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This Menacing 50-Foot Cruiser Was Inspired by ’80s Tough Guy Actor Charles Bronson

The Bronson 50 is an aluminum cruiser that's fast and seaworthy but different from others in it class, thanks to innovative features. We step aboard in Fort Lauderdale.

The Bronson 50 motoryacht was introduced to the US market at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Courtesy Steeler Yachts

It’s a boat built for Great Escapes. Flat out, this head-turning, aluminum 50-footer can slice through the waves at 43 mph, while its 580-gallon tanks will provide a 500-mile-plus range to cruise from Miami to Nassau. And back.

This is the new $2.3 million Bronson 50 from Dutch luxury builder Steeler Yachts. It made its US debut at the recent Fort Lauderdale International Boat show, where we stepped aboard for a full tour.

“Our CEO is a huge Charles Bronson fan. When he spun-off a separate division of Steeler Yachts back in 2008 to build fast, aluminum boats that were tougher and a little wilder, he named it after his hero,” Bronson Marine Managing Director Arthur Duurkoop told Robb Report. “We think that, like Mr. Bronson, our 50 is the toughest guy around.”

The Branson 50 by Steeler Yachts is designed for long distances but also for gunkholing in the Bahamas.
The black, go-anywhere hull provides the transport, but the sun bed, submersible swim platform and foredeck lounge deliver the fun. Courtesy Steeler Yachts

The 50’s exterior lines are from Dutch naval architects Vripack, which has designed other models in the line. The team gave this cross between a dayboat and weekender bold, head-turning lines with reverse-angle bow, sweeping hull sides, and a tall, rakish windshield.

“Welded aluminum construction over regular fiberglass means a stiffer, stronger, yet lighter hull. But for a buyer, it offers the opportunity for more customization,” says Duurkoop, a former engineer with superyacht builder Feadship.

The Bronson 50 motoryacht was introduced to the US market at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
This one-of-a-kind area in front of the helm has a glass hatch above the lower salon, allowing the owner to open the lower deck. Courtesy Steeler Yachts

In Dutch design tradition, the Bronson 50 features high bulwarks, deep side-decks and sturdy, wraparound stainless-steel handrails. That makes for peace-of-mind when walking forward to the boat’s foredeck seating.

Back in the cockpit, there are twin helm seats, L-shaped sofas, tables, and a large sun bed on top of a hydraulically-lifting cover over storage lazarette. It’s big enough to stow inflatable SUPs, kayaks, dive gear or a small RIB. It can even be configured as a Jacuzzi.

One of the boat’s coolest features is that expansive cockpit hardtop. At the touch of a button, a large fabric panel opens up to let in the sun. When the weather turns nasty, another button lowers the entire hardtop so that it seals against the top of the windshield for protection against the elements.

The Bronson 50 motoryacht was introduced to the US market at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The cockpit shows why this is a great, luxury day boat. Note the shape of the tables and stitching in the lounges. Courtesy Steeler Yachts

Another surprise-and-delight button is the sliding glass panel in front of the helm that protects the galley and seating area belowdecks. Want fresh air? The panel glides forward to open-up the entire area under the windshield.

The glass can always be closed, turning the lower area into a cozy cabin for dining or movie-watching.  “It really transforms the midship area into an indoor-outdoor space. And when the glass panel is closed, it still floods the cabin with light,” says Duurkoop.

Below decks, the compact, central lounge area features an L-shaped sofa that converts into a double bed. Opposite is a galley with twin fridges, a freezer and ice-maker, plus induction cooktop.

The boat has a top end of 43 mph.

Forward is a small corridor with a separate head to port, and stand-alone shower to starboard, with a compact forward cabin in the bow.

Yet another surprise and delight is the small, almost hidden door at the side of the fridge that opens into an under-cockpit second cabin complete with double bed and wardrobe. Like the forward cabin, however, there are no windows, so claustrophobics might want to nab the convertible sofa.

A very cool bowsprit, with plenty of room on the foredeck.

Powering the Lauderdale show boat were Volvo Penta D8 IPS 800 turbo diesels hooked-up to pod drives. Options include more powerful IPS 900s or even outboard power.

And, if anything major goes wrong, Bronson has “Flying Doctors”—two engineers tasked with traveling anywhere in the world to service wayward boats. “Charles Bronson used to say, ‘It’s the missions that keep you alive,’” says Duurkoop. “It’s our mission to keep our boats alive.”

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