True North 34 Outboard Express
Pearson Yachts relaunched its powerboat line in 2001 with the on-mission True North 38. The line grew to a include a 33- and 34-footer. Fourteen years later, and under the new ownership of USWatercraft LLC, the once popular True North 34 has been reborn as a 36-plus-knot flyer thanks to modern outboard technology.
The new Outboard Express follows the original True North back-to-basics formula inspired by New England’s lobster boats. The open-back design creates an expansive living area on one level. An L-shaped settee that seats up to four is to port facing a triangular, wooden table. To starboard a small galley has all the basics—sink, one-burner cooktop, and refrigerator. Forward of the galley, the helm features an artfully designed dash that pivots forward for access to the boat’s electronics. To port, the copilot seat flips aft to increase interior seating. Two steps below, the bright and airy stateroom has a V-berth, hanging locker, and head with shower. Below the main cabin sole where the diesel engine used to be is a stowage area and optional generator. This is a cheery, well-built interior that is elegant in its simplicity and a breeze to keep clean. The spacious cockpit has built-in seating and a handy locker under its sole. A number of options are available to fit the needs of cruisers, fishermen, or scuba enthusiasts.
USWatercraft employs an experienced crew that has been utilizing high-tech construction methods for more than 30 years. Today it builds the True North, Alerion, C&C, and North Rip brands and is also the licensed builder of several J/Boat and Farr designs. Utilizing the SCRIMP process, True North hulls are lighter and stronger than conventionally laid-up hulls. This resin-transfer system uses a vacuum to pull resin through the dry fabric, eliminating voids and reducing the amount of resin, thus reducing weight. A balsa core is used in the hull, deck, and some of the interior components. To prevent water penetration, it is totally saturated with resin, and areas where deck hardware or through-hulls are fitted, a high-density polyurethane material is used. To reduce maintenance there is no exterior wood trim, unless requested. While there is enough interior teak trim to satisfy the traditionalist, the generous use of composite materials is not only attractive, but resistant to wear and tear. Active families will appreciate this boat for what it has, and also for what it doesn’t have.
When underway the boat is especially quiet and vibration free thanks to the 4-strokes hanging off the transom. Considering there is no solid bulkhead separating the main saloon from the cockpit, sound levels at the helm are low. Equally important, there is no rumbling diesel engine under the cabin sole or shaft running under the cockpit to create noise or vibration. The test boat incorporated the Yamaha Joystick Controller to help maneuver in tight quarters. Her hull form has proven itself to be an impressive performer in especially rough conditions, often being able to proceed in steep head seas when others run for cover. With the F250s, the comfortable spot for cruising is in the 3500- to 4000-rpm range delivering speeds of 20 to 24 knots. At these speeds, fuel burn is almost identical to that of the 370-horsepower diesel version. While 30 knots or higher is possible with the outboards, fuel efficiency suffers. On occasion, however, it’s nice to know this boat can really get up and go.
True North Yachts, 401-247-3000; www.tnyachts.com
: 11,250 lb.
: 300 gal.
: 85 gal.
: 2/250-hp Yamaha F250 outboards
: 4.2-kW diesel (with 10 gal. fuel tank)
*Range based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity.