FIRSTLY, it is important to make mention that there is no old Mustang 32 in the new Mustang 32SC. Everything from the keel up is different. With the demise of the Genesis 3100/3200 series a few years ago, Kiwis and Aussies lost an iconic brand that was unquestionably the stepping stone from a big trailer boat to the lower end of the launch/cruiser market. While there have been some replacements offered, I have never felt anything has even come close. That was until I took a proper look at the Maritimo inspired Mustang 32. When Maritimo brought all the rights for Mustang, the first thing the company did was scrap all the moulds. A bold move after such a high-dollar acquisition, but according to company sources it was more about securing the brand. However, two model designation were retained; the Mustang 32 and the Mustang 43, albeit both now based on two brand new hulls. According to Greg Haines, Marketing Manager for Maritimo, while the 32 had long been the most popular of all Mustang models, it was in need of a revamp.“Redesigning the hull was the first priority as we felt it could do with some extra beam to increase the at-rest stability and we also altered the running surfaces to make it an even better handling boat in all sea states,” says Greg.
In contrast to previous Mustang 32s, the new model is only available in a full sedan style, with no open cockpit with bimini and clears. This makes it a somewhat unique package in this size range and puts the 32SC into a class of its own, as there are no similar offerings from any production builders in Australia or New Zealand. While U.S. brands do offer boats that you could say fit into the same category, it’s the layout and sedan styling that to me makes it so different. The Mustang 32SC cockpit layout is very much designed with the local market in mind. A well-defined use of space that is both functional and practical. One level, galley up, plenty of headroom, a twin helm seat and wrap-around seating that all works well. Not too much bling! This new design builds on the true traditions of Mustang, combined with the leading edge technologies and build qualities of Maritimo. If you are into your fishing, then that’s going to be confined to the full-width boarding platform. If there is a criticism of the Mustang 32 it is that the boarding platform, which due to an externally moulded bench seat, (storage for the gas bottle, fishing tackle and hand held shower) makes it a little on the small side. A bolt-on custom extension would be a good addition.
In Australia the Mustang 32 was arguably the most popular boat of its size and style, and while sales have been somewhat down since those boom days prior to the GFC, they have been steady for the new owners. Maritimo has build around 30 Mustang 32SCs since the first was released in 2011. “We have not really been pushing the Mustang brand as hard as maybe we should have in recent years, but right now we are seeing a real growth, in not just interest, but sales of the Mustang 32SC, so plans are to ramp up production from the Coomera factory”, adds Greg.
STILL VERY MUSTANG
From first glimpse the lines of the 32SC are very much Mustang, but gone is the heinous ‘bubble’ design that so typified and indeed characterised the earlier Mustang sports cruiser cabin tops in favour of a very balanced design, with cabin top and hull topsides in complete unison. Stepping aboard the 32SC it’s very evident that the boat is built with a distinctly higher level of specification. From the non-skid durable gelcoat on the boarding platform through the ‘poly’ transom gate into the living spaces of the cockpit and saloon, the 32SC imparts an aura of quality.
A teak floor, an elevated folding solid teak table complete with integral drink holders, generous storage in two drawers under the lounge, two more at the back of the helm seating and in deep cupboards across the starboard side (all presented in gloss teak), and a French-stitched L-shaped lounge – all justifiably elevated this boat into the ‘cruiser’ class. For your electronic entertainment, the Mustang 32SC comes with a Samsung TV and Fusion sound system, with strategically placed speakers both inside and out. The cabin overhang covers some of this aft area, and there is an optional camper pack with soft canopy extension and clears. Moving further forward, to port side is the galley module against the wall and front bulkhead, which features a sink with hot and cold water, a two-burner stove (gas or electric), a decent-sized storage cupboard and a 120-litre Waeco refrigerator. With the ‘Star-board’ covers in place over the sink and stove, it transforms nicely into a servery. Opposite the galley and leaving plenty of room for access to the accommodation area, is the generous-sized two-person sliding helm seat behind a large dash, ready to accept plenty of electronics. The French-stitched seats again portray the extra attention to finish and quality that Maritimo are now putting into the Mustang 32SC.
The helm position is excellent with great visibility all round, comfortable seated or standing driving positions and easy access to all the controls. Close to hand is the Volvo Penta autopilot control and in the centre a Lowrance HDS10 MFD, flanked by controls for the Fusion stereo, Lenco trim tabs and trim. The three-piece front screen has no mullions to distract your vision forward and triple wipers keep the screen clear. Overhead is a manually operated Webasto sunroof that slides open or shut very easily! The owner of our test boat went for a lot of extras, including a full air con system and 5kVa Onan generator.
A REAL FAMILY BOAT
It’s a couple of steps down into the large forward accommodation area where there are berths for four. From above you can clearly see the ‘master’ accommodation in the bow, but what isn’t immediately obvious, is the second cabin and the bathroom opposite, both of which were concealed behind closed doors. Yep, good privacy there, for everyone! The master cabin features an island berth that while slightly smaller at the foot of the bed for strategic reasons (climbing up the steps each side, and into bed) opened out to a near queen-sized berth where it mattered most. Maritimo have made great use of the available space and done well to fit a berth of this dimension into this for’ard cabin; then to follow it up with a Pullman-style twin-berth cabin to starboard and opposite this a bathroom with head, vanity and shower.
The forward cabin is complete with twin hanging lockers, good storage provision, generous headroom, carpet on the floor and nice lashings of wood and upholstery. A bi- fold door provides some privacy. There is no gelcoat visible in either cabin, with gloss teak used throughout all interior joinery. Overhead and porthole ‘opening’ hatches and comfortable deep-padded berths – all enhanced the light, comfort and ambience of this accommodation level.
SINGLE OR TWIN POWER
The Mustang 32SC has until now only been sold as a single sterndrive engine package by Maritimo, with the main engine choices today, being the 380hp D6 Volvo Penta diesel, a 370hp, 4.2 litre Mercruiser VW TDI diesel or an 8.1 litre 430hp MerCruiser Magnum petrol engine. That has now been added to with the release of the first twin, a pair of Volvo Penta D3 170hp 4 cylinder diesel engines complete with Joystick controls that runs each leg independently, just like the Volvo Penta IPS. It also comes with the Volvo Penta autopilot which means you can steer with the joystick or the regular wheel. My preference is definitely the wheel! You have the option also of twin 5 litre Mercruiser petrol engines.
Interestingly the most popular engine package has been the single Mercruiser petrol, which is also the lowest cost package available. You can have the Mustang 32SC on the water for around $AU235,000 with a single 8.1 litre Mercruiser and Bravo 3 drive or our boat as tested with twin engines, generator, electronics, etc, etc for $AU325,000. One of the cool features about the 32SC is the engine room access, which is by way of a virtual floating floor that opens to provide huge access to the engine and peripherals. The fact this whole floor assembly lifts on a worm drive actuator from the starboard side in an athwartships rather than fore and aft direction, means you do not have to shift lounges, cockpit table or whatever. Adjacent to the galley, a hatch in the teak floor opens to a huge machinery room, wet storage or food storage area (take your pick), which houses the battery bank, battery charger, battery switches, breaker panels, a DC main breaker, the shore power plug and cord and access to the water and wastewater tankage.
POWER UNDER THE BONNET
When Barry Tyler first ran the Mustang 32SC back in 2011, powered by a 380hp MerCruiser 8.2 Magnum petrol engine, he remarked how he was impressed with the responsiveness of the hull and the fact it felt solid, predictable, fleet- footed and even in an aggressive turn at the fast cruise speed of 26 knots a delight to drive. “It handled the angry chop in its stride, which was a pleasant surprise considering it’s fine entry”, said Barry.
Maritimo have had the opportunity to test the Mustang 32SC with a wide variety of single engine packages both petrol and diesel; Mercruiser 265 TDI (30 knots), Volvo Penta 300DP (32 knots), Mercruiser 8.1 litre (37 knots), Volvo Penta 380DP (37 knots), Volvo Penta D6/330 (37.5 knots) and the Mercruiser QSD4.2 (37.8 knots). The twin engine Volvo Penta D3/170 recording 35.5 knots top speed.
It’s a sports orientated hull that delivers throughout the range, with an easy transition onto the plane and if you punch the throttles down is very responsive. On the flat water inside The Broadwater, it was like driving a smaller runabout but had all the protection and comfort of a big hardtop sedan.
The Mustang 32SC is a boat with a sensible balance and trade-off all the way through, from design to engine power, performance and handling, features and creature comforts, and presentation in the areas of upholstery and woodwork in particular. It was a fun boat to be aboard and the ideal step- up for those moving away from trailer boating into something larger. It’s a boat that will also appeal to the family buyer or the retired couple stepping back from a larger cruiser or yacht, but still looking for a comfortable weekend cruiser, that is easy to handle and cost efficient to run.