Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Meridian Yachts, headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee with production facilities in eastern Florida, is a component of the Sea Ray Group, an operating unit within the Brunswick Boat Group. In its own words, “Meridian Yachts is North America's established market leader among bridge boat manufacturers and one of most popular bridge boat brands in the world.”
For 2013, Meridian offers a total of four yachts, all sedan bridge models from thirty-four through fifty-three feet – from the model 341 subject of this review up to its flagship model 541. In describing its 341, Meridian says, “While many cruising yachts less than 40 feet in length are best-suited to overnight or weekend stays, Meridian's 341 Sedan has redefined the class by providing the comfortable accommodations and extra features you need for extended cruising.”
Let’s step aboard the molded integrated swim platform of the 341 and take a tour. Past the transom storage locker and one step up from this platform on the starboard side and through the molded transom door takes you into the cockpit with its built-in two person upholstered transom seat and room for two portable deck chairs. A curved, molded staircase leads from the port side of the cockpit up to the huge bridge deck with a rear overhang which virtually covers and protects the entire cockpit below.
Seating for seven adults is provided on the bridge with an adjustable single helm chair for the captain on the starboard side conveniently located just about midship along the length of the 341. A double contoured seat is provided opposite the helm seat on the port side and a four person L-shaped lounge seat fills the aft and starboard side of the bridge with molded storage cabinets on both sides.
The wood-grain dash of the main bridge helm features standard DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift) controls for the upgraded standard power this year of twin 8.2L Mercury® MerCruiser 425 horsepower inboard gas engines. Twin 380 QSB Cummins® marine diesels are optional. Also standard is Mercury’s SmartCraft™ instrumentation plus the all-new IVC (Integrated Vessel Control) system which “integrates and simplifies bow and stern thruster operation via an intuitive, boat-shaped helm control.”
Mercury's SmartCraft™ vessel integration technology monitors performance diagnostics and can assist in trip planning for instance by estimating how far a tank of fuel will take you and provides guidance on operating your vessel for efficient fuel use. A fibreglass radar arch is standard on the bridge as are helm and seat covers, a bimini top, plus a closable hatch cover over the staircase leading down to the cockpit. This is a great safety feature.
A sliding glass door with optional stainless steel frame and roll screen leads from the cockpit to the very bright one level salon with 360° outward visibility via the windshield plus the opening side windows plus a second lower level of side windows providing a view outside while seated or standing. Headroom here is 6’5”. Standard Ultra® Leather coverings add a rich texture to both the aft portside two-seater lounge, which is optionally available as a Magic Bed®, and to the aft starboard side Flexsteel™ L-shaped lounge with double incliners. A hi-lo table fits neatly on the carpeted floor between these two lounges.
A custom décor pillow and designer package is standard along with a 19” television and bottle storage cabinet. Central vac, two-zone Ultra-Flow™ Comfort air conditioning, electric heat, and gloss finish natural cherry wood are optional as is a lower helm station. The forward port side galley on the same level features solid cherry construction, natural hardwood flooring, Karadon™ solid-surface countertop, rolling pantry cabinet, microwave, under-counter refrigerator/freezer, and recessed electric cooktop.
Three steps down and forward finds a forward master stateroom with an island pedestal double bed, two hanging lockers, designer fabrics with cherry wood, and a 19” television. The head to starboard provides private access from the master stateroom or from the central companionway and features a separate shower stall, and VacuFlush® head. Aft, under the salon and ahead of the inboard engines is a private guest stateroom with two twin beds with a centre filler cushion to convert this arrangement into a queen.
Additional notable options you may wish to consider for the Meridian 341 include a gas (or diesel) generator, Northstar® or Raymarine® Premium navigation electronics, autopilot, full canvas bridge enclosure, exterior carpet, a cocktail table for the bridge, and a foredeck sunpad.
Let Meridian sum up by stating, “Even before it underwent a recent series of game-changing enhancements, the 341 Sedan was already one of the most popular bridge boats in the world.”
|Length:||35' 10"||10.90 m|
|Beam:||12' 06"||3.80 m|
|Dry weight:||18254 lbs||8280 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||250 US gals||946 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Twin Mercury MerCruiser 8.2L Onboard|