Late fall boating weather can be unpredictable and we can have storms and high winds one day and the next it can be sunny and 60 degrees, but sometimes you get lucky.
Lucky that the folks at Cruisers Yachts have been busy these past few years designing and building all new boats.
Lucky that Silver Seas Yachts opened their office in Sausalito and have new boat inventory.
Lucky that Reinhard Boost is the Silver Seas Yachts General Manager and has agreed to let me play with a few of the new Cruisers Yachts that he has in Sausalito.
And lucky that the morning after the largest storm of the year we find the conditions in Richardson Bay nearly ideal to take out the new Cruisers Yachts 41 Cantius for a spin around the Bay.
When I say new boat, that is exactly what we have here. With just 26 hours on the clock this beauty is just barely on her second tank of fuel.
The sun is just burning off the last of the fog, the morning chill is still in the air, and the big Volvo’s are warming up. It’s shaping up to be a great day as we take a final walk around the 41 and prepare to get underway.
Any boat ride should start with a visit to the engine room and today is no exception. The engine room on our 41 Cantius is accessed via a hatch in the cockpit and a short ladder down. I climb down the ladder and find myself nestled between the twin Volvo IPS500’s.
The Cantius series was designed specifically around the Volvo IPS drives and Cruisers Yachts has made the most of the extra room this propulsion system affords, both in the engine room and in the cabin.
Fluid checks are easy and routine service should be straightforward as there is plenty of room to move around and inspect all of the critical systems in this spacious engine room. All the way forward in the engine room is the oversized Kohler® generator; at 13.5KW this is a big generator for this size of boat and it will power just about anything you bring onboard, even that 2,000-watt hairdryer.
On the outboard side of each engine are the 150-gallon fuel tanks with the RACOR primary fuel filters easily accessible and just forward of the engines are the sea strainers for the heat/AC and main engines. The location of the filters and strainers makes it easy to check and clean these as required.
Mounted to the left of the generator and up high on the bulkhead are the main battery switches and the power distribution panel; mounting the battery switches up high where they are easy to see is good design. Down here we also find the fixed fire extinguishing system, bilge pumps with high-water alarm, and engine oil change system making this a well-laid-out and equipped engine room.
After we complete the system checks and tour the rest of the vessel, it is finally time to get underway. Reinhard is more familiar with the handling of the IPS joystick than I am, and we are in a tight slip with several other boats around with very little maneuvering room, so I take care of the lines and fenders and watch as we are expertly maneuvered past the other boats with nary a foot of room to spare.
Although this is not my first time on an IPS-powered vessel, it is my first time in these tight a quarters and I’m already impressed with the maneuverability of our 41-foot boat. With the joystick control there is no drama as the owner of a big Sea Ray watches us as we glide by leaving just a few feet of clearance between the boats.
Once we are out of the really tight area, I take over control and head out of Clipper Yacht Harbor and into Richardson Bay. Our plan this morning is to head toward the Golden Gate Bridge along the Sausalito waterfront while Ty Mellott, on board a new Cruiser Yachts 350 Express with Rob Newman at the helm, tries to keep up with us and take a few photos as we let the ponies loose.
That is going to be quite a challenge for them as I quickly confirm that this 41 is a rocket. As soon as we are past the minimum wake zone and the ferry terminal, I bring our IPS500’s up to 3300 RPM and with minimal bow rise we are climbing past 30 knots in less than 15 seconds.
Backing off the power to a comfortable cruise, those Volvos are now loafing along at 3050 RPM, consuming 23 GPH for both engines, and we are cruising at 26 knots. Doing the math on those numbers puts us at better than 1.1 miles per gallon as we scoot across Richardson Bay with the camera boat following in our wake.
With the power-assisted steering, inputs are effortless and predictable. Putting the helm hard over we get a very predictable lean and she carves a nice arc as we make a 180-degree turn and speed past the camera boat. All we need is just a touch of trim tab and we have a nice flat ride that takes us over our wake with just a minimum of porpoising.
The layout of the Cantius series is unique in that the cockpit, the saloon, and helm station are integrated and allows everyone in these areas to interact with each other. There is an extra-wide, tri-slide glass door that separates the cockpit from the saloon and opens to nearly 5 feet wide making these two areas appear as one.
When we started out earlier we left the glass door fully open and now, while running at a spirited cruise speed, we can still carry on a conversation at normal levels. I expected the noise level to be higher and am pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is. One of the features of the IPS systems is that the exhaust is underwater so we don’t have the usual engine exhaust sound to compete with our conversation.
Cruisers Yachts has also done a great job with sound insulation from the engine room helping to keep things quiet up here at the helm. Closing that big glass door and the engine sounds all but disappear.
In the cockpit there is a large L-shaped settee that has room for six comfortably and with enough table options to satisfy just about everyone. Passing through the glass doors into the saloon we find a U-shaped elevated settee with room for six more folks on the port side and a wet bar complete with a stainless steel sink, a lot of counter space, an icemaker and flat screen TV to starboard. Next to the icemaker is the main electrical panel with the entertainment system just above.
Just in front of the wet bar is the helm station with seating for two. The helm is set far off to starboard leaving plenty of room for the passenger occupying the seat next to the skipper to act as the navigator. There are power vents on both the port and starboard where the side windows meet the front windshield if you want a little extra airflow. Down low we find the AC/heat vents that can be easily controlled by the skipper.
Our new 41 had only the Volvo IPS control panel mounted in the hinged fiberglass inlaid panel that lifts up for easy electronics installation and service. The dash has enough room on either side of the Volvo display for two 12-inch multifunction displays mounted on either side and there is room above and below for other displays, such as autopilot or VHF radio.
Although the electronics panel looks pretty barren, personally I prefer having the choice of electronics and determining their placement at the helm rather than having the factory choose for me. It is one of the ways to personalize the boat and get exactly the electronics and displays that you want.
Visibility from the helm is excellent and we have a near 360-degree unobstructed view from our adjustable, double-wide helm seat with flip-up bolster and fold-down armrests. From anywhere in the saloon, look up and you see a giant electric sunroof that opens to let in more air or sun. When they say “Sky Hatch,” that is exactly spot on. That sunroof is huge and has a slide cover if you want to block out the sun.
Staterooms And Galley
The 41 Cantius has a two-stateroom, two-head and galley-down design. Passing through the companion way and down four steps to the galley, we find the master stateroom forward, the galley to port, and the forward head to starboard. Making a 180-degree turn we find the midship stateroom aft and the second head on the port.
When you stand at the top of the steps and look into the cabin you get a good sense of the design and material selections. Our boat has the wenge wood interior and light colored ultra leather material; those features combined with polished chrome and stainless steel accents makes for a stunning cabin interior.
In the galley there is a refrigerator with a freezer compartment under the flat two-burner cooktop, a combination microwave convection oven at eye level and a large stainless steel sink with plenty of storage above, below and on the left. This is a well-laid-out galley with a quality look to it; the designer faucet is a nice touch. There is even an extra-large port hole to keep the area light and provide a view to the outside and can be opened for fresh air.
The forward master stateroom has a raised island queen with storage all around overhead, storage underneath, and hatch overhead. The nearly seven feet of headroom makes this space feel much larger.
The master head also has nearly seven feet of headroom, a separate large shower, a designer sink and faucet, and VacuFlush head. The mirrored cabinet fronts and opening porthole round out the high-end touches.
The midship stateroom has two single berths that can combine into a single queen berth. Again we have nearly seven feet of headroom in the cabin and three feet above the berth, which is surrounded by more storage overhead.
On the port is the second head with integrated shower, a vanity with mirrored cabinets and large sink and designer faucets, and a ton of storage underneath. Another opening port hole above the sink provides light and fresh air as desired.
Having been all through the interior and after idling around the Sausalito waterfront, we have all the slow speed photos we need. I call the camera boat and let them know that we are planning a high-speed run to Angel Island where we can relax a bit and just enjoy our yacht.
The plan is that we will run over to Ayala Cove at wide open throttle, just for the performance numbers, really, and wait there for the 350 Express to catch up. Swinging around and hitting the throttles our 41 jumps on plane and reaches 3560 RPM in short order.
I take a look at our handheld GPS and see that our speed is quickly climbing north of 34 knots. This is a good opportunity to do a few more spirited high-speed turns and see just how those forward-facing pod drives steer. Running wide open up Raccoon Strait, she carves very nice S-turns with no evidence of slide or bounce and stays controllable even at this speed.
Past Peninsula Point and approaching Angel Island we start to come back on the throttles and I look back and to my surprise the 350 Express is right behind us! That boat is a lot quicker than I thought and I decide that I am going to have to run around in that boat today as well.
Foredeck And Swimstep
While we are just drifting around Ayala Cove, I take the opportunity to make my way to the foredeck. It is pretty easy with the fairly wide walk around, handrails that seem to be exactly where you want to hold on, and side rails that extend all the way to the cockpit. Up front we find a stainless steel anchor nestled in the stainless steel anchor roller and coupled to the power windless that is operated by either the foot switches or controls at the helm.
Taking up most of the foredeck space are two large sun loungers that have pop up backrests and comfy foam cushions. This would be a nice place to relax awhile, but, unfortunately, I have work to do.
Back on the swimstep we take a look around some more and discover on the port side is a hatch that opens to reveal the city water hookup, cable and telephone, and a control switch for the Glendenning cablemaster. Below that is a small hatch covering a hot and cold cockpit shower.
Another surprise is the gas grill in the cockpit hidden under a countertop on the starboard quarter, a huge storage area under the transom table, and a couple of bar stools that fit the swimstep mounting plates. After deploying the bar stools, I have changed my mind, this is the spot to pass away the afternoon.
The innovative use of the swim step makes a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of port and a fine cigar while the shrimp are cooking on the barbi, and friends are gathered around. Kudos to the design team; I think they had me in mind when they envisioned this space.
Cruisers started this new design of yacht with the 48 Cantius in 2011, introduced her smaller sister, our 41, for 2012, and just recently introduced the 45. I promised (threatened) to come back and see what Cruisers Yachts did with the extra four feet when Silver Seas gets a 45 in inventory. I’m impressed with what Cruisers Yachts has done; these are not the Cruisers from 10 years ago.
Everywhere I look I find nice touches. From the extensive use of stainless and chrome accents, modern LED lighting, and high-end materials, the Cantius yachts are sure to be a hit. Combine the excellent design, the quality fit and finish, and the performance of those IPS500’s, Cruisers Yachts seems to be on the mark with 10 percent more boat for 10 percent less money.
The 41 Cantius has a few power options: a smaller diesel IPS470 or a gas IPS550G. But I can’t imagine improving on the performance of the IPS500 and wouldn’t think the cost savings of the smaller diesel or the gas power option would be worth it.
Silver Seas Yachts are new to Northern California, but the personnel are not. The company started in San Diego, opened up the Sausalito office in May 2012 and expanded to Newport Beach and Phoenix, AZ., this past summer. In Sausalito you will be working with veteran Northern California boaters.
To arrange for your own Cruisers Yachts experience, contact Silver Seas Yachts, 400 Harbor Way Suite E in Sausalito. Call them at 415/367-4022.
If Cruisers Yachts doesn’t offer quite the boat you are looking for, Silver Seas is the new boat dealer for Carver, Marquis and Four Winns.
Volvo IPS Drives
This story wouldn’t be complete without a few words about the Volvo IPS drives. According to Volvo there are more than 120 boat manufacturers that offer models powered by the Inboard Performance System (IPS). The IPS was introduced to the recreational boat manufacturers in 2004 and IPS-powered boats started appearing on the market in 2005. When introduced, Volvo claimed better maneuverability, increased boat speed, decreased fuel consumption, faster acceleration, and fewer emissions.
Over the last seven years, vessels developed around the IPS systems have largely lived up to these claims. Some manufacturers have conducted head-to-head tests of boats equipped with traditional drives and IPS have shown 30 percent better efficiency, 20 percent higher top speed, and 15 percent faster acceleration. While difficult to validate these claims just having the dramatically lower noise and vibration levels, virtually no exhaust smoke and the reduced space requirements make the IPS a viable power solution.
When you look at the IPS model number, such as IPS500, this doesn’t indicate that you have a 500HP engine coupled to the pod. The model numbers refer to what Volvo claims you need in conventional drive shaft for equal performance. Therefore, IPS500 means this would replace a 500 HP engine, but the actual HP of this engine is closer to 370HP. Confusing I know, but I didn’t make up this stuff.
The IPS consists of three main components: the engine with pod drive, the EVC control boxes (computer) and the helm controls. With just an electrical connection between these components, the reliability is improved and installation is simplified. Performance changes are as simple as software updates.
One of the more unique features of the IPS is its forward-facing duo-prop drives. Although these may seem strange, remember that the ship builders have been using forward facing pods on cruise ships and work boats for decades. This is not new technology, just new to recreational boating.
2012 Cruisers Yachts
LOA 42’ 0”
Beam 13’ 0”
Draft 3’ 9”
Air clearance 10’ 6”
Displacement 25,000 lbs.
Fuel 300 gallons
Water 75 gallons
Waste 50 gallons
Maximum measured speed 34 knots
Power twin Volvo IPS 500
Generator Kohler 13.5KW