Cruisers 5000 Sedan Sport

By Jack Hornor

Revised by BoatUS editors in October 2012
Cruisers 500 Sedan Sport
Principal Dimensions & Specifications
Measurements should be considered approximate and the manufacturer’s specifications may be relied upon. Bow & stern appendages are generally excluded.
Length Overall49’ 6"
Maximum Beam15’ 6"
Maximum Draft3’ 5"
Displacement/Weight38,000 lbs
Fuel Capacity600 Gallons
Water Capacity150 gallons
Speed Range34 MPH

"Full speed ahead Mr. Sulu, warp factor five." There can be no denying that at least a small part of the enjoyment of pleasure boating comes from the fulfillment of our fantasies and Cruisers Yachts new 50 footer comes well equipped to fulfill more than a few.

For more than 45 years, this Oconto, Wisconsin boat builder has been turning out quality small to medium sized family cruisers. With the introduction of their new flagship, the 5000 Sedan Sport, Cruisers Yachts has jumped headlong into the luxury sport yacht market, but it certainly doesn't appear as if they have made this leap without a considerable amount of thought and planning.

It has become nearly a cliché to refer to this style of vessel, with its sleek tear drop-shaped cabin windows, swooping lines and absence of any sharp corners, as Euro-styled. However, while a curve here or a flare there may have influenced the designers at Cruisers Yachts, the 5000 Sports Sedan is an all American yacht. Her 15'6" beam is a foot wider than comparable European yachts. Her amenities and open, light-filled living spaces result in a yacht that is much more in tune with the American boating lifestyle.

Cruisers Yachts makes extensive use of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology in the design and building of all their boats. This technology allows designers to create virtual 3-D models and identify problems before production even begins. Every square inch of space is precious on any yacht and another advantage of the CAD/CAM technology is that very little space is wasted.

Cruisers Yachts, a leader and innovator in the area of fiberglass composite construction, has been using end grain Balsa wood in the construction of their boats since 1956. To keep weight to a minimum and strength and stiffness to a maximum, end grain Balsa is used in construction of the hull, decks and liners of the 5000 Sport Sedan. After the gel coat is sprayed into the molds the lay-up of the hull begins with a resin rich skin coat using Vinyl Ester resin to reduce the chances of osmotic blistering and provide a smooth, high gloss surface. Wooden frames, stringers and engine beds are glassed in place and totally encased in fiberglass and resin.

Cruisers 5000

The interior is constructed and installed in modular components that makes access to the bilge and interior space difficult once everything is put together, however, this is a time proven, efficient and strong method of construction.

The cockpit of the 5000 Sedan Sport is relatively small for a 50-foot boat but other aspects of the deck layout more than make up for this factor. First and foremost the flybridge, which can be accessed from either a staircase along the starboard side or a staircase next to the lower helm, is huge and exceptionally well laid out. The triple-wide helm seat puts the helmsman in the center of the action and allows for passengers on either side. This arrangement is unique in that there is passage along either side of the seat eliminating the need to crawl over the back of the seat or the driver to reach the outboard position. The center section of the seat has electric fore and aft controls to put the driver at the most comfortable position. There is a wet bar aft of the helm position which may be equipped with an optional ice maker/refrigerator. There is a curved lounge along the port side that seats five to six adults comfortably with plenty of storage below for life jackets and other stores. At the after end of the flybridge there is a large sunbathing deck that may be converted to a dinghy deck. Space is provided for mounting a davit.

The 5000 Sedan Sport comes standard with a large fixed swim platform with a hot and cold fresh water shower and solidly mounted transom door between the platform and the cockpit. The swim platform is designed to support 1,000 lbs. and is wide enough to accommodate a Jet Ski or other water toys. There is an optional, hydraulically operated, extended swim platform that could accommodate an inflatable dinghy.

There are substantial stainless steel handholds and rails strategically placed for safety throughout the deck areas. The stainless steel life rail around the large, unobstructed foredeck and narrow side decks is high enough to provide security and deck surfaces are finished with a molded, non-skid pattern for secure footing.

From the time you open the sliding glass door at the after end of the main saloon until you crawl out the foredeck hatch, it's hard not to be impressed with the interior of this boat.

As you enter, the galley is along the starboard side, beautifully finished with cherry wood veneered cabinets and Avonite counter tops. To the port side, there is a leather couch and two swivel-base easy chairs. There are large, full-length windows along either side that results in a very bright, open living space. The cabin sole in the lounge is carpeted and a beautiful hardwood cabin sole sets off the galley.

Forward and raised two steps is the truly impressive, Starship Enterprise-like, lower helm position. The leather upholstered, six-way power adjusted helmsman's seat is perfectly positioned on centerline behind an equally impressive instrument console. To the port side there is a leather upholstered settee and table and a stainless steel and cherry wood staircase to the flybridge. The entire area is surrounded by a wraparound windshield and there is nearly an unobstructed view from anywhere on the saloon deck level.

To the right and down four steps are the staterooms. There is a small but cozy guest stateroom with twin berths tucked behind the stairway. This area may also be converted to a small onboard office. To port is the master stateroom which features cherry wood paneling, a walkaround queen-sized berth, large cedar-lined closet and apartment-sized head with shower, which is only accessible from the master stateroom. Further forward, on the starboard side, is another good-sized head with shower with access from the hallway or the forward stateroom. Forward is another stateroom which features a centerline queen-sized berth, ample storage drawers and a cedar-lined hanging locker.

The furnishings and finishes are first class throughout. Both heads are equipped with Vacu-Flush marine toilets, tiled floors and separate Plexiglas enclosed shower stalls.

The business end of this yacht is no less impressive than the rest. From a stowaway ladder to the cross connections for water-lubricated propeller shaft seals, there is evidence of the attention to detail paid by designers and engineers for the company's first foray into this size and class of yacht.

The engine compartment is located below the main saloon and after deck with access through a hatch in the after deck. The hatch opens to reveal a neatly stowed stainless steel ladder, which can be extended to assist with the four-foot drop into the engine room. The engines are fitted with v-drives and are positioned forward beneath the deck of the main saloon. The propeller shafts are fitted with Tides Marine dripless seals. A crossover hose has been installed to connect the two seals to prevent damage from lack of lubrication in the event you may need or choose to operate on only one engine.

Even though the vessel I inspected was equipped with the largest engines available, there was still plenty of room to move about the engine room and get to all parts of the engine for service. There is ample space forward of the port engine for additional equipment. Standard equipment includes a 13.5 kw Kohler auxiliary generator which is installed with a sound shield. Sound shielding and insulation in the engine compartment is excellent throughout. While sitting still with the generator operating, the sound is barely perceptible in the cabin spaces. Running at full throttle, there is no need to raise your voice to carry on a normal conversation anywhere aboard the vessel.

If major engine work is ever necessary, the designers have planned for this too, and the saloon cabin sole is removable.

Any boat with "Sport" in its name is ultimately going to be judged by its performance and in this regard the 5000 Sedan Sport shouldn't disappoint either.

There are several engine options available ranging from twin 420 hp 3126TA Caterpillars to the 625 hp Detroit Diesel 6V92TIA DDEC option. Our test boat was equipped with the 625 hp Detroits and, under nearly perfect weather conditions, reached a comfortable cruising speed of just under 30 mph at 2,100 RPM and topped out at just over 34 mph at 2,400 RPM. Reportedly, even with the standard 430 hp Volvo diesel engines, this 50 footer will cruise at around 24 mph.

During our sea trial, the boat came up on plane quickly averaging around 12 seconds and maneuvered through broad and tight turns with little loss in boat speed and minimum fussing with the hydraulic trim tabs to keep her on track and properly trimmed. Slow speed handling was excellent. One particularly nice feature of our test boat was a slow idle setting which sets the engine idle at about 400 RPM for better control and more precise maneuverability around docks and in tight spaces.

This is a 50-foot boat that handles and maneuvers exceptionally well and is not intimating to the operator from either helm position. In fact, neither helm position can be said to be favored. The lower helm is positioned so that even when powering up onto a plane visibility forward remains good. At normal cruising speed there is no difficulty spotting obstacles on the water's surface ahead. The seat swivels 360 degrees and large windows provide an unobstructed view for nearly the entire 360-degree radius. There are only two small blind spot; one caused by the refrigerator and a second at the starboard stern corner of the main saloon. The flybridge helm is positioned nearly in the center of the boat for 360-degree unobstructed visibility. For single-handing, it is easy to move quickly from either helm position and there are no dangerously steep ladders to have to negotiate.

The 5000 Sedan Sport comes equipped with an array of standard features you would expect however, some more notable features include: three reverse-cycle heat and air-conditioning units; windshield defrosters at the lower helm; Bose Surround Sound stereo system; 60 Amp battery charger; remote controlled anchor windlass; and a 13.5 kw auxiliary generator. Optional features include a washer/dryer, central vacuum system, bow thruster and hydraulic swim platform, to name a few.

Cruisers Yachts has built a flagship to be proud of and one that should compete well with the best the European and other American manufacturers have to offer.

Naval architect Jack Hornor was the principal surveyor and designer for Marine Survey & Design, Co., based in Annapolis, MD. He was on the boards of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the National Association of Marine Surveyors, and the Society of Boat and Yacht Designers. He and his wife sailed their Catalina 42, Legacy, based on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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