Jeanneau 54 - Sails BeautifullyBy Andy Adams and Bill Springer

This elegant new cruiser shows where the future of production yacht design is headed. In fact, it’s already there.

Some boats just “feel” right, and we had a very good “feeling” about the strikingly new Jeanneau 54 before we even stepped aboard. But we were not surprised. Recent designs this French-based builder have launched—especially the superyacht sexy Jeanneau 64—have raised the bar on what a production boat builder is capable of. So the only real question was: could this 54-footer live up to the high standards of style, space, and performance set by its attention-grabbing big sister? We had our answer even before we left the dock.

 

On Deck

Our initial good “feelings” came directly from the 54’s elegantly good looks. And those good looks—the uncluttered lines, low coachroof and large square hull ports that brighten up the interior and strategically minimize the freeboard—come directly from legendary designer Philippe Briand. And while Briand also designed the hull and exterior of the 64, the 54 may be an even a bigger accomplishment because he and his design team have been able to deliver the same superyacht aesthetic (and luxury) in a much smaller package.

Jeanneau 54 - forward cabinBut as in life, good looks can only get you so far. And after really digging into the details during our test sail, we’ve found that the 54 is way more than just another pretty face. In fact, it’s packed with innovative features and options that will help enhance an owner’s enjoyment of the boat and its surroundings in ways that have never been available before. The design element that grabbed our attention first was what Jeanneau has dubbed the “aft terrace”.  And after seeing the fully motorized retractable transom in action, we can report it’s way, way more than a simple drop-down swim platform. It doesn’t just “retract” but actually opens up to not only provide a spacious “aft terrace” with a sturdy swim ladder, revealing ultra-cushy lounger seats that are fully integrated into the design. Brilliant.

If that’s not enough, the walk through transom opens up to reveal one of the longest and most luxurious cockpits we’ve seen, and all the cockpit details, including the angle of the seatbacks, the size and sturdiness of the teak-topped cockpit table, and even padded armrests with drink holders are fantastic. The sunbed on the foredeck with its retractable bimini makes excellent use of space that is often used for sunbathing, but not so comfortably. And we absolutely flipped when we saw the 54’s innovative dingy davits that retract into the deck (and completely out of sight) when not in use. We’re not exaggerating when we say the cockpit and deck layout on the 54 may be one of the most efficient, functional and comfortable we’ve seen in a long time.


View the Walk Through Video of the Jeanneau 54 below:

Jeanneau 54 - Main SaloonAccommodations

Good things happen when renowned superyacht designers (and friends) Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch team up. And since their collaboration on the Jeanneau 64—Briand’s team designed the hull and exterior; Winch’s team designed the interior—was such a success, it made perfect sense to keep the band together on the 54.

The interior aesthetic matches the exterior perfectly and so does the space and functionality. The overall lines, woodwork, trim and the leather accents—on cabinet handles, doors and bulkheads are much more high end than you find on many production boats. The cream coloured upholstery and light stained woodwork and copious ports and opening hatches insure the interior is bright and cheery on sunny days, while ample use of low draw LED lighting will make the accommodations bright and cheery on rainy days too, and the interior is all tied together by dark floorboards providing the sophisticated contrast you’ll find in many luxury homes.

So, the accommodations plan looks great, but how does it actually work? Um…pretty great. The main saloon is open and inviting with a large settee to starboard and a well-equipped galley that boasts significant counter and storage space. 

Jeanneau 54 - Swim PlatformAnd we may be a bit old-fashioned but, we love seeing the large, forward facing chart table. Even if most navigation takes place up on the chart plotter in the cockpit, nothing compares to having a dedicated spot to unroll a real paper chart for overall route planning. 

The 54 also stands out from many other similarly-sized production yachts in that you can order one with either two, three, four or even five cabins. Obviously, a cruising couple that entertains occasional guests would probably want to go for the two cabin version that boasts a truly luxurious master cabin forward, a VIP guest cabin aft and a large and innovative galley that’s tucked in behind the nav station. This configuration also provides for a large U-shaped settee in the saloon that will rival any sectional couch you may have in your family room on land! The five cabin version would be ideal if you have a captain. There’s truly an option for everybody.

 

Jeanneau 54 - Forward SunpadUnder Sail 

With a steady 10-12 knots of wind, sunny skies, flat water and a pleasant crew, conditions could not have been better for our test sail. Of course, it’s always good to see how a boat performs in heavy weather too, but we’ve suffered through enough test sails conducted in 0-5 knots of wind to be thankful when the weather Gods cooperate as they did for us last Fall.

And when a boat is capable of topping out at 8.5 knots of boat speed in 12 knots of breeze like the 54 did that day, it’s easy to deduce that it was well suited to the conditions. But the way the boat handled may have been even more impressive than the speeds. The helm felt buttery smooth and had just the right amount of weather helm. The boat tracked straight and true. Our wake was clean and quiet. And tacking was as easy as turning the helm over tanks to the self-tacking jib. The dual helm stations were comfortable and the close proximity of the primary winches made it easy for a single hander to trim the jib without having to leave the helm. Wide, teak-topped side decks made it super easy to go forward from the cockpit, and well placed hand holds on the coachroof made for safe going when the weather is less agreeable than we enjoyed during our test.

 

Jeanneau 54 - CockpitConclusion

For those of you who haven’t picked up on this already we’re impressed with this boat. It’s elegant. It’s modern. It’s spacious. It’s well laid out. It sails well. It’s loaded with innovative features specifically designed to make sailing and cruising more comfortable and fun. It’s superyacht sexy. And available at a pretty competitive price point. What more could you ask for?

http://www.jeanneau.com/

Specifications

Length overall 16.16 m / 53'

Hull length 15.75 m / 51'8"

Hull beam 4.92 m / 16'1"

Light displacement 17164 kg / 37840 lbs.

Standard keel draught 2.24 m / 7'4"

Fuel capacity* 63 L / 17 GAL

Water capacity 724 L / 191 GAL

Cabins 2-3-4-5-6

Motor Yanmar 75 Hp / 55 kW Sail drive

CE Category A14 / B15 / C16

Total standard sail area 111 m² / 1195 sq. ft.

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1 - The Jeanneau 54 sails as beautifully as it looks.

Photo 2 - The forward cabin: The owners cabin forward is spectacular. 

Photo 3 - Main saloon: The Andrew Winch-designed interior is a cut above a standard production builders interior.

Photo 4 - Swim platform: The “aft terrace” is way, way better than a gimmick.

Photo 5 - The Bimini makes the forward sunpad even more enjoyable.

Photo 6 - Cockpit: The cockpit is large, and comfortable and the helm stations are well designed.

 

Related Articles

Saturday, 11 July 2015 13:55

The Jeanneau 54 is born from the close collaboration of Philippe Briand, who’s chined hull and elegant deck profile ensure seaworthy handling and timeless looks, and Andrew Winch’s meticulous...

 

 

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