Quick Look: Beneteau 54

This boat brought a sleak look and solid engineering to the 2009 Boat of the Year Contest. A mini review from our January 2009 issue

December 31, 2008

The Beneteau 54 is queen of the Berret Racoupeau-designed Beneteau fleet. A waterline of nearly 50 feet accentuates the boat’s horizontal lines, giving an emphatically sleek appearance from across the water.

Twin helms and opening doors in the transom promote easy boarding from astern or after a swim. A pair of 6-foot-long seats let all but the tallest sailors nap in the cockpit, and a sturdy cockpit table gives even the shortest crew a brace when heeled under way. We drove the boat, with its low displacement-to-length ratio of 118, to 4.2 knots in just over 6 knots of breeze.

Tall sailors, especially, will appreciate the 54’s roomy interior. The aft cabins, with a step down from the main-saloon sole, offer an unmatched 87 inches of headroom. Like other boats in the line, the 54’s white-upholstered and Alpi-furnished interior is created by Nauta Design of Italy.


Lead ballast and stainless-steel keel bolts buttress BOTY judge Ralph Naranjo’s impression of “good engineering” throughout the boat.

Under power, the Beneteau 54 hull was easily driven to 8.1 knots at a comfortable cruising rpm and to 8.6 knots when the 110-horsepower Yanmar was pushed to 3,400 rpm. In both cases, it was in the quietest third of this year’s entire Boat of the Year fleet.

All in all, the 54 is a lithe, well-built addition to the top of Beneteau’s model line.


Tim Murphy


LOA 54′ 9″
LWL 49′ 3″
Beam 16′ 1″
Draft 7′ 6″ or 5′ 11″
Sail Area 1,329 sq. ft.
Displacement 31,574 lb.
Water 256 gal.
Fuel 125 gal.
Engine 110-hp. Yanmar
Designer Berret Racoupeau and Nauta Design
Price $460,000
(843) 629-5300
To read Cruising World reviews of Beneteau sailboats, click here. To visit Beneteau America’s website, click here.


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