Outback Yachts was founded on the philosophy that form follows function and the new Outback 50 is designed for boating families who like to engage in all kinds of activities on the water. She is available in three different main deck layouts and can be configured to sleep up to six belowdecks.
2 x 320-hp Volvo Penta D4i-G
2 x 425-hp Cummins QSB 6.7
2 x 480-hp Volvo Penta D6
Report by Eric Colby
The new Outback 50 is designed with a focus on what the company calls “outdoor living” at sea. She has a flying bridge that covers more than half of the boat’s length and a large open aft deck that serves as a headquarters for a variety of activities. Her main deck is available in three layouts and belowdecks, she can sleep up to six. Outback Yachts worked with Michael Peters Yacht Design on a bottom that can run 20 knots on a combined 600 hp.
The Outback Story
Andrew Cilla grew up boating on the Jersey Shore. For years, he and his family would cruise on their large power yacht through the Florida Keys and the Bahamas with their smaller fishing skiff in tow. Diving, fishing or dinner ashore always took place on the smaller boat. He realized that everyone spent more time on the little boat and in the cockpit of the large yacht than they did in the salon or below. Cilla decided that his brood would enjoy the cruising experience more on a yacht with a much larger cockpit.
He shared his vision with friends in the yachting industry and eventually worked with Michael Peters Yacht Design to draft the first Outback 50. Once the design was refined, they partnered with John Olson of Offshore West, Inc., in Newport Beach, Calif., which is the distributor for Offshore Yachts built by Kha Shing Enterprises in Taiwan. Cilla convinced Olson to become president of Outback Yachts and manage the construction of the boats at the Kha Shing yard. Hull #1 is Cilla’s personal boat and was launched in 2019.
Outback 50 Major Features
- Huge aft deck
- Extra-large flying bridge
- Three Main Deck layouts
- Choice of accommodations
- Large Salon Windows
- Upper and Lower Helm Stations
- Twin inboards up to 960 hp combined
Outback Yachts 50 Features Inspection
The Flying Bridge. Regardless of which plan an owner selects, the flying bridge is the same with stairs aft to port and an open boat deck to starboard with a crane. Tall stainless-steel rails extend aft on each side of the boat deck. An L-shaped lounge wraps around a small triangular-shaped table to starboard and has storage beneath the cushions. The helm is centrally positioned with two individual Todd ladder-backed style captain’s chairs. An acrylic forward-angled acrylic windscreen encircles the flying bridge.
The flying bridge helm console has a compass up top in line with the steering wheel. The Furuno electronics suite includes an autopilot to port with a multifunction display in the center. A panel to starboard has indicator lights to show which accessories are running. On the flat aft dash panel, the Volvo Penta engine screen is to port with the trim tab buttons alongside. To starboard, the thruster control is alongside the engine shifts/throttle levers.
The Bow. Side decks with raised bulwarks provide for safe passage fore and aft on each side of the pilothouse. The foredeck has a raised trunk cabin and all walking surfaces are covered in nonskid. The ground tackle includes a centrally positioned windlass on a raised deck. Controls are on each side abaft large stainless-steel cleats that have small chocks just ahead. The anchor is stainless steel and there’s access to the rode via a glove box-style hatch just below and abaft the windlass.
The Stern. Moving aft, all versions of the Outback 50 feature a focus on recreating and gathering “out back” on the yacht. The feeling on the aft deck is one of openness and versatility thanks to her 16’ (4.88 m) long open space. A stowable table and folding chairs can be set up for al fresca dining or just hanging out. The flying bridge stairs fold up into the overhead, which saves space and keeps passengers from unexpectedly heading up top. There are lounges on each side atop molded fiberglass bases and stainless-steel gates and removable rails close the passage to the short swim platform. The boat deck extends aft, shading most of the aft deck. Hatches in the deck provide access to the lazarette area and the twin Volvo Penta engines. The swim platform is a short step down with a reboarding ladder to port.
Salon Layouts. The differences between the Extended Salon and Infinity Deck are in the salon area. Stainless-steel framed glass doors pull all the way aside to create seamless passage between the aft deck and the salon. The Infinity Deck has an L-shaped lounge to port around a table with two individual chairs to starboard. The galley is forward to port with the lower helm to starboard.
The Extended Deckhouse has a larger lounge to port with an entertainment center aft and the same individual chairs and table to starboard. The galley and lower helm are configured the same as in the Infinity Deck plan. Go with the Extended Salon with Aft Galley follows the current trend of having the galley aft to port so it can serve the aft deck and salon. A large U-shaped salon is just ahead to port with a loveseat to starboard. Forward to port is a doublewide forward-facing lounge with the lower helm to starboard.
The Galley. The galley has an efficient layout with a sink, a three-burner cooktop, microwave-convection oven and an under-counter refrigerator. There’s storage overhead and throughout the salon and galley, there are plenty of windows to provide outstanding views.
The Lower Helm. The lower helm is the primary command station with dual multifunction displays, a full array of accessory switches and redundant controls. There’s also a VHF radio. An owner can choose the electronics supplier.
Outback 50 Accommodations Deck
The Cabins. Centrally positioned stairs forward lead belowdecks to the Outback 50’s cabin deck. Either way, the master is forward in the bow with a centrally positioned berth and twin hanging lockers aft. In the two-cabin plan, all four passengers share the same head. In the two-stateroom plan, the guest cabin is aft to port with private access to the day head. If more space is needed, another cabin with two single berths is added to starboard. The three-cabin configuration has a private head for the master and the two aft cabins share the day head.
Engines and Systems Access. Another benefit of the large aft deck is the access to the lazarette and engines. Hatches open on twin electrically powered struts to provide access to both, which should facilitate routine maintenance.
The Numbers. The Outback 50 is designed for efficiency and a shallow draft of 3’ (0.9 m). She displaces 40,000 lbs. (18,143.69 kg) and carries 550 gallons (1,892.7 liters) of fuel and 150 gallons (567.81 liters) of water. Standard power is twin 320-hp Volvo Penta D4i-G inboards that the company says pushes her to a top speed of 21 knots and a cruise of 18 knots. Upgrade to the optional twin 425-hp Cummins QSB 6.7 engines and the top speed jumps to 24 knots and a cruise of 20 knots. Outback says the 50’s design creates a small “hump” between 12.5 and 15 knots as the yacht transitions from displacement mode to planing. At cruising speeds between 15 and 20 knots, Outback says the 50 can cover “several hundred miles” on a tank of fuel. Throttle back to 8 knots and the range extends to approximately 1,000 miles.
Outback says the 50 is designed for folks to have more fun “out back” and the slogan fits. She’s clearly designed with a focus on the aft deck and the concept has promise. Leaving the area open is kind of minimalist, but it works for this boat. There’s space for a tender, loose furniture, a paddleboard and dive gear. Name the activity and the Outback 50 probably has the space to enjoy it. She’s not quite an expedition yacht but with this first model, the company may have created a new category — adventure yacht.