Aviara, a new boat line and brand created by the folks at MasterCraft, is intended for people who are aging out of tow sports but still want a dayboat to enjoy the water with their friends in a classy, luxurious venue. Aviara has gotten the jump on virtually all U.S. boat builders in producing a new style of day boat for the American market. The first model is called the AV32 and she sets the pace and design theme for other models in different sizes to come. She has a high-end luxury build where no cost was spared to produce a premium boat, and her style is on the cutting edge of what is taking Europe by storm.
- Hatchet bow
- Open transom stern
- Premium sound system
- Stadium seating
- Ilmor engines
- Head compartment
|Length Overall||32' 6" / 9.93 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||4.1 sec.|
|0 to 30||11.7 sec.|
|Props||26p bravo 3|
|Load||4 persons, 5/8 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||75 deg., 60 humid; wind: 10-15 mph; seas: 1|
2 x 380-hp Ilmor 6.0L MPI
2 x Mercury Verado 300-hp
2 x Mercury Verado 350-hp
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Contents of Report
- Features Inspection
- Swim Platform
- Seating Area
- Entertaining Includes Beverages
- Head Compartment
- Storage Maximus
- Power by Ilmor
- Getting Underway
- Test Numbers
- Options to Consider
The Aviara AV32 fills a gap in the marketplace not so much in size but in style, features, and general boating ambiance. The design team at MasterCraft, we’re told, did years of market research and focus groups to find out what people were looking for that just couldn’t be found on other boats. The boat is intended for MasterCraft owners who have done tow sports and are looking for an elegant boat with which to entertain their family and friends in a day boating experience.
Let’s start our features inspection on the swim platform because this area just offers so much utility and function. First of all, it comes out to 3’10” (1.17 m) and it’s full beam. You can see clearly it extends past the walkthrough to the cockpit. There’s a concealed four-step reboarding ladder over to the starboard side.
But most importantly, it extends far beyond the sterndrive lower unit and props. This is an important safety factor, even though engines should always be shut off when swimmers are in the water astern.
Underwater Teak Beach. Additionally, underneath the platform, there’s an electrically actuated swim step that comes out from beneath the platform. It allows the area to serve as a private beach and has about 1,000 lb. (453.59 kg) capacity. The grab rail across the trailing edge of the platform is great for swimmers to hang on to.
The entire platform is fitted with SeaDek matting in a random tile layout pattern, and that is carried through to the rest of the boat. It is soft on bare feet.
9” (22.86 cm) pull-up cleats are at both sides and they’re up high out of the trip zone. And this is the first of three to each side. They come in either brushed aluminum or black. A hot and cold shower is available.
Aft Seating. Just ahead is a sun pad that measures 34” x 68” (86.36 cm x 172.72 cm) and we can also convert this into seating. Flush seatbacks ratchet up into position just like a regular chaise lounge does, to form three-across aft-facing seating. Underneath, there’s storage beneath each one of these seats, and the storage compartment includes drains that lead into the bilge. Beverage holders are at both sides of the seat and there’s a transom-mounted remote control for the stereo.
Clever Seating Included
In addition to the conversion to the aft-facing seating, the AV32 also includes additional stern seating. Most boats will have flip seatbacks so that we can sit forward-facing or aft-facing, but not both at once. Aviara’s got a little bit of a different take on it; pull-up barstool style seating that allows us to sit facing aft or forward, while people are still in the sun pad seats or sitting in the cockpit. All upholstery is “Cool Feel,” which resists heat from the continual onslaught of the sun, according to the manufacturer.
As we enter the cockpit, there’s a 6” (15.24 cm) step and notice that there is a recessed area in the bulwarks so we can have an optional gate. Also, the entryway is angled so that we’re not impeding on the available seating and we don’t have to ask people to move out of the way in order to enter the cockpit area.
Cockpit seating consists of an L-shaped settee wrapping around the stern and port-hand side. Recessed into the bulwarks are five stainless steel beverage holders mounted in teak or solid surface material, aluminum grab handles, speakers, and there’s USB connectivity just ahead. An expandable, triangular table can be put on a side mount pedestal to increase the area’s functionality.
Entertaining Includes Beverages
Directly across is a wet bar that includes a sink with bottle storage alongside that’s tall enough to hold wine bottles. Underneath, there’s a pullout cooler, a refrigerated drawer, and just above that is a utility drawer. There’s a trash receptacle on the side and on the corner is another piece of teak with three stainless steel beverage holders.
The entire cockpit is under the protection of the hardtop overhead that runs between 7’ (2.13 m) and 7’3” (2.21 m) off the deck. It includes LED lighting, RGB lights so we can make them any color of the spectrum we want, and aft-facing speakers connected to the Klipsch home-theater quality sound system. The hardtop is supported with stylized uprights that match the contours of the window by design, and that’s only broken just behind the side windows so we can reach the midship cleat.
Aft There are Three Extended Shade Options: An electrically actuated shade, a manually actuated shade, or a canvas that is attached to the trailing edge of the hardtop and supported by carbon fiber stanchions. That third option can also be repeated up at the bow.
We don’t normally comment on sound systems, but this one stands out from the rest because it is truly a premium system. Audiophiles will recognize the name Klipsch and the AV32 is outfitted with a Klipsch Audio system that will put most home systems to shame, and its standard equipment. The boat is fitted with eight 8.5” (21 cm) full-range speakers and two 11” (27.8 cm) subwoofers.
The speakers are driven by two Bongiovi Digital Power Station amplifiers putting out 1600 Watts. The 10” touchpad at the helm controls which of three modes of sound to select given the activity at the time–drive, tow, or chill.
We access the bow from a port-side companionway which is 21” (53.34 cm) at it’s narrowest. There is the usual air dam and a closing walkthrough windshield. As for seating, there is another L-shaped seat fully forward and a double-wide seat forward-facing.
A filler cushion adds yet another seat and a pedestal table can be pulled out of dedicated storage. Again, recessed bulwarks have the beverage holders mounted in teak, speakers, and USB connectivity. Just above are nicely stylized grab handles.
Now of course, no dayboat worth it's salt would be anything without having a functional head compartment, and this one is not only functional, it’s stylish as well. It’s located just to the port side of the helm and down two steps.
The head compartment has 5’9” (1.75 m) of overhead clearance. There’s storage over to the starboard side, a ceramic toilet with an electric flush and holding tank, and a Corian counter with a sink.
In the bow, there’s storage underneath the seats, including a built-in cooler underneath the portside seat, and behind that portside seat is additional storage. Plus there’s even more storage in the deck. Back at the helm area, there’s an in-deck compartment that includes dedicated storage for the cockpit table and side-mount pedestal. In the cockpit itself, under the L-shaped seats are all storage, including storage under the aft section. In the walkthrough to the cockpit, there’s dedicated storage for the fenders.
Moving to the operational features, as we open the engine hatch one thing that is impressive is how high the engine hatch opens. Usually, when we try to access a sterndrive engine compartment, it will only open so far, but this one just keeps on going and going, and finally stops at a point providing for unlimited access. We can even just haul the engines out if we need to.
Power by Ilmor
There’s bright LED lighting underneath. Inside, of course, the focal point is the twin Ilmor 6.0L, 380-hp engines. The beauty behind these is really two-fold. First there is no raw water running through these engines. Raw water is pumped up to the heat exchanger on the front of the engine to cool the glycol fluid that cools the engine. Everything else is glycol cooled heat-exchange system.
The second component is that all of the checkpoints are located at the front of the engine, such as the dipstick, coolant, outdrive oil, engine oil, and there’s a drip tray around the oil filter.
Lower Units. The outdrives are built by Yanmar for their diesel engines which means that they are beefy to take the high torque diesels put out. They have a hydraulic-cone clutch that is silent and silky smooth. These two details mean that they are probably the strongest sterndrives on the market. Everything else on the outdrives, such as the trim and the steering, is all controlled by Ilmor.
The Bow – Ground Tackle
Fully forward is a turn-and-lock latch that opens a hatch that gets supported by a stainless-steel gas-assist strut. Inside is a Lewmar windlass leading out to a through-the-stem anchor roller, and an ULTRA anchor is mounted on top of the roller. There’s a cleat for securing the anchor rode. There’s easy access to the rode storage. A remote control and an actuator for the washdown are all located here as well. With the hatch closed, there are pull-up cleats to both sides, LED dock lights, and pop-up navigation light.
The helm seat is wide enough for two people and has a simple, clean glass-dash. It consists of 10”(25.40 cm), 12” (30.48 cm), and 7” (17.78 cm) displays. The 10” (25.40 cm) display is vertically mounted and it includes digital switching for all of the vessel’s systems, including the Klipsch stereo. The center Garmin 12” screen is for navigation, and since it has the multi-screen capability, lots of things can be displayed there. The 7” (17.78 cm) panel over on the right-hand side is for engine diagnostics.
Quick access buttons are located to the right underneath the engine panel. Trim tabs are automatically operating with a control over on the right-hand side. Engine start/stops are just ahead of the wheel which is mounted to a tilt base. The digital engine controls are over on the right-hand side and the positioning is nicely ergonomic. Behind is the sterndrive joystick.
Among the features included with the Ilmor functionality are Anchor Assist that holds position and heading, Location Assist which holds position but not heading, and Heading Assist which holds heading but not position.
There is an ergonomic joystick and it’s activated by one button press. To engage the main controls, simply press a button there as well. Down below are dual beverage holders mounted into another teak panel, USB charger connectivity just ahead, and above are the dual ignitions. All the way down at deck level, there’s an angled footrest that has a non-skid surface on it, and just underneath is a recessed area for toe-space.
The helm seat is double-wide, there are two flip-up bolsters that are each 24” (60.96 cm) wide and it also has the Cool Feel upholstery and the level of padding is quite comfortable. The seat is also adjustable to face aft.
Sensitive Joystick. As we were pulling out, we did that one press of the joystick button to activate, and then it takes a very gentle touch to move the boat. It’s a progressive joystick so the more it’s moved, the more thrust the boat gets, and it’s very sensitive, so delicate touches are what it takes to get moving.
Another useful component of the joystick is that you can have full joystick steering up to 10 knots, without having to add any functionality or options. It’s especially useful for activating the joystick before making a tricky approach or departure with strong, often confusing cross currents.
The Aviara AV32 has a length overall of 32’6” (9.91 m), a beam of 10’4” (3.15 m), and a draft of 2’6” (.76 m). With an empty weight of 12,000 lbs. (5,443 kg), 62% fuel and four people on board, we had an estimated test weight of 13,408 lbs. (6,082 kg).
She has a deadrise at the transom of 20-degrees.
The Data. With twin 6.0L Ilmor MPI 380-hp engines doing the heavy work, we reached our top speed of 54.9 mph at 5600 rpm. Best cruise came in at 3700 rpm where we reached a speed of 34.1 mph. At that speed, the 25.1 gph fuel burn translated into 1.4 mpg and a range of 203 statute miles, all holding back a 10% reserve of the boat’s 166 gallon (628 L) total fuel capacity. We had a time to plane of 4.1 seconds, reached 20 miles per hour in 7.6 seconds, and 30 miles per hour came at 11.7 seconds.
What we were most impressed with was the handling characteristics of the AV32. Throughout our performance evaluation, we tried as best as we could to bring out the worst in this boat and there just was no worst.
She would cut through waves cleanly with no hull slap, stuffing or pounding whatsoever. In fact, the only noise we heard while we were cutting through the waves was a small hatch up forward that was bouncing, and that can easily be taken care of. The AV32 carved easily through turns with no chine walk, and she bleeds off enough speed so that when put into a power turn, it won’t throw everyone and everything over to one side. She stays comfortable throughout.
She reaches her normal cruising attitude of about 5-degrees bow high at maybe 31 or 32 miles an hour. As usual, we didn’t have a lot of chops to work with on our test day so it’s unclear on how she handles in rough conditions. However, crossing the wake of our camera boat shows smooth transitions across the wake, and if we did manage to catch air, she would have a smooth reentry with again, no pounding or hull slap. There just wasn’t anything we could bring out untoward throughout this boat’s handling.
Upon returning to the dock, we got another chance to use that delicate touch of the joystick and found it to be dialed in perfectly. Not only were we able to make a precision approach, but there was none of that annoying clunking into gear, just a smooth-shifting in and out of gear – this is because of the sterndrive lower unit’s hydraulic cone clutch. So that excellent handling we discussed out on the water, translated right back to the dock.
Options to Consider
The first option, and the most important, is whether to go for the outboard version of the boat. That version will be 500 lbs. (227 kg) lighter than the sterndrive one. Obviously, the swim platform is eliminated except for two sections port and starboard. Also, the optional hydraulic underwater platform is not available in that version. As we haven’t yet tested the boat in that configuration, so we will not hazard a guess on her performance.
Some options that should be considered include heated seats, and in the sterndrive version a heated cockpit. Other options to consider are—
The price is north of $300K, depending on the options selected.
The Aviara AV32 is European in her approach to her mission as well as her design. Her blunt bow, raised forefoot, open transom, luxury, and list of exciting options makes her the first boat of her type built in America that we have seen. In fact, these boats are a new type, called “Luxury Day Boats,” by their builders in Europe.
This new type of boat – which come in sizes from 25’ to over 50’ (7.62 m to 15.24 m) – is made for a discerning clientele who want something different, cutting-edge stylish, luxurious, and very comfortable upon which to entertain guests. Certainly, Aviara has done that with its AV32.
We were impressed by the boat’s design and execution, as it seems that Aviara left no amenity unlisted in its standards and options, that could make one’s heart go pitter-pat.