With her plethora of sunbathing options on deck, the Jeanneau 54 may look like a yacht designed for anchoring in placid seas, but what’s she like in a blow at sea?

One look at the deck configuration would lead most people to presume the Jeanneau 54 is a hedonists’ yacht, one for the sun worshippers anchored in warm climes. Indeed my first thought on arriving at Cannes on the morning of our test was that, with her sunbed on the swim platform and foredeck, this Jeanneau 54 would quickly be out of her depth outside the harbour, where the tops of waves were being shredded to white caps.

If ever there was a yacht that invites the proverb ‘never judge a book by its cover’ though, it’s this Jeanneau 54. As per the larger 64 (see the full test report here) also designed by Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch, these new large Jeanneaus are deceptively manageable for their size in a blow.

It is worth noting that the Jeanneau 54’s exceedingly alluring base price of €336,000 rose to over €500,000 (ex VAT) on both versions I sailed. The Cannes test boat had more modcon options than in most family homes.

There is a good reason behind this. Jeanneau wanted to make a simple, but smart base boat for charter purposes, but one that could be dressed up with options for private owners. Jeanneau 54

Once again Jeanneau has set the bar high with a new yacht that combines practicality, affordability and a touch of elegance. I have never found so many comfortable places aboard a production yacht – even when heeled over in a blow.

See the full report in our July 2016 issue, out now.