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A degree of gumption is involved anytime a big-name builder squeezes a new model into a bulging niche market. Triple that for an outfit like Schaefer Yachts. The 24-year-old Brazilian yachtbuilder is internationally known, but hardly a household name in North America. Its first U.S. offering is a flybridge sport cruiser with a fresh take on space and volume for less than $2 million.

“We conceived the 560 to fill a gap in our line between our top-selling 500 model and our 640,” said Samuel Brito, CEO of Schaefer Yachts USA. “The designer, Marcio Schaefer—a naval architect and engineer who also happens to be the owner and chairman of the shipyard—loves boating. It’s not very often you have an owner so involved in the complete construction process of each boat.”

The 560 has open spaces for social gathering and entertaining. A galley is aft on the port side—a location becoming popular in interior design. Sure, the galley absorbs what might otherwise be additional salon space, but it more than makes up for that loss with natural light and 360-degree views.


Also aboard the 560 are fine woods, high-quality leathers and lots of glass, all within a 16-foot-3-inch beam. Extending aft from the salon, the alfresco main-deck entertainment area has a grilling station at the stern. Belowdecks, a full-beam master stateroom is amidships with a king-size bed, a sitting area, hull-side windows and an ensuite head.


A pair of 625-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS800s give the 560 a zippy yet economical 26-knot cruise speed with 31 knots at the top end. I found her a pleasure to drive—responsive to the touch with good cut and minimal slippage on the corners. And with the pods, she’s user-friendly.

There’s a lot to like about this luxurious Latina, which seems well equipped for the American market. 

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