14 Great Pocket Cruisers

We review a collection of vessels ready for cruising couples and families to take on the salt.


June 5, 2019
back cove 340
In addition to outboard power, the 34O has a sporty metallic-gray hull color. Back Cove Yachts

Back Cove 34O

Combining modern outboard power with classic Downeast styling, the Back Cove 34O touts award-winning standards with cruising in mind. The 34O is equipped with twin 300 hp Yamaha outboards, engines that allow the Newport International Boat Show’s 2018 Best Powerboat Under 35 Feet winner to travel up to 214 nautical miles at 24 knots on a 250-gallon fuel tank.

Belowdecks, the 34O has an island double berth and a split-head arrangement with the toilet to port and a separate shower stall to starboard. On the main deck, a U-shape dinette to port accommodates four or more guests on the Back Cove Yachts vessel. The 34O’s galley is equipped with a Cuisinart microwave, a two-burner Kenyon electric cooktop and a Vitrifrigo fridge and freezer.

Full review: Back Cove 34O

hinckley picnic boat 40
The Hinckley Picnic Boat 40 is the series’ new flagship. Hinckley Yachts

Picnic Boat 40

Hinckley Yachts unveiled its first Picnic Boat more than two decades ago. Now, after two previous, sub-40-foot models, the Maine-based boatbuilder has developed its largest and most advanced model to date: the Picnic Boat 40.

Twin 480 hp Cummins diesel engines paired to twin Hamilton 322 jet drives propel the yacht to a 30-knot cruising speed and 34 knots on the pins. With optional twin 550 hp Cummins diesels, cruise and top-end speeds jump to 35 and 38 knots, respectively.

There is an L-shaped settee with a table and a wet bar on the main deck to port. The helm station is forward and to starboard with a benchseat for two. There is also a companion seat across from the helm. Belowdecks, there is 6-foot-2-inch headroom, and the dinette table drops to form a California-king berth for overnights and weekending.


Full review: Picnic Boat 40

aquila 36
The Aquila 36 is the first vessel in the builder’s series with outboard power. Aquila Boats

Aquila 36

Aquila Power Catamarans started its line with 44- and 48-footers, and now the builder’s Aquila 36 takes the line into the midsize market.

The 36 features a single, main-living area from bow to stern, helped in part by the vessel’s 14-foot, 7-inch beam. The boat can comfortably seat up to 20 guests for fun on the salt. Several Mercury Verado engine options are available for the Aquila 36, including twin 250-, 300- and 350-hp four-strokes. With the 350s, the Aquila has a top-end speed of 37 knots.


Other notable features include a fiberglass hardtop, a dinette, a cooktop, a fridge, a sink and a smokeless grill. Belowdecks, there are two staterooms with nearly queen-size berths, en suite heads and 6-foot-6-inch headroom in each.

Full review: Aquila 36

MJM 43z
The MJM 43z can sit in just 2 feet of water, which makes her a good choice for Bahamas-style cruising. MJM Yachts

MJM 43z

MJM Yachts says its customers wanted a 40-foot-plus, outboard-powered express cruiser, and the builder answered with its MJM 43z.


With triple 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards, the 43z reaches a top speed of nearly 43 knots. The vessel comes with Lectrotab electric trim tabs, a Fusion entertainment system, a VacuFlush toilet, an Indel Webasto freezer and a memory-foam mattress. The 43z has a single stateroom with 6-foot-6-inch headroom. The salon table and lounges convert to a double berth for guests.

Full review: MJM 43z

Back Cove 32
Top-end speed for the Back Cove 32 on test day was 25.2 knots. Billy Black

Back Cove 32

The Back Cove 32 runs on a single 375 hp Cummins QSB diesel (optional) or a 370 hp Volvo Penta D6 (standard). With the Cummins, the 32 can hit a top speed of 25-plus knots. Helmsmen will be welcomed by a Stazo wood-grain steering wheel and a Stidd helm seat situated to the starboard side.

Belowdecks is an American cherry-clad cabin with a queen-size berth and separate head and shower in this Back Cove Yachts vessel.

Full review: Back Cove 32

Reliant Yachts X40 Express
Note the X40’s sturdy portside steps, which should make boarding in rocky conditions much safer. Courtesy Reliant Yachts

X40 Express

Dubbed the “modern interpretation of an express cruiser” by Reliant Yachts, the X40 Express has an axe bow, straight-edge sheerline, diesel power and could serve well as either a pocket cruiser or a mega-yacht tender. Powered with a pair of 480 hp Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels matched to Konrad 660B sterndrives, the X40 Express has a top hop of 43 knots.

Belowdecks are a separated shower and toilet, as well as a berth for overnight stays.

Full review: X40 Express

Ocean Alexander's 45 Divergence
The Ocean Alexander 45 Divergence can be rigged for diving and fishing. Courtesy Ocean Alexander Yachts

45 Divergence

Ocean Alexander Yachts‘ 45 Divergence takes the motoryacht and mega-yacht builder into the dayboat market.

The 45 is fitted with foldout balconies in the cockpit to port and starboard, expanding the boat’s beam from 13 feet, 9 inches to 19 feet, 1 inch. Ultimately, the 45 can comfortably seat eight guests: three on the fold-down transom seat, three more aft-facing seats across and two additional loose seats.

The 45 is powered with quad 350 hp Verado outboards. Top speed? Just north of 41 knots. Cruise speed is 28 knots. The helm console is equipped with three bolster-style Llebroc seats, Mercury controls, an Edson ComfortGrip Power Wheel and a five-inch Mercury VesselView display.

Aft of the helm is a two-burner Kenyon electric cooktop, a U-line undercounter drawer with a refrigerator and a sink and a drop-down, fiberglass lid. Belowdecks is U-shape seating with a high-low table. By dropping the table and adding a filler cushion, the table converts to a queen-size berth. The 45 also has a head with a shower stall, a wet bar with a GE microwave, an Isotherm refrigerator and a sink.

Full review: 45 Divergence

Hinckley Sport Boat 40C
Hinckley’s 40C is designed for ease of use while retaining a luxury pedigree. Courtesy Hinckley Yachts

Hinckley Sport Boat 40C

Hinckley Yachts, long known for its jet-propelled Picnic Boats, has entered the center-console game with the performance-focused Sport Boat 40C.

With standard triple 400 hp Mercury Verado 400R outboards, the 40C can make 47 knots at wide-open throttle. Optional 627 hp Seven Marine twin outboards amp up that top hop to 54 knots. With its 450-gallon fuel tank, the 40C can travel up to 345 nautical miles at 25 knots.

Belowdecks is an air-conditioned cabin with 6-foot-6-inch headroom and U-shape seating that converts to a queen berth. There is a head with a shower to starboard. The galley has a single-burner Kenyon electric cooktop, an Isotherm refrigerator, a microwave and a cappuccino machine.

Full review: Sport Boat 40C

cranchi e26
The Cranchi E26 Classic day cruiser can run on a Volvo Penta D4 diesel engine, a V6 Petrol or a V8 Petrol. ChristianGrande Design Works

E26 Classic

In the E26 Classic, Cranchi Yachts has married a vintage look with a modern, sporty aesthetic. Yacht designer Christian Grande, who has worked with Sacs Marine, Sanlorenzo Yachts and Invictus Yachts, helped develop E26’s style.

The teak foredeck highlights an undertone of classic wooden ships, juxtaposed with a sleek, wraparound windshield that can open for foredeck access. The furniture is a vibrantly colored red, adding to the vessel’s sporty aesthetic. Captain and companion seats swivel and face guests seated on an L-shaped settee aft. To port is a foldable table, and there is also a foldaway Bimini top.

Belowdecks is a forepeak stateroom with a half head, a sunroof and side windows allowing natural light to brighten the space.

Full review: E26 Classic

greenline neo
For those who cruise in cooler climes, the Neo comes in a hardtop version. Greenline Yachts


Comfort and relaxation are the essence of the solar-powered, 36-foot Neo from Greenline Yachts. Standard twin electric Torqeedo outboards give the Neo a top speed of 16 nots. However, optional twin 300 hp Mercury engines can boost that maximum speed to 45 knots. A range extender allows the boat to travel for 180 nautical miles at about 5 knots.

The Neo, designed with input from J&J Design, accommodates up to 14 guests. The main deck has a lounge with a table or a sunpad at the bow and a wet bar in the cockpit. Belowdecks, a cabin with a head and a U-shape settee await. There is also a hydraulic swim platform that has high, middle and low positions.

This pocket cruiser is available in open, hardtop and coupe versions.

Full review: Neo

cockwells titian tender
Cockwells developed the Titian Tender from a concept by RWD. Her interior is by Cullum Bespoke. Cockwells

Titian Tender

Despite the Titian Tender’s elegant joinery, she’s about more than just style. With twin 370 hp Yanmar 8LVs, one of Cockwells‘ latest models can reach a top speed of 38 knots while comfortably cruising with eight passengers, not including helm and companion seating.

The helm is equipped with Raymarine electronics and a doublewide helm seat. Directly adjacent is seating for two more. The Titian Tender also comes with an electric Bimini top.

Upon entering the air-conditioned cabin, passengers will see a U-shaped settee, a separate compartment for a toilet, a sink, a single electric stovetop and stowage.

Full review: Titian Tender

Boston Whaler 350 Realm
The 350 Realm’s deep-V hull form originated in Boston Whaler’s Outrage models. Boston Whaler

350 Realm

From fishing and entertaining guests to diving and overnight cruising, Boston Whaler‘s 350 Realm is a multitasker. And it’s fast, too. It’s powered with either triple 300 hp or triple 350 hp Mercury Verados. The 350 Realm can reach a top speed of 46 knots.

At the helm, two Raymarine displays provide vital navigation data. The captain can take in the displays’ view from a doublewide helm seat. There’s a flip-down platform for standing when needed and a footrest when desired.

There is a V-shaped berth that converts into a double berth with a filler cushion. The separated head has a VacuFlush MSD and a hot-and-cold shower. Owners also have the option to add a microwave and a flat-screen TV.

Full review: 350 Realm

MJM 35z
The MJM 35z has a flush-deck layout, which helps make getting around the boat much easier, particularly if you encounter some rough weather. Courtesy MJM

MJM 35z

The MJM 35z can reach a top speed of 44 knots and a cruising speed of 33 knots on its optional 350 hp Mercury Verado outboards; twin 300 hp outboards are standard on this MJM Yachts vessel. Additionally, the 35z can travel up to 304 nautical miles on its 250-gallon fuel tank.

The 35z has a flush-deck layout and to port is space for an electric grill, a baitwell, a sink, an ice maker and a fridge. There are two Stidd helm seats—one for the helmsman and the other for a copilot—that rotate to face the rest of the seating aft. In the cabin is V-shaped seating forward that can be converted to a berth.

Owners also have the option of adding a Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer and a full-length Bimini top to shade the cockpit.

Full review: MJM 35z

Greenline 39
The Greenline 39 has sturdy-looking lines as well as a European feel to her exterior. Courtesy Greenline

Greenline 39

Greenline Yachts‘ vessels are aptly named for their environmentally friendly means of moving about; the Greenline 39 is no different. The Slovenian yacht manufacturer produces two types of this model: hybrid and solar.

If owners opt for the latter, the 39’s four solar panels atop the salon power all of the vessel’s systems for three hours. With the power of the sun, the 39 can achieve a max speed of 6.5 knots and a cruising speed of 4 knots. The hybrid type uses those same panels to help power a 220 hp Volvo Penta D3 with a Mahle electric-drive system. Owners have the option of replacing the standard engine with a 370 hp Yanmar 8LV diesel.

Belowdecks, scissor berths provide accommodations for long weekends.

Full review: Greenline 39


More Yachts