.72 cm) to the wider starboard side. Bulwarks come up 32” (81.28 cm) and rails top out at 37” (93.98 cm). At midships, there’s a step but we still have a safety factor of 20” (50.8 cm) bulwarks and 30” (76.2 cm) high rails that still exceeds ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standards. Decking can either be the fiberglass non-skid or choose from the optional teak decking or Seagrass cockpit carpet.
The bow has triple sun lounges at 63” (160.02 cm) total width with individual headrests. Seating stretches out 52” (132.08 cm). Fixed armrests are at the two outboard sides along with beverage holders. Two more flip-down armrests flank the center seat. The center cushion is in two sections with the lower cushion able to be folded up and laid on top of the upper cushion. When that is done, there are beverage holders that now become exposed between the two side seats.
There’s an additional aft-facing seat just ahead and a pedestal table can be added between the two seats that would occupy the walkthrough between the seating. This table can also be lowered and a filler cushion on top creates a full bow sunpad. Under this forward seat, there’s deep, self-draining storage. Alongside is dedicated storage for a propane tank in the event an owner wants to swap out the interior electric cooktop with a propane version. We can also put this whole bow area under a Mediterranean shade.
Under the foredeck, the 355 features a standard windlass with a chain counter located at the helm. She also has a standard bow thruster, a welcome addition to any boat.
Wellcraft 355 Pilothouse
Moving to the interior, the cabin has a stainless-steel framed door and a hinged aft bulkhead window that can be opened to blend the indoors and outdoors for entertaining. This is a unique feature in a vessel of this style since most commuters only offer side access. Once inside we enjoy the open space with a 6’3” (1.9 m) overhead. At the aft section of the overhead, there’s a skylight that can be closed off with either an opaque shade or a blackout shade.
Immediately inside the door to starboard is an L-shaped lounge that wraps around a table on a high-low pedestal. Two movable seats and a swivel to the table allow for a conversion to booth-style seating. There’s also an optional cushion package to convert the dinette to a berth. This is all on a 9” (22.86 cm) platform with storage underneath.
The galley is to port and it includes a sink, ceramic cooktop, a 21-gallon (80 L) refrigerator and an optional microwave oven that resides under the observer’s seat. Above are smoked glass electrically-actuated sunroofs that further act to bring the outside in.
Forward to port is a single observer’s chair with two more to starboard at the helm. Standard equipment at the helm includes a Garmin GPSMap 8416 XSV multifunction display linked to a GT15 transducer and this display can also be configured to display engine data.
An owner can upgrade to twin GPSMap 8416s. Lenco electric trim tabs come standard with switches that have integrated position indicators. For entertainment, a Fusion MS-WB670 Apollo/JL Audio package comes standard. Under the helm, there’s a platform that will elevate the captain another 7.5” (19.05 cm) off the deck.
Whether choosing Mercury or Yamaha outboards, either will come with the joystick functionality — JPO (Joystick Piloting for Outboards) version for Merc and Helm Master for Yamaha. A bow thruster is also standard. Over the helm are two electrically-actuated glass hatches that let in sun, air or both. To the starboard side, there’s a sliding door leading to the starboard side deck. Close everything off and take advantage of the 12,000 BTU air conditioning system powered off of the shorepower or the 6.4kw generator.
Wellcraft 355 Accommodations
A hatch between the port and center helm seats opens 23” (58.42 cm) to provide access to the bow cabin below. The configuration has a 67” x 60” (170.18 cm x 152.4 cm) berth fully forward with a private ensuite head including a separate shower stall aft and to starboard. Headroom is 6’2” (1.88 m), leaving 2’11” (.89 m) over the berth. A window to the overhead supplements the natural light from the surrounding windows.
There’s a small seat to port just at the bottom of the companionway. Storage is on overhead lockers, on each side of the berth and under the bed. Hull side windows to port and starboard have pull-down shades.
It was surprising to find a walk-in shower in the ensuite. Normally a boat in this size range has a wet head. We also noticed an electric flush toilet with a freshwater flush option available. Two opening portlights provide natural light and ventilation. The counters are Corian.
BoatTEST has not tested the 355 yet, but Wellcraft sent us some numbers from its testing.
With triple 300-hp Yamaha outboards turning 17” pitch Saltwater Series propellers, the 355 hit 51.3 mph (44.6 knots) at 6000 rpm. Best cruise was recorded at 4000 rpm, where the boat ran 32.09 mph and burned 34.6 gph. That translated to a range of 220 statute miles with a 10% reserve of the boat’s 264-gallon (1,000 L) fuel capacity.
With triple 300-hp Mercury outboards, the 355 reportedly hit 52.9 mph at 6000 rpm. Best cruise with the Mercury engines was also recorded at 4000 rpm where the boat ran 31.51 mph and burned 33.13 gph. The numbers worked out to 225 statute miles with the same 10% fuel reserve.
Finally, triple 350-hp Mercury outboards pushed the 355 to 57.6 mph at 6000 rpm. The more powerful engines also produced their best cruise at 4000 rpm, according to Wellcraft’s tests. The boat ran 34.96 mph and burned 34.9 gph, resulting in a range of 238 statute miles with a 10% reserve.
Now while we weren’t able to run our own numbers because of the prevailing conditions, we did get to see how she handles less-than-ideal seas and it was just a blast to drive her. She just kept on taking it, regardless of how much we dished out. In fact, at high speeds, we were jumping from wave top to wave top and seemed to spend more time out of the water than in it, with the prop always engaged and never catching that air. This is how we conduct a test when we can’t get numbers.
Options Worth Considering
Hull and Deck
- Anchoring Kit (anchor in stainless steel with galvanized chain)
- Fender Kit (4 lines and 6 fenders w/black fender sockets)
- Deck Searchlight
- LED Lightbar
- 2 RGB Lumishore Underwater Lights
- Aft Cockpit Bench with 3 Seats - Iceberg/Carbon
- Aft Cockpit Bench with 3 Seats - Honey
- Roof Racks
- Rocket Launcher (4 rod holders on wheelhouse roof)
- Triple 350-hp Mercury® Cold Fusion White w/ Joystick
- Triple 300-hp Yamaha® White w/ Helm Master Joystick
Upholstery and Layout
- Wheelhouse/Bow Cabin Upholstery — Magin Ivory (Woven Fabric)
- Aft Cockpit Galley Version — Including 2 Cupholders w/ Storage and Sink
- Bow Sunshade
- Aft Sunshade
- Bow Platform with Ladder
- Removable Ladder for Side Gates
- Aft Cockpit Enclosure - Graphite
- GRP Table for Bow Cockpit
- Bow Sun Deck and Bench Upholstery — Iceberg/Carbon (with cover)
- Bow Sun Deck and Bench Upholstery — Honey (with cover)
- Seagrass Infinity Cockpit Flooring
- Pop-Up Lights in Bow Cockpit
- Teak Floor for Aft Cockpit and Swim Platforms
- Teak Floor for Bow Cockpit and Gangway
Engine / Systems / Drive
- Seakeeper 3 (Inverter Powered) — requires lithium batteries to be installed by the dealer
- Genset 6.4KVA 110V 50HZ Fisher Panda DIESEL 13-gallon (50 L) tank
- Webasto Heating with 13-gallon (50 L) DIESEL tank — not compatible w/ air conditioning
- Webasto Heating Combined with Genset Option — heater uses genset diesel tank
- Air Conditioning 12K+8K BTU Shore and Genset 110 V
- Auto-flush System for Outboard Engines
Console / Cabin
- Cushions to Convert Wheelhouse Dinette to Double Berth
- Wheelhouse Stools — Dolce Ivory/Mocca
- Wheelhouse Stools — Magin Ivory
- Snap-in Carpet in Cabin/Wheelhouse (on top of wood flooring)
- TV Antenna
- TV Pre-Rig 32" (0.8 m) Wheelhouse 110V on 300W Inverter
- Mosquito Screens for Hatches
- Wheelhouse Blinds
- Two Dummy Satellite Antenna Domes
- GARMIN Radar Dome Fantom 18 — Requires Electronic Pack
- GARMIN Radar Open Array Fantom 54 — Requires Electronic Pack
- 1 x Garmin GPSMAP 8416 XSV with GT15 transducer and display of engine information Yamaha / Mercury
Electronic Pack — Upgrade
- 2 x Garmin GPSMAP 8416 XSV with GT15 transducer and display of engine information Yamaha / Mercury
Upgrade Audio Pack (US)
- Fusion Apollo WB670
- Amplifier JL Audio M700
- ZONE 1 — BOW CABIN — 2 Speakers
- ZONE 2 — BOW COCKPIT — 2 Speakers
- ZONE 3 — WHEELHOUSE — 2 Speakers + 2 Speakers in Aft Cockpit
- Subwoofer (cockpit)
- Remote control for LEDs
Adventure Fishing Pack
- LED Lightbar
- Aft Cockpit Galley: Baitwell
- Roof Racks
- Rocket Launcher (4 rod holders on wheelhouse roof)
- Aft Cockpit Galley: Salt Water Washdown
Wellcraft’s 355 has an MSRP of $584K when equipped with the standard triple 300-hp engines.
The 355 represents a new direction for Wellcraft. The company still manufactures center consoles ranging from 20’ (6.1 m) to 35’ (10.67 m), but this new model is clearly taking aim at a different client. The enclosed commuter-style design concept is gaining in popularity. Wellcraft took hold of it and Americanized it with the wider beam, oversized rails and interior grab rails, added air conditioning and other Yankee elements.