Rinker 300 Fiesta Vee
There has been no shortage of 30-foot mid-cabin sport cruisers over the last 10 years. Nearly every production boat manufacturer has offered their version of this popular model, although prices and quality of construction vary considerably. Rinker’s 300 Fiesta Vee is a good-looking, well-priced boat which generally offers more standard features than other models of this type.
When it was introduced in 1990, the 300 Fiesta Vee was the queen of the fleet for Rinker who, for more than 40 years, had concentrated on affordably priced family runabouts. The overall length of the 300 Fiesta Vee is actually 33’ 11” including the bow pulpit and swim platform which are integrated into the deck mold. Maximum beam is 10’ 6”, draft is 2’ 10” and displacement is about 10,000 lbs. The beam, draft and displacement figures are normal proportions and accommodations are typical of a 30-footer, which is closer to the actual length of the boat without the appendages.
The 300 Fiesta Vee’s hull is constructed of a solid fiberglass laminate and reinforced by wooden stringers and frames encapsulated in fiberglass. Interior components are formed by fiberglass liners that are bonded in place with structural adhesives. The molded fiberglass composite deck is fit over the hull in shoebox fashion with structural adhesives and stainless steel fasteners at the deck-to-hull joint. Although this method of construction restricts access for inspection and after-market installations, it allows boatbuilders to build larger boats that are affordable.
Unlike some budget-priced boats, Rinker uses all stainless steel deck hardware and through-bolts hardware with stainless steel fasteners. Windshields are safety glass rather than plastic which is less prone to scratch and discolor from sun exposure.
With its integrated swim platform and bow pulpit, the deck of the 300 Fiesta Vee has the appearance and feel of a larger boat. Once forward of the windshield, there is plenty of room to move about on deck. The area aft of the windshield is split between a slightly raised bridge deck and cockpit. At the bridge deck there is a single helm seat to starboard and an L-shaped settee to port which seats several adults. In the cockpit, there is a bench seat along the transom, to port and a starboard-side transom door for the swim platform. This arrangement tends to overload the boat to port with seated passengers and will require the skipper to adjust for the load by using the hydraulic trim tabs.
The accommodations aboard the 300 Fiesta Vee are sufficient for five or six overnight guests but with little privacy. The forward V-berth is separated from the main cabin area only by a privacy curtain but the berth is large enough for two adults. The main cabin features a starboard side settee with a small pedestal table that can be used as a dinette or converted to a small berth. The small but functional galley is opposite and features a stainless steel sink, a two-burner, combination alcohol/electric stove top and a three cubic foot, dual-voltage refrigerator-freezer below. The head is along the port side, at the companionway with a small sink molded into the fiberglass hull liner. There is no separate shower stall although the sink faucet can be removed and used as shower.
The mid-cabin feature, which defines this type of vessel, is aft of the main saloon and tucked beneath the bridge deck. The area can be configured as a U-shaped settee with a center table or the table can be lowered and cushions added to make a queen-size double berth which is the most practical use of the space. Three opening deck hatches and numerous opening ports provide excellent ventilation for the cabin.
For the first year of production, the standard power package was twin 175 hp V-6 MerCruiser engines which, in 1991, were replaced by Mercury’s 250 hp V-8 engines. In 1997, Rinker returned to the six-cylinder engine which was boosted to 210 hp with the addition of electronic fuel injection.
Engines were coupled to either Alpha, Bravo or Bravo III outdrives depending on the year and the option of the buyer. Either Bravo series is a good choice, although Bravo III drives have been prone to corrosion problems if the sacrificial zinc anodes are allowed to waste away. Bravo III drives, with their counter-rotating twin propeller, clearly offer improved performance but will require a more attentive maintenance schedule.
With four adults, full fuel and water tanks, cruising speed should be in the 20 to 25 mph range and top speed in the range of 34 to 38 mph. Fuel capacity is 140 gallons and the cruising range is about 200 miles, allowing for a 10% fuel reserve.
I know of no reports of serious structural problems or concerns with the 300 Fiesta Vee. However, in 1995, there was a Coast Guard recall (#950225T) of a fuel fitting effecting more then 4,000 Rinker boats in the 1995-96 model year. The recall was not the fault of Rinker, but resulted from a plastic fuel fill fitting made by Attwood Corp. with deck fittings that could break and spill fuel into the bilge or allow fuel vapors into the engine compartment — a potentially explosive hazard. This problem is easily remedied for less than a few hundred dollars, by replacing the fittings. If you are considering one of these models, your surveyor should be able check for the Attwood fittings.
There seems to be no shortage of 300 Fiesta Vees offered for sale. In July, there were 14 boats offered for sale; asking prices ranged from $34,900 for a 1991 model to $65,000 for a 1997 model. I located eight 300 Fiesta Vees that had been sold within the year. Of these sold boats, the lowest price was a 1991 model that sold for $30,500 and the highest a 1995 model that sold for $56,900.
The quality of fit and finish of the interior of the 300 Fiesta Vee will not suit those who expect Corianä counter tops and ultrasuede upholstery. But, in a market crowded with 30-foot mid-cabin cruisers, this is a model that continues to be a popular among buyers in search of moderate price and solid construction.