By Andy Adams
We met the new Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius under almost ideal circumstances, on the beautiful Trent Severn Waterway at Lock 31in Buckhorn, Ontario, during the best summer weather on record. This brand new boat was being delivered to the proud new owners who were anxiously awaiting its arrival. We were seated on the patio of a waterfront restaurant as the 54 Cantius pulled in. It turned some heads I can tell you!
The crew was trying to stay ahead of some weather as we left our car at Buckhorn to ride down to Young’s Point on the 54 Cantius. The Trent Severn has many locks and a lot of speed-controlled areas, but with a top speed of 37 knots(43 mph) and a best fuel economy cruising speed of23 knots (26.5 mph) the boat was getting through the journey in grand style.
Cruisers Yachts first introduced their Cantiusexpress cruiser designs several years ago, with the Cantius line now including 41, 45, 48, 54 and 60-foot models.
All are distinguished by the huge sunroof and glass aft bulkhead that gives one continuous floor level from the helm back to the transom for maximum living space and a layout that’s great for entertaining. The perfect weather we enjoyed during our test emphasized how open this boat can be yet in seconds, you could also be ready to deal with a downpour. There is really no canvas to put up other than the seat and table covers.
Reclining lounge seats make good use of the foredeck space.
You come onboard on the very big swim platform and up through port and starboard transom walk-throughs. The test boat had ahydraulically activated swim platform and dinghy lift, which is great for both swimming and launching your dinghy.
The cockpit is equipped with wraparound seating for up to six people and a removable high/low dining table that drops to become a huge sun lounge, as well as Cruisers’ trademark breakfast bar stools by the bulkhead. These are located just outside the galley where the huge electric window can be lowered to open up the main cabin to the cockpit. Adding to the already great galley,in the cockpit the test boat had a Vitrifigo icemaker as well as a Kenyon electric grill for delicious dining.
You enter the salon through the starboard side glass cabin door and the galley is right there on the port side. It has a U-shaped configuration to maximize food preparation space and our test boat featuredattractive white composite counters into which was set atwo-burnerstovetop under a cover. There is another cover over the generous double stainless steel sinks.
Viewed from the salon, you can see the breakfast bar stools and large aft bench with a high / low table.
The 54 Cantius was equipped with two Vitrifrigo refrigerator drawers and two more freezer drawers on the starboard side. This yacht has refrigerated food storage that is equal to or better than most people’s home! A Mauve brand convection microwave oven is included and there is a corner cupboard with a storage area for trays and cutting boards, as well as four overhead lockersplus a bin for pots and pans underneath the microwave. There are also four drawers, including one fitted for the cutlery, and all of them have soft close mechanisms.
Adding to the storage and food serving space is the starboard side counter where the freezers are located. An overhead locker has room for dishes and glasses.
A nice detail is the retractable sunshade to add comfort to the cockpit seating
This is a really nice galley to work in.
The salon features a portside dinette with a high / low table equipped with two foldout leaves. Opposite is a starboard side couch that folds out to a guest berth and behind that, for those seated in the dinette, is a big screen television on an electric lift.
This shows the galley with the aft bulkhead windowopen to breakfast barstools outside.
The first thing that struck us when we took the helm was the tremendous visibility and almost unimpeded sightlines in 360°, helping to make this boat feel nimble and easily managed. During our test, we had the enormous sunroof wide open and the side windows as well to really bring in the fresh air when the aft bulkhead was open.
The helm was equipped with a pair of Raymarine 15 inch Hybrid Touchscreens, autopilot, the Volvo Penta engine data display, tilt steering wheel, and a double widehelm and companion seat with a flip-up bolster. For added comfort, the helm seat has armrests and a footrest for cozy cruising. Other guests can sit at the dinette and see forward too – very nice.
I have to say it again, the glass area in this boat is really quite amazing and there is also a sunshade on the sunroof if you want some shade.
Huge hull side glazing makes the aft Master stateroom seem very bright and spacious. This has a queen-size island berth on the centerline with a cozy starboard side café table for two and generous clothes space in side drawers. There is more storage in the nightstands, and shirts and dresses go in the starboard side closet in the companionway. This is opposite the head, which is equipped with a Dometic MSD and, like the galley, has very handsome fixtures and tap sets. Big mirrors on the medicine cabinets are always appreciated and there is a separate shower stall with a glass door and again, elegant taps.
The master stateroom features timeless and elegant modern decor. We like the intimate breakfast café on the starboard side.
Another great cruising feature located in the Master is a built-in washer and dryer.
Cruisers Yachts calls the open mid-ship area on the lower deck their atrium. It's a spacious area open to the windshield above and it gets a ton of daylight. Our test boat had a Bosch coffee maker and also an Isotherm wine cooler installed in the atrium area – very convenient!
The test boat was equipped with a mid cabin that featured twin berths, flatscreen television, nightstand, and blinds. This cabin is fully enclosed and private, which would be ideal for guests or young children who might head to bed before Mom and Dad turn in.
The VIP Stateroom is forward in the bow, lit by big overhead glass deck sections and large hull side glazing. The VIP Stateroom has an island queen berth, a hanging closet, mirrored forepeak, and the test boat featured a Jensen television. The way Cruisers Yachts has finished this VIP Stateroom, it does not particularly feel like it is in the bow, especially with the blinds down.
The day head has an entry from both the atrium and the VIP stateroom forward. It's quite spacious with a mirrored medicine chest, storage in the vanity, anda separate starboard side shower stall, which is large and very convenient in the morning.
The heading on this article says the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius is more than the sum of its parts; what we meant is that this yacht has a feeling that is hard to describe but easy to enjoy. To be sure it is a big boat with a lot of accommodation on board and a host of luxury features, but the way it opens up like a runabout and the way it performs with the twin Volvo Penta IPS 950 engines is unexpected but stellar!
This boat had the IPS Two drives so they swing bigger props for lots of bite when you open the throttles. The Volvo Penta IPS 950 engines are D11 model diesels with 10.8 litres of displacement making 725hp each. The 54 Cantiushas a dry weight of 43,000 lbs., yet Cruisers recorded an 8 second time to plane and a mere 28 seconds to reach the top speed of 43 mph. That’s flying for a 54-footer, and it feels like a sport boat. It throws a small wake for its size, perhaps because we were going so quickly! We ran with very little tab down (just one LED was lit)to help level it and the acceleration times were taken with no tabs to get the boat up and running.
I should mention that the boat has automatic leveling tabs, which makes driving very simple and fits nicely with the Volvo Penta Glass Helm system, which integrates so many functions to make the boat that much simpler to use.
Seen here with the bulkhead andsun roof wide open, the salon includes a spacious dining area for four.
Plus, the boat had joystick docking at both the helm and wing station at the stern. This was ideal for handling as we went through all the locks on the Trent Severn. Switch to the joystick while you wait for your turn in the lock and then drive the boat in and out standing right at the side where you can see the lock wall perfectly.
Overall, this is a big, impressive boat, yet the performance and handling are so good that it feels nimble and sporty at all speeds. It’s a boat that loves to run and you would love to run it!
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta IPS 950 - D11 six-cylinder diesels, 10.8 litres displacement, 725hp each.
ENGINE RPM MPH
Length overall: 53'4"/16.3 m
Weight – Diesel: 49,000 lbs. /22,226 kg
Fuel Capacity: 520 gal / 1,968 L
Waste Capacity: 71 gal / 269 L
Water Capacity:150 gal / 568 L
Boat supplied by, and price quoted by: Crates Lake Country Boats Inc. www.crateslakecountryboats.com/