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Cavileer 53 Convertible

2 x 800-hp Caterpillar 3406E diesel inboards

Brief Summary

The Cavileer 53 is a semi-custom yacht that’s both tournament-ready and exceptionally well built. She’s a good performer that delivers a stable ride and has sleeping accommodations for six.

Key Features

A semi-custom built boat with quality materials and a long list of standard
features. Her fishing amenities include a pair of hinged fish boxes with macerator, a live baitwell with recirculation pump, four rod holders, fresh and sea water washdowns, port and starboard side stowage lockers, and a tackle center with sink, sprayer, storage, and refrigerator/freezer. When it comes down to comfort the Cavileer has a grand salon, ample dinette area, a large galley with many extra features, three staterooms and two full heads.

Test Results

650 8.1 7 7 1.16 1.01 885 770 72
1000 11.9 10.3 14 0.85 0.74 648 563 75
1250 14.4 12.5 24 0.6 0.52 459 399 74
1500 20.2 17.5 26 0.78 0.67 593 516 77
1750 26.6 23.1 52 0.51 0.44 391 340 77
2000 31.8 27.6 64 0.5 0.43 380 330 78
2250 36.5 31.7 76 0.48 0.42 367 319 79
2300 38 33 82 0.46 0.4 355 308 79
Cavileer 53 chart.jpg


Length Overall 52' 6''
Beam 16' 6''
Dry Weight 52,500 lbs.
Draft 4' 6''
Deadrise/Transom 12 deg.
Max Headroom 6'4''
Bridge Clearance 13' 7''
Fuel Capacity 850 gal.
Water Capacity 150 gal.


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Acceleration Times & Conditions

Time to Plane 19.8 sec.
0 to 30 20.2 sec.
Ratio 1.92:1
Props 30x41 4-bld Nibral light cup
Load 2 persons, 1/2 fuel, 1/2 water, min. gear
Climate 75 deg., 75% humid., wind: 10 knots; seas: 1-2 feet

Engine Options

Tested Engine 2 x 800-hp Caterpillar 3406E diesel inboards
Std. Power 2 x 800-hp Caterpillar 3406E diesel inboards
Opt. Power 2 x 900-hp Detroit Diesel MTU 8V-2000 diesel inboards

Captain's Report

A new breed of semi-custom yachts has hit the marketplace with Cavileer’s new 53 Sport Yacht.
According to the company, the story of Cavileer actually dates back to the 1700’s in a small town of Lower Bank, N.J. where a man by the name of John Cavileer started building boats. As legend has it, George Washington used one of Cavileer’s boats to cross the Delaware because he was so impressed by the construction.
Current owner, John DiDonato believes in keeping the philosophy of premium construction by selecting the finest materials that go into each Cavileer.
Classic good looks, a proven hull design by renowned naval architect Donald Blount & Associates, and dependable Caterpillar diesel power make this battlewagon a formidable contender on the fishing circuit. Her Carolina bow flare makes her pretty to look at and dry.
Cavileer builds into the space. At 145 square feet, she has a large cockpit with plenty of room to fight a trophy fish or simply to entertain. The Cavileer will conform to whatever you would like to use her for. For example, she has a very large flying bridge that can easily seat eight people, which makes a nice place for your party during a cocktail cruise.
When it comes to sportfishing the 53 is tournament ready. Her fishing amenities include a pair of hinged fish boxes with macerator, a live baitwell with recirculation pump, four rod holders, fresh and sea water washdowns, port and starboard side stowage lockers, and a tackle center with sink, sprayer, storage, and refrigerator/freezer.
Stepping inside the main salon you will notice quality carpeting underfoot and, and high polished wood wherever you turn. The salon features an L-shape sofa with storage below, an entertainment center with television, VCR, and stereo with CD and DVD, and dinette area. There are also good overhead sea rails to help you handle getting around in less than agreeable conditions.
The master stateroom takes full advantage of the 53’s 16-foot, 6-inch beam. This comfortable and spacious room has plenty of storage space, a pair of night tables with reading lamps, an overhead storage area, a 13-inch television with VCR, and its own in-suite head.
The guest stateroom offers a walk-around queen berth with large drawers under the bed. A hanging locker is cedar lined and there’s plenty of lighting in addition to that overhead hatch with screen and sunshade. The second guest stateroom has upper and lower berths, a cedar lined closet, storage drawers and reading lights.

Up on the flying bridge there’s plenty of room for a party with a U-shaped lounge area that has storage below. The console has a locker and there’s a pedestal seat for the helmsman and a companion. The bridge also offers good lines of visibility from all directions.
At the helm there’s an array of electronics, gauges, and Caterpillar displays. Controlled by an electronic control module, which is the heart of the Caterpillar electronic engine system, this state-of-the-art computer is the result of years of intensive research and development. The result is a better performing engine that is ready to deliver the power where and when you want it.
When it came to her performance the 53 had a best cruise of 20.2 mph at 1500 rpm and a top speed of 38.0 mph at 2300 rpm. With 850 gallons of fuel, you can probably expect to get 593 miles at cruising speed.
In looking over the list of standard items on this boat, a number of things caught our eye, such as; an oil change system for engines and the generator, dual ram trim tabs, stainless steel water tanks, central vacuum system, keyless ignition switches, and Awl grip engine room with Dry-Deck sole. Options that we’d opt for include: cockpit coaming padding, emergency bilge-valve pump out, freshwater washdown on the foredeck, and 24v fuel-priming pump.
A word about her basic hull layup: we like it. Here’s why: Cavileer uses Vinyl-Ester Resin and End-Grain Balsa Core above the waterline only. Below the waterline it is solid glass and resin. Despite this, at 52,500 lbs. displacement the boat is on the light end of the scale.