The Legendary Santa Cruz 50

From the original brochure

Santa Cruz 50 Specifications

Note: Hull #'s 1, 2 and 4 differ slightly from the descriptions that follow.

L.O.A. 50'
L.W.L. 46.5'
Beam 12'
Draft 8'
Sail Area 1050 sq. ft.
Displacement 16,000 lbs.
Ballast  8,000 lbs.
I.O.R.  Unimportant

Sail Plan
Srawing No. 3
Date 5-1-80
I = 61
J = 19
P = 55
E = 17

Features of the Santa Cruz 50

The Santa Cruz 50 is designed, engineered and constructed with the same care and experience typical of Bill Lee yachts, from the Santa Cruz 27 to Bill Lee's own "Merlin" Hull and deck are hand-laminated of multiple layers of fiberglass mat and roving impregnated with polyester resin. Vacuum bagged balsa core provides stiffness and strength without unnecessary weight. The deck is cored with plywood inserts in areas of high stress. Hull and deck are bonded with polyester adhesive, and through-bolted with the aluminum toe-rail. Deck hardware is through-bolted with stainless fasteners (Type 18-8), and backing plates. where necessary.
Hardware is Mariner, Schaefer, and Nicro-Fico. Winches are Barient. Windows are G.E. mar-resistant Lexan, tinted solar-control bronze. The foredeck hatch is an extra-large Bomar. Other hatches are custom-built by Bill Lee Yachts.
The mast is a double-spreader tapered extrusion with Navtec rod rigging. Navtec U-bolt chainplates tie directly to a cross-arm and the aluminum mast step I-beam for maximum strength. Four function hydraulics are standard.
The electrical system is controlled at a Marinetics breaker switch panel, through a three-position battery switch from two batteries. Included are both an ammeter and a volt meter. Most lights are provided with white and red bulbs for improved night vision. The standard engine is a Pathfinder 50 (42 H.P.) diesel driving an 18" Martec folding propeller
through a 1" stainless steel shaft. An optional 85 H.P. Pathfinder diesel will drive the 50 at 12 knots.
The keel for the Santa Cruz 50 is a solid lead casting bolted to the keel stubby with 1" stainless steel (Type 316) bolts. Faired and permanently covered in fiberglass, the keel is bonded to the hull for extra strength, stiffness and crunch-protection. Pedestal steering with a large-diameter wheel drives a 4" rudder shaft through a 12" disc drive.
Interior cabinetry and bulkheads are bonded directly to the hull. There are no floating bulkheads and no liners. Woodwork is beautifully finished Bruynzeel marine mahogany plywood of the highest quality.
Special interior features include a private owner 5 stateroom aft of the main cabin, with separate access from the cockpit, two double bunks, standing headroom, a hanging locker and extra storage in two seat lockers. Opening ports in the cockpit and transom, and flush windows in the hull, give plenty of ventilation and light for the aft stateroom.
The enclosed head offers standing headroom, marine head with holding tank, sink and fresh water pump.
The galley is equipped with a Gas Systems 3 burner stove with oven, fresh and salt water foot-pumps, large stainless steel double sink, large icebox and a trash bin. The famous "Merlin" settee arrangement is standard. The settee floor is raised to allow for storage and the crew's beer icebox. Seating is with the cabin windows at eye-level. The settee bunks are easily convertible from single bunks into doubles. Including the V-berth forward, there are five double bunks on the boat, any of which can be used as singles with lee cloths. Spacious storage is available under all bunks.
Opposite the galley is the navigator's station. This includes a seat, a large chart table with plenty of storage for books, instruments and space for electronics.

The 50's forward cabin is open, light and airy, keeping unnecessary weight out of the ends of the boat, and providing a large open living area, as well as plenty of sail stowage. An extra-large foredeck hatch eases sail handling. A second companionway gives access to the main cabin from the deck, as well as providing ventilation for the galley.
The large cockpit has comfortable secure seating for a cruising crowd. Sheet winches are mounted on a large winch island at the optimum height for efficient operation. The extra large wheel is mounted aft for best visibility and control allowing a variety of steering positions for any helmsman and situation. A lazarette hatch gives access to the transom
windows and steering gear, with a large canvas bag for storage.
There are no exotic materials in the Santa Cruz 50. Bill Lee prefers to build with known materials and methods, rather than experiment at the owner's risk. Bill has proven over the years that he can build a light, strong boat without overstepping the bounds of good judgment and solid experience. No production builder of yachts in the Santa Cruz 50's size range can make the same claim. Bill Lee's reputation, backed by quality workmanship, assures you of the finest, strongest, fastest 50-footer you can buy.

From Brochure 2






The Santa Cruz 50 is the most refined and certainly the fastest 50 footer available in the world today. Except for Merlin and a very few Maxi's, there's no faster way to get to Hawaii, Mexico or wherever than on a Santa Cruz 50.

The 50's incredible boat for boat finishes in the '81 Transpac and the sight of eight of them hitting the line in San Francisco's Big Boat Series fit anybody's definition of Class Racing... in a Class by themselves.

The Fast-Is-Fun philosophy of the famous Santa Cruz 27 and the now legendary Merlin has reached a pinnacle of perfection in the 50... Big Boat Performance at a far lower cost to buy, equip, race, cruise, and maintain.

The sensibly designed bright and dry interior is appointed intelligently for the racer and cruiser alike. The comfort and common sense features found on the Santa Cruz 50, and the interior, appeal to every sailor.
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Broker - Bill Lee at Wizard Yachts, Ltd.
[email protected]
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