The Cranchi Z35 is a sportscruiser in the traditional sense with an open, sun-soaked cockpit, twin diesels and two generous cabins. Jack Haines finds out of it has the talent to the topple its rivals
The Cranchi Z35 is the type of boat that the Italian yard is good at. While it expands the brand to incorporate 65ft flybridges and a range of trawler yachts, mid-range sportscruisers are at Cranchi’s core and where it shines.
What we have here is a good looking, open sportscruiser with a pair of 260hp Volvo Penta D4s and two spacious cabins.
They are a rare breed and, currently, there are no plans to make a hardtop version, which puts it in white rhino territory.
Cranchi didn’t want to mess with the formula too much, the previous Zaffiro 34 sold 150 a year for ten years so there’s not much that needs fixing.
The most obvious change is the styling, which adds large strips of black detailing down each topside with inset glazing and portholes.
Cranchi isn’t a yard to shy away from striking design cues and this particular one gives the Z35 an unmistakable profile out on the water.
Though there is only the twin D4 260hp engine option they are so well suited to the boat I can’t see anyone complaining about a lack of choice.
We topped out at 34 knots on test and twin sterndrives deliver handling that is quick and engaging whilst remaining sure footed.
It’s not all rosy from the helm, though, as the bright GRP moulding makes for a lot of glare in bright sunlight and the padding on the bolster cushion is so thin it’s very uncomfortable to flip up the base and lean for any length of time.
Despite its open cockpit arrangement and obvious Mediterranean aspirations the accommodation on board the Z35 is very impressive.
The cabins themselves are well proportioned, endowed with generous storage and spacious enough to host adults for a week so.
The quality of the timber is top notch, the galley is loaded with fiddled storage solutions, lockers and cupboards are lined in smooth GRP and all the doors clunk shut with a cultured thud onto rubber, anti-rattle strips.
It’s the same on deck where there are triple fender baskets built into the railings on either side of the foredeck, speakers on the coachroof and Cranchi’s usual – and useful – trick of installing a hose reel and the various attachments neatly within the transom gate. Small details but ones that often go amiss on boats in this section of the market.
Sadly the practical nature of the Z35 takes a bit of a dive when it comes to engineroom access, which can be generously described as tight.
A small hatch in the deck allows just enough space to drop down in front of the engines but you can forget about getting over or around them. For major repairs, the whole deck will have to come up.
If you can come to terms with this, though, the Z35 is a brilliant overall package for someone who does their boating in a place with nigh-on guaranteed sunshine.
More information on the Cranchi website.
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The Z35 is Cranchi doing what Cranchi does best: mid-range sportscruisers. It's not perfect and it's a fair weather boat, that's for certain, but if you want something with a dash more style and a better finish than most mainstream rivals then the Z35 delivers in spades.