Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch proved a dream design team for Jeanneau with its 64, but can they repeat the performance? From the initial pictures it looks like they have certainly lavished this Jeanneau 54 with enough innovative details to ensure success.
We tested the new Jeanneau 64 a year ago from Marseille during a mistral. It proved a revelation. Her looks and finish quality give a bonafide feel of luxury throughout. Combine this with her ease of handling – proved by sailing her during two days double-handed in winds gusting over 40 knots – and she proved the standout yacht of her size and class. (Click HERE to read the full report).
And now it seems Jeanneau is set to do it again with this smaller incarnation, the 54. With the help of Philippe Briand and Andrew Winch, Jeanneau’s trusted design team from the 64, the French production marque has created an equally impressive looking cruising yacht that brings with it some innovative concepts – and all for an equally impressive price.
There are a number of clever ideas on the deck alone that I think we will see replicated soon by other manufacturers. It looks like a floating beach resort in fact. There is a sunbed incorporated into the foredeck, aft facing ‘armchair’ seats (including drinks holders) at the forward end for the cockpit benches – like first class seating on a 747 – plus sun lounger seats integrated into the folding bathing platform.
Yet the design has also allowed Jeanneau to incorporate a clever safety feature – a liferaft can stow at the aft end of the cockpit table and be easily deployed without the need for lifting it or opening the transom.
The whole cockpit area is kept neat yet practical, epitomised by retractable davits designed to carry a tender.
Jeanneau has created a very lengthy cockpit for leisure use by leading the sailing systems to the aft helms. Expect such canny solutions below too in an interior offered with a range of layouts from two to six cabins.
I liked the arch on the 64 though – can I have that? And yes, I did double-check the seemingly low starting price of €335,600 ex VAT.
The Jeanneau 54 will premiere at the Cannes boatshow in September. For a full rundown of new launches this autumn, see our September issue from August 13.