2016 kicks off with a bang for Jeanneau with Yacht of the Year accolades

22 Mar 2016

Jeanneau kicked off 2016 with a bang, introducing the new Jeanneau 54 as the latest in its line of yachts, and it immediately grabbed the imagination.

Croatia and its Dalmatian coast is seen as one of the premier sailing destination in the world. The region has a deep sailing and yacht building pedigree, so when a French yacht, very recently launched, scoops first prize in the Croatian Boat of the Year for yachts over 36 ft, serious sailors take note. The more so, considering that this prize is determined by boat builders themselves, likely the most discerning critics one may imagine.

The new 54 claims to have been designed for the way you live, and judging by their radical overhaul, sailors have had it wrong for too long. Never seen before solutions are found throughout, from the clever VIP interior layout to the spacious living cockpit and the easy and discreet management of the tender and the innovative aft terrace. Every detail and function has been considered to enhance life aboard and the cruising experience.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the Phillip Brand design is how cabin space below decks can be reconfigured based on the individual owner’s preference and needs. The captain has its own quarters aft, and the VIP cabin straddles the width upfront too. Yet, by allowing an option to move the galley into the rear side, a bit like what we find in the sky, the lounge area can be almost doubled, or extra cabins and bunks can be added. The yacht seems to be at optimal comfort with a captain and six passengers, with two en-suite bathrooms. Yet, when needed, the yacht can sport a whopping 9 bunks below, sacrificing one en-suite bathroom in the process.

But who wants to below deck on a sunny day at sea? For this, the designers moved the beam to carry almost to the transom, allowing for an extra large cockpit equal to almost one-third of the length of the yacht, ideal for a family out on a cruise with friends. All sail controls are led to the aft portion of the cockpit within reach of the helmsperson, leaving the forward section of the cockpit available for those more content to relax.  This is a noteworthy and welcome realization in a sailboat of this size. It recognizes that not everyone in the cockpit is expected to help work the vessel. It acknowledges the reality that all of us like to bring guests along, including children, those new to sailing, and perhaps even the owners’ parents or grandparents. They above all will appreciate the two lounging seats with cushions on three sides, providing good bracing protection and comfort – and even a cup holder. A dropleaf table in the cockpit allows for the whole crew to eat al fresco.

There is plenty more innovative ideas, including the helm section folding out to become loungers and dropping down to a swimming platform, as well as the clever way of storing the dinghy out of sight.

If you are in the market for a yacht designed for luxury sailing, you would be remiss not looking at the Jeanneau 54. Apart from its Croatian laurels, it has also been nominated for 2016 European Yacht of the Year.

How to best experience the video: You can tap, click, or drag the video to change your viewing angle and see the action happening all around, this gives you a 360-degree of the boat and its surrounds.