If you live on the U.S. West Coast, and are in the market for a production cruiser or perhaps a semi-custom motoryacht that offers the latest innovation and styling, Seattle Yachts offers you an alternative that warrants serious consideration. Boaters now have an opportunity to own a semi-custom motoryacht, tailored to one’s needs and desires, at a price rivaling those of production powerboats. Seattle Yachts is the Schaefer Yachts dealer for California, Oregon, and Washington state. Use our Contact Us page to get in touch with your local Seattle Yachts location.
Schaefer Yachts is a factory-direct, semi-custom builder in Brazil. With almost 30 years of continuous production, it is also the largest boat builder in that country. Its growth and evolution as a premier yacht builder spawned the development of yacht-related industries in the region of Florianopolis, and which now collectively employs 4,000 people in the marine industry. The three Schaefer Yachts production facilities have built over 3,500 yachts over the years, and while 80 percent of its customer base are the younger and affluent families in Brazil, the company moved into the U.S. market several years ago aiming to be a player in the lucrative North American motoryacht segment.
Factory direct is something to consider. It usually means better service and product knowledge, as you deal directly with the people who build the boats. It often means the pricing is more attractive without additional layers of management and costs. Ultimately, it provides the closest relationship between the buyer and the boat builder. And now, with Seattle Yachts as its representative to extend that factory connection to the West Coast, anyone interested in a unique motoryacht, custom built to fit one’s particular needs, can work directly with the builder to create a unique motoryacht at a price normally associated with a production boat.
Consider this. If a family needs a stateroom with bunk beds for its two boys, Schaefer Yachts can design a layout around bunk bed accommodations in its own stateroom, not the other way around, squeezing bunk beds into an existing space that doesn’t quite work. Conversely, in the same hull, a couple who want to spend time aboard with another couple, can opt for two large staterooms, complete with ensuite heads, rather than three staterooms that share heads. This is the unique appeal of semi-custom boat building.
South American Style
The history of Schaefer Yachts is interesting because, rather than simply copying European and North American designs and interior treatments, the builder chose from the beginning to focus its product line with design and style that fit the Brazilian lifestyle. The demands of boating in Brazilian waters requires hull shapes and construction that can handle rough weather, which is common in this part of the world.
Located 1,100 kilometers south of Rio de Janiero, Schaefer Yachts’ three facilities use a vertical business strategy. They make—and therefore control—everything that goes into each yacht, using local materials where available and crafting their own hardware, cabinetry, and upholstery. The company even owns its own limber yard to mill hardwoods for interior treatments that match owner preferences.
This results in getting exactly the interior each set of owners wants, whether it is exceptionally contemporary that appeal to younger buyers, the latest fashionable European styling, or more of a traditional motoryacht look.
Schaefer Yachts’ founder, naval architect Marcio Schaefer, is chief designer of all yachts in the model lineup. The company strives to build yachts that offer more deck space, high performance at sea, and exotic interior materials that are chic, contemporary, and decidedly Brazilian.
Shaefer’s staff of engineers and designers take advantage of the latest technology to offer innovative features and design details as they become available. The builder owns a five-axis CNC milling machine to create molds for efficient and robust hulls up to 85 feet, deck structures, and other components that are part of the building process. Resin infusion is used exclusively, so the boats are lightweight, strong, and efficient. This also allows the designers to come up with interesting features, such as the fold-out side balconies, that provide 25 percent greater entertaining space on the deck level.
Embrace One’s Lifestyle
Seattle Yachts Regional Sales Manager, Russ Carrington, commented on the arrangement between the Brazilian yacht builder and Seattle Yachts, which has offices all along the West Coast. Russ explained his West Coast clients do not necessarily share the interests of East Coast buyers. California buyers generally are not interested in televisions in every stateroom, for example. And the preferred interior treatment should reflect the laid-back California lifestyle more reminiscent of a beach house than a European, chrome and glass interior with sparkly trim and mirrors. Luxurious beach living in more in line with California cruising.
Many clients are not looking for long distance cruising machines, but rather motoryachts in the 40- to 60-foot range perfectly suited for multi-day local cruises where the boat is used like a comfortable beach house. If you live in California, that means leisurely cruises to the Channel Islands, or Catalina, or Monterey Bay. Chilling with family and friends, with all the comforts and accommodations of a custom yacht, outfitted to reflect contemporary beach living.
Nils Kah manages the Schaefer Yachts operation in North America, based in Ft Lauderdale. Nils thinks this Brazilian builder is perhaps the perfect choice for today’s motoryacht owner. He likes to think of Schaefer Yachts as a boutique builder, one that can accommodate most any combination of interior layout and system choices. It is all about flexibility. For its 58-foot motoryacht, for example, there are 24 optional engine and propulsion combinations. The inhouse design and engineering offices puts together 3D CAD files that the builder uses to make sure it all works as intended.
According to Nils, the hull molds already exist, yet the interiors are exceedingly flexible, literally an open canvas in terms of layout, accommodations, helm stations, flybridge, and lounge areas. The builder can accommodate most any interior design ideas to fit between the forward and aft bulkheads. And with almost 30 years of experience, the builder can make sure the desired layout works with all systems, weight, and other engineering considerations.
To offer such flexibility at production-boat pricing is nothing short of extraordinary, which is only possible because of the factory direct relationship between buyer and builder. Seattle Yachts is an extension of that relationship. And Seattle Yachts preorders motoryachts it knows will fit customer needs, so buyers don’t need to wait the nine-months it takes to build a yacht…once a building spot opens up, of course.
The motoryachts are built to cruise at 26+ knots in weather and seas that would slow down most other motoryachts and semi-displacement cruisers. The very pronounced hull shape has evolved over the years to provide high-speed comfort with its sharp entry, yet also provide the relaxing and comfortable living spaces at the end of the day. The hull has a 10-year warranty.
Propulsion options include V-drives, surface-piercing drives, Volvo Penta IPS drives, and even outboards to reflect the changes of today’s times. Nils Kah prefers the IPS drives for a variety of reasons. Powered by 600 to 800 hp Volvo Penta diesel engines, IPS drives have proven to be the most efficient way to drive these yachts. They also take advantage of the relatively short length of the available engine room space, which in some models does not allow traditional straight drives.
In the smaller motoryacht line, outboards as a growing power alternative, as seen in the company’s new Schaefer 400, powered by three outboards.
The newest model is the Schaefer Yachts 660 motoryacht, CE rated as Class “A” open ocean, although all Schaefer Yachts are built to NMMA certification, following ABYC guidelines. Whatever your mission, a Schaefer yacht is up to the task. As Nils pointed out, while most Brazilian owners day cruise these yachts, a two stateroom, two ensuite head layout would make an ideal motoryacht for the Great Loop, should that find its way onto one’s bucket list.
The flexibility in floor plans is not the only selling point. The company is quick to innovate and installing a Seakeeper gyro stabilizer is now common. The fold-down, side balcony is also popular as it expands the social living space while at anchor or moored. And the recent introduction of joystick controls that replace traditional wheel steering only reinforces the forward-thinking at Schaefer Yachts.
Have It Your Way
If you want to find out if a semi-custom motoryacht might be the ideal yacht for your family fun on the water, contact Seattle Yachts to discuss your ideas. These yachts are meant to wow you, a great combination of performance, capability, luxury, and unique living that does everything you could ask…while keeping you safe and comfortable.
Your next adventure may be closer than you think, on a motoryacht built just for you. That sure seems an alluring proposition.