If your favorite song is “Don’t Fence Me In,” you’ll love the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express: It’s a cavernous vessel with room for the whole gang, even if your “gang” plays on the Packers’ offensive line. Did we say this boat is huge? One of the widest beams in class at 16’ (4.92 m), and possibly the most spacious bridge/cockpit in class. A pair of Volvo Penta 715-hp diesels will push her over 40 mph, too – fast enough to run down most other yachts in class.
Swim platform seating area with storage
Transom davit storage with fiberglass cover, davit optional
Wraparound cockpit seating with electric sunlounge
Storage under the cockpit seats
Fully-equipped wet bar with refrigerator/icemaker and optional electric grill
Aluminum hardtop with power sunroof
Dual captain’s chair with walkaround helm area
Full fiberglass cabin liner
Raised panel cherry wood cabinet doors
Cresent shaped dinette that electrically converts to sleeper
From its extended swim platform to aircraft-carrier foredeck, the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express is one roomy vessel. The platform can fit a RIB or inflatable; an optional davit makes launch and retrieval easy.
The first boat to carry the Cruisers nameplate hit the water in 1956, but the company is older than that: it started out as Thompson Bros. in 1904, in Peshtigo, WI. The second generation of Thompsons moved to Oconto in the 1950s, and started building outboard-powered lapstrake cabin cruisers. In ’56, the company became Cruisers, Inc.
This was one of the first boats to install the aft rumble seat, something that has since been copied by many builders. There is terrific storage underneath as it opens up with gas-assisted struts. You control the Glendinning cable masters with a switch inside and there's room for good size fenders. The davit makes it easy to handle the tender and it is not often seen on a transom like this.
Like many boat companies back then, Cruisers was sold in the early 70s and wood replaced fiberglass. A Thompson stayed at the helm until 1979, but then the company was sold again and then, yet again. Unlike many old-time companies that went through repeated ownership changes Cruisers survived, and we suspect that was due to its good reputation and a core of middle management and shop floor personnel that were fiercely loyal to the brand and its customers. The 560 is the company’s largest model.
The cockpit includes a C-shaped lounge that seats 6-8 people and a wet bar on an island above the helm seats. An electric sunpad emerges from under the aft seating at the press of a button. Please note that the helm can be accessed from either the port or the starboard side – this is the only express cruiser that we know of on earth where that is possible. All that this cockpit needs is a teak deck.
Let Us Entertain You
Aboard the Cruisers 560, you never have to leave the cockpit area to entertain guests. You can easily seat 12 people comfortably and with a lot of stowage underneath they’ll have a place to put their things. A wet bar console includes an electrical outlet for your blender and a freshwater sink. A mini-fridge with icemaker is underneath adjacent to a bottle locker and stowage. Just to starboard is an optional helm A/C unit that is great when the canvas is on. A Clarion CD player is standard.
This is one of the few (if any) express cruisers built anywhere in the world with an aluminum hardtop. Virtually every other express in class has a hardtop made of fiberglass. What’s the difference, you might ask? There are several: a) Aluminum is lighter than fiberglass, so the boat weighs less, goes faster, etc.; b) Because the hardtop is lighter, the supports do not have to be so robust, meaning the dog-bone is narrower, and the forward supports are a small diameter, all of which improves visibility for the skipper; and c) Lighter weight of the hardtop means the boat has a lower CG than it would have with fiberglass which means the vessel won’t be quite so rolly.
Another feature of the hardtop is its acrylic, electric sun window just above the cockpit. Press a button and an abundance of light and fresh sea air will flood the cockpit and the babes can catch the rays while you’re underway.
The ample helm is laid out in a semi-circle; electronic controls are from Volvo. Cruisers Yachts has simplified the instrumentation by grouping all the rocker switches onto one panel. A keyless ignition system adds to this Cruisers’ mystique and keeps your vessel safe. Note the bow and stern thruster control on the far right side of the instrument panel, just above the sticks.
The standard layout combines a sumptuous master stateroom with full standing headroom, the Versailles-sized saloon and a typical forward stateroom with island berth. You can swap the closet for an office; this would be our choice. We’re told that at least one of these boats has been built with a third cabin replacing the huge settee.
However, if you have a raft of friends you can shoehorn two double cabins aft, sharing a head, and move the master forward. The U-shaped sofa electrically transforms into a bed, so you can sleep as many as eight people on this boat without resorting to sleeping bags on the cabin sole.
Come down the companionway stairs to be greeted with the large, wide open main saloon. The inside has gorgeous woodworking with a cherry finish, and most folks won’t need to slouch as there is 6’ 6” (2.0 m) of headroom.
Eight to ten people can be seated on the ultraleather love seats and electrically actuated sofa. The decorative panel overhead covers the air conditioning which distributes cool air evenly instead of blasting it out of a grate somewhere and gives 360-degree dispersion. The table emerges electrically from the floor when it’s needed and retracts when it’s not.
Included within the saloon is a little cocktail area with room to store bottles, glasses, and anything else you might need during an impromptu happy hour. There is a good amount of stowage above and below and a light-up vanity at eye level.
Stow the table and you can convert the settee to a double bed sleeper. It’s electric, too.
The galley is vast. A solid-surface counter leads to a breakfast nook with two stools which are adjacent to a big-screen TV. The galley also has a large refrigerator/freezer, two stainless steel sinks, three-burner stovetop and a microwave oven complete the picture. Stowage is not a problem, either as the six large lockers have room enough to swallow even the largest pots.
The guest stateroom is typical, with a centerline island double berth reached via 2 steps on either side. It’s a bit awkward, but necessary because of the bow flare. However, there’s lots of stowage with small lockers above and 2 large drawers at the foot of the bed. An overhead hatch brings in natural light. A large cedar lined hanging locker with shelf is to starboard.
The master stateroom is in the mid cabin and has an easily accessible athwartships berth. Under the bridge deck and low in the boat, this is by far the steadiest cabin at sea. There is a large amount of stowage in the walk-in closet. A built-in 20'' television faces the berth. A combo washer/dryer hides behind the door at far right, and there is full standing headroom throughout.
The master head is as roomy as you’d expect and is complete with a separate stall shower to keep things dry. It’s ensuite to the stateroom with a second head is forward.
The 560 can hold its own with a top speed of 40.3 mph and a best cruise of 32.3 mph at 2000 rpm. Twin 700-hp Volvo Penta D12 diesels with ZF V-drive transmissions gives this luxurious beauty some strength to match its style.
Everything in the engine room is well labeled and easy to access. Cruisers Yachts has mounted the engines on steel beds directly on top of the stringers. The V-drives are fitted with dripless shaft seals. By the way if you are a veteran yachtsman and are old enough to remember when V-drives robbed power and were problematical, those days are long over. Modern ZF V-drives absorb very little power and are considered as reliable as straight drives.
The impressive 560 packs every ounce of luxury and style into its 58-foot length. She is a massive vessel with a 16’ beam and weighing in at a dry weight of 46,000 lbs. Her fuel capacity is approximately 650 gallons which gives her one of the best ranges in class.
There are not too many boats built in this class, so anyone considering buying one should look at all of them and not just go gaw-gaw over the first one seen. They are all impressive-looking when you first step aboard because they are so big. But after you spend time on these boats you begin to pick up on what may at first appear to be subtitle differences. Drill down, and some of those differences become pretty important.
Given the size, displacement, equipment and design innovations of this boat, we consider it to be the best value in the 56' express cruisers class.
Coming at you: the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express is big, wide and quick. It gives you lots of room and with a water view.
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) is 40.3 mph (64.9 kph), burning 75.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 283.88 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) is 32.3 mph (52 kph), and the boat gets 0.69 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.29 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 404 miles (650.17 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 700-hp Volvo Penta D12 - Diesel.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Dripless Shaft Seals
Washdown: Fresh Water
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Oil Change System
= Standard = Optional
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Warranty
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Price
Cruisers Yachts 560 Express (2011-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
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