There are few product ranges more confusing than that of the excellent Marex yard. Based in Norway, its nine-strong fleet comprises a bizarrely divergent cacophony of boats from the Duckie to the Estremo, the Holiday and the Scandinavia – and while a pair of brilliant Aft Cabin Cruisers has leant some semantic cleanliness to the range, the well-established 350 Cabriolet is a craft that eradicates any doubt by offering precisely what its name implies...

See for yourself with this Marex 350 Cabriolet video.

Marex 350 Cabriolet: Retro

Marex 350 Cabriolet: Retro splendour from Marex

This is not a boat designed to please everyone. Instead, it is a 35-foot sports cruiser that aims to offer you the open-air cockpit of a much bigger boat. The helm is therefore positioned well forward, behind a relatively short, stubby, foredeck, while above you, a long canvas section can be retracted up into a housing on the aft radar arch to make the most of the sun.


Marex 350 Cabriolet: Open air cockpit space

Marex 350 Cabriolet: It's all about open air cockpit space.

However, despite the generosity of the upper deck, the use of a slightly bulging foredeck, a sliding door on the main cabin and a curved door on the guest berth means that the space below is remarkably inoffensive. Lovely pale fabrics and decent natural light also pay testament to the experience and the quality of the Marex yard.

Marex 350 Cabriolet: below deck

And yet the cabin might surprise you.

Aesthetically, however this boat is a conundrum. With slightly angular aft lines and long, bold GRP window frames, it’s difficult not to discern an 1980s flavour in the Marex 350. Of course, in Scandinavia, where this boat has been successful for a very long time, an issue as trivial as a styling quirk doesn’t matter half as much as practical ability – but whether we have the same level of decision making maturity in the UK has yet to be seen.


Personally, I still find it difficult to see past Marex’s deliciously elegant ACC models – but then if my priority was open space rather than accommodation, that might well be different. As for the rest of the British public, well however they react to the long overdue arrival of this peculiarly understated boat, it’s a genuine pleasure to see Wessex Marine giving us the chance to enjoy a closer look.

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Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.