We tested Oryx 379: it’s made for expert boaters, and we like her

Gulf Craft is a consolidated group in the United Arab Emirates, with big facilities and four brands. This Oryx 379 is 11 meter long and we had her for a sea trial. As a matter of fact, she didn’t disappoint at all.

Do we like her? Yes, indeed

The first thing that catches my attention while approaching Oryx 379 is the look. And the reason is that … it doesn’t catch my attention. It is a contemporary, captivating boat that surely looks elegant in every marina and in every bay. But it does not stand out precisely because it aligns with the best that we are used to seeing. It wasn’t what I would have expected from a manufacturer that is making their debut on the Italian and European market right now, although part of the largest company in the Middle East.

This time the UAE Gulf Craft group, of which the Oryx brand is part, has designed and built a model with the needs of the most experienced boaters in mind, those who are not lured by a low price that implies mediocre quality.

And when I step onboard the feeling remains: the design of the furnishings is elegant, the details are well made. I’m not convinced by the latches that close some hatches, made in plastic, because in the long run they can break earlier than the stainless steel ones. And the mock teak (in this case from the Dutch company Esthec) is well made and pleasant to the touch, but not equivalent to real wood.

There is a layout that boaters with family will prefere: it includes a separate cabin in the bow, the heads next to the galley and a C-shaped dinette on the starboard side

The real teak is in table of the L-shaped dinette, complemented by a piece of furniture with the usual equipment (standard grill, optional fridge) and a large cooler fridge, with light, under the driver’s seats. The seats themselves can rotate backwards to complete the livability of the area. Which is partially protected by the T-top, but still gets the sunlight through three fixed glass panels.

The mentioned dinette is not transformable into a sun bed: there is no need, because the solarium is to aft. Another large one is at the bow, accessible from the two large and safe passageways.

Below deck once again materials and finishes perfectly fit our taste, with dark wood joinery (a hue named Espresso), rounded edges everywhere, and a general sense of comfort and light. Under the cockpit there’s a double bed, with lights and lockers, but of course the headroom is just over half a meter. There is also a full galley (the stove and the microwave are options) and a heads with integrated shower boasting a headroom of almost 190 cm. The V-shaped dinette turns into a double berth thanks to the electric table, but there is a layout that some boaters with family will prefere: it includes a separate cabin in the bow, the heads next to the galley and a C-shaped dinette on the starboard side.
The colors can be customized, choosing among five fabric and two wooden shades.

We suggest you to click on the link to our previous article, because it includes videos of Oryx 379: a comprehensive walk-through and shots in navigation.

The test

The helm station is captivating: the two sporty bucket seats are on Shockwave mounts, while the throttle levers sit on a raised central tunnel that reminds of grand touring cars. It is not a practical solution because in order to move from one seat to the other you have to walk around the back, but the ergonomics is maximum and gives the feeling of having everything in control. I would have preferred the seat to slide backwards a couple more inches, because the levers are a little rearward and when piloting upright there’s not much space behind the steering wheel.

The three Mercury outboards (don’t get confused by the name: they are called XS, but the architecture is four-stroke) provide a total power of 900 hp, even too much, in fact you can choose other twin-engine solutions.

Visibility is excellent when standing, a little less when seated, while the windscreen does not protect much at high speeds. Fortunately we have sunglasses!

From the Emirates to Europe: here’s the new Oryx 379

Fifteen knots of wind and waves up to two meters: the conditions are perfect for a real test. And Oryx 379 does not disappoint us. The plane is reached quickly and with a steady balance, while crossing the waves, really in any direction, does not disturb the trajectory nor causes annoying smashes on the hull, ever. The turning capability is…that of a boat with outboard motors: the more you rotate the wheel, the more the boat turns. She tilts a lot, but the ability to keep the keel in the water is impressive. And we never incurred in any cavitation from the propellers. We did a 360 degree turn at 29 knots, and the centrifugal force almost pushed us overboard, while the 379 kept biting the water like on a rail.

The trims are all down, as the waves and the wind recommend, but this does not affect the performance as you can see below. Under optimal conditions the yard tells us they reached 47 knots.

Oryx 379 ticks all the boxes to comply our demanding taste. Luckily the entrepreneurs Alessio and Riccardo Tumbiolo, for decades successful businessmen in the nautical sector with offices in Dubai and Viareggio, Italy, have noticed. The Oryx and Silvercraft brands, both from Gulf Craft, will be marketed into the Mediterranean sea. Their company Yacht Services International will start from Italy, then…stay tuned.

The numbers of Oryx 379

  • Length overall …………… 12.02 m (39ft 5in)
  • Beam …………… 3.65 m (12 ft)
  • Draft …………… 0.70 m (2ft 3in)
  • Displacement …………… 7.10 t
  • Engines …………… 3x Mercury Pro XS 300 – V8 4.6l
  • Fuel reserve …………… 1136 l (300 US gal)
  • Fresh water reserve …………… 227.13 l (60 US gal)

Performance readings

(the fuel consumption figures are declared by the manufacturer, in optimal conditions)

  • rpm – speed in knots – liters per hour
  • 2200 – 10- N.D.
  • 2500 – 11 – 55
  • 3000 – 16,5 – 63
  • 3500 – 19,9 – 87
  • 4000 – 27,5 – 115
  • 4500 – 33 – 140
  • 5000 – 40 – 186
  • 5440 – 44 – 258

(The shipyard reached 44 knots at 6000 rpm)

Test conditions

Moderate sea, wind 15 kn N, clean hull, fuel 1/3, fresh water 1/4, 4 passengers

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