Marquis 500 Sport Bridge ReviewMarquis Yachts' 500 Sport Bridge takes excitement to a whole new level...

Just when you thought Marquis' 50 couldn't get any sexier, along comes the 500 Sport Bridge-a sleek, high-performance flybridge yacht-based on last year's 500 Sport Coupe (see Southern Boating July 2008). Building on the success of its stylish 50-foot coupe, Marquis takes the cruiser to new heights with a design that satisfies the boat owner who enjoys operating and entertaining in the elements.

The coupe line-which originated with the 420 SC-was designed to appeal to express boat owners who had a desire to upgrade their surroundings without stepping up in size. "We found a large percentage of people who had traditional express boats and didn't necessarily want a bigger boat, but wanted better quality and performance," said Dick Nocenti, director of marketing and communications for the Genmar Yacht Group. With the coupes, Marquis offered owners a way to upgrade to a more luxurious yacht while still retaining ease of use of an owner-operated boat. "We originally designed the [500 SC] to accommodate a bridge because we knew there also would be bridge-style owners who were looking for an upgrade."

Keeping with tradition, Marquis partnered with Italian design firm Nuvolari-Lenard Naval Architects on the 500 SB. Known for their distinctive designs, the renowned megayacht designers helped to create a low-profile flybridge that's not only easy on the eyes, but provides a comfortable perch for running the boat. Adding a bridge didn't deteriorate from the looks of this boat-with sleek lines there is no way it could ever be mistaken for a shoe. Her low slung design also improves stability while retaining unobstructed 360-degree views. We took the 500 out on a rather windy January day, and the ride was surprisingly smooth and dry up top.

The flybridge is spacious with enough seating to keep the operator company. A centerline helm provides excellent visibility. The captain's seat is accompanied by a twin bucket seat to starboard, and to port is a long L-shaped settee with table for alfresco dining. The placement of the sun pad utilizes space creatively; set out on the overhang it provides a comfortable place to lounge without taking up any precious deck space on the bridge.

The addition of a flying bridge adds immeasurably to the warm weather livability of the 50-foot Marquis. The modern main and lower deck accommodations remain unchanged.

The Sport Bridge speaks to the owner who likes the elevation of a flybridge and running the boat outside, and it's also the perfect place to lie about in the sun and entertain guests. For those who want some shade, a bimini top will do the trick. But if there's inclement weather, simply head downstairs to the second helm station inside. This, Dick says, is one of his favorite things about the boat-it's truly an all-weather craft-and it's an easy boat to button up at the end of the day, there's no isinglass to zip up, no enclosures to fuss with. The bridge is accessed from the aft deck by a comfortably inclined eight-step staircase.

The Sport Coupe's bold lines, megayacht-style interior and open layout are carried through on the 500 SB. The interior features Zebrano wood, black granite counters, rich fabrics, and Brazilian cherry flooring-though the owner can customize all of these elements. The new model retains its predecessor's single-level design, with the galley, saloon, cockpit, and swim platform on the same level, a feature that is fully appreciated when the aft doors are opened to unite the areas.

As functional as she is fashionable, the same 3D fiberglass tooling technology that gives the yacht its sweeping lines also produced the integrated deck, hull and superstructure fiberglass components that give it its strength. The 500 SB earned the International Marine Certification Institute's high-test rating for a pleasure craft in this class-certified as CE Class "A" Ocean. Powered by triple Volvo IPS pod drives, the 500 SB delivers superb handling, and the joystick control eases maneuvering in docking and tight spaces-giving the term "turning on a dime" new meaning.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 49'6”
Beam: 15' 7"
Draft: 3' 3-1/2"
Weight: 46,300 lbs.
Fuel/Water: 506/160 U.S. gals.
Power: 3 x Volvo Penta IPS 600 @ 435 hp (370 hp base)
Top/Cruise Speed: 37/33 knots
Range: 282 nm @ 33 knots
MSRP: $1,095,200 (base)

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL MARQUIS YACHTS CURRENTLY FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA

This review/article originally appeared in Southern Boating Magazine, March 2009 and was written by Risa Merl. For more great yacht reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: https://southernboating.com/subscribe/

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