Boats capture the essence of freedom. Sure, a car can take you places, but you're tied to the asphalt or a blazed trail. A boat, on the other hand, is like Doc Brown's version of the future: "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads." Sea Ray's 370 Venture, the brand's top-of-the-line express cruiser, embodies this freedom with style in spades.
The Venture 370 redefines a category of boat known for being sporty and fast-cruising while also flashing more amenities than a cabin cruiser. These are the kind of boats small enough to take out for a few days to explore whatever large body of water entices you, but also the kind that ensures no one will mistake your expedition for "roughing it". Don't forget the Champagne.
The 370 Venture's fiberglass hull clocks in at just over 37 feet, comes in four colors, and has lines that would give any sports car a run for its money. In the topside cockpit, there's a Bentley-worthy dashboard and a steering wheel crafted from beautiful hardwood and steel coupled with a love seat-sized Captain's chair. Port side, there's room to lounge and a table for serving food from the main galley (kitchen to you land lubbers), which sits just back of the Captain's chair. The galley even has an optional grill. The entire topside is plush and excellently executed. Yet all of these features are expected on an express cruiser.
But concealed beneath a sunning area is the key to the 370's best-in-class status: dual Mercury FourStroke Verado engines, each pumping out a beastly 300 horsepower. By innovating the Venture platform and using twin outboard engines rather than the industry standard onboard twin V8s (along with the huge amount of engine room to house them), Sea Ray was able to provide a massive cabin space and expansive rear deck in the cockpit. It pays to think creatively: the Venture's just as quick as its competitors, with more space for any captain's swanky boating lifestyle.
Below deck, the lack of an engine room is readily apparent. There's enough space for a full-beam master stateroom with queen size bed and sofa. Including the master stateroom, the 370 Venture has enough berths (beds) to sleep four adults without cramming them in like submariners. There's even room for a second small galley in the cabin. A wrap-around booth dinette provides seating for six, and, come night time, converts into a large berth for an additional sleeping area. A small bathroom and a 12,000 BTU air conditioner ensure sure things stay civilized.
And the noise levels in that gaping space below deck? Like a floating library. Without twin engines roaring inside the boat, it's the quietest option in its class. With a simple redesign, Sea Ray's left the competition in its wake, packing more into what already amounts to a floating paradise. Since you have so many friends clamoring to get aboard, they'll be happy, too. The more hands on deck, the better, Captain.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.
Motoring Watches Style Technology Sports Outdoors Home Spirits
Jeremy BergerBen Bowers