It should be no surprise that there's a big demand for yachts that maximise deck space for those who want to spend as much time as possible outside when on board. The Jeanneau 54 offers an enormous amount of comfortable and civilised deck and cockpit space. That it does this without compromising on the volume below deck, where layouts vary from two to six cabins, is particularly impressive. Indeed, advances in yacht design are such that this model arguably provides more space than would have been expected of a 65ft yacht little more than 15 years ago.
The hull and deck design are by Philippe Briand, while Andrew Winch has brought his experience of working with superyachts, along with a meticulous approach to ergonomics, to hone the styling above and below decks. Although built very much on a production basis – which helps account for the competitive price – the boat has a large range of choices in terms of interior layouts, deck arrangements and cosmetic/decorative finish.
Options for the interior layout vary from a five cabin (plus crew) charter arrangement to a two-cabin plan that offers an impressive amount of personal space and storage, along with a full width saloon and a large galley right aft on the starboard side. All options have masses of natural light thanks to a combination of large windows in the streamlined coachroof, overhead hatches and four large hull windows each side.
The deck areas of this boat should be considered to be as much part of the accommodation as the interior. Jeanneau points out that up to 80 per cent of waking time on board is spent in the cockpit, so the company has gone to great lengths to optimise this part of the boat.
The forward section is fully upholstered, with lounging positions each side of the companionway. The dining area has space for six people around a big central table that has two drop-down leaves, indirect lighting and an optional fridge. The very aft part of the cockpit has an outdoor galley that pops up from the helm seats. There’s also a big-boat style tender garage and a large fold-down bathing platform, which incorporates two further sun beds and a stainless steel/teak bathing ladder. In all, it's an impressive arrangement that gives the feel of a significantly larger boat.
The main sail handling areas are at the two helm positions, which keeps other areas clear of the action. As standard a Dacron slab reefing mainsail and 109 per cent furling headsail are supplied, but there’s a wide range of options, including in-mast mainsail reefing, a self tacking jib, plus a code zero and asymmetric spinnaker.
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This is a boat that buyers can customise in many ways to suit their needs. For those who want the maximum in space and comfort, the two-cabin option offers a huge owners suite forward, plus a spacious double aft cabin on the port side. Alternatively, if you want to pack in the maximum number of cabins it’s possible to have three doubles and two twins, plus a crew cabin right forward that's accessed from on deck.
The companionway has easy steps that lead to a bright saloon with impressive headroom which accentuates the feeling of space. As standard the galley is on the port side of the saloon, but as an option can be located aft of the saloon, in what would otherwise be the starboard quarter cabin. This is a huge space for the purpose with the result being a class-leading galley that surpasses that on many larger yachts.
What it does well
Many monohull designers have tried to replicate the blurred distinctions between indoor and outdoor living areas that are more easily achieved with multihulls. However, the Jeanneau 54 does a very good job by monohull standards, without compromising on interior space.
The range of interior options means prospective owners will not need to compromise as much as they may have previously needed to when buying a production boat. However, there are many items on the extras list, so final selling prices will be significantly higher than the headline price.
Who’s it for?
Given the many different layout options, this is clearly a boat that will have a wide appeal. On one hand it’s sure to find favour as a party boat and with charter fleets in sunny climes, thanks to the combination of many cabins and the extensive cockpit and deck areas. Equally in two-cabin mode it’s clearly a design on which two couples could spend extended periods of time living on board in comfort.
Other models in the range
The Jeanneau 54 sits in the company's range of large yachts, which consists of four models, the 51, 54, 57 and 64. Jeanneau also produces the six-model Sun Odyssey range that runs from 34-52ft, including two deck saloon models, as well as the sporty Sunfast 3200 and 3600 which are aimed squarely at the offshore racing market.
As well as offering an impressive amount of accommodation for its length, the Jeanneau 54 is offered at a competitive price compared to many previous designs that have offered such a high level of potential customisation. The most obvious alternative choice is the Beneteau Oceanis 55, but the Hanse 505 or 588 and the new Bavaria C57 would also make viable alternatives.
For more information visit Jeanneau's website.
Jeanneau 54 specifications
Length overall 16.16m
Hull length 15.75m
Light displacement 17,164 kg
Standard keel draught 2.24m
Mainsail (furling) 48sq m
Mainsail (slab reef) 60sq m
Genoa (109%) 63sq m
Self-tacking jib 49sq m
Code zero 108sq m
Asymmetric spinnaker 197sq m
Air draught 22.4m
Fuel capacity 240 litres
Water capacity 724 litres
Engine Yanmar 80hp diesel with saildrive
Take a look at other Jeanneau models like the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 419 and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389.