Strong, sturdy and with more customisation than you’d think, the Intercruiser 32 is built to last
“This is not a mass-production boat, it’s a semi-custom build completely handmade at our shipyard in Zwartsluis, so there are very many options,” says Jerry Schuiten.
I’m in Amsterdam, in the cabin of the new Intercruiser 32 with Jerry, the owner of Interboat, manufacturer of the six-strong line of 27-34ft Intercruisers as well as two lines of open boats, the Interboat and Intender ranges. But Jerry is not just talking about the usual choices of curtains, carpets and upholstery. There are two completely different cabin configurations for a start.
You can opt for an open-plan layout with a large offset permanent double berth forward, the head of which forms part of an L-shaped settee to starboard opposite a galley – an ideal layout for a cruising couple.
Or choose the family-friendly version we’re sat in, which puts traditional vee berths in a sectioned-off forepeak, leaving room for a large dinette to port that will convert into a double berth, doubling the sleeping count and moving the well-equipped galley to starboard.
Once you’ve chosen the layout, you can then decide whether to split the forepeak off into a separate cabin with a full-height bulkhead or opt for the airier half-height bulkhead. After that, you need to select your wood (our test boat was in modern whitewashed satin oak, teak and walnut are alternatives), then you can finally get down to choosing those curtain and upholstery fabrics. Whichever you go for, you’ll get the kind of sturdy high-quality build you’d expect from a Dutch boat,
not to mention over 6ft of headroom.
Head up into the cockpit and those choices keep on coming. Interboat offers two completely separate cockpit layouts. The Lounge layout is a classic Dutch sloop-style setup: the helm is aft, the wheel, throttle and instrumentation fitted to a central free-standing column a little like a yacht, the helmsman sitting with his back to the transom. It’s a fabulously social layout that lends itself perfectly to meandering through the Dutch waterways or down the River Thames because it puts the guests around and in front of the driver rather than staring at his back as conventional cockpits do.
However, if convention is your middle name, the Comfort layout puts the helm at the front of the cockpit on the starboard side with a similar seat on the port side for the navigator, leaving the aft section for deep comfortable bench seating around a folding table.
Less social it might be, but it does offer more protection from the deep windscreen with its triple pantograph wipers.
The Comfort cockpit setup is a layout you’re more likely to choose if you’re heading out to sea, something the Category B offshore hull (available in three shades of white or a very dark blue, all contrasted by two colour choices of rope fendering or
a less attractive but more practical D-section fender) is perfectly capable of accommodating. And if that’s your bag, you’re also likely to eschew the base Vetus 65hp diesel with its river- friendly 7-knot top end, and probably pass on the mid-range Volvo Penta D3-110 110hp diesel fitted to our test boat, which ups the ante to 10 knots.
The Intercruiser 32’s largest option of a D3-220 is where it’s at offshore. Shaftdrive and a semi-displacement hull mean that you’ll still not achieve the speed or turn rate of a fast planing hull, but the 20-knot top end will give a comfortable mid-teen cruise and the kind of steady slam-free ride associated with semi- displacement underwater sections. The downside of a single-shaftdrive setup is inevitably tricky low-speed manoeuvring, largely negated in this instance by the standard fit 75kgf bow thruster.
At a price of almost £200,000 as tested (depending on exchange rates) with the mid-range engine, the new Intercruiser 32 is not cheap. Neither is it fast, or particularly flash. It is however, a beautifully wrought hand-built semi-custom cruiser that you can specify precisely to your needs that feels like it will last forever (a facet backed up by a standard ten- year hull warranty). Sometimes you really do get what you pay for. ￼
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