The Schaefer 510 Sport is a midsize express cruiser coupe that has many features seen on much larger boats, such as a three-stateroom, three-head layout, an available hydraulic swim platform that can ship a tender, and an elevated helm position. Volvo Penta IPS propulsion provides predictable performance, efficient cruising, and joystick maneuverability. She’s also got a galley placed so it’s convenient to the entire main deck, and uses generous amounts of the builder’s high-grade lacquer finish throughout. Perhaps most interesting, Schaefer will work with buyers to customize their boats, right down to layout, engine choices, interior finishes, and more.
- Three-stateroom, three-head layout
- Helm area with sunroof
- Swim platform
- Main-deck galley convenient to salon and aft deck
- Multiple layouts available, including two with galley-down arrangements
- Aft grilling area
|Length Overall||51' 11'' / 15.82 m|
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Time to Plane||7.9 sec.|
|0 to 30||10.0 sec. (0to20)|
|Load||4 persons, 1/2 fuel, full water, 50 lbs. of gear|
|Climate||81 deg., 69 humid; wind: 15-21 mph; seas: <1|
2 x 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS600
2 x 550-hp Volvo Penta IPS700
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Contents of Report
- Distinguishing Features
- Features Inspection
- Swim Platform
- Aft Deck
- Helm Station
- Master Stateroom
- Forward VIP Stateroom
- Guest Stateroom
- Additional Layouts
- Performance Test
- Engine Room
- Options to Consider
The Schaefer 510 Sport is a sleek sport cruiser coupe with a layout that works well for dayboating excursions as well as longer cruising adventures. Our test boat was well equipped with such options as a broad hydraulic swim platform that’s sure to entertain watersports enthusiasts, and a transom grilling station. Her lower-deck accommodations made excellent use of available space with three staterooms and three heads, each including a separate shower, to keep owner and guests happy for extended weekends aboard.
• A layout with three staterooms and three heads, each with a separate shower, is a rare find in this size range.
• The aft section is built for fun with a wide swim platform with a hydraulic option as well as a transom grilling station.
• The secret galley appears out from under folding lacquered panels.
• A sunroof changes the entire feel of the helm area and, indeed, the whole salon.
• An atrium-style passageway lets the natural light from the raked windshield into the lower deck.
• Excellent use of hullside windows and opening ports bring the waterviews and breezes belowdecks.
The swim platform stretches across the full width of the transom and is 5’11” (1.80 m) long with an optional 4’4” (1.32 m) section that lowers and raises hydraulically, with steps that automatically deploy ($29,704). The platform has a 1,600 lb. (726 kg) capacity and can be used to launch and retrieve a personal watercraft or RIB tender with receivers for chocks (an $1,111 option) and the tiedown eyes here as well as being a beach for swimmers.
The transom has stowage in a pair of lockers below a wide grab handle. The top lid opens to reveal a grill and sink with folding faucet. Insulated cooler lockers are to either side, ensuring easy access to cold drinks from the swim platform and the aft-deck seating area. Our test boat had a hydraulic Opacmare passerelle on the port side.
Up two stairs from the swim platform is the aft deck, which has a wide L-shaped settee across the transom for lounging. The stairs to the swim platform are protected by a swing-out, stainless steel gate. The aft deck has a teak table on a sturdy stainless pedestal with beverage holders and grab handles exposed when the leaves are folded in. A built-in refrigerator is handy when entertaining here.
A hardtop overhang offers the aft deck a bit of shade and weather protection. For a bit more shelter from the sun, there’s a manual crank shade that covers the aft deck.
At each aft quarter, 10” (25.4 cm) cleats have enclosed stainless fairleads. We would like to see the fairlead have a break in the top to pass the line through. There’s also a self-draining receptacle for excess line, something that helps keep the boat tidy, but we’d like to see a notch in the edge of the lid, rather than the center.
Behind a door in the house side on the aft deck we find the battery switches and beneath that, a hatch to the crew’s quarters, which includes a small head with a single berth just behind.
A docking station is positioned beneath a flip-up cover on the starboard side. A gas strut holds the lid out of the way, and there’s a Volvo Penta engine display and joystick, as well as a horn button and controls for the windlass.
Stairs to port and starboard lead from the aft deck to the side decks. When we climbed the stairs we noticed each side would benefit from a grab handle on the hardtop overhang. Both side decks are 18” (45.72 cm) wide with a 9” (22.86 cm) toerail and a bowrail that climbs from 27” (68.58 cm) aft to 31” (78.74 cm) forward.
The foredeck area is surrounded by the bowrail to make it safer to tend the ground tackle. Flanked by lockers, the vertical windlass is mounted in a recess with a chain stopper and the polished claw-style anchor sits in a stainless pulpit. There are 10” (25.4 cm) cleats to either side, and foot controls for the windlass.
The bow sun pad measures 82” (208.3 cm) wide at the head, 59” (149.9 cm) wide at the foot, and 91” (231.1 cm) head to foot, and has an integrated, raised pillow for sunbathers. To either side is a double beverage holder and a grab handle.
From the aft deck, sliding doors open up to 5’2” (1.58 m) wide to connect the salon to the aft deck. A flush threshold makes it easy to pass in and out without a tripping hazard.
Large windows confer plenty of natural light on the salon. If that’s not enough, there’s an expansive sunroof in the overhead that changes the entire feel of the interior when the weather is good. Seating in the salon is in a U-shaped settee set on a 7” (17.78 cm) high teak platform for improved sightlines. The salon table is on a sturdy pedestal, and, when folded up, has grab handles and beverage holders at either end.
The galley is opposite the settee, concealed beneath a lacquered counter. The counter sections that are the lids fold before opening, so they don’t block the side window completely when flipped up. Beneath them is a sink with folding faucet, a counter for food prep, a two-burner cooktop with potholders, stowage in lockers beneath, and a convection microwave.
To entertain the crew, there is a 32” (81.28 cm) TV with a 5.1-channel speaker system above the aft end of the counter. And cleverly positioned out of the way in the overhead are a Blu-Ray player and a control head for the stereo system.
The helm station is on a platform up two 10” steps with a leather-wrapped stainless grabrail for safety, and an angled panel on the forward end of the teak platform serves as a footrest.
The helm console is topped with a leather brow to cut glare with a compass set into it. A Lexan panel has a 9” (30.48 cm) Raymarine eS Series display to port, and the 7” Volvo Penta engine display to starboard. The Volvo Penta IPS joystick is to port of the wheel with switches for lights and wipers in a Lexan panel and a cubby set in the leather-wrapped dash. On the starboard side of the leather-wrapped steering wheel on its tilt base is the Volvo Penta engine throttle and shift binnacle, engine start switches, and other system controls. The starboard bulkhead has the Raymarine VHF and additional switches.
The single helm seat is wide (for one) and has quilted stitching and a two-tone treatment on the flip-up bolster seat cushion that shows off Schaefer’s in-house craftsmanship.
Belowdecks, a four-step companionway leads to an atrium-style passageway open to the steeply raked windshield above.
The master stateroom is located amidships and has hullside windows with opening ports to either side, with lockers to starboard topped with a lacquered shelf, and a settee to port. There’s a 32” (81.28 cm) flatscreen TV on the forward bulkhead, and additional stowage in lockers to either side.
The master head has private access from the stateroom and features a mirrored medicine cabinet, a hullside window with opening port, and a basin sink atop a vanity with stowage. The vanity and sink are a fine example of the company’s workmanship. The separate shower stall has a glass door on stainless hinges.
Forward VIP Stateroom
The VIP stateroom in the bow has an island berth measuring 77” by 70” (195.58 cm x 177.80 cm) on centerline with hullside windows bringing in natural light along with a round hatch in the 6’5” (1.97 m) overhead, that also serves as emergency egress.
Above each hullside window are welcome lacquer-finished lockers. Steps to either side make it easier to get in and out of bed. A 24” (60.96 cm) flatscreen TV is on the aft bulkhead and there’s a hanging locker to port.
The head has an entrance directly from the VIP stateroom, but, since it also serves as a dayhead for the yacht, there’s another entry door from the passageway. This head uses a half-cylindrical acrylic shower enclosure, a mirrored medicine cabinet, a hullside window with opening port, and a vessel sink atop a vanity with stowage, all finished with the same attention to detail as the master head.
To starboard, the guest stateroom features twin berths measuring 27” (68.58 cm) wide and 71” (180.34 cm) head to foot, and here they have a filler cushion to create a single berth. LED reading lights are located at the head of each bed. A hullside window has an opening port for natural light and ventilation.
The private head for this stateroom has a shower in a half-cylindrical acrylic enclosure. A mirrored medicine cabinet is above a hullside window with opening port, and there’s a basin sink atop a vanity with stowage beneath. The bench is designed to be used with the shower.
Schaefer has two other layouts for the lower deck of the 510 Sport, and each is a galley-down option.
The Schaefer 510 Sport has a LOA of 51’11” (15.82 m) and a beam of 14’4” (4.61 m). With an empty weight of 40,344 lbs. (18,300 kg), 50% fuel and four people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 43,155 lbs. (19,575 kg).
With the twin Volvo Penta 435-hp IPS600s powering our test boat, we reached a top speed of 29 knots or 33.4 mph (53.8 kph) at 3600 rpm.
Best economic cruise came in at 2800 rpm and 19.2 knots or 22.1 mph (35.6 kph). It was at that speed that the 26.8 gph (101.5 lph) fuel burn translated into 0.7 nmpg (0.32 kpl) and a range of 221.3 nm.
From a standing start, the Schaefer 510 Sport got onto plane in 7.9 seconds and accelerated from zero to 20 mph in 10.0 seconds.
The sunroof over the helm opens wide, and the helm position is designed for the driver to run the boat with a head above the windshield when standing.
The hull of the 510 Sport had sharp penetration as we ran through 1’ to 1 ½’ (.30 m to .46 m) chop. We didn’t experience any hull slap or pounding. We found that the boat ran better when we lowered the tabs to bring the bow down, which let the bow get into the waves and the sharp bow deadrise do its work. She has a 17-degree deadrise at the transom which is usually a good compromise between speed and ride in this size boat.
Leaving the bow up, we could feel some occasional pounding, but a touch on the tabs brought the bow down to ensure a comfortable ride – that’s because her deadrise is much greater forward to cut through the waves. This is true for most boats in class.
She handled beam seas smoothly, on an even keel. We found she was sensitive to trim and the tabs easily keep her level. They’re big tabs and they operate quickly, so be gentle with them. She was responsive to steering commands, and, as with most boats powered with Volvo Penta IPS she takes wide turns at speed with a comforting inward lean.
The test conditions yielded only some surface chop to contend with, we ran the boat through the wake of our test boat to emulate larger seas and she handled the waves well with her sharp forefoot, slicing through them and pushing the spray low to the sides.
To dock the boat, Schaefer asked us to put her in the slipway for the Travelift bow first, and we used the IPS joystick to deal with a crosscurrent and sustained wind until the crew could secure lines. This is a good example of when the joystick pays off.
The engine room is centered on the pair of 435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s. While these engines seem mounted close together, Schaefer paid attention to maintenance and simplified daily checks.
The 11.5 kW Cummins Onan genset is located to starboard (remember, crew’s quarters are located to port, encroaching somewhat on the space. The genset is also easy to tend with its strainer, fuel-water separator, and muffler readily accessible.
The 343-gallon (1,298 L) fiberglass fuel tank is positioned across the forward end of the engine room. Schaefer manufactures their own tanks, and we prefer fiberglass fuel tanks to aluminum, which can corrode if they come into repeated contact with water. Volvo Penta fuel-water separators are easily accessible and equipped with ball valves for handy shutoff, as are through-hull fittings for the air-conditioning pump and the genset cooling water.
Hydraulic systems for the swim platform and passerelle are located on a shelf across the transom at the aft end of the engine room. Batteries are situated aft under a cover near the fixed Fire-Boy fire-suppression system.
Options to Consider
• Hydraulic swim platform ($29,704)
• Aft-deck docking station ($7,875)
• Raymarine Axiom 12” (30.48 cm) multifunction display with chartplotter, sonar, VHF, and antenna ($15,526)
• Marine radar system ($4,884)
• Satellite TV system ($16,799)
• Electric aft-deck awning ($3,538)
Base price is $1.3 million.
• 10 years on all structural parts
• 2 years on all electrical installation
• 1 year on gelcoat, upholstery etc.
• Engines 3 years plus the option to upgrade
• Supplied equipment covered by each manufacturer
The Schaefer 510 Sport is a sport cruiser with the amenities to allow a boater to customize the boat to their needs. For example, an optional hydraulic swim platform makes for a wide, open area to lounge, hang out, and maybe cook some lunch on the optional transom grill, or it can be submerged to allow bathers to play in the water as the boat rests at anchor.
The long, lacquered counter on the starboard side of the salon makes for a sleek spot for revelers to stand at an onboard cocktail party, but it also opens up to be a full-service galley to feed dinner to a boatload of guests. The helm area can offer shelter from both the sun and rain as conditions warrant, and transition in moments to a wide-open space with a gaping sunroof and powered-down side windows to let in the refreshing sea breezes.
Schaefer understands that these transitions may be enough for many boaters, but they tell us they are prepared to offer additional options and choices as well.