You don’t need to know much about boats to see at a glance that the Schaefer V33 is something special. Schaefer is the number one boat manufacturer in South America and this exceptional brand is now available at Exclusive Sportsboats, an importer and dealer based in Maaseik, Belgium, just five minutes from the Dutch border. The Schaefer V33 blends power and style. To see it in action, we checked out the test boat to experience the vessel’s range of features.
The video is in Dutch. For English subtitles, turn on the captions and select auto-translate to English.
Schaefer markets 14 models of luxury motor yachts of between 30 and 85 feet. The boats are made in Brazil at an ultra-modern yard using the most advanced construction methods. The vacuum-infused hulls are super light but strongly built, while the latest software and fastest computers are used in development and production. Schaefer also has its own factory for interior panelling. Most Schaefers are exported to the United States and only a small number are made available for the European and Australian markets.
The type we tested, the V33, has been specially developed for the European market, particularly for boating in the Mediterranean. What we love in a day boat is the power to whisk you off to a beautiful bay in time to make the most of the day. After sunbathing with a glass of wine, swimming, and perhaps firing up the barbecue, you can then return comfortably through the waves to your home port. It seems to me that with this Brazilian beauty, Schaefer totally understands what we want here on the other side of the Atlantic. The design is modern, sleek and fantastically finished, with its anchor neatly concealed in the anchor locker. The high standard of quality is glaringly obvious. There are stainless rub rails in all the key locations – over the entire length at the widest points of the hulls, for example, and extra strips at the foldable cleats.
Solid and practical
The V33 is a walkaround. In other words, you can walk around the helm. The layout is practical and it’s easy to board via the swim platform. One beautiful detail is the recessed bulwark, which gives the boat an extra design accent. At the stern, the motors are positioned closely together. In the model with an inboard motor, it’s housed under the sun deck. In the outboard version, this huge space is available for storage. You open the hatch with the push of a button that sets a spindle in action. A short stainless steel ladder gives you a view of the trusses and stringers, which are as thick as railway sleepers. While the 2 x 2 x 350-litre stainless steel fuel tanks are mounted at the sides and the plastic water tank can be found on the underside of the boat.
Safety and comfort
There are several spots where you can take comfort on the Schaefer V33. There’s a seat at the back of the cockpit and a forward-facing sofa opposite a table. And what’s more, is that the seating and table can be converted into a large sunbed. The front seating can even be folded so that you can also sit facing the bow. There are good grab handles everywhere, which is an important safety feature on a boat you can take out to sea. Under the lid of the solid outdoor kitchen, you’ll find an icebox with a drain for melting water from ice cubes and an optional compressor cooling plate. There’s also a sink and a regular fridge with a freezer compartment, a waste bin, and to complete the outdoor bar, a large cabinet for glasses and several handy transparent cup holders.
Comfort at the helm
Behind the large windscreen, you can relax at the helm thanks to the comfortable seating and optional navigation screens. You’re protected from the sun by a sturdy and attractive T-top with the V33 logo on the side. The roof houses the speakers of the modern audio system as well as lighting spots. At first glance, the helm seat seems quite short and chiefly intended as standing support, but in reality, it can easily be pulled out into a comfortable sitting position. The steering wheel angle is adjustable and the wheel turns smoothly. The Simrad screen on the boat we tested is an option, chosen for compatibility with the Mercury engine. And of course, there’s also an option to install two screens.
Chic and exclusive
Next to the helm is the access door to the berth, which is surprisingly bright. Although, there are also window covers to keep out the sunlight so you can sleep soundly. Barely visible from the outside, this little sun palace is actually more spacious than you might expect, although storage space is limited. The woodwork is veneered – a cherry is an option, but on the boat we tested, it was in matte black, with the toilet and cupboard doors sprayed in metallic Montana Grey to match the hull. This gives the V33 a chic and exclusive look. Next to the stairs, there’s a small sideboard with attractive fittings and practical drawers. The bed is spacious, and with a gap filler, it invites you to spend an atmospheric night. On the starboard, there is a stylish wet room with a somewhat short toilet. It’s also worth noting that there is full headroom in most of the cabin and the wet room.
The large hatch at the front, primarily intended as the CE-mandatory escape hatch, is fitted with support so it can be used for extra ventilation, which is a useful feature. Outside on the cabin roof, there is a large comfortable sun bed with sturdy armrests. This has cup holders and – more importantly – hinged armrests to allow you to get on and off easily. The safety of the V33 is obvious when you walk along the high gunwales of the moving boat. Carbon posts are fitted on the sides to support a sunshade at the stern. You attach the Bimini top to the back of the T-top. The boat is also available in an open version without a T-top.
Modern motor option
The V33 can be powered either by 320 hp inboard diesel or a single 420 hp petrol motor, but the more modern option is to go for two powerful outboard motors, which makes both maintenance and manoeuvring easier. For the outboard motors, there’s a choice of 2 x 200 to 2 x Mercury 300 hp. The motors are positioned close together, to offer maximum space on the swim platform and to prevent them from lifting out of the water in sharp turns, causing cavitation. The advantage of these Mercury V8 Verado 300 hp engines is that you can optionally equip them with a joystick. This makes manoeuvring in the harbour child’s play. You can even virtually moor the boat. The test boat didn’t have this option, but it was fitted with a Max Power bow thruster.
As soon as we set off, it’s immediately apparent how easily this beauty cruises. The motors whisper you along and that makes gentle boating extremely relaxing. Having said that, if you hang 600 horsepower behind a five-ton boat and open up the throttle, you can expect quite a show. Nevertheless, this Schaefer V33 remains remarkably relaxed, skimming stylishly over the water without rearing like a stallion. With a top speed of 43 knots (80 km/h / 50 mph), you are in constant control. The boat carries you comfortably and as steady as a high-speed train.
Anyone who opts for a Schaefer is only satisfied with the best, so it’s understandable that an exclusive boat like this comes with quite a price tag. The standard version with inboard Mercruiser 380 hp petrol engine with Bravo 3 starts at €263,128. In the version we tested, with 2 x 300 hp Mercury Verado V8 and virtually all the available options, the Schaefer V33 comes in at €408,000.