Caribbean 35 Mk III

By: David Lockwood, Photography by: Ellen Dewar

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International Marine has taken the tried-and-tested Caribbean 35 and made it better, especially with the new and improved flybridge

Caribbean 35 Mk III
Caribbean 35 Mk III
  • Large cockpit with improved mouldings
  • Remodeled flybridge with greater room
  • Engine access is straightforward for pre-departure checks
  • Autopilot can take control at 20kts
  • Huge storage under-floor
  • Efficient and seaworthy hull

The new Caribbean 35 Mark III boasts a smarter fit and finish, a redesigned flying bridge with extra room, new cockpit layout, more modern mouldings and furniture, and better mod-cons.

A pair of 330hp 5.9L Cummins QSB common rail engines power the Caribbean 35 to a top speed of about 30kts. At 20kts the boat takes care of itself – press the autopilot and let the well-balanced hull reel in the sea miles. It’s also a pleasantly dry boat underway.

Engine access is via a floor hatch in the saloon and there are adjoining hatches forward. The engine coolant bottles are where you can see them, the fuel filters hang off the rear bulkhead along with the battery charger and electronic engine boxes, and there were upgraded dripless shaft seals.

In a matter of about 15 minutes you can have the furniture and floor out for serious servicing, better access to the rocker covers, and unfettered room around all sides of the engines. The 405L allow water tank is forward to port, offsetting the weight of the generator to starboard, which might necessitate an application of trim tab when the former is empty. They, however, are optional.

Fuel is carried back aft in a GRP tank, with access to the steering gear, and an underfloor storage hold has space for deck chairs and crayfish pots, an outboard engine, a rollup tender, an extra portable icebox, bait and berley.

Cockpit design

The 35 Mk III pictured here has a carpet-lined cockpit that saves around $14,000 on the teak option. However, there’s no change to the 9.3m² cockpit space. The swim platform isn’t the deepest but big enough to sit on and you get a hot-cold shower nearby.

No longer a split arrangement, MK III has the flybridge ladder to starboard and a portside combo unit with huge icebox (eutectic optional), sink and storage.

As well as the new extended flybridge, there are recessed LED lights, a centre spotlight, stainless steel latches on the sidepockets, and split livebait/deadbait bins in the transom that double as additional iceboxes or fridges.

Bridging the gap

There’s a larger and smarter moulded hardtop, and the flybridge moulding itself is now a one-piece unit, creating greater floor space and more room around the back of the seats.

Surrounded by optional factory-supplied Seaflex clears, the flybridge now features a hatch over its ladder. It prevents kids or crew falling through while underway, reduces running noise, and increases dash real estate for mounting large-screen sounders and plotters.

This Mk III had twin Raymarine C80s, twin Vessel-View engine-monitoring panels for the Cummins, the latest stop-start combo ignition buttons with separate emergency stop, electronic shifts, Clarion stereo remote, with the VHF mounted in an overhead radio box.

Interior lift

With a reworked single saloon door, there’s more room for the solidly fixed dinette at the portside U-shaped lounge. You can comfortably seat four here and a few more with loose chairs pulled up.

Thanks to LEDs, the 35 now draws 2.2 amps with lights blazing compared with 18.4 amps in the former guise. The practical stuff remains: opening windows for cross-flow ventilation; a starboard lounge that converts to a Pullman berth and three-quarter double below; storage in drawers and a cabinet with flatscreen television atop; as well as simple 12/24V switch panel, Clarion stereo and Onan start/stop.

The U-shaped portside galley remains unchanged. Amenities run the gamut from Panasonic microwave and Blanco two-burner hob with potholders to a useful number of 240V outlets of GPOs, Granicoat servery, pot and appliance cupboard, and more.

There is a two-cabin, one-bathroom accommodation plan. The portside cabin contains bunks adequate for adults and perfect for kids. The owner’s stateroom in the bow has an offset double bed and a big drawer among its storage solutions.

The starboardside features a big separate shower stall, touch-operated LEDs overhead lights, and electric Jabsco loo. With 405L of water, you have a boat that a family can live aboard for up to a week, which serious crews can campaign in tournaments, and which above all is tried and tested.

Run down

With a typical load of three-quarter fuels and full water, though no provisions or gear, the Caribbean 35 Mk III held a smooth cruise at 2000rpm of 18 to 19kts across the lumpy 1.5m sea and swell. Consumption was about 71L in total on the VesselViews, equating to a safe working range of 320nm from 90 percent of the 1350L supply. At 2200rpm, the turbos sound more active and you get 21.5kts for about 80L/h and a 330nm range.

High-speed cruise was clocked at 2420rpm and 25kts for 91L/h and a 335nm range. In other words, the boat covers the same distance anywhere from 19 to 25kts, so the sea state rather than the engines will dictate how fast you should go. That said, top speed of 29 to 30kts is on par with market expectations for a flybridge cruiser, though it’s more like 28kts by the time you put all the gear aboard. Offshore, the 35 hull proved efficient and seaworthy in the confused seas.

Final report

The Caribbean 35 has that time-proven quality and buyers know they are getting sweet performance and very good resale value. For serious fishers, the big cockpit and manoeuvrability count for plenty, too. However, the 35 is increasingly attracting families who covet living space, comforts and a high-quality finish.

See Caribbean boats for sale.


Engine make/model Cummins QSB330
Type Fully electronic common rail six-cylinder diesel with turbocharging and aftercooling
Rated hp 330 at 2800rpm
Displacement 5.9L
Weight 612kg
Props Four-blade aluminium/bronze
Material Hand-laid fibreglass
Type Monohull
Length overall 10.67m plus swimplatform
Beam 4.03m
Draft 0.09m
Height 3.5m (above waterline)
Weight 8500kg diesel (dry)
Berths 4 + 3
Fuel 1350L
Water 405L

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