Captain's ReportLearn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...Innovation and Style Heads the New 497 Sport Sedan by Cruisers YachtsBy Capt. John B. Wenz It was at about the age of twelve that we were first allowed to leave the dock “without adult supervision.” One of my best friends, who is now a harbor pilot, had a 15½ foot Thompson runabout. A popular model, it was built by the Thompson Brothers Boat Company. Their “Better Built Boats” have a lineage that runs back to the turn of the century. In 1953 the next generation of Thompsons formed a start-up venture called Cruisers, Inc. I doubt that the early founders of that company would recognize the Cruisers Yachts' 497 Sport Sedan as the latest in the evolution of their product line.New Bold AppearanceThe first thing I noticed as I approached the dock for our test ride was the look of this motoryacht. Our test boat had blue gel coat on her topsides, and the accent patterns of the hull along with the profile of her cabin structure combine to create a look that seems to say “I wanna go boating right now!” Stepping aboard and into the cabin, you soon realize there’s a lot to see. Not only is this a boat that’s loaded with features, but the salon is surrounded by nearly 360 degrees of glass affording fabulous visibility from both the salon and the galley.AccommodationsUp forward is the master cabin. Cruisers Yachts has placed a queen-sized island berth on the centerline, with a vanity to port and a couple of cedar-lined hanging lockers among the storage compartments. Just aft to starboard is the ensuite head with stall shower. To port of the companionway is the guest head, which can also be entered directly from the second cabin. Another door leads to the mid-cabin. I’m not a big fan of this type of accommodation as I don’t care to duck around low overhangs and step-downs, but there are certain advantages, and Cruisers Yachts has certainly utilized the space efficiently. The twin berths are convertible, by using a filler cushion, you quickly have a queen set up. This adaptability affords no compromises whether you’re cruising, say, with two kids or a second adult couple. They have provided six opening ports for plenty of light and air. In addition, the vanity mirror slides in front of those on the port side, for complete privacy when you want it. A door in the aft bulkhead opens into what the guys at the builder’s yard refer to as “the basement,” which is a storage area located beneath the salon. Later model hulls will access the optional washer/dryer just inside this door, instead of through the floor hatch in main deck.Easy to Cook GalleyA tremendous amount of counter space with a great view is something to please any on-the-water chef, and you’ll find it on the 497. The galley is complete with microwave oven, separate refrigerator and freezer, optional dishwasher and nested dinnerware cabinet are all mounted under the counter, to save space. In addition there is an electric, two-burner cooktop and a double sink. To port is an elevated dinette, with enough room for the whole crew. Modern and Spacious SalonMoving aft to the salon, you’ll find two sofas facing inboard. One is a sleeper, the other a double recliner. The entertainment area features a 26” LCD-TV with 5-disc CD/DVD home theater. The wet bar options include an icemaker, a trash compactor, or a nice looking wine captain. Under a lift-up hatch in the deck is a huge locker- “the basement.” This is a unique feature which is really worth some consideration. The storage flexibility this climate-controlled space offers is tremendous. You can carry a couple of bikes, additional food and beverages, you name it. That’s important for those who are used to driving an SUV full of gear for the next adventure. On DeckOut on the bow, which is surrounded by in-house manufactured 316 stainless steel rails, you’ll find plenty of room for the optional sun pads. A hidden electric windlass offers convenience when anchoring and can be operated from here or on the bridge.Aft Cockpit and Bridge The aft cockpit can be set-up with a wide range of seating, convenience, and entertainment options, and there’s room for a hidden davit on the swim platform. Up on the flying bridge the 497 Sports Sedan has a good amount of standard seating, a wet bar, refrigerator, and folding table to host dinners and other social gatherings. The layout of the helm is nicely executed; everything’s at your fingertips. I still can’t get used to running a fifty-footer with an automobile-sized steering wheel, however, but that’s contemporary design.Beefy EnginesStandard power on this boat are twin 500-hp Volvo D9 V-drive diesels with electronic controls. You can upgrade to the 575-hp models like we found on our test boat. Once they install the standard or optional generator, one would think that the engine compartment would be crowded. I was pleased to see that I could get around, even outboard. I noticed nothing lacking in the layout and execution of the mechanical systems. One little drawback to the aft-engine room, V-Drive layout is the harmonic vibration found to develop while accelerating. We noticed it in the flying bridge hardtop as she climbed out of the hole to reach plane. The builders are beefing up the hardtop bracing, which should do away with this minor issue. Our TestYou don’t always get the foul weather you’d like to have when you schedule a test, and this was one of those days when Mother Nature just didn’t cooperate. It was tough not to enjoy a beautiful mid-winter day on the water. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to run her in anything but flat-calm seas, but I have no reason to doubt the builder’s claims about the 497. They tell me that, like the typical European-style designs, she’s a motoryacht that can run in the rough stuff. The electronic controls allow shifting gears and throttling up to be smooth and easy without the smoke. Handling was a breeze with the optional bow and stern thrusters, and overall I was pleased with the ride from both up on the flying bridge and down below. Our speed test found her to top out at 34.5 mph. Her cruising speed calculated to about 27 mph which works out to a range of about 278 miles. If you’re in the market for a motoryacht in this size range, the Cruisers Yachts' 497 Sport Sedan is certainly one to check out. She’s the first in this new line from Cruisers Yachts, and I expect her to be as popular as she is innovative.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 497 Sport Sedan (Not in Production) is 34.5 mph (55.5 kph), burning 58.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 219.53 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 497 Sport Sedan (Not in Production) is 26.7 mph (43 kph), and the boat gets 0.59 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.25 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 278 miles (447.4 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 575-hp Volvo D9 diesels.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
||Engine warranties vary by manufacturer|
|1-Year other parts and components Yes|
|ISO Certification NMMA Certification||Yes|
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