Cruisers Yachts jolted the market when it launched the 48 Cantius, one of those rare boats that was a true trend-setter. With it, Cruisers created the atrium cabin design with a lower saloon of sorts, bringing natural light into areas of a cruiser that formerly felt like a cave. Cruisers capitalized on the success, soon coming out with smaller versions like the 41 Cantius, and larger ones like the 60 Cantius. As often happens following a success like the Cantius series, certain features were quickly copied and incorporated by competitors. And today, you’ll see the atrium design in the majority of the express-style cruising yachts on the market. The answer from Cruisers Yachts? More innovation and design evolution, including with new models like the 54 Cantius—which we first saw at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where we shot a short Cruisers 54 Cantius First Look Video. To dig deeper beneath the surface and see just what makes it different, however, we recently spent a full day aboard a 54 with our camera crew and shot a full-length video boat review.
Despite all the new perks and features aboard a 2017 Cantius, as we could clearly see in the video, Cruisers Yachts has maintained the key elements that made this line a success. The atrium is still there, the cockpit and saloon are still designed to flow together, and the cabin is still fed a healthy dose of natural sunlight throughout.
New touches, however, continue to improve the 54. One unexpected example is how this model has become literally electrified. The press-a-button aft bulkhead window is one nice touch. Without those electric lifters that monstrous aft stowage compartment hatch would simply be impossible to wrestle open and closed. And we love watching the giant sunroof slide back from the overhead to bathe the cabin with sunshine and salty breezes, again at the press of a button. On top of those features the electrically-operated window blinds were one thing we certainly didn’t expect to see on the 54 Cantius.
Another thing that may surprise some boaters sea trialing the 54 is just how well it handles bumpy seas. Cruisers hasn’t radically departed from their standard Cantius hullform—one of the earliest adaptors designed with pod drives specifically in mind, it should be noted—but the way this boat is built has a very real impact on how it takes the waves. Jump back to 4:35 in the video, and take another look at the engine room. Stainless-steel fittings and parts are over-sized, the hull to deck joint is completely sealed all the way around the boat, and even small hoses and wires are contained in covered races or are supported with cushioned clamps. The heft and attention to detail translates into a smoother ride with less vibration, and a solid feel underfoot.
If you watched the video boat review you may have noticed that we didn’t really point out any specific flaws in this model. In fact, one viewer on YouTube even noted this fact in a comment. Rest assured, however, we didn’t cover anything up. No boat is perfect, and of course choosing a cruiser like the 54 Cantius includes making trade-offs—doing without a flybridge, sacrificing high-speed performance for cruising efficiency, and swapping an open fishing-friendly cockpit for one designed with entertaining in mind, are all prime examples. But beyond the expected give-and-takes we really didn’t identify any glaring deficiencies. Which leads us to the one down-side we often take note of when it comes to yachts in this class: cost. While price will vary quite a bit depending on how the boat is outfitted, a well-equipped 54 can push as high as the $2 million mark.
So, does the 54 Cantius live up to the model line’s heritage? Absolutely. Does it improve on the design that proved so popular it started a major trend among boatbuilders? Yes, it does. Is this boat built in such a way that you can cruise with confidence? For sure. And if a cruising yacht in the mid-50-something size range is in your future, the 54 Cantius is probably one that belongs on your short list.
Other Choices: Though it’s a bit smaller, buyers in this class may also want to see the Azimut Atlantis 50. Same goes for the Sea Ray 510 Sundancer. Another option with more classic looks would be the Belize 54 Sedan.
For more information, visit Cruisers Yachts.
See Cruisers 54 Cantius listings.
|Fuel capacity||520 gal.|
|Water capacity||150 gal.|