Even the flagship designed by Christian Grande lives up to expectations: performant and safe hull, comfortable yet refined superstructure and interiors. All without giving up the style
by Niccolò Volpati
THE WAVES ARE OF THE SORT THAT YOU CAN’T REALLY AVOID. They are nearly a metre high and have been created by the Southwest wind of the previous days. And there is traffic to complicate things. In the Gulf of Cannes, especially when there are events or trade shows, there really are a lot of boats of all sizes that are sailing or manoeuvring.
This means that the Southwest wind adds to bow waves from mega and giga yachts. We are on board the flagship of the yard. It measures nearly eleven and a half metres overall. Just the length to suffer waves nearly a metre high coming side on. They are ideal conditions to test the new 370 GT because when the sea is as flat as a pancake, even beach “paddleboats” move well.
We move away from the coast and from the entrance to Cannes harbour, and open up the throttle. It is electronic, and there is very little delay. Just as planned. The two MerCruiser engines, developing an outlet mechanical power of 272 kW (370 hp) each, are considerable. The sterndrives give a lot of thrust, and the acceleration is better than just good, given that we only need seven seconds to start planing. We keep increasing the revs and the boat continues to perform exceptionally. Up to an engine rotational speed of 3500/min we continue to take the waves badly, in the sense that we don’t worry about them. On the bow, the stern or the beam. We make headway regardless, the V-shaped bow and the angle of the stern do their work.
The boat doesn’t suffer, and – most of all – not all of the impacts are hard blows. There is never any lack of water under the hull. You feel completely safe, and the feeling is one of not losing control. Which is not a small thing, given that we are travelling at around thirty knots and the waves, as we mentioned, are ones that would give problems to a lot of boats of this size. To unleash all the power of the engines, we have to go into the hollow of the wave. We go a little bit further away from the coast, to get a run up. We open the throttle right up and get to at engine rotational speed of 4000/min and then 4100/min. The GPS shows first 40 and then 42.6 knots. That’s a lot.
It is a decidedly sporty performance. Whoever is at the helm has a wide range, because the minimum speed for planing is around fifteen knots. And fuel consumption ranges from 65 l/h overall to 158. In a straight line, everything is really very good indeed. We were a little bit less impressed by the steering. It is incredibly manoeuvrable, and perhaps a bit too much.
That is not the fault of the boat, or even of MerCruiser. You just have to find the right balance. Personally I prefer a slightly less soft wheel, but one that gives me a feeling of confidence when turning. Invictus 370 GT is indeed a sports boat by any standards, one that can produce exhilarating performance. Better to work your biceps and have steering that quickly adjusts to changes in direction without excesses aimed at obtaining exaggerated comfort.
The interiors and deck are by Christian Grande. His style is easily recognisable and very much appreciated. The finishings and material used in the Invictus 370 GT are excellent. I personally liked the juxtaposition of wood, fabric and steel. The bimini top can be folded away, or it can be of a larger type that covers the whole cockpit using detachable carbon fibre poles. There is over two metres’ headroom going below, and above the bunks there is a bit of room because the “ceiling” is 80 centimetres away.
It is also very good to have the option of customising fittings, with two beds that can be joined together or separated. In the former case, it has the size of a super triple bunk, with a width of a full 190 cm. The leather cases which serve as cupboards are one of the details which hit the mark with added style. Finally, there is a version which has the sides of the cockpit that open like a balcony, to get a little bit extra space and comfort when anchored.
Dinette headroom 197 cm • Berth 200×150 cm • Berth to ceiling 73 cm • Underdeck access 56 cm • Walkway at side 45 cm • Linear sofa 160 cm • Cockpit table 140×70 cm • sunbathing area at stern 240×75 cm • L-shaped sofa in the cockpit 235×160 cm • Sunbathing area at bow 260×240 cm • Stern cabin headroom 205 cm (at the entrance) • Berth 190×190 cm (with double bed) • Berth to ceiling 80 cm • Bathroom headroom 191 cm
Project Christian Grande
Hull LOA 11,40m • Maximum beam 3,50m • Mass displacement 6,9 t • Fuel tank volume 900 l • Water tank volume 180 l • Maximum carrying weight 1,250 kg
Main propulsion 2 MerCruiser • Model 4.2 L • Outlet mechanical power 272 kW • Cylinders arrangement and number V8 • Bore&Stroke 83 mm x 85 mm • Total swept volume 4,2 l • Maximal rotational speed range 4200/min • Dry weight 379 kg (only the engine) • Engine + transmission 423 kg
EC Certification Category B 12 people
Price 319,000 €, Excl.VAT (April 2017)
(Invictus 370 GT, trials and test – Barchemagazine.com – April 2017)