It all started back in 2004 with the development of the Sun Odyssey 54DS, which launched the luxury sailboat segment for Jeanneau. Next in the series to be rolled out was the Jeanneau 53, followed by the Jeanneau 57 in 2010, and the Jeanneau 64 in 2015. With more than 850 units of these large yachts being sold in the last 10 years, Jeanneau has become a market leader in the 50ft plus sailing sector.
Now the shipyard has gone one step further and appointed a dedicated team of designers and engineers to focus exclusively on these large units, thereby offering increased possibilities for customisation. The all-new Jeanneau 54 is the latest model on offer, featuring a chined hull and elegant deck profile that ensure seaworthy handling, as well as timeless looks. The renowned naval architect Philippe Briand has been responsible for designing Jeanneau’s sailing series since the 1980s – he is also the designer of many of the world’s most luxurious superyachts, including s/y Vertigo (67.2m) that was on display at the Singapore Yacht Show in 2015.
The shipyard has developed another partnership with a superyacht specialist, interior designer Andrew Winch, who is responsible for the aesthetics of both the 64 and the 54. Winch’s aim is to bring added sophistication and luxury to this new line of production yachts. His meticulous approach to every ergonomic detail, along with the selection of high-end materials, echoes the look and feel of his super yacht pedigree. The result is a production boat with the finish and beauty of a custom-built vessel. The success of these models has been substantially above all expectations, and Jeanneau has now invested heavily in the further development of the 50ft+ range, under the brand umbrella “Jeanneau Yachts”.
The Jeanneau 54 boasts the longest cockpit in its class, making room for everyone to be part of the action on deck. Sun worshippers are catered for with a forward sun mattress integrated into the deck, an aft terrace including sun lounger seating, and comfortable armchairs with cup holders. The centre mounted drop leaf table comfortably accommodates the ship’s crew for al fresco dining, and provides a sturdy handhold or foot brace under sail. A convenient compartment in the base of the table provides storage for a life raft, keeping it accessible in case of an emergency, but out of sight so as not to distract from the clean lines of the boat.
In the saloon, a large U-shaped dining area is to starboard, which easily seats six and faces a good-sized settee with a bar cabinet and optional wine chiller to port. This is a concept that works well, with its high headroom and raised floor in the saloon. Large windows also mean there is more light and better views from inside the yacht. Every detail has been carefully studied and optimised for greater comfort on board.
Long-distance cruising now boasts the same level of comfort as home. The Jeanneau 54 benefits from exceptional storage space, long drawers, dedicated spaces for large household appliances, and bins under the floorboards. Along with intelligent use of space, such as a microwave that slides out of a bulkhead and the fold-down counter that covers the three-burner stovetop, smart design makes for easy living. Luxurious Cabins The owner’s cabin is designed for onboard comfort, enhanced by top-of-the-line interior furnishings such as a large double armoire, a washroom with a separate shower, and flooring that is flush with cabin floorboards. Thanks to its forward position, the owner’s cabin features sea views courtesy of the large windows in the hull. Large opening hatches overhead and port lights fill the suite with plenty of natural light and air. The VIP cabins also come with plenty of headroom and easy circulation around the beds. Like the owner’s cabin, the VIP cabins feature an unencumbered view of the sea while seated on the bed. Storage space and a private washroom with separate shower compartment also make for stylish living.
The Jeanneau 54 makes sailing and anchoring simpler and safer, due to its substantial double stainless steel anchor roller. “Safety first” design features include easy deployment of the life raft from the cockpit table without lifting or opening the transom. Retractable davits facilitate the launch of a large tender without taking up interior space and then, most notably, retract to disappear when not in use. All winches are set together at the aft end of the cockpit ensuring easy sail management from a single location and keeping the rest of the cockpit clear.
Multiple sail plans mean that the yacht can be adapted to every sailing preference and cruising location. Everything, from a self-tacking jib to a Park Avenue boom, is available. Motoring and maneuvering are made easy thanks to an easy-to-reach throttle lever and inclined engine panel. 360˚ docking with electronic throttle and pivoting pod is also available. A wide, fold-down swim ladder affords exceptional access to the water. The Jeanneau 54 has a choice of two auxiliary Yanmar power plants. A 75hp unit coupled to a sail drive should prove adequate for coastal use in relatively protected waters. For serious voyaging, we’d opt for the larger 110hp engine with a conventional transmission and shaft driveline to push this 37,840 lb. (17,164 kg) displacement vessel along with ease in rougher conditions.
In summary, the Jeanneau 54 with its generously sized cockpit, (over a third of the boat’s length), is an ideal yacht for both socialising and on-water activities. She has been well designed for her role as a cruiser, with a rig that is set up for easy handling when shorthanded.
Every aspect of the all-new Jeanneau 54 has been designed for easy living, and each detail and function has been considered so that it enhances life aboard and the overall cruising experience. Three of these yachts are now on their way to the Asia-Pacific region – one yacht has been sold to a client in Qingdao, one is going to Thailand, and the third will arrive in Sydney in time to be presented at the next Sydney International Boat Show (28 July – 01 August 2016).
This high quality sailing yacht comes with a competitive price tag, which is all thanks to the volume and the economies of scale that the Jeanneau shipyard can offer. The various options and semi-custom flexibility go a long way to meeting the requirements of demanding owners, thus giving Jeanneau its competitive edge in the big boat market.
LOA: 16.16 m / 53 ft.
Beam: 4.92 m / 16 ft.
Displacement (empty): 17,164 kg / 37,840 lbs.
Standard keel draft: 2.24 m / 7’ 4“
Shallow keel draft: 1.77 m / 5’ 9“
Fuel capacity: 240L / 63 us gal (opt 480L / 127 us gal)
Water capacity: 724L / 192 us gal (opt 964L / 255 us gal)
Cabins: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
Engine: Yanmar 75hp sail drive (opt: Yanmar 110hp shaft)
Mainsail (furling): 48 m2 / 516 sq. ft.
Mainsail (classic): 60 m2 / 646 sq. ft. Genoa (109%): 63 m2 / 678 sq. ft.
Self-tacking jib: 49 m2 / 527 sq. ft.
Asymmetrical spinnaker: 197 m2 / 2120 sq. ft.
Architects / Designers: Philippe Briand
Yacht Design / Andrew Winch Designs / Jeanneau Design
This article was first published in Yacht Style.