Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius

Making an impression, every time.

by Capt. Tom Serio
It’s been said that you only have one chance to make a first impression. In the case of the Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius, they had two chances to impress me. And they did!


  • LOA: 53'4"
  • Beam: 15'6"
  • Draft: 4'4"
  • Weight: 43,000 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 500 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 150 gals.
  • Power: T-Volvo Penta IPS 950 725 hp Diesel engines
  • Price: Contact dealer

I first laid eyes on this new model during her world premiere at the Yachts Miami Beach Boat Show earlier this year. From the outside, her profile is well proportioned between the freeboard, hull length and height of house. Full-length side rails offer handholds from where you step up onto the side deck, all the way forward to the peak. Large, curved, side salon windows enhance visibility and flood the interior with ambient lighting, while hullside windows bring in light below.

Lasting impression

To prove that one should not only judge a boat by its good looks, I recently got another introduction; this time to check out the amenities on-board as well as to pass some water under her keel.

I noticed immediately upon descending into the engine room the amount of space to move about. The 54 Cantius is no slouch: She has a pair of Volvo Penta IPS 950 blocks with pods, producing 725 hp each. It takes up some decent real estate, yet there’s room to get up, over and around these power plants. Heck, there’s 6 feet of headroom and, yup, I could stand straight up! Fuel filters are mounted on the forward bulkhead for easy access, the Cummins Onan generator is centerline for easy maintenance, and the pod drives are accessible and, more importantly, visible to see any issues. “Out of sight, out of mind” is not good on a boat — at least in my book.

Cruisers has successfully blended the inside/outside concept with the features on the main deck. They also keep it simple with a “modular” approach to the layout (this is a good thing), with the thinking “A place for everything, everything has a place.” Let me expound: First, it’s a pretty straight run from the aft deck through the salon to the helm/lower staircase area — no weaving and bobbing around obstructions. Next, the galley is aft to port, making it a central repository for food, meal prep and serving. It also keeps the chef (typically the owner) in the middle of the action when the guests are spread fore and aft.

With a U-shaped design, the galley appliances are central to the operation. On this boat (hull No. 1 of the 54 Cantius line) there’s a Cuisinart undercounter convection microwave, a Vitrifrigo drawer-style fridge/freezer, a recessed Whale two-burner flat cooktop with counter-cover and double stainless steel sinks with designer multi-angle faucet. Across to starboard is a nook that houses a third fridge/freezer drawer unit, along with a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer unit.

All about comfort

Fold back the aft stainless steel glass door/wall combo unit and lower the power-actuated window; you have successfully integrated the aft deck with galley/salon areas. You’ll find a U-shaped settee aft with a double-post wood table — an electric, retractable awning built into the hardtop can cover it. With a release from the backside, the seating hinges forward from the cockpit and has great storage beneath for fenders, lines, supplies and more.

A great idea is the aft deck twin barstools, installed on the portside next to the aft window. Guests can be part of any conversation, or just enjoy a cocktail at the bar. To the side is the grill station, in close proximity to the galley.

Interior wise, it’s all about comfort. Forward of the galley to port is a U-shaped settee and wood table with foldout leafs and wood-finished pedestal. The cushions are thick and plush, and you’ll be tempted to just stretch out and kick back a bit. Or you can do that on the sofa that’s across to starboard, in front of the recessed TV.

Our 54 Cantius was equipped with a couple of the Polk Soundbar 5000 speakers, which offer surround sound quality for TV, movies or Bluetooth-connected audio devices. The tone is crisp and the sound follows you through the salon, instead of just emanating from one location.

A few more features of the salon are the glass-paneled sunroof with shade, side opening windows with blinds, overhead lighting, black oak Amtico flooring and Tay oak wood on the walls.

Sleek navigation

You’ll be hard pressed to not like the starboard helm station. The seat is double-wide for extra elbow room or a guest navigator. The station can be equipped with Raymarine electronics or a Volvo Glass Cockpit system; it’s essentially a clean, well-designed, easy-to-use dashboard with integrated engine and navigation control in one place. Touch-screen and pinch-to-zoom make easy work out of managing ship systems, controlling lights and climate settings, and, of course, navigation.

Housed in dual 12-inch screens, the helm is ergonomically designed for comfort, including the bank of rocker switches, throttle controls on the right side, a Volvo joystick controller on left and a Volvo Penta engine display. It’s notable that the joystick is to the left, as it allows the operator to stand centerline while backing and have good access to the stick.

Functional cruising

Not to be outdone by the main deck, the accommodations on the lower deck are to be appreciated. Down a few steps is the atrium with a bright and open-air feel, thanks to the port helm cutaway above. Across is a sofa, which creates a nice cozy hideaway from the main deck while not being subjected to a stateroom. Or opt for a third enclosed stateroom with upper/lower bunks.

Forward is the VIP with centerline island queen berth, hullside windows, hanging locker and a TV. Above are four skylights and a hatch for added light or night viewing. Shades can cover the ports to keep things cool inside.

Sharing the head with daytime users, it has a Danze faucet with deep sink and a Dometic head. There is no shower here, as there is a private, separate shower room on the other side of the VIP room — another great functional feature, as one can shower while someone else uses the head.   

For the commander, there’s the lavishly appointed mid-ship, full-beam master suite. More than just a stateroom, it has a private walk-down entrance, queen-size berth, walk-in closet and portside credenza with drawers. An interesting feature is the starboard café table; it can work as a breakfast nook, work area for laptop or papers, or as a vanity.

The side windows open, allowing for cross ventilation, and there’s room for a washer/dryer unit. Included in the master is a full en-suite head with a shower stall, a Danze faucet, a basin sink and a Dometic head.

By the numbers

The 54 Cantius came in on my readings almost spot-on to what the manufacturer’s spec sheet states. Capt. Kim Brown was behind the wheel dialing up several RPM breaks so I could get some good digits. At 1,200 RPM, the 54 runs up to 10.5 mph, but step it up to 1,800 RPM and you’re cruising to over 25 mph. Top end was 42 mph at WOT (2,550 RPM).

Power is needed to propel this 47,000-pound fiberglass platform (loaded with fuel and water) through the water, and the 725-hp Volvos do the job.

Heading to the foredeck dual reclining sunpads is easy with wide side decks, high railings and non-skid decking. Anchor windlass and gear is recessed in a locker, sparing toes.

Following in the genealogy of the Cantius line, the 54 Cantius is new, fresh and ready to make a lasting impression. 




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