Captain's ReportBy Captain Robert SmithLearn about the back story of Cruisers Yachts here...
There is little doubt the 520 Sports Coupe will be found anywhere in the world where there are serious cruising couples and families. Whether that is the Med, the Caribbean, Nova Scotia or maybe even just a stone's throw from Cruisers Yacht's own back yard in Door County, or Georgian Bay in neighboring Lake Huron. KCS International and Cruisers is well known for their attention to detail, first class joinery and design that maximizes available space. The 520 fits right in with the best of European built express cruisers, too. We traveled to Oconto, WI, to determine just how the 520 meets her lofty goals.
The Cruisers Yachts 520 is powered by triple Volvo Penta 370-hp or 435-hp IPS systems. The reason for triple verses twins is simple: The D6 Volvo Penta diesel was designed specifically for marine applications and it is a relatively new engine. As a result it is far lighter and its horsepower to weight ratio is about 20% better than the D12 diesel. The combination of the 30% improvement in efficiency of pod drives over straight inboards plus the 20% improvement in the hp/weight ratio, makes the triple engines more fuel efficient and better all around performers than the twin D12 inboard diesels. The added advantage of the triple IPS system is its joystick for easy docking.
While neither Volvo Penta or Cruisers Yachts talks about it, we see another advantage in having three engines, one of which is on the centerline of the boat. For boaters who want to do some serious long distance cruising at displacement speeds, a single 425-hp engine would be more than enough to move the 42,000 lb. (19,090 kg.) Cruisers 520 at 7 or 8 knots. At that speed her range would be remarkable.The pod drive system gives designers lots of room to organize the engine room and/or take the extra space and use it in the living areas of the lower deck. I was impressed with the space and access with three Volvo Penta diesel pod drives and large generator, and I could get to all fluid checks, filters and strainers. FYI -- the three IPS600 engines measure 9.7 feet wide (3. m) compared to the 15'6" (4.76 m) beam, leaving a total of about 6' (1.8 m) to spread out among the engines and the hull sides.
Entertainment Space Abounds
From the large swim platform to the spacious salon below, we found at least four distinct spaces for guests, or just you and your partner, to gather and enjoy what cruising has to offer.
The first is the width of the stern platform. The synthetic teak not only is more durable than real teak, it adds a touch of elegance over white fiberglass as you and your guests board. The addition of a hydraulic lift adds a lot of utility to the swim platform. It is certainly large enough to handle a tender or PWC, and launching them will be as simple as lowering the platform and shoving off. You can stop at the water level and even the most timid swimmer can have the security of getting on a solid surface whenever they need to. Fully up, the size of this platform and the standard rumble seat mean you have a front row seat to a sunset.
You enter onto the aft deck from either side where you will find a large, two-part lounge seat on tracks. Just like a modern stadium, the seating can be moved for the most advantageous use. While boarding, it slides to lock in position centered on the stern; to open up the deck for a group, it swings on rails to the port side to create a large crescent shaped seating area for seven and an equally large fold-over leaf table in high gloss solid wood finish for al fresco dining.
Since this is the focus of the entertaining spaces, it only makes sense to create food topside and not have to go below to serve your guests. The 520 has a standard refrigerator, electric grill and ice maker on the starboard side, making it convenient to simply turn and serve directly on the table to port. The table even moves from coffee table height to dining height with a flip of a switch rather than changing posts. How cool is that?Passing through the bridge deck with lounger for three, you can go forward through a walk-through windshield to the bow. Serious cruisers will want the optional foredeck loungers to enjoy a private beach-like atmosphere without the sand and noise.
Stepping below I was taken aback by the immense feeling of the space. A couple of side chairs, will let you serve a formal dinner to eight people, so a large party will be comfortable for all. A small glass cabinet can highlight your collection of cognac while everyone is entertained by surround sound. The galley is as large as any you will find in class and it is well outfitted for cruising with a 7.5 cu. ft. in Nova Kool refrigerator/freezer, a 29.5'' deep solid surface counters, cooktop and microwave. Add the drawer style dishwasher and you have saved someone a ton of work.
Details in door frames, storage cabinet fronts, and even in the most intricate corners show how much time and effort the cabinet makers take to get it right the first time.
Forward Guest Stateroom
Forward, you have options in setting up your personal needs. If you are cruising with children or with another couple on a regular basis, you can choose between an island berth or twin single berths. The head is split and the shower has a separate door so while one person showers, another can still use the vanity.
The master suite really shines in the 520 Sport Cruiser. We found 6’ 3 ½” headroom around the queen sized bed in here. You have walk-around room around the entire bed. Three port lights on each side allow significant light into this full beam suite. Twin hanging lockers and a private head with shower stall all have comfortable overhead clearance. For the serious cruising couple, another necessary option is a combination washer dryer in the port storage cabinet just inside the entrance to the master suite.
Handling and the Con
We tested the 520 in blustery conditions that ranged from 1-3 feet of wave action and winds up to 23 mph. What impressed us the most was this cruising yacht responded well in all conditions we encountered. In all sea conditions--head seas, beam seas, following seas and quartering seas, she shook off the actions created by the wind and waves. Handling was a light touch on the wheel and you could actually let the wheel go and she would hold course and speed. There is nothing like having three pod drives in following seas to keep firm control of the boat.The triple pod drives moved the 42,000 lb Sports Coupe to 30 mph in only 9 seconds. She reached a top speed of 42.3 mph and had a comfortable cruising speed of 32.5 mph that would give you just under 400 miles of cruising at 3000 rpm. Hard over turns produced amazingly comfortable arcs, about one boat length wider when turning to starboard, yet completely under control.The helm was appointed with dual analog/digital gauges, Volvo Penta touch screen, twin Raymaine E120’s, autopilot and much more. Plainly, you have the room to outfit your yacht with the electronics that make your cruise what you want it to be.
The 520 Sports Coupe is for the serious experienced cruiser. Remember this boat weighs in at 42,000 lbs. so she isn't just a lot of boat show sizzle -- she is the steak. You can take her offshore in confidence. Fully outfitted and stocked, with the Cruisers Yachts 520 you will find yourself in good company among the best yachts anywhere in the world.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Yachts 520 Sports Coupe (2011-) is 42.3 mph (68.1 kph), burning 60.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 228.99 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Yachts 520 Sports Coupe (2011-) is 32.5 mph (52.3 kph), and the boat gets 0.88 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.37 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 398 miles (640.52 kilometers).
- Tested power is 3 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600 D6.
Standard and Optional Features
|Dripless Shaft Seals||Standard|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Optional|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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