53 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
The Best of Both Worlds
|The Cavileer 53 is as adept at cruising as she is backing down on a grander.|
Today's world is all about systems integration, having a single solution to address all your needs. For instance, you can get all your plotting, navigation, and fish-finding software plus a seafood cookbook on a single CD-ROM. Well, maybe not the cookbook, but it's coming.
The same integration process applies to your boat, and to address the multifaceted needs of today's boater, upstart boatbuilder John DiDonato and his Cavileer yard have launched the Cavileer 53. (Don't be fooled by the name: The Cavileer 53 actually measures 55'6" LOA.) Referring to her as a sport yacht, DiDonato told me he was looking to provide a boat for both the die-hard bluewater angler and the family man who likes to both cruise and/or fish.
I met up with DiDonato and Walt Rosenberg, sales manager for McKee Yacht Sales, at the recently renovated Schooner Island Marina in Wildwood, New Jersey. Walking down the dock to the 53, I found it easy to spot her expansive flying bridge and sleek lines that give the impression of sportfisherman strength and yacht sophistication.
Bluewater anglers will find plenty of space in the 53's 140-square-foot-plus cockpit. A 40-gallon transom livewell, two deck fishboxes, and four rod holders are standard. Add the optional Rupp outriggers, ice machine, fighting chair, and cockpit controls, and you have a serious fishing machine. If you're thinking about this as a tournament boat, I'd also add teaser reels in the flying bridge as well as a few more rod holders and convert the stowage areas in the cockpit sides into rod stowage.
Regardless of the way you rig her, the 53 would make a fine stand-alone sportfisherman, but she also offers all the creature comforts for cruising. Her saloon sports an L-shape lounge to port with a table that will come in handy for dining or cocktails. The L-shape lounge is also the best spot for viewing the standard Sony TV or working the AM/FM stereo, DVD player, or VHS player. Another lounge to starboard is perfect for afternoon napping. The sea chef in you will make good use of the microwave, electric cooktop, and sink just a few steps forward. A refrigerator and freezer sit conveniently below the counter, giving you plenty of food stowage if you're planning an extended trip. All these appetizing amenities are standard on the Cavileer 53.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.