Trojan’s 10 Meter Express has ‘the look’
"Euro-style" or "Med-style" — call it what you will. But peruse any harbor, and you’ll see plenty of examples of the look."
Low, sleek and powerful, the Euro-style boat is as different from the traditional boxy power cruiser as Hillary Clinton is from Rush Limbaugh.
It was Trojan Yachts, formerly of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that first brought the look to this country. When Trojan’s 10 Meter International Series Express made its debut in 1981, it launched a new kind of family cruiser that’s since been embraced by most American boat builders, from Bayliner to Tiara.
Besides giving the boat a sexy profile, the bold styling of Trojan’s 10 Meter has several functional advantages over the usual flying bridge sedan cruiser of the day. The huge cockpit beneath the radar arch is the perfect place for sunning or partying.
And because the helm is in the cockpit — not high above on the bridge — the skipper isn’t removed from any socializing in the cockpit. Nor does the skipper have to sprint up and down steps to handle lines, which makes dockside maneuvers much easier.
The Trojan 10 Meter’s avant-garde look doesn’t stop there. Belowdecks, the cabin is filled with modernistic curved surfaces and lush decor. On the earliest 10 Meters, the curved bulkhead door leading to the forward stateroom was even electrically operated, like something from the starship Enterprise.
But once again, there is function in the form. Instead of unusable voids made by the sharp corners of square bulkheads, the 10 Meter’s curved panels make for a more spacious and comfortable interior. We didn’t want people to get beat up by the corner of a table," said Harry Schoell, the 10 Meter’s designer.
The boat’s visual appeal alone might have made it a marketplace hit. But Schoell also came up with an innovative hull to go along with the 10 Meter’s innovative lines topside.
Schoell’s patented DeltaConic hull design has 18 inch wide horizontal chines that run from bow to stern on either side. In between the chines, the modified-V hull is deep at the bow and flatter toward the stern.
It all works remarkably well. The 10 Meter’s wide body, combined with the wide chines, provides a remarkably stable and dry ride. Steering response isn’t especially quick, but the boat feels solid and secure when those wide chines lock in for a turn.
With its standard twin 350 Crusader gasoline engines, the 10 Meter has a decent turn of speed — though the boat isn’t as fast as it looks to some people. The top speed is in the mid-30 mph range, and cruising speed is around 25 to 28 mph.
At cruising speed, the pair of Crusaders will burn about 20 gallons an hour combined. Diesels were an option, though never a popular one.
The original 10 Meter Express was eventually joined by a more conventional-looking 10 Meter flying bridge sedan (in 1982) and a 10 Meter midcabin design (in 1985). The latter model looks almost identical to the Express on the outside, but has a small sleeping area for two tucked under the helm.
The 10 Meter was not only a success in creating a whole new genre of cruiser in America, but it was a sales success for its builder. Between 1981 and 1989, Trojan sold more than 600 of these boats.
But alas, the company’s fortunes were not all so sweet. After nearly 40 years of boat building, venerable Trojan entered bankruptcy. In 1992, the company’s remains were purchased by Carver Boat Corp.
But happily for the owners — and prospective owners — of Trojan’s 10 Meter Express, these boats are not orphans. Carver has retained a parts supply organization in Lancaster that can provide virtually anything for the 10 Meters (or almost any Trojan built since the late 1960s, for that matter) — from radar arches to grabrails.
By all accounts, the 10 Meter hulls were stoutly constructed. Some boats built during 1985 and 1986 were afflicted with hull blisters, but most of these were permanently repaired under warranty by Trojan — at a cost of about $10,000 a job.
In your search for a 10 Meter Express, keep in mind those acres of exposed cockpit. Though the earliest editions were rather sparsely outfitted, later boats had all manner of upholstered seats, wet bars and the like, which can deteriorate rapidly in the sun.
Moreover, according to surveyor Bunker Hill of Maritime Consultants in Newport Beach, these Trojans’ interior cabinetry and fittings weren’t especially durable. So you may have to perform some cabin refurbishing as well.
A new 10 Meter Express carried a base price of $74,500 in 1981, and the price tag rose to just over $100,000 by the end of its production run. Today, expect to pay between $45,000 and $95,000.