Solid, strong and comfortable. Essentially, it is a boat with good seafaring qualities and a fly bridge that makes the areas on board more welcoming
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Andrea Muscatello
FESTINA LENTE IS AN OXYMORON, ATTRIBUTED TO EMPEROR AUGUSTUS. It translates, roughly, as “make haste slowly”. In this case, the two antithetical traits that are brought together are those of speed and being slow, and that is also what came to my mind when I was on board the Menorquin 54. It feels like a calm, clever boat, but not necessarily a particularly slow one. Indeed, it felt like one of those boats that – precisely because they are not obsessed with speed – can go anywhere. Probably when you do the sums it gets there before others do, simply because it doesn’t have to stop.
All the Sasga models are designed and built to sail in EC category, class A.
There is no shadow of a doubt that it is what you could call a boat with good seafaring qualities, that has been designed to sail in all kinds of weather and sea conditions, a characteristic that has brought success to all of the yard’s models. The sea at Lavagna didn’t hold very difficult conditions in store for us, but the discreet crowd of boats in the Tigullio Gulf meant that we could test the hull by going across a lot of bow waves, both medium-sized and large wakes. Menorquin 54 didn’t pay the slightest bit of attention to them. It continued calmly on its path. There is no need to concern yourself with how you are going to take a wave on. It is like a whale in the middle of the ocean which doesn’t get too concerned by a few plastic bottles. The whale knows that they aren’t going to trouble it, and so it doesn’t change course. If you look at the gunwales in the bow you can see that they always stay completely vertical, even though you put the helm hard over, and that shows how stable the 54 is when underway.
It is stable and easy to handle when under way. Both when you go over a wave, and when you are manoeuvring, the feeling you get throughout is that you are on board a safe and reliable vessel.
The hull doesn’t tilt over at all, it gives a feeling of safety and ease of manoeuvre. Even though it is not agile in the way a small boat fitted with a pair of outboards is, it is nevertheless satisfying to do a turn in it. I finished the entire turn, through an entire 360-degree arc, and realised that the diameter was of around a hundred metres. So, you need some room to turn, but all things considered, it’s not excessive. Top speed is just over 22 knots, and ideal cruising speed can be found at around 18 or 19. At that speed, there is no need for overly-sensitive steering, nor of an agile hull that is ready to take off the moment you touch the wheel. So, the turning capacity is in line with the rest of the boat and the approach taken to it.
The engine room houses two 440 hp Volvo D6, which are decidedly frugal when it comes to fuel usage. That is also a clear consequence of the approach taken to construction. At top speed total fuel consumption is below 150 litres an hour and – at twenty knots – it is around 120 litres. That is a good figure, especially if we take into account the fact that we were on board a 15-metre hull, with plenty of superstructures and which displaces fifteen tonnes.
The 54 FB has got a large amount of room on the fly deck that means you have even more space and comfort out of doors. It is easy to get around on board because there is no lack of grab handles, or of room in the gangways.
This model carries the initials FB, which stands for flybridge. The deck layout features a “second floor” outdoors. There is even more room to move around onboard safely. Never, neither in the gangways nor in the bows or the cockpit, do you get the feeling that it is a bit of a tight squeeze. The calm way it travels also increases the feeling of safety that you get when you move around the deck when the boat is underway.
There were three cabins and two bathrooms in the layout of the model that we tried out, but there are a very large number of customisation options.
There are many internal arrangement options available, to such an extent that it is not going too far to say that it is a semi-custom boat. The one that we tried had the owner’s cabin in the bow, with a private bathroom, a galley, which also serves as a passageway to the night area, and two other guest cabins with a bathroom. In all, there are six comfortable berths. It is roomy and light, and the area below decks make you want to stay on board for a long time, while the soundproofing of the engine rooms helps to make the area comfortable, even when the engine is being used. Menorquin 54 FB has confirmed itself as a boat made for sailing. The yard produces everything in house in Minorca, and that is a guarantee of quality. That is perhaps also why it has a large number of fans, and the good news – for us – is that people who decide to buy this boat don’t do so just to look good in the marina or at anchor, but also so they can eat up the miles.
The two Volvo Penta D6s each turning out 440 hp are a balanced option for this boat. They provide the correct amount of performance, without using too much fuel. Sound insulation from the engine room is excellent, and the decibel level is contained both when on the bridge, and in the owner’s cabin.
San Luis, Menorca
Isole Baleari, Spagna
Pedetti Yacht Sales
Porto di Lavagna, box 102
I-16033 Lavagna (GE)
T.+39 0185 370164
PROJECT: Shipyard technical department
HULL: LOA 17.50m • Length 16.41m • Maximum beam 5m • Draft 1.30m • Light mass displacement 24,000 kg • Fuel tank volume 2,800 l • Water tank volume 970 l
MAIN PROPULSION: 2xVolvo Penta D6-440 • Outlet mechanical power 324kW (440 hp) • Swept volume 5.5 l • 6 cylinders inline • Maximal rotational speed 3700/min • Dry weight 755 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT A – 16 people
PRICE: 672,000 € • The flybridge version costs 722,260 €
(Menorquin 54 FB, festina lente – Barchemagazine.com – December 2020)