In the past few years there has been a slew of new American-built cruisers sporting the sleek, flowing lines that we call Euro-styling. Builders of small to large craft have gone the Euro-style route, and now Cruisers, an icon of mid-American boat-building has come out with their long-heralded 50-footer, the 5000 Sedan Sport, which appears to have flowed off the designer’s table—Euro-styled.
Enough already, Americans have taken the idea and changed it. It’s our own now—call it Amero-styling. What differentiates the U.S.-built smooth-lookers from their European counterparts? Just wander belowdecks.
AND APPLE PIE, TOO. The Cruisers 5000 for instance, which I now award the Amero-style sobriquet, answers that need. The salon is big and unpartitioned. Light pours in from its swept-back forward windows and tear-drop-shaped Euro...I mean, Amero-styled side glass. Its two double berth-equipped staterooms and stand-up-separate-shower-equipped heads are testimonials to space-using ingenuity. A hidden washer/dryer and a unique twin berth office or additional stateroom round out a belowdecks layout that’s equal to or better than anything the continent offers in this size range.
Viewed from the salon’s rear sliding doors, the Starship Enterprise-like single, pedestal-mounted helm seat for the lower station dominates in solitary splendor. You almost expect it to swivel around and produce the legendary Starfleet commander. The seat does swivel—and raise and lower electrically in umpteen different directions. To its right is the access door to the sidedeck, the second entrance to the salon. That door is as nifty a piece of stainless-steel and ball-bearing engineering as I’ve seen. It pushes out then slides back effortlessly. Why should that be surprising? It seems that every side-deck-equipped largish cruiser sports one of these tugboat-like doors—and usually they’ll bind and jam quicker than the cargo hatch of a '73 VW van. But there’s also a third entrance to the salon—a staircase to port that accesses the flying bridge. Single- or short-handing this big guy? There’s no place you can’t spring to fast—and safely, too. All the decking has serious nonslip and the in-house fabricated railings will catch you just about butt high.
What doesn’t that salon have? Access to the engine room. This is good. It’s something you don’t need in a cherry wood-lined, leatherette settee and recliner-furnished salon. That access is through a commodious hatch from the aft deck. But if you do need to yank an engine, you won’t have to resort to a hacksaw. The whole salon sole can be unbolted for major work.
The hot-and-cold-water transom-shower-equipped aft deck has separate wet stowage compartments as well as a solidly latching transom door to the swim platform. The platform is more than 1,000-pounds load-rated—that means bring on the waterbikes. Want more space aft? Opt for the hydraulically operated extended swim platform ($22,136) and you’ll be able to haul your pals’ waterbikes, also. Our test boat was equipped with the hardwired retractable shorepower cord ($2,707)—a must-have if you’ll be spending time pulling in and out of the slip.
With our test boat’s Detroit Diesel 625-hp 6V-92TA DDEC twins—the heftiest of the Volvo Penta, MAN or Caterpillar diesel options—there’s room to spare in the engine room. There are also some nifty touches down there. The sound shielding on the standard 13.5 Kw Kohler genset is one. Standing on the aft deck I was hardly aware the genset was running, and from forward, you don’t realize it at all. While the Tides Marine water-lubricated dripless shaft seals on the engines’ drives are also top-notch, the real treat is the crossover hose from one shaft to another. If an engine goes down, or you choose to run on one and the other shaft spins, it won’t be damaged from lack of lubrication. This is an in-house idea from one of Cruisers’ rocket scientists and is pretty indicative of the thought that goes into their boats.
OFF AND RUNNING. As a matter of fact, I ran the Cruisers 5000 quite extensively on one engine just to see how it performed half-ironed. My conclusion? Excellent. Even bucking a stiff quartering wind, this boat had no problem turning away from the lazy prop. With both engines going full bore—2300 rpm—the 5000 peaked at 34 mph.
Unlike most dual-station boats, there wasn’t a preferable running station. Both consoles are equally well designed with plenty of room for your electronics or repeater screens. Although the 5000 cruises with a somewhat bow-up attitude, visibility was as good from below as from the top—and a lot more comfortable (it was chilly on test day).
Another Cruisers-only neat touch is the reversible radar arch. Check out the running shot here and you’ll see that the arch, as mounted, is swept back. But, if you want it swept forward, you can opt for that installation. The mounting footprint is the same. It’s not just for style; a swept-forward arch could come in handy for canvas attachments and to avoid frying your brains out from the radar transmitter.
REAL DEALS. I have to compare the 5000 with Cruisers archrival Carver’s equally curvaceous 530 Voyager Pilothouse, as these two Midwestern giants are targeting the same market. With its standard twin 437-hp Cummins diesel inboards, the base-boat Carver lists for $565,095. The Cruisers 5000, with its standard twin 430-hp Detroit Diesel Volvo Penta TAMD73P diesels, comes in at $580,070. With our test boat’s power it lists for $709,960. Where else do they differ? The air conditioning on the Cruisers is standard where it’s optional on the Carver and the Cruisers’s standard 13.5 Kw Kohler genset outpowers the standard 9 Kw Kohler of the Carver. The overall fit and finish of the Cruisers is a cut above the Carver, and the Cruisers is somewhat more nimble on its feet. While both boats are up to battlewagon service with through-bolted and 3M 5200-sealed shoeboxed hull-to-deck joints, the Carver’s joint is also glassed and its stringers are all-glass as opposed to the Cruisers heavily glass-wrapped plywood system. Regardless, you’re not going to lose either of these boats unless you fall behind on the payments.
Both the Cruisers, the Carver and other home-grown boats exhibit the trademark sleek, flowing lines that the Europeans will probably claim were inspired by them. They’ll call it Euro-styled, but we know Amero-styling when we see it.