Schaefer Yachts may not be a household name in the Middle East, however, on the other side of the South Atlantic Ocean, Brazil’s largest yacht manufacturer is understandably huge. Schaefer has been building fun, stylish cabin cruisers for almost 30 years and in that time over 3,500 boats between 26 and 83 feet have been delivered.
Currently, Schaefer operates five factories and three shipyards in Brazil (and a sales office in Fort Lauderdale) with the yards specialising in teak, furniture and upholstery. Keeping production in-house keeps quality high and costs low, leaving founder, CEO, and naval architect Marcio Schaefer to concentrate on working alongside the shipyard’s design team.
Length-wise, the range stretches from the 33-foot V33 centre console to the 25-metre Schaefer 25M with the 400 featured sitting just under halfway in the range. We met Schaefer’s Middle East representative at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club marina for a steamy, mid-summer cruise down the Dubai Canal to Marasi Business Bay. First impressions highlighted the crisp, whiteness of a new boat.
Schaefer’s 400 is styled in the classic cabin cruiser way with the bow design arcing aft to the swim platform. The white, grey, and black colourway gives it a sophisticated feel, set off with a light blue stripe at the waterline.
Although almost all of the Schaefer range is inboard, the 400 features a triple outboard setup. This takes up a fair bit of swim platform space and practicality, but the advantage of the outboards’ ease of maintenance does make triple Mercury 300s an attractive option (as does a 35-knot top speed). There’s still plenty of space on the swim platform, highlighted by the shower and gourmet station complete with an electric BBQ. It’s a social area which can also serve the cockpit.
Here, we find a starboard C-shaped sofa and foldable table, with a two-seat sofa to port. There are plenty of usable surfaces within reaching distance of the seating and although the 400 is open, a subtle bimini can be erected which protects the cockpit from the elements.
Forward, the captain has a commanding view forward from the two-seater helm. Large Simrad displays are easy to see and above, a huge sunroof slides open adding to the 400’s sportiness.
Stepping down the port stairs leads to the lounge area. A galley with a Silestone countertop with sink and faucet are handily located to port with a refrigerator and ample storage making food prep a breeze. The opposite is an L-shaped sofa and table topped with even more storage and long hull windows. Here, a 32” LED TV and marine sound system can be enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort.
Forward is the Master Cabin. Here natural light floods in through the moon roof, hull windows, and portholes highlighting the cabin’s white and grey colourway. It feels as spacious as it looks and it’s always a treat to be able to watch the sea from the bed.
Amidships is the guest cabin, which again is light and airy thanks to the 400’s hull windows and portholes. Depending on guests, the cabin can be made into a double or twin, both Master and guest cabins are en suite.
|Schaefer 400 specifications|
|Deadrise angle:||17.4 degrees|
|Max speed:||33 kn|
|Cruise speed:||25 kn|
|Fuel consumption @ 25kn:||78 l/h|
|Fresh water capacity:||250 ltr|
|Fuel capacity (inboard engines):||800 ltr|
|Fuel capacity (outboard engines):||1050 ltr|
|Air draught:||3.25 m|
|Passenger capacity (day):||14|
|Passenger capacity (night):||5|
As far as 40-foot cabin cruisers go, the Schaefer Yachts 400 is an intriguing option. Build quality is top-notch, with the continuity of keeping various production stages in-house showing in the overall fit and finish – this is a solid yacht from bow to swim platform. Add in the performance of triple outboards and you have a yacht that is both fast and practical.