Schaefer 303By Andy Adams

Formula for Fun

When company founder Marcio Schaefer designed the Schaefer 303, he managed to really dial in the formula for fun and proof of that success are the more than 1,500 Schaefer 303’s that have been sold globally by this Brazilian boat builder. The 303 is their most successful model so far. The Schaefer Yachts brand has just come to Ontario and our test boat was imported by Yacht Solutions for their shared ownership program, starting at their location in Toronto’s Outer Harbour Marina. Of course, other new 303s are available as well.

The Schaefer 303 was developed primarily as a day boat for having fun with family and friends going sight seeing, doing water sports, swimming, diving and fishing as well as other activities, but where many day boats in this size range mainly focus on the accommodations above decks, the Phantom 303 also has a very usable cabin with head, vee berth and a mid-ship master berth so you could easily weekend aboard, especially with a young family.

EXTERIOR

Port-Side LoungerThis comfortable port-side lounger lets a guest stretch out and converse with the driver.

Approaching from the pier, the swim platform immediately impresses with its large size and easy access into the cockpit. There is a large aft-facing bench seat for swimming and tanning. The Schaefer 303 could be used like a 32-foot open runabout, but it features a large arch over the cockpit area. This is quite substantial and very functional carrying lights, speakers and also, being fitted with a towing eye for wakeboarders, or tubing. The main function of the arch however, is to serve as the mounting point for the large Bimini roof and windows. With the roof up, guests are protected from the elements and it almost feels like an enclosed boat. The large clear sections bring in plenty of light and let you keep driving through inclement weather.

Volvo Penta V6 280 Stern DrivesThe twin Volvo Penta V6 280 stern drives are easily accessible for service checks.

From the helm area, steps lead up through the swing-open windshield section to the twin sun lounges on the fore deck. This also gives access to the anchor locker, electric windlass and ground tackle. The anchor shaft passes through the bow making a neat and attractive installation and there is a generous locker for chain and rope. Stainless-steel railings provide security.

 



INTERIOR – COCKPIT

Lighted Glasses LockerThe attractive lighted glasses locker in the cockpit.

The transom walk-through is on the port side while the starboard side features u-shaped seating that could accommodate eight to ten people easily. The centre-mounted table is ideal for drinks or dining and storage for large items is available under the seats.

Handholds are thoughtfully located throughout the area. Also, there are a wide range of interior upholstery and colour choices available. An appealing feature is the port side aft-facing sun lounge seat that includes an armrest. Relax and tan while facing the driver and enjoying a conversation aboard the quiet and solid Schaefer 303.

The Double BerthThis is the double berth that lies athwartships under the helm. Accessed from the port side, it’s bright and comfortable thanks to hull-side windows. Schaefer offers a selection of interior finishes and options.

In the cockpit floor is a hatch that gives access to the large, welded aluminum fuel tank. All Schaefer yachts are built to be NMMA Certified and the aluminum tank includes two fuel shutoffs and easily accessed fuel filter system. The hot water system is also located in this area for easy service.

Opposite the seating is the cockpit galley that has the delightful feature of a lighted glassware cabinet and our test boat had a set of Schaefer glasses and stemware. Drink holders located throughout the boat can accommodate both regular glasses and stemware. At night, blue foot-lighting is an attractive feature and underwater lighting is available too.

The cockpit galley unit includes hot and cold water, a sink, optional Isotherm refrigerator and it can also be equipped with an optional electric grill, but that requires the generator option. If it were my 303, I’d mount a conventional barbecue on the stern instead unless I wanted the generator for other purposes.

INTERIOR CABIN

The HeadThe unique keyhole-shaped door makes the head compartment seem much more spacious and easier to access.

The cabin is down four steps and features a lower galley with a cooler and storage for provisions. The test boat was equipped with a microwave, an aftermarket induction cooker and a coffee maker. While the test boat did not have a generator, it does have a very large battery bank and an inverter to run the onboard features like the microwave, television and so on. Schaefer yachts has also equipped the boat with AC outlets ready to go.

Another popular feature is the Fusion stereo system. These days Fusion is owned by Garmin. The test boat had a Garmin display at the helm. It’s part of the Volvo Penta Glass Helm and these onboard systems integrate beautifully together.

The cabin includes seating for inside dining in the bow, and this area can convert into two berths. There are overhead storage lockers, attractive lighting fixtures and a generous deck hatch for light, ventilation and safety.

 

 

 



The BowThe comfortably finished bow area includes a removable table, space for two berths and overhead lockers as well as storage under the cushions.

Schaefer has done a great job with the design of the head making it feel much larger by having a shaped door that increases the opening a lot. The head includes a mirror, storage, an opening porthole, Jabsco electric toilet system, hot and cold water and what we estimate to be about 5 feet 9 inches of headroom, so in spite of the boat's sleek lines, you have functional standing height in the head compartment.

Accessed from the port side, the main event is the double berth cabin under the helm. This is comfortably open to the cabin interior and has windows in the hull sides for light and fresh air. Schaefer has made the cabin on the 303 both comfortable and versatile.

HELM


Featuring a double width helm seat, the test boat was equipped with a Garmin MFD screen that included the Active Captain feature and everything integrates for your convenience. For example, this allows you to program your trip at home in advance. Everything runs off Bluetooth. Just download your waypoints to the system and run your route. Other related available features can include video surveillance, security and more. The Yacht Solutions people are also planning to get the new 3D chart system which allows you to see the sea floor through the charting software and the Ultra Vision feature.

Integrated with the Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Control system (EVC), the Glass Cockpit enables you to monitor and control information in one place via a single interface. It provides a full overview of navigation and engine data, together with optional Easy Boating functions such as Autopilot and Joystick driving. A few “taps” on the screen and you can select whatever feature you would like. Critical information pops up as needed. Volvo uses a fob and an auto start mechanism too.

Another neat feature was the Marinco spotlight. This powerful bow-mounted spotlight can do an automatic sweep and scan to help you locate channel markers or objects in the water and it has a clever pre-programmed SOS flash as well.

ENGINES AND PERFORMANCE

The aft seating raises electrically to reveal access to the twin Volvo Penta 280 V6 sterndrives and service points are at the front for easy maintenance.

The Volvo Penta V6 engines were very smooth-running and this Volvo system is all fly by wire for shifting and steering, making everything light and precise to handle. There's a simple switch to take you into joystick docking mode and although there is no bow or stern thruster, it seemed clear that none were needed. The boat proved very easy to manage at the dock and I applaud Volvo's engineering for making this system so smooth and quiet. These joystick systems have come a long way in the last few years!

Equipped with the optional twin Volvo Penta 280 hp V6 DuoProp stern drives, the Schaefer 303 jumped on plane in little more than 5 seconds and proved to be very responsive to the throttles at pretty much any speed. The 20-degree deep vee hull delivers a smooth ride, but typical for such a deep vee, the Lenco trim tabs were important to keep the boat level in the side winds we experienced on test day. Overall, the 303 was solid-feeling and confidence inspiring with more than sufficient power for big loads of passengers or towing for water sports.

We liked the elegant Isotta steering wheel. It was comfortable to use and when docking, you slow to low speed and press a button that transfers the engine control and steering to the separate joystick that’s on the dash just ahead of the main control box. With this, you can actually drive the boat at low speeds, turn, stop, reverse, pivot and even move sideways. For the less experienced boater, this makes handling around the docks, easy, accurate and low stress.

OVERALL

Overhead ViewThis gives a good view of the forward deck sun pad, windshield walk-through and main deck interior layout.

Schaefer Yachts has found the formula for fun with the 303 model. It has big room and great features for passengers for a day on the water, while two couples or a young family could also make this their vacation getaway machine. It’s fast, fun and fully featured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINES
Twin Volvo Penta Aquamatic Sterndrive V6‐DPS; 6‐cylinder, 4.3‐liter, freshwater‐cooled, direct‐injected gasoline engines, 280 hp each, Duoprop drives, joystick docking.
RPMs SPEED MPH
1,500 7.8
2,000 9.3
2,500 11.5
3,000 17.3
3,500 23.6
4,000 29.6
4,500 34.9
5,000 39.1
5,500 43.9

Length OA: 9.78 m (32’1”) with integral swim platform
Beam: 2.87 m (9’5”)
Weight: 3,295 kg (7,264 lbs)
Fresh water capacity: 100 L (26 Gal)
Fuel capacity: 350 L (92 Gal)
Passenger capacity (day): 10
Passenger capacity(night): 4
Price: approximately $279,000 USD
Test boat and price supplied by Yacht Solutions, www.theyachtsolution.com

Related Articles

Friday, 02 August 2013 14:41

Here is a motto to make your cruisin’ lifestyle better; know your boat, know your mechanic and know your butcher! Plan your course and chart your meals. In my younger days, while I was in training...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 12:58

As exotic and exciting as a bareboat yacht charter sounds (and is) it can still be accessible to the yachting novice because the preparations and details are all clearly spelled out and frequently,...

Friday, 03 January 2014 11:51

The brand new Cruisers Yachts 328 Bow Rider is one of a new breed of boats that is redefining our expectations. The emphasis is on living space, entertaining friends and family on board and on going...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 16:13

We were really looking forward to visiting True North Yachts for the opportunity of driving the all new 2013 Sabre Yachts 38 Salon Express because it is equipped with Volvo Penta IPS 400 pod drives....

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:02

Regal is a front runner in the new style of sport coupe cruisers. Instead of the old-style of express cruisers that were essentially open cockpit boats with cabin space below and only canvas above,...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:52

Hans M. Fogh was born March 8, 1938 and on March 14, 2014, Canada lost a great sailor, while the world of competitive sailing lost a great friend.Many people know that Hans Fogh was an Olympic medal...

 

 

X Shore Eelex 8000By Andy Adams

100% Electric performance available now

When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex 8000 for the June 2021 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, it was on the understanding that we always prefer to actually drive and experience the boats we write about, and we were especially keen to drive the X Shore when BCI Marine here in Canada, got their first boat from Sweden.

There has been a lot of media attention around everything electric lately, especially electric vehicles, but so far, most electric boats are a concept, not yet a reality. The X Shore Eelex 8000 is a reality and a very impressive one at that.

Read More

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1By Zuzana Prochazka

Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. Sailboats, that can move with the power of the wind, have made an especially significant comeback probably because of the high prices of fuel.

Even more interesting is the increased interest in smaller models that have been doing well at recent boat shows. These compact cruisers have definitely held their own even among the 50-foot behemoths at the docks. A good example of this is Beneteau’s new Oceanis 34.1, the second smallest in the line. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

Cowichan BayText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a variety of places to eat. It also has a delightful Maritime Centre. You can easily spend a day or more here at one of three marinas hosting transient moorage. The place feels like an old-fashioned fishing village.

We arrived at this quaint hamlet on a calm day when the sun burned off twists of mist and created undulating oval diamonds on the wavelets. From the water, the village looks enticing with its dense jumble of colourful character buildings, float homes and houses-on-stilts lining the coast.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
Last month, Canadian Country Singer Brian John Hardwood, released his new single “Rich”, featuring ...
Things are busy on the Trent already and it’s barely June. Mike Gridley sent us this shot last ...
From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past ...
Thanks to Louise from Gyles Sails and Marine for catching us up on this weekend’s massive parts ...
The marine industry provides exciting opportunities for Canadians. Every month CYOB will introduce ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...
It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or ...
Mechanics use a lot of strange terms when describing problems aboard. An engine may be skipping or ...
Full disclosure and confession: I enjoy watching boat failures and crashes on YouTube! As long as ...
As I write this, boat yards are checking over systems, and re-familiarizing themselves with the ...

Marine SurveyingStory and photos by Timothy J.S. Martin

It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or have been referred to by another boater (or someone in the marine or insurance industries). Marine surveyors are often hired based on this type of referral, rather than on the merits of their qualifications and skills.

I often hear boaters express their displeasure about an experience where a marine surveyor “condemned” a boat, or the surveyor was viewed as unreasonable in relation to their recommendations. As a result, surveyors known to be less thorough and less detailed in their work tend to be favoured by boaters, especially for insurance surveys. 

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...
Chatting at the club bar last week, the subject of current boat projects popped up. One boater ...
Books to read while you’re semi-snoozing in the cockpit on a lazy summer afternoon. Some diversion, ...
With Albin Group Marine's new line of Cartridge Submersible Bilge Pumps, Aerator Pumps and Twinport ...
The Freedom LTE-A is a Dual Band MU-MIMO 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz WiFi transceiver with a built-in universal ...
Three books in a series of books by Canadian author Erik Skovgaard. These three books, as the ...
The little darlings can’t wait to get on the boat. Just make sure they have properly fitting PFDs ...
With a bold, fresh look and key features, the new JBL-R4500 is the latest in the WAKE Series of ...
When the twist-type connector was invented in 1938, production boats were made of wood and didn't ...
Luxor Marine & RV products offer boat owners an innovative architecturally pleasing range of ...

News

  • Prev
As bonus of my journalistic responsibilities here at CY Media, I occasionally get called upon to do ...
Professor Charles Spence, from Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, has researched ...
Cut out for adventure and marine activities, the NC 895 Sport offers seriously convincing arguments ...
The Canada Games, held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, are the largest ...
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC) took place in the principality July 8 to 13 and shows how ...
Parks Canada has just released an Up-to-Date Big Chute Marine Railway Status Webpage with weekly ...
Groupe Beneteau is launching a partnership with Quebec-based Vision Marine Technologies to develop ...
Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston was the site of this weekend’s Canadian Waszp Class Championship ...
A resistance force has mobilised in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Threats of crowds egging Jeff ...
For more than 18 years since the launch of the first model, the Elan Impression line was one of the ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More