Schaefer V33 sea trial review: Fresh from Brazil – the perfect summer party boat

Is it a Pardo? Is it a Fjord? No, it’s a Schaefer V33 – and it’s bringing its own brand of dayboating luxury all the way from Brazil...

When we first laid eyes on the Schaefer V33, it was making its UK debut at the 2022 Southampton Boat Show. Rather cleverly, the guys at Gibbs Quay Boat Sales had taken along both the inboard and outboard models but it was the outboard model that really struck a chord.

Having made it to the show at the last second, it wasn’t quite ready to be tested but with its plunging bow, elegant steelwork and glittering ‘Porsche Blue’ livery, it looked every inch the mini Pardo. Interestingly though, that’s not where the heritage of the brand lies at all.

As the largest boatbuilder in Brazil, Schaefer’s distinguished 31-year history has been all about sportscruisers and luxury motor yachts from 30 to well in excess of 80ft. Its meat and drink had always been cabin-equipped cruising machines and yet what we had here was a specialist dayboat with walkaround side decks and a very healthy dose of chic Med-style glamour.

With our interest duly piqued, we gave the guys at Gibbs a couple of weeks to add the finishing touches before heading down to Poole for a sea trial. At just under a third of the overall length, a beam of 11ft is not especially huge by the standards of an open 34-footer but you certainly feel every bit of the V33’s breadth on the inside.

Narrow gunwales, open side decks and central furniture all help with that but it’s the Schaefer’s campaign of concealment that really seals the deal. As you might expect of a boat in this sector, everything even vaguely ugly or workmanlike is recessed, contained or hidden from sight.

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The shore power socket and the stanchions for the sunshades are recessed into the bulwarks. The fuel and water fillers sit in moulded troughs on the gunwale tops. The cleats are sunken and the midships boarding steps are fold-down, teak-lined and elegantly lit.

In fact, even the walkaround decks are unencumbered by forward steps – and while that’s a surprising design choice for a cruising specialist, it certainly does useful things for the day spaces.

Read Alex’s full review of the Schaefer V33 in the April 2023 issue of MBY, which is out now.

Schaefer V33 specifications

LOA: 33ft 9in (10.33m)
Beam: 11ft 0in (3.35m)
Draught: 1ft 6in (0.45m)
Displacement: 4,950kg
Fuel capacity: 700 litres
Engines: Twin Mercury 300hp V8 outboards
Top speed on test: 43 knots
Fuel consumption: 56lph @ 20 knots
Range: 200nm @ 20 knots
Noise: 88.5 d(B)A @ 20 knots
RCD category: C for 10 people
Price as tested: £344,950 (inc. VAT)


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