Captain's ReportLearn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)