Elegant, sporty and comfortable: three requirements which are completely met in this boat designed by Stefano Pastrovich, and with a top speed of over 32 knots
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello
The first time I saw it was at the quay at the Genoa Boat Show, and it made an impression. The distinctive lines stood out from the other boats that were moored alongside. A few months later, and again in Genoa,
I got the chance to try it out and when I was walking up to it the lines had a strange effect on me: they are high midships, and quickly slope off to the stern. They drop off very quickly, and I thought I might have been in danger of falling overboard during the test. But when I got on, I realised that I had got the wrong impression. The P54 doesn’t just attract looks.
It is a beautiful boat, with elegant and sporty lines, and – despite appearances – the deck is perfectly trimmed, without any danger of sliding off the stern. So, what did I like best about it? From the outside, it looks like a beautiful motorboat, but inside it certainly has a lot of room. That’s not something you can take for granted, as normally boats with a lot of space below decks aren’t so good to look at. But the P54 is an exception to the rule. A sixteen-metre hard-top boat normally has a dinette at deck level.
There are not just cabins and areas to spend the night in, but also a very large and very liveable saloon. It is perfect if you want to spend a lot of time on board, and not only in high summer.
The areas below are set aside for accommodation. In the best cases, a boat would have a kitchen and a small breakfast table. However, Stefano Pastrovich, the designer, has managed to carve out a very large, comfortable space. The figures tell the story about the spaciousness, but the feeling you get on board does too. Below decks, there is a genuine lounge that comfortably holds a good number of people, without any feeling that space for other things has been sacrificed.
I also really liked the relationship between the glass and fibreglass areas. In many boats, the dinette is completely wrapped in glass surfaces. The P54 has sides fibreglass sides, and natural light flows in from the well-proportioned windows, from above, and from the see-through companionway door. Just like in a 1960s motorboat, back when style was important.
The layout of this, the first unit produced, has three bedrooms – the master cabin in the stern, and two more in the bow: a VIP room with a double bed, and one with bunk beds. Each of the cabins has en suite bathrooms, something else that you can’t take for granted on a 54-foot boat. You can also opt for the version with just two cabins, one in the stern, with the other taking up the whole of the bow area. With the three-cabin layout, the design solution is a sliding bulkhead that divides up the two bow rooms. The bulkhead is thick enough to contain a wardrobe, which is an excellent idea. There is no lack of storage space, and if you want, you can keep it closed with the two separated cabins, otherwise, you leave it giving the feeling of having more space.
The arrangement of the deck is also different from what you normally find. You can choose a more open version, with just the rollbar, or a more closed one with a hard top. They differ in the ways to get around. To get to the bow there is a central walkway that has been made possible by a large door in the middle of the windscreen, making it a kind of large bow rider. This means you can take full advantage of the beam, so you get more room and the passageway forward is very wide and safe. That also means you can do without having rails and grab handles on the sides, which certainly don’t do anything to improve a boat’s looks, but which are essential to get around without running the risk of falling overboard.
The advantage of also having a living room below is that the entire deck area can be set aside for relaxation. The bow can become a single sun pad, while there are a further two in the stern, one single and one double. In addition to that, there is the bridge – which has good sightlines – chairs and tables, both big and small. So basically, everything you might need to be comfortable in the open air. The hard top protects the amidships area from the sun, and there is an extension that rests on movable poles if you also want to shade the stern, and you can do the same in the bow. Some aspects are worthy of note, such as the disappearing cleats and through-hull fittings as well as the anchor lowering system which optimises the use of space in the chain well. There is an anchor, but you can’t see it, and even the locker for it doesn’t take up all of the areas deep in the bow, which increases the room for getting around. Finally, amongst the large volumes that have been found in the interior, are the sailor’s cabin and the tender garage.
The range is good because of the limited fuel consumption, and a tank that holds nearly 3,000 litres. The choice of cruising speeds spans as much as twenty knots: it gets on the plane at 12.1 knots, and the top speed is 32.4, while fuel consumption ranges from 74 to 283 litres per hour for both engines.
All very nice, but how does it fare when underway? We found a sea that was nearly completely calm at Genoa, but the hull felt very forgiving. There are two 725-horsepower Volvo D11s, and an IPS system. That makes it very easy to handle and to helm. When turning it heels just the right amount, not too little or too much. The tacking angle is not excessive, but after all, this is not a boat for slaloming between buoys. What it is, however, is a cruiser that will do over 32 knots, and fuel consumption is good: at 20 knots you just need about 150 litres an hour, and at 25 knots that figure is 180. So, in conclusion, you could say that Pastrovich and Fiart have shown that interior volumes and good looks are not necessarily mutually exclusive. And the same can be said for comfort and design.
The pair of 725-horsepower Volvo D11s and the IPS system deliver a very balanced performance which is perfect for cruising. Fuel consumption is good, while its turn speed is nevertheless more than acceptable.
Via Lucullo, 71
I-80070 Baia (NA)
T. +39 081 8040023
Stefano Pastrovich • Shipyard technical department
LOA 16.65m • Maximum beam 5.10m • Fuel tank volume 2,900 l • Water tank volume 1,000 l • Displacement 27,000 kg
2xVolvo D11-IPS950 • Outlet mechanical power 533 kW (725 hp) • 6 in-line cylinders • Swept volume 10.8 l • Bore&Stroke 123mm x 152mm • Compression ratio 16.5:1 • Maximal rotational speed 2500/min • Dry weight 1,800 kg
Starting from 1,620,000 € (March 2023)
(Fiart P54, the exception to the rule – Barchemagazine.com – March 2023)