After a day on the water testing the new Cruisers Yachts 50 GLS, I realized why it seemed so familiar. It reminded me of the Porsche 356 coupe I owned decades ago. It was fast, it was fun, it was comfortable, and everyone looked when I blew past. I loved that car dearly and still regret selling it.
GLS stands for Grand Luxury Sport and, as the flagship of the “adventuring” GLS series of Cruisers Yachts boats, the 50 is all that and more. This yacht is about fun and entertaining on the water. Once you get past using the words “Cruisers” and “outboards” in the same sentence, this is a quite spectacular yacht.
Cruisers calls the 50 GLS “the ultimate dayboat,” which is accurate in one sense, but limiting in another. The 50 is great for entertaining a boatload of friends, but also doubles as a surprisingly luxe overnighter, with two staterooms and a spacious head with a separate stall shower.
For starters, the cockpit is spacious, and even more so when the sides butterfly down to a 21-foot beam, leaving the aft seating in an island of comfort with its own table. The transom grill (or optional two grills) is convenient to the cockpit and allows the chef to surreptitiously dispose of charred burgers overboard.
Set well behind the chef is a whacking-great trio of 600 hp Mercs that push this 19 tons of comfortableness to just shy of 50 knots (56 mph) with more than enough punch to yank skiers and tow toys right out of the water when you put the hammer down.
Interior and Accessories
Three separate seating areas dot the cockpit, with more than enough room to move about without banging knees, and then there is the bow seating. Press a button and the windshield slides open (no lifting required), offering a deep walkway (safe for all ages) to reach the trio of adjustable sun lounges (with armrests) on the cabin top. You won’t want to walk 15 feet to the twin Isotherm fridges in the aft cockpit, so a cooler is tucked under a seat with a chiller plate (no ice).
Cruisers Yachts, now owned by MarineMax, created a good-looking yacht, from the black slash on the topsides that conceals the windows to the sleek hardtop that presents you with choices. Want sun and breeze? Open the sunroof and walkway door, plus lower the electric side windows. Hiding from the sun? A 9-foot MakeFast awning grows from the top to shade the aft cockpit.
The helm features a trio of 19-inch Simrad monitors (including CZone digital switching), a joystick linked to the Side-Power bow thruster, and a fully adjustable helm seat next to a double companion seat.
Step below and the bright cabin is surprising, with 6 feet, 8 inches of headroom and a queen-size berth forward behind French doors. A mini galley holds a microwave for morning coffee and croissants, and an Isotherm fridge augments the two in the cockpit galley. The enclosed head is most civilized, with a Lucite-doored stall shower more than 4 feet wide.
A second cabin is tucked under the cockpit, with a pair of berths that convert to a queen berth—perfect for kid naps or guests, although it won’t encourage them to linger. Each cabin has 32-inch TVs, and a 55-inch TV pops up behind the cockpit galley.
Before the 50 GLS was dropped into the water, I had a chance to examine the Donald L. Blount-designed hull with two full-length strakes and wide chine flats that threw the spray far to the side underway. It’s clear that Blount’s performance-boat background provided us with a soft ride through 2- to 3-foot seas, but more importantly, the 50 GLS begs you to exercise your secret Mr. Toad. Crank the wheel, and the twin-propped Merc V-12s bite like a Rottweiler. The 50 just grins, banks comfortably, and asks for more dog treats, please. Even Aunt Edna is going to love this ride.
And while you’d think that 36 cylinders hanging on the transom should make muscle-car noises, well, they don’t. At idle, we registered just 58 dB(A) on the decibel meter, and with the throttles down flat, we were at 85 dB(A), which OSHA says equates to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. There’s no “I didn’t hear you” excuse on the 50 GLS.
Hanging those outboards on the stern also opened immense undercockpit space, which had a Kohler 15 kW genset on our test boat (for keeping those blenders mixing margaritas and the AC going at the sandbar), plus a Seakeeper 6 gyrostabilizer. There was also ample storage for boat gear, from fenders to inflatable toys.
The speed chart tells part of the story (56.6 mph), but not the real-life part. Think in terms of Lauderdale to Bimini in 60 minutes, Long Beach to Catalina in a half-hour, and the same from Cape Cod to Nantucket. Even better, this isn’t a pounding ride, but a comfortably luxurious adventure.
Shopping? Another $1 million gets you a Formula 500 SSC with four Merc 600s ($3,537,110), plus another 10 mph at wide-open throttle. Do compare and run both boats.
The Cruisers 50 GLS checks all the boxes. It is a bowrider on steroids, an express cruiser with entertaining ambitions, an overnighter in comfort, and a performance boat.
Like my long-gone Porsche, the 50 GLS is a classic for our own times, and one that should bring you as much fun as my little silver four-banger.
Read Next: 2022 Cruisers Yachts 34GLS
How We Tested
- Engines: Triple 600 hp Mercury Verado V-12
- Drive/Props: Outboard/Verado 18″ x 27.5″ 4-blade (front); 3-blade (rear)
- Gear Ratio: 2.50:1 Fuel Load: 100 gal. Water on Board: 10 gal. Crew Weight: 450 lb.
- Folding cockpit “terraces” add flexibility and space at rest (but rails would be nice).
- High coamings and grab rails everywhere are safe for kids.
- Cockpit phone-charging station handles six phones, plus one by the skipper.
- Galley “splash rail” won’t keep any spilled gazpacho from hitting the upholstery.
- A handrail into the cabin would be appreciated.
- White dashboard creates huge reflections in windshield. Buy black felt!
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$2,485,000 (with test power)|
|Displacement (approx.):||38,000 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||24 degrees|
|Max Cabin Headroom:||6’8″|
|Fuel Capacity:||660 gal.|
|Available Power:||Triple Mercury 600 hp V-12 Verado outboards|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Cruisers Yachts – Oconto, Wisconsin; cruisersyachts.com